The Trials of Pagan Parenting

There are many joys to be had in raising children, as well as many sorrows and trials. Raising children as a Pagan can be especially demanding:

  • When is a good time to discuss your religious beliefs?
  • How do you explain why you do not go to church when your child(ren)’s friends and parents go to church?
  • If you are not totally out of the broom closet, how do you explain to your child that what you do in a ritual needs to be kept quiet?

I am the only Pagan in my household (unless my children decide to follow in my footsteps). My husband is Catholic and my son goes to Sunday school at my husband’s church. I want my son (and eventually our new baby) to have exposure to multiple belief systems.

I do find it difficult to explain why mommy doesn’t go to daddy’s church. Something that is not made any easier by the fact that I am still in the closet in regards to my own mom, who is an adamant Catholic. My son will visit her during the summer and will come home preaching about God and Jesus. I’m fine with that, but I then find it more and more difficult to explain to him that not all of his friends are Catholic or even Christian and it is not always appropriate to suddenly burst into prayer or singing hymns. My mother is also a pre-Vatican 2 kind of Catholic, so she talks to him about hell and… well that really bothers me.

As a Wiccan kind of Pagan, I don’t believe in any hell other than the ones we create for ourselves. I don’t believe in blaming the devil/Satan (since I do not believe in Satan) for the evil wo/men do. I believe we need to blame the person who committed the evil. I’ve done pretty good getting that through my boy’s head. I tell him we are all free to decide how we act, and those very actions have consequences that could be good or bad. I guess it is my way of beginning to teach him one of the tenets of the Wiccan Rede.

Do you have any particular problems in dealing with being a Pagan and a parent? How do you overcome these?