Since I am a mum this is something I think about frequently. How do I, how should I, raise my children. Ours is a Pagan house. I am Pagan, my husband is Pagan. Our children? Well, our children are our children.
The eldest is in a stage of figuring out who and what he is in life. He’s an adult now and has supported himself for over 3 years, and I am very proud of him.
The younger two though are in primary school and still in a very impressionable stage of life. Religious education is part of the national curriculum for schools, so they are exposed to worship and Christian education at school. And I am fine with that because as part of Religious Education they are also learning about Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
The older of the two has declared himself a strong atheist. The younger declares he wants to be a Christian (because they have Christmas, I suspect) but also believes in all the other Gods and wants his own statue of Ganesha for an altar in his room.And I am fine with whatever either boy chooses.
Pagans are different from adherents of many other religious beliefs because they do not proselytise. They don’t knock on your door trying to get you to convert. They don’t shout the words of the Goddess on street corners (well, not usually). It is thought that those who are meant to be Pagan will find it.
It is also widely believed that all people are on the path they need to be on. It doesn’t matter the path people take, only that they reach the destination at the other end.
All of this has come into my head after reading a message on Ashleen OGaea’s Facebook feed the other day. A person unknown indicated the book she authored, Raising Witches, couldn’t be valid because her son was not Wiccan as an adult.
Absolute tosh by the way. That means utter nonsense for the non-English readers. I would say that her son is not Wiccan is absolute evidence of one vital part of the Pagan beliefs. We cannot choose our children’s paths for them.
As Pagan parents it is not our duty to raise our children up to be good Pagan children. It is our duty to raise children who are able to think and make a decision for themselves, even when that decision disagrees with the beliefs of the parents.