My thoughts for this ramble have been inspired by some of the recent posts by Garry at The Blog Up North in particular this post, a post by Dave Gorman on his blog, as well as some of the utterances by my eldest.
Garry's bedtime discussion was interesting to me, not just because of the religious questions that it raised, but also the idea that we shape and mould our children in our own image.
I was sat at the dinner table yesterday with what was the best bit of roast beef ever cooked in our oven. I expressed my appreciation and Mrs S asked if she had put too much gravy on. Quick as a flash, my eldest mini me retorted "There's no such thing as too much gravy" which she knows is one of my personal mantras.
Coupled with what I had read previously though, I questioned myself on whether I, or anyone else, had too much influence on my children's thoughts.
I have often said that as far as I was concerned, as long they grew up with decent moral standards and a love for Liverpool Football Club, they could make the choices they wanted in life. They can decide whether they wanted to believe in a God or not and if so which one (Kenny Dalglish for me). They can choose their own friends whether we approve or not (we do luckily) etc.
Of course, the morals that I want them to grow up with are my morals, and who is to say that they are the correct ones for society as a whole. I certainly believe in what Dave Gorman would call human values as they are values that are shared by Christians and many other religions alike. The basic premise being, "do unto others what you would have done unto you". The religious side I am happy for them to make their own way with. One fly in that ointment though, is the playgroup that they went to when they were young. It was an incredibly good playgroup but it was attached to our local church. Whilst they were in the playgroup there was no indoctrination of any kind. But they made friends and wanted to go back to the next stage club with their friends. This club is similar in some ways but many of the activities are based around religious stories. I don't have a problem with this. I think The Bible is the greatest story ever told. But as Garry said, they are just stories. I don't like the way that they are being presented to my children as facts.
I am finding it very difficult to let her make her own mind up. She has already heard the ladies at God Club (it's not really called that and I don't use the term disrespectfully) and takes what they have told her at face value. They are, to all intents and purposes, teachers as far as she is concerned and we have brought her up to respect teachers and learn from them. I would like her to have the counter arguement (you know scientists and all their facts) so that she can make her mind up with a balance of opinions to choose from. I'm just worried that I may have missed that boat.
I am pleased that she is picking up thoughts and opinions from other, respected, sources as well as home and school. But I am now starting to think that maybe exposure to the big bad world isn't all it's cracked up to be.