Pagan Parenting: Combating the Violence of the World Today
Author: Crystal Blanton
There are violence, crime, pain, drugs and death all around us. It has become a part of society and we have begun the process of normalizing it into our everyday world.
The video games, music videos and songs that depict violence are just unbelievable. So, if you are anything like me, as a parent there is a certain amount of anxiety you carry when thinking of your kids in the “real” world.
You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with Paganism?” Well, it has everything to do with paganism and living a spiritual path. We, as adults, know we make different and make better decisions when we are rooted in a spiritual path. Why do we automatically assume that kids are so different from us?
Granted, children don’t have the life skills and experiences we do. Children do not have the critical thinking skills some adults have, and notice I did say some.
Children are learning how to operate in the world with every passing moment. Sometimes, in the world of an adult where things seem to move so fast, we forget the true path of a kid and that path is all about learning the life skills to live and make decisions. More often than not, it is about learning to recognize choices and make better choices.
With those thoughts at the forefront of our minds, let’s go back and revisit the original thought. As humans, children and adults alike, we make different and better decisions when we are rooted in a spiritual path.
So by putting that concept into the proper perspective, the time for action is now.
The time is now to teach our children responsibility and accountability, not by preaching but by example. Remember, attraction rather than promotion and we can always show better than we can “tell”.
The time is now for spiritual knowledge. Broaden their minds; kids can never have too much knowledge or understanding of the world that is beyond this world.
The time is now to teach our kids structure. We cannot pretend that our kids will automatically understand that the world is based on rules, some real and some invisible. If we don’t provide our kids structure, how will they learn how to exist in the world?
The time is now to teach our kids to respect life and everything in it. They must begin the long process of understanding that we are connected to everything and everything is connected to us. Understanding this principle helps to take away the false illusion that we are not affecting others, the world or ourselves with our attentions.
The time is now to teach our kids how to think. Children are accustomed to reacting to life instead of thinking things through and evaluating consequences. This is a skill many adults didn’t learn and they are still suffering the effects of bad choices made in the past and in the present.
The time is now to have open and honest communication with our children about life.
We think we can save our kids from the reality of the world but, when our kids don’t get the answers from us, they are looking from the answers from others. And sometimes the places our kids look for answers is the last place we would wish.
The time is now to teach our kids that they create their own reality. Kids often immediately think life is horrible or unfair when things don’t go their way. We all need to understand life is hard but I chose how I am going to deal with it or what feelings I am going to accept or adopt. How I chose to look at life will dictate how I feel about my life. There are people who have much less in life than I do and they wake up happy in the morning because they actually opened their eyes to another day. Wow, what a harsh realization at how many of us are self-centered and don’t appreciate our blessings. Guess what? We pass that along to our kids.
The time is now to teach our kids that we cannot control other people’s thoughts or actions. We just have to learn to live in spite of the outside world. The building of coping and life skills through spiritual foundation can be invaluable to a child, especially since most children feel like their power resides in the choices of others
With all of that in mind, again let’s look at the mission of this article. We cannot actually remove our children from the violence in the world today because, no matter how far away we move, and violence is a part of our everyday life. But we can give our kids the tools to understand life in a way that doesn’t promote violence and destruction.
Let’s stop acting like it is ok that our kids are exposed to senseless violence in movies and TV. I am not promoting censorship but our attitudes will help dictate how our children see these things. If we were acting like it is ok or “cool” then why wouldn’t we think our kids would think the same thing?
Ask yourself what things are you lenient with that you should tighten up on and what things should you give more freedoms? What are you teaching your children when you are not mentally and spiritually present?
Sit with yourself and a piece of paper and think of some of the discussion topics that you feel you need to start opening the lines of communication around, and then just start. Start talking about the values of your faith and what is means to them. Talk about almost anything to help forge the connection between you as the parent and the supporter of spiritual development. Don’t get stuck on how to do this or what to say. Sometimes it isn’t about the how but just to do. And don’t forget to incorporate spirituality into almost everything.
Just imagine if all parents started doing the same.