Advertisement
Boards are fundraising to help the people of Ukraine via the Red Cross at this horrific time. Please donate and share if you can, you will find the link here. Many thanks.

help for parents/child starting in Catholic school

124»

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭ The One Doctor


    Gatica wrote: »
    Can this be done in a sensitive way without stigmatising the child for being "different"?

    My wife and I are atheists, my daughter goes to a Catholic school. RE is neither shoved down their throats nor are they 'indoctrinated'. They are simply taught about Jesus, God, love, family and friendship. Let the child believe what they want and discuss your views when the child is older.

    Most children believe in God, why wouldn't they? They believe in Santa up to 9/10 and you wouldn't try to convince them out of that, would you?

    My six year old daughter said her prayers in bed tonight. No way was I going to start pontificating about logic and the impossibility of God. That is being a atheist dickhead.

    Bottom line: Respect your child's beliefs, they'll change to atheist around 13-15 anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Hoboo wrote: »
    Travel to the nearest non Catholic school? Live closer to a non Catholic school? Start a new school?.

    What's your suggestion?

    Oh right, move house, maybe emigrate? :rolleyes: how about not have kids in the first place, maybe? so our health and education systems can stay rooted in the 19th century... ffs

    Or just pretend to be catholic, it's what maybe 60-70% of parents are doing at the moment?

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    My wife and I are atheists, my daughter goes to a Catholic school. RE is neither shoved down their throats nor are they 'indoctrinated'. They are simply taught about Jesus, God, love, family and friendship. Let the child believe what they want and discuss your views when the child is older.

    Most children believe in God, why wouldn't they? They believe in Santa up to 9/10 and you wouldn't try to convince them out of that, would you?

    My six year old daughter said her prayers in bed tonight. No way was I going to start pontificating about logic and the impossibility of God. That is being a atheist dickhead.

    Bottom line: Respect your child's beliefs, they'll change to atheist around 13-15 anyway.

    Are you raising your child as a Catholic?


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    RE is neither shoved down their throats nor are they 'indoctrinated'. They are simply taught about Jesus, God

    They are taught that a specific religion is fact. That is the very definition of indoctrination.

    Let the child believe what they want

    :pac: maybe the schools could try that approach, eh!

    My six year old daughter said her prayers in bed tonight. No way was I going to start pontificating about logic and the impossibility of God. That is being a atheist dickhead.

    Bottom line: Respect your child's beliefs, they'll change to atheist around 13-15 anyway.

    Well I think that teachers or priests getting six-year-olds to say prayers in school is being a religious dickhead, especially when the parents of those kids don't share that belief. Also, it's kind of important that parents let children know what their values are and don't just outsource that to whoever happens to be running the local school - whether parents are religious or not.

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    Is it not very confusing for a child to have no idea what their parents' values are? And then to have to absorb the values of a religious school instead?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 17,508 ✭✭✭✭ eviltwin


    I can’t imagine hiding my views from my child and letting the school take ownership of that aspect of their life. Seems odd to say the least. I wonder what happens when the child becomes aware they aren’t going to mass like they are supposed to and how they manage that.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,311 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook


    gandalfio wrote: »
    Sounds like a difficult situation OP and one I could find myself in with my son in the near future.

    Are Educate Together Primary and Secondary schools the only non religious options, or are there other types of non religious schools?

    Many Gaelscoileanna are also multi-denom.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Many Gaelscoileanna are also multi-denom.

    Around my way they say they are, but are really catholic

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,203 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly


    I'm Christian, not RC. My kids are in an RC school and don't do RE.
    5% of the kids are from families like mine and also don't do RE and are across all the years.
    Then there are the protestants, hindu and Muslim kids who don't do it.

    It's not an issue for the school catering for whats probably 10% of the kids enrolled.
    Mine did RE up to senior infants. It's basic enough stuff. Any further is preparation for communion and confirmation so we opted out. The kids read, colour or do school work


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Let the child believe what they want and discuss your views when the child is older.

