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Family & Relationships How to Talk to Kids About Religion

00:16  03 july  2018
00:16  03 july  2018 Source:   sheknows.com

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I'm a Muslim-American, and Here's How I Talk to My Kids About Religion . Interestingly enough, as the political climate of religious fervor increases, the Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study shows a staggering eight percent decrease in the number of people who are absolutely certain

Here’s our age-by-age guide on how to talk to kids about racism. Read them picture books and show them TV shows and movies that celebrate kids of all colours, cultures and religions , but include examples of these kids doing everyday things so that they won’t see difference as exotic.

How to Talk to Kids About Religion: Celebrate World Religion Day © Getty Images/Hero Images. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows. Celebrate World Religion Day

These days (and in this country), the words "tolerance," "love" and "acceptance" seem to be increasingly hard to find — no matter your religion or creed. In fact, on Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court decided to uphold Trump's highly controversial travel ban, which prevents people from six predominately Muslim nations to enter the United States, in a 5 – 4 vote. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor claimed the ban was "motivated by hostility and animus toward the Muslim faith."

Though appalling, the 5 – 4 vote, unfortunately, wasn't all that surprising. Throughout Trump's 18-month tenure in the White House, he and other elected officials have grown increasingly hostile toward nonwhite, non-Christian groups (calling Nazi sympathizers "very fine people," separating asylum-seeking families at the U.S. border, not condemning ongoing acts of violence toward Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims). Trump's biggest supporters had already condoned this behavior; now, the majority of the Supreme Court has joined them. The message to America's youth seems clear: You can bully people for their differences because the president says so.

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He is author, most recently, of The Belief Book. … Regardless of your beliefs, if you have children, you will eventually have to talk to them about religion . So, what is the best way to teach kids about religion ? Teach facts and how to think.

Earlier this year, Wendy Thomas Russell wrote a book about raising children without religion called Relax, It’s Just God. She just did a wonderful interview about the topic on PBS NewsHour. How to Discipline Your Children Without Religion .

So, how can we teach children tolerance, love and acceptance when there's so much judgment surrounding us? For Anne Rose, president of the Board of the Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear, that answer starts and ends with empathy through education.

"It's really important to understand religions and to have an academic background that includes an understanding of the world's religions," Rose told SheKnows. "Think about how influential religion is in every aspect of our lives: in literature, in politics. If you don't understand, you're not part of the greater conversation. ... If we don't want to 'other' people who are not like us, we have to have some understanding of what there is in the world. And not understanding makes you fearful and judgmental ... We should promote freedom of choice for everybody and understanding and conversation is important."

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The book offers helpful timelines for how to talk to kids about religion at every age and includes a handy appendix with the CliffsNotes version of each major religion of the world, along with ways to observe their holidays in a secular way.

Before kindergarten, kids are curious about spiritual expression and hungry to learn. Here’s how to teach them. No matter what we may think about religion , we want to be sure children are open to other possibilities.

There may come a time when your kids ask you what you believe. Should this happen, be honest. It's completely acceptable for you to share your beliefs with your child. Use these opportunities to ask them how they feel or if they have thoughts on various belief sets.

Finally, it's more than OK to admit that you don't have all of the answers. Rely on religious and scientific resources whenever needed, and most important, have fun.

Related Gallery: 9 Common Misperceptions About Religious Observances (Provided by Mental Floss)

1. WHAT'S WRONG: RAMADAN IS A HOLIDAY.: 9 Common Misperceptions About Religious Observances

Unaccompanied children on flight ended up at hotel with Frontier employee, family says .
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