Raising ethical, happy, freethinking kids!
Recently the British Humanist Association started a “Don’t Label Me” campaign to encourage parents to allow their children the choice of “who they want to be” whenever they grow up. A great example of freethinking parenting in action!
From the ad campaign’s FAQ:
- Don’t we influence children one way or the other whatever we do?
Yes, and it’s quite correct that parents should try and educate their children, including education on moral and personal matters.
However there is a spectrum of influence. On the one hand some parents insist children share their beliefs, preventing them from learning about other beliefs and ‘protecting’ them from external influences that might undermine those beliefs. On the other hand there are parents explaining what they believe, perhaps encouraging their children to share those beliefs but leaving option open without prejudice that their children won’t share those beliefs, being open about the fact that other people (good people) have different beliefs, and encouraging them to find out about those too, and to respect other people’s rights to their beliefs.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what counts as education and what counts as indoctrination. But in the case of labelling children as if they innately hold a particular religion or ideology, or claiming that they “belong” to a particular religion, this is clearly over that line. Anyone truly interested in the autonomy and freedom of their children should avoid labelling them. Even if instilling “faith” is your goal, what does that faith really mean if it is first presumed and then reinforced by repeated use of labelling?
Our group is for anyone who’s interested in inoculating families against religious indoctrination by raising freethinking kids. Parents, someday-soon parents, family members, or anyone else interested in the topic is welcome to join our conversation.