    No thanks. Children are not the delicate little flowers you are pretending. We can very much challenge their beliefs, and why they hold them, on any subject, at any age. And it is more difficult to do so at older ages if poor or false beliefs have been given time to set at a younger age. You're basically recommending above what people engaged in Religious Indoctrination WANT you to recommend. The very reason they like to go after children at that age is that faith formation is easier to instill, and harder to remove later in life.
    Most children believe in God, why wouldn't they? They believe in Santa up to 9/10 and you wouldn't try to convince them out of that, would you?

    My children appear to believe in neither, nor have I given them any reason to believe in such things.

    Never bothered with the whole Santa thing in our house. Never saw any reason to do that either. No benefits from it whatsoever that I could find. And plenty of downsides including being required to consistently lie to my children in a concerted and contrived fashion that I felt in no way comfortable with.

    It was not a decision I took on a whim. I thought long and hard about the whole Santa issue. And I simply could find not one single compelling reason to even consider engaging with the concept with my actual children.
    My six year old daughter said her prayers in bed tonight. No way was I going to start pontificating about logic and the impossibility of God. That is being a atheist dickhead.

    Insults get you nowhere. There would be nothing in particular wrong with doing so. That you CHOOSE not to do so is fine. That is your choice. But that choice does not give you a platform to insult those that make the opposite choice.
    Bottom line: Respect your child's beliefs, they'll change to atheist around 13-15 anyway.

    See no reason at all to take that advice. Discussing, augmenting, and even correcting things my children learn at school is something I see as part of my own parental role. Not just on subjects of religion, but across the board on everything they learn. I see school as PART of their education, not the entirety of it. And I happily discuss with them weekly what they were taught that week, and correct or modify or add to things that I find worthy of attention.

    The main example of this is when they learn a list of something by rote. The schools rarely teach them about that category. They just make them learn a list of things IN that category. So children can list you a list of planets or fruits or vegetables. But ask them what a planet or a fruit or a vegetable actually IS and they can not do it. So I teach them that myself. And I show them how some of the things they learned in one list ACTUALLY belongs in another list (Pluto, tomatoes and bananas being often miscategorised for example).

    I do not see anything in Religion class..... or things from religion that have been incorporated into any other part of the curriculum (The Integrated Curriculum issue we have talked about on the forum before)..... as being exempt from this procedure. For any reason. Least of all because some randomer on an internet forum might want to call me a dickhead. I see my role as a parent as being an important part of their education and belief formation. The "hands off" approach you recommend is simply not one that holds any interest for me.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    Many Gaelscoileanna are also multi-denom.

    The vast majority are Catholic. A look at the An Forus Patrunacha website will tell you that. There are also many under Catholic Church patronage.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Bottom line: Respect your child's beliefs, they'll change to atheist around 13-15 anyway.

    But they're not really your child's beliefs are they?
    It's what the have been taught as fact, by their teacher.
    If your child was really to choose their own beliefs, then they should be taught about all belief systems equally


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,337 ✭✭✭ Eire Go Brach


    Our kids are opted out in a Gaelscoil. No real issue. The thing is they just don’t participate when religion is being thought. They don’t leave the class. No other teachers to mind them. Which is fine with us.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,300 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Most children believe in God, why wouldn't they? They believe in Santa up to 9/10 and you wouldn't try to convince them out of that, would you?

    Most children believe what the people they trust the most tell them is true. Any atheist kids that I know don't believe in God. Why would they? They hear about it in school or from friends, ask their folks about it and are told it isn't true.

    When my kids were younger I used to love reading to them every night. Lots of Alice in Wonderland, Moomintroll, Winnie the Pooh, that kind of thing. In the same vein, we also introduced them to Greek and Norse mythology early on. They loved the rich, immersive fantasy then and still do, as do I. Our explanation of God and Christianity was that it was someone else's much loved fantasy story, that they took it all a bit too seriously and to leave them at it. Santa and the Tooth Fairy got a bit more mileage as they actually gave away free stuff, but even then, never much more than immersive fantasy.

    As atheist parents, that you would let your kids believe in a god that you don't seems absolutely bizarre and something that may well come back and bite you in years to come.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    The thing is they just don’t participate when religion is being thought.

