By Kirin Lee, Copyright 1998
Pagan parents have a unique task -- that
of teaching Pagan values to their children in a world
hostile to alternative religions. The following child-raising
ideas and VALUES will be helpful when considering your
children's Pagan learning experiences, no matter what
tradition you practice.
A is for ACTIONS. Your
own actions and deeds speak loudest of all. If you want
them to learn your chosen path, teach them about it with
actions, not just words.
B is for BEAUTY. Show your
children the beauty in nature and the other life on this
planet. Teach them to preserve that beauty for the future.
C is for CONSISTENCY. Hold
to the same principles and practices. Keep your actions
consistent with your words.
D is for DOING. Teach your
children the old ways by doing Pagan projects and crafts
with them. Projects such as recycling show them that doing
what they can to help the earth is essential.
E is for ENTHUSIASM. Let
your children see your enthusiasm for the old ways, and
they will develop it, too. Take them on nature walks,
and other places where they can learn to understand the
Goddess and her creations first hand.
F if for FAITH. Faith in
themselves and their abilities helps children to handle
any situation they may find themselves in. Give them suitable
tasks to perform. Their completion will boost self-esteem.
G is for GODDESS and GOD.
Teach your children the deities of your tradition. Explain
who they are and what function they have in your life
and rituals. Instruct them in simple chats they can use
on their own.
H is for HOLIDAYS. Celebrate
your tradition's holidays with rituals and appropriate
decorations. Sabbats and Esbats both show children what
it means to be a Pagan. They should be allowed to participate
as much as possible.
I is for IMAGINATION. Always
foster imagination in your child. Your child's imagination
may illuminate part of the path you never noticed before.
J is for JOY. Always approach
the teaching of your children with a joyful spirit. Show
your child the joy of honoring the Goddess and God, and
following the ancient paths.
K is for KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge
if power. If your children are properly prepared, they
will be able to answer questions about their beliefs,
and defend themselves in an educated manner against those
hostile to their beliefs.
L is for LISTENING. Listen
to your children, and they will learn to listen to others.
Their thoughts will give you insights into how they wee
M is for MYTHS. The myths
of your tradition will delight and entertain as well as
teach. Stories are a great way of telling the child about
N is for NEVER. Never forget
to tell you children about the past. Tell them about the
burning times and other dark times for Pagans. We must
never forget these things, lest they be repeated.
O is for OUTDOORS. Share
with your children the splendor of the great outdoors.
Perform rituals outside whenever possible. Help them understand
that all things are connected to each other.
P is for POWER. Teach them
to recognize the power inerrant in all things. Introduce
them to personal power and divine power. Carefully instruct
them in the use of power and the responsibility that goes
Q is for QUESTIONS. Your
children will have many questions along the way. Always
answer them truthfully and to the best of your ability.
Never discourage questions from children.
R is for RITUAL. Rituals
are an important part of all traditions. Let your children
participate as much as their age will allow. A young child
may only be able to help set up the altar. Older ones
can join in the chants, drumming, or dancing.
S is for SHARING. Sharing
is an important lesson. Here is where you must set a prime
example for your child. By sharing the old ways, you are
giving them as honorable path they can follow all their
T is for TOLERANCE. Teach
your child tolerance for all the others who share this
planet. Remember that there is no one right path. Tolerance,
however, should have its limits. Explain that they should
never tolerate abuse for their beliefs.
U is for UNDERSTANDING.
Be understanding when your child is slow to grasp something
new. Their understanding of the old ways takes time and
V if for VISION QUEST.
Vision questing is something most older children will
enjoy, especially when seeking their personal power animals.
Power animals usually become very important to children,
as something they can call on when they are alone.
W is for WISDOM. There
is no substitute for wisdom. It is something your children
will gain from your instruction and their experiences.
Teach them wisely and you will be rewarded.
X is for EXAMINE. Examine
your principles constantly to be sure that you are not
sending mixed messages. Confusion helps no one.
Y is for YOU. Don't spend
so much time worrying about your children that you forget
about your own spiritual and physical needs. The way you
treat yourself sets an example, good or bad.
Z is for ZEAL. Always share
your zeal for life, nature, and the old ways. You will
be rewarded with your child's eagerness to learn all about
them; don't forget to praise children for a job well done.
You will be glad you did.
April 8, 2012
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