I totally understand this thread. My ex partner (who wasn't the father of either of my children) and I would involve them in all our rituals, mostly because we couldn't get a sitter, but I was becoming increasingly annoyed at being dragged about the city with a young daughter and a toddler all hours of the day. I've always tried to involve my daughters in my path. My eldest (Steph) who is 11 in September has identified with being a pagan since she was about 7. However my youngest (Kirsty) who is 6, lives mostly with her dad, attends school 40 miles away. A custody battle during financial hardship plus her not being returned to my home for three months until signed a document, forced me to agree to her father's wishes, therefore I only see her at weekends. Kirsty's Dad never showed a religious leaning when we were together, so I'm sure he won't force anything upon her.
Still, it's very common place in UK schools to automatically teach Christianity to our children. According to the 2001 census, Out of 57.1 million people living in the UK, 71.8%, roughly 41 million, are Christian, 8.6 million people (15.1%) held atheist views, 4.4 million (7.8%) simply did not state a religion, while only 160k (0.3%) ticked the other religion box. 2.8% of the population were Muslim but held 51.9% of the non-Christian religion group.
In 2000, there were 12.1 million children aged under 16 in the UK. In 2001, 1/3 of the minority ethnic population were aged under 16. Also, Sikh, Muslim and Hindu households are more likely to house more than one family. In fact, 7% of all households in Britain in 2001.
My point for posting all these figures is that it is obvious that there are a few million children in the UK being taught through a Christian medium when their families aren't Christian. If this is done CORRECTLY, then it shouldn't be a problem, but in a lot of schools, it isn't being done correctly so it is a problem, for any non Christian.
At the beginning of 2010, My ex partner (quite a well known druid in our circles) talked me into pulling my eldest out of her school to home school her as he believed they were forcing her to believe stuff. I was unsure as I was the ONLY one working (30 hours a week) and I wouldn't be there to oversee this little project of his. I agreed anyway, although it went against my judgement and she was removed at Easter break that year. She missed school badly. On the days I was working, I would get told they'd gone for a walk - but I discovered that this was a rare thing as my ex became quickly angered by her. Most days I'd come home and she'd be in her room as a punishment or she'd been smacked and sent to her room.
Her tutoring involved writing essays on her children's novels, and trying to remember stuff that was quite impossible for her. She often was made to write lines like they used to do at secondary school, and at one time she was made to write two sheets of A4 - that's 4 sides - of "I must show more respect to *dad* and not be cheeky." Two sides for an 11-16 year old in secondary school was one thing, but four sides for a nine year old? I stepped in and I'd let her off. My poor daughter had turned from a stubborn 6 year old to a 10 year old that was constantly punished.
Oh they had their good days, but they were few and far between. I'd even have texts while I was at work stating I should drop everything and come home as she was being difficult. He had vision, but no discipline to carry it out. Not discipline for my daughter (she had way more of her fair share) but discipline for himself. She'd go days - even weeks - without learning something new, or even just being in the same room as him as she was constantly ostracised and sent to her room to read a book or watch dvd's so he could spend time "networking" online or playing World of Warcraft.
She was only removed for that one term, as he decided it was too much for him to handle (I didn't say "I told you so" but I really wanted to) and she returned to the same school with open arms in the following September. What REALLY annoyed me the most, was the fact that it was ME who had researched alternative RE teaching, not him, which was the main argument he'd used for her withdrawal, and he never once asked for my research or notes. If you're not going to do a job properly, why convince others you can do said job and just be lazy about it? (oh dear this has turned into a rant - I swear it wasn't meant to be!)
My point is that I should have stepped up and suggested simply supplimenting her schooling from home. She's an incredibly bright pupil, reading and maths are her best subjects. I'm not sure she remembers every ritual she's been involved in, but I'm sure it's shaped who she is today. Unfortunately, she's a bit of a push over as over the years, she's let others be mean to her, it's another wound I have to heal, along with my own, But this samhain, I'm planning to do something really nice with her and teach her more about my beliefs. If she's interested, that is.
The Weird has a name and refuses to be called Betty.
Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible. I passed this gem onto my children!
To pronounce "LL" in welsh - pretend you're an angry cat or a vampire and force air along both sides of your tongue as you aspirate!
My Poetry eBook Free download 'cause I'm a nice person!