Saturday, September 4, 2010

Indoctrinating Your Kids

There are lots of different parenting philosophies out there. But one of the most pervasive ones in this day and age (and in my mind the most dangerous one) is that we shouldn't "indoctrinate" our kids. When people use the word "indoctrinate" they mean teach your kids traditional values, like don't have sex before marriage, or don't do drugs. But perhaps the worst thing you can do, to these people's thinking, is "indoctrinate" your kids to believe in God.

Now, I'm a Christian. I'm a Conservative too. And so as you can probably guess, these ideas don't sit well with me. I look at it this way: it's our job as parents to teach our kids. We can't just sit around and hope that little Jimmy will figure out on his own that it's a bad idea to pull on that pot of boiling water on the stove. We don't just assume they'll figure out that 1+1=2, so why should we just assume they'll figure out the stuff about God?

To me, and I think to most Christians, my relationship with God is the #1 most important aspect of my life. So why on earth would I exclude my kids from that? And yet, that's the message we get as parents: don't influence your kids when it comes to religion! You should just let them experiment and choose for themselves.

However, the Bible paints a clearly different picture. According to Deuteronomy 6:6-7 parents should heed the following instruction, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

So if you believe the Bible, then you should definitely forget what the so-called experts say.


  1. I also think we need to indoctrinate them early because if we don't, there sure is going to be someone who wants to do it for us.

    I've been thinking a lot about this ever since my 5-year-old started asking questions about death and the afterlife (when she was 3). I'm an atheist, but I haven't wanted to spill the beans to her yet. Although she's gotten the God/Jesus story from her grandparents, I always let her know that that is not what everyone believes. For the moment she has decided to believe in Jesus and the afterlife. But just as we convince little children of the existence of Santa Claus and then reveal the truth to them when they are older, I will do the same with the whole God/heaven idea.

  2. Shakesrear, you're right, if we don't indoctrinate, someone else will. Of course, I couldn't disagree with you more regarding your views about God, or I guess the lack thereof, but I respect a parent's right and duty to raise their kids as they see fit.

    I personally don't do the Santa Claus thing with my kids, because I want them to be able to trust the things I tell them. That and at Santa Claus has nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas. (:

    Thanks for your comments!

  3. Great post!
    I grew up in an "indoctrinated" family. My parents chose to homeschool us and not have a tv in their house. People told my Dad that he was "brainwashing" his kids. His reply was, "If I don't do it, someone else will." Who would you rather have "brainwash" your kids, the government? their friends? hollywood?
    I feel like I am a stronger person because of my parents raised me outside the box. Too many people are afraid to be different. The way the world is going right now, if you want to live a godly life, you have to be different.

  4. Your dad was exactly right! When we let kids watch a lot of tv, they'll just assume that what the tv shows portray is reality, and a lot of times that couldn't be further from the truth.

    I agree re: if you want to live a godly life, you have to be different. It's disturbing how many times Christians seek to become more like the world instead of the other way round.