    No "thought" involved, it's taught by rote... in his recent book "The Best Catholics In The World", Derek Scally draws an interesting analogy between Hiberno-Catholicism and the rhododendron:

    - Imported from abroad
    - Spread like wildfire
    - Some people thought it was nice
    - But it took over and prevented anything else from growing
    - Yet had very shallow roots.

    Same thing Diarmuid Martin was complaining about a lot in recent years (yeah, yeah the irony about an archbishop who had total control of religion tuition in Ireland's largest diocese complaining about how it's not being done "right") where kids dot the i's and cross the t's in school but apart from ritualistically saying prayers when they are made to, etc. don't even really know what it is they are supposed to believe, never mind why. He thought that there should be "adult evangelisation" but he didn't seem to realise how toxic, in recent decades, most people found being force-fed religion every day for 13 or 14 years.

    I can highly recommend that book btw, even if Scally imho gives somewhat too much oxygen to the notion that people need "spirituality" etc.

    Naturally, abuse, scandal, shame, and their consequences are major topics of the book and they are investigated in an interesting and thorough fashion.

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,161 ✭✭✭✭ fits


    Just looking at this thread as my son who wasn’t baptised is starting in local mixed school in September. Not sure what to do tbh. The teachers are young enough and GAA is the religion round here ( and I’m not delighted about that either).

    Been much more focussed on my other boy who has special needs up to now but he’s staying where he is for another year. Might just play it by ear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭ The One Doctor


    smacl wrote: »
    Most children believe what the people they trust the most tell them is true. Any atheist kids that I know don't believe in God. Why would they? They hear about it in school or from friends, ask their folks about it and are told it isn't true.

    When my kids were younger I used to love reading to them every night. Lots of Alice in Wonderland, Moomintroll, Winnie the Pooh, that kind of thing. In the same vein, we also introduced them to Greek and Norse mythology early on. They loved the rich, immersive fantasy then and still do, as do I. Our explanation of God and Christianity was that it was someone else's much loved fantasy story, that they took it all a bit too seriously and to leave them at it. Santa and the Tooth Fairy got a bit more mileage as they actually gave away free stuff, but even then, never much more than immersive fantasy.

    As atheist parents, that you would let your kids believe in a god that you don't seems absolutely bizarre and something that may well come back and bite you in years to come.

    Seems it's the adults who are delicate flowers here. Anyway, glad I gave you all something to argue about.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,300 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    My six year old daughter said her prayers in bed tonight. No way was I going to start pontificating about logic and the impossibility of God. That is being a atheist dickhead.
    Seems it's the adults who are delicate flowers here. Anyway, glad I gave you all something to argue about.

    Mod warning: Your language seems intentionally inflammatory here, bordering on trolling. Please tone it down before posting here again. Any responses to the feedback thread or via PM only. Thanks for your attention.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,097 ✭✭✭ appledrop


    lazygal wrote: »
    The vast majority are Catholic. A look at the An Forus Patrunacha website will tell you that. There are also many under Catholic Church patronage.

    Yea, any I know are even more religious than the local Catholic school!


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    appledrop wrote: »
    Yea, any I know are even more religious than the local Catholic school!

    The most religious school by a significant margin where we live is a gaelscoil under Catholic patronage.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,877 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    My son started into a Catholic school this year, mid-2nd class. I opted him out of religion but was conscious that, especially due to Covid measures, there would be very few options for him but to stay in class during religion. I was conscious that as much as I really want him as separate from religion as possible, schools really were/are being put in a very difficult position with regard to potential for the virus spreading if it gets into a classroom. Luckily for us, at 8 he is a very good reader so I made sure he had a selection of entertaining, absorbing books that he can read when the rest of the class does religion. I also opted for fantasy/sci-fi books so that he'd associate that time with fantastical stories.

    At the time he started school he actually believed in "the god" as a friend at his old school was always talking about god. He knew I didn't believe but said he did and asked if that was ok, and I'd told him his beliefs were for him to decide on. About 2 months into school he told me it was clear that god didn't exist. That he listened sometimes when the class did Grow in Love and Bible stories and that there 'are just too many plotholes in that story' so if the bible is so full of plotholes, god definitely isn't real.

