What are some of the ways you teach your children in regards to faith, the universe, and life? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
My husband, a Muslim (and a pretty vocal one at that), and I (raised Christian), take a very active approach to teaching our kids about faith and religions. Here's a bit from a recent op-ed we wrote together that explains a bit more:
"As an interfaith, interracial family -- and a vocal one at that -- we strive to teach our three young sons about the thrilling diversity that exists in our country, and in the world. This has meant using every opportunity to teach them about different religions; going to various places of worship around the globe; participating in religious ceremonies with friends of other faiths; reading stories from the Torah and the Ramayana in the same sitting at bedtime; talking openly about our own unique faith journeys and doing our best to raise globally-minded, religiously literate kids. We have taught them to love their enemies like Jesus did; to show compassion for all living things, just like the Buddha and to stand up for injustice wherever they see it, as Muhammad taught. We pray together, unified in our faith in a God who is far bigger than any one religion."
That was from this op-ed: On Election Day, the bad guy won. Here's how we broke it to our kids.
The thing I'm most excited about lately, though, is getting into a regular practice with them. I confess, we don't make it to church every Sunday. And we travel a lot, so we're not always even home on weekends. So we often "do church" wherever we happen to be together, making sure that at least once weekly on Saturday or Sunday, we sit down with our kids, read or tell them a story from one of the great religious traditions, and discuss what that story means. Then we do an activity that relates to that story too. For instance, recently we told the story of the Buddha, and tried to focus on compassion. It worked pretty well, although the boys were focused specifically on the part of the story where he gave all of his possessions away. That blew their minds. So we challenged each of them to choose a toy of their own to give away too. It's probably one of my favorite things we do together as a family.
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