Whether you’re a religious person or not, your beliefs are an important part of who you are. They’re what you live by, and they’re something that you pass down to your children when you teach them about the world.
Of course, not everyone has the same set of beliefs. That’s why there are so many different faiths in the world. You might think these shouldn’t matter to you because they don’t line up with what you believe in. However, you should still teach your kids about these religions for four excellent reasons.
It Promotes Equality
People are often scared of those with different beliefs because they represent an unknown entity. They can’t relate to them as they don’t understand where they come from. Therefore, they paint them as the enemy.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though.
By teaching your kids about other religions, you can ensure that they don’t put up such defences against those who are different to them. If they understand what others believe in and why their faith is what it is, they can build bridges rather than burn them down.
England and Wales may be predominantly Christian or atheist, but percentages of the population are also Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, or something else. With so many different faiths present here, it’s better that your child understands them rather than viewing them all as something to be feared.
It Can Improve Classroom Relations
Kids in school are surrounded by hundreds of other people their age on a daily basis. However, not everyone looks the same as them.
There’s a good chance that some of the students in their class have a different faith, which may make them the minority. It’s never nice to be the odd one out, which is why teaching your kids about religions can be so beneficial. It could really make a difference to that other kid’s life and give your own child a friend they might not have otherwise made.
It’s not even that hard to educate children about this stuff when you have channels dedicated to it. For instance, Islam Channel has programs about Islam for kids, which provides all the necessary information in easy-to-consume formats.
It Puts More Control In Their Hands
If you just teach your children about the things you understand, they’ll only ever see the world through your eyes. That can sometimes be dangerous because as much as they are your kid, they’re also their own person. They deserve to make their own decisions about what’s good and what’s bad, what they believe in, etc., and they need information to do that. The more information they have, the better choices they can make.
You want your child to be the best version of themselves and teaching them about other faiths can help them become that. If you try to limit them now, there’s a risk they could resent you for that when they’re older and see more of the world.
It Helps You To Learn
It’s likely that you’re unfamiliar with other religions, especially if you’re an atheist. So, if you’re going to teach your kids about different faiths, you’ll have to do some research yourself.
This can be a significant benefit to you because it boosts your understanding of the people around you. Even if you just learn the basics of these religions, you might find that you start to see others in a different way. Intolerance isn’t rare in the UK, with around a quarter of people surveyed by Pew Research Centre saying they wouldn’t accept a Jewish or Muslim family member. Perhaps that figure could be different if people understood other religions more.
It might be a little daunting or even uncomfortable talking to your kids about other religions. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean you’re forcing your children to pick a faith. All you’re doing is giving them a better understanding of what people believe in so they can see more of the similarities in others, rather than their differences.
This is a collaborative post.