    I also found out just this week, that he's actually one of five opted out children in a class of twenty-four. He had been telling me for a while that a friend in his pod didn't do Grow in Love either but when the other kids went to their first confession this week, the two of them and three girls all stayed behind. I feel an awful lot better about him being in this class when he's one of over 20% that is opted out rather than the lone child. I haven't been able to talk to any other parents at the school yet, as parents are asked not to talk outside the school gates due to Covid. But I am hoping to at least be able to talk to the mother of his friend who is opted out in September, because the delayed communion will be later that month and I'd like to get an idea of how the other non-Catholic parents are handling it. I'd quite like to take my son away for a few days around it if there are travel options available at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    iguana wrote: »
    I also opted for fantasy/sci-fi books so that he'd associate that time with fantastical stories.

    That's pretty horsh :pac::pac::pac::pac:
    I feel an awful lot better about him being in this class when he's one of over 20% that is opted out rather than the lone child.

    It really can't be all that long now until the whole sorry edifice, the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, collapses. When close to half of kids are opted out, the game is up.

    Sadly, I don't expect our politicians to lift a finger until after then, they were about 20 years behind the voters with regard to abortion after all. If we'd been given the option to repeal the 8th in 1992 (instead of just travel and limited information) we might have done so, but our politicians were conservative wánkers with no guts.

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,279 ✭✭✭ Gatica


    wow this thread has grown legs...

    Thank you to those who have offered practical advice. I think the approach of talking to the school/principal/teacher in a non-confrontational manner is sound advice. At the very least we'll know where we stand. It's good to hear about others who have found themselves in similar situations and that often they have been accommodated. Glad to hear that there are usually a couple of students from similarly non-religious households.

    I appreciate that the ideal solution would be to send them to a non-religious school where we bought the house around the corner and which is also 2 mins away from family and affordable. But we are where we are and this is the school the kids will be going to. We have our own view on religion, religious education in public schools and indoctrination, but that is neither here nor there, as it doesn't change our situation.

    Unfortunately chatting to other parents hasn't been possible so far. All comms so far have been over zoom. I know a couple who are going there who have already baptised their kids, so unlikely they'd be taking kids out of RE. I do know that one of the kids has same-sex parents, so if I ever manage to run in to them, I may take an opportunity to strike up a conversation. Though, I don't wanna presume either. Don't know any other kids/parents there.

    In my opinion talking about religion as fact at such a young age is the very definition of indoctrination. I didn't do confirmation in primary and I wasn't treated differently by my classmates, in fact they'd say, "why wouldn't you do your confirmation? I'm just doing it cos I'll get lots of money." In secondary I didn't do RE, and for some of the years I got to sit in the canteen doing homework with a couple of other girls from foreign backgrounds. A few people were even jealous I got to finish homework before I got home (in a nice, not mean, way). We did have one very ardent RE teacher, who, thinking back now, totally infringed on my rights.

    I know it probably sounds contradictory to say I don't want them to be religiously educated in school, but I also don't want them to feel left out. However, I honestly can't think of another way of phrasing it. It may be that we can't have our cake and eat it too, but that's just my sentiment, even if it's impossible. I didn't "feel" different for not taking part in RE, I was chuffed to be doing something useful with that time. I just wish I'd talked to my parents about the fanatical teachers and had them sort it out for me, but I guess in secondary we're that bit more independent, or at least think we are.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,300 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Probably worth getting to a few PTA meetings too as a mechanism to get in with other parents, and also attend any of the open parent nights if there are any. Best of luck in finding some like minded types among the other parents and staff, I'd guess that you most likely will.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,233 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Gatica wrote: »
    I know it probably sounds contradictory to say I don't want them to be religiously educated in school, but I also don't want them to feel left out.
    Nothing contradictory about it at all - in fact, the church relies on this exact dilemma to coerce people, subtly, into allowing their children to be indoctrinated. Children are much more susceptible when they're younger than when they're older, and that's why the church concentrates on controlling primary schools too.


Advertisement