Talking about Other Religions with Your Kids

My children will be making friends with kids from other cultures. In Calgary, their friends were either Catholic, Christian, or Mormon. In the Lower Mainland, they will be exposed to so many more religions. I want to understand the basics of each culture so that I can open lines of communication with my kids regarding what they believe.

We are Christian and I want my children to have a very strong faith in God but at the same time be tolerant of other religious groups. I realize that at some point they will start defining their own faith and I want to ensure that it remains Christian.

In Calgary our neighbours were Catholic and Mormon. The Catholic wasn't a huge issue, in fact my son went to Catholic Public School last year and I really loved the religious aspect of the school. Before he went to the school we talked about the differences between our beliefs. My son's Catholic friends weren't overly knowledgeable about their beliefs and since both religions are so similar it wasn't a huge deal. But when it came to my son's Mormon friends.....

Mormon children are very educated about their beliefs. My children, at a very young age, were told by their Mormon friend that I was going to die because I drink coffee. The same child told me that my husband and I weren't going to be together in the after life because we weren't married in the Temple. That's the good news, the bad is that I wasn't sure my kids would differentiate the difference between life and after life. So my sensitive highly intelligent son was worried that I was going to die and my marriage was going to end.

As my son gets older he says less and keeps more thoughts to himself. I don't know all his friends anymore and he has more play dates in their homes. If I can open the doors of communication by talking about the different religious beliefs then I can keep a finger on his religious pulse. The way I see it I have a choice, talk about all the options with my kids or put my head in the sand thinking they are only going to consider Christianity.

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