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Teaching grandchildren Christian values

(227 Posts)
Grannylove Thu 05-May-11 17:52:58

Has anyone taught their grandchildren about Jesus?

GrannyTunnocks Thu 05-May-11 18:06:43

I take my granddaughter to creche at the church every Sunday. When she is 3 she will attend Sunday School and learn about Jesus.

jangly Thu 05-May-11 18:40:24

They get enough of it from their parents. I do buy them the odd book or two, mainly when I'm on holiday and need the retail therapy (visiting cathedrals mostly).

pinkprincess Thu 05-May-11 20:18:41

My three oldest grandchildren have not been baptised and have never been taught anything about religion.They are from my son's first marriage, difficulty with his now ex-wife at the time I learnt not to interfereMy two younger grandchildren however(from his second wife) have been baptised and have a grounding in religion.Grandaughter sometimes comes to church with me and goes to a catholic school.
I am a practising catholic but my family are no longer church goers.

Grannylove Fri 06-May-11 16:03:45

It is so important that children learn at home about the bible and about all things spiritual.
That they know about Gods love, his forgiveness and His promise of eternal life, to those who beleive in Jesus.
My belief is, Britain is going down the tubes, because people have turned their backs on God and are going their own way. Terribly sad when this country was founded on Christianity, and its what made this country so great.
Children need a moral foundation and its all in the Bible!

babyjack Sat 07-May-11 10:43:13

I have been taking my grandson to church with me since he was a baby. My daughter is pleased i take him as she enjoys the rest on a Sunday morning!! I think it's important to act out your faith during your everyday life and i try to demonstrate that to him. He enjoys it so much he asks to go during the week. He is three and i don't expect this enthusiasm to last.
Easter, Christmas, are all celebrated as this is part of our family culture. I took my daughter as a child and although she does not attend church now she supports me taking him. If you cannot take your GC then i think you can still have an influence by your actions, talking about church openly and items in your home which reflect your faith.

Grannylove Sat 07-May-11 20:05:42

Good for you babyjack! Children learn so much by example and sounds as if you are a very good one.
Faith alone is what gets us eternal life, but Jesus shows us the way to behave. He knows to live for others is the way.Hard as it is, laying down your life for others and not being self centred is the way to contentment.

Joan Sun 08-May-11 10:31:14

I would hope to teach mine ethical behaviour. Fewer people are believers in religion and other supernatural matters these days, but this gap should be filled with something else, and I believe philosophy and ethics can be tailored to any age group.

I also believe that the bible should be taught, as so much or our literature and so many of our social mores relate to Christianity. This does not have to involve teaching children to believe; it can simply be taught in the context of the world of 2000 years ago, and tales about biblical people.

I am not a believer, but if I were, I would not presume to teach my grandchildren anything about religion, without the whole hearted agreement of both parents. Otherwise it is dangerous ground.

Gratefulgran Mon 09-May-11 22:35:57

I am very blessed as I was not taught about love in the Christian context, or any re ally.. so made many mistakes in my teens and messed up when I started my own family. Despite this, God had set out his plan for me and I was converted soon after I had my only surviving child and soon after, my husband followed. Now we have a wonderful christian in law and two beautiful grandchildren. Going to church with them all is one of the highlights of our visits. I'm now learning about real love!
I believe this is the Lord's way of showing me that I am truly forgiven. But I long to tell the teenagers I know how to avoid the mistakes I made... but where do I start?

Joan Tue 10-May-11 11:14:35

Well, I'd avoid mentioning religion to teenagers: it could get their backs up and/or deeply embarrass them.

My son, a high school teacher, tells me that the secret to a positive outcome for teenagers, as opposed to a negative, seems to be whether they have a good imagination, including empathy. Those without any imagination seem to have poor outcomes.

So encourage their imagination, encourage them to see the others' point of view. It should help them avoid a lot of pitfall,

supernana Wed 11-May-11 12:18:01

Sadly, I was educated at a Catholic convent...LOATHED every nasty moment and left having lost the faith that I had nurtured until then. Now, I'm enjoying the Buddhist philosophy...and have found inner peace.

NanaAnna Wed 11-May-11 13:03:38

I just teach my grandchildren the difference between right and wrong. Religion doesn't come into it. Perhaps when they are old enough to question why some people seem to hate others I will explain this. sad

supernana Wed 11-May-11 13:40:31

NanaAnna you make perfect sense. Religion isn't the only "good" way. In fact, much carnage and suchlike has stemmed from religious foundations. I have witnessed far too much un-God-liness for one lifetime. My husband and I have been described as being GOOD heathens. Alongside our church-going friends, we also do good unto others...

Joan Wed 11-May-11 14:19:46

Yes, it's true you don't need a god to be good.

In fact the philosopher Stephen Weinberg goes further, and says: " Good people tend to do good things, and bad people tend to do bad things, but for good people to do bad things, that takes religion."

Religion works for some, but not for others. Suspension of disbelief is not easy for many people. At least, Christianity in most of the English speaking world (except America) is low key, sensible, and harmless. I love the old churches, the stained glass windows, and the music. This includes catholicism, because the overwhelming majority of catholics ignore the more stupid pontifications from The Vatican. Unfortunately a few catholic fundamentalists, they've nicknamed them the Temple Police here, are still causing bother.

From what I've seen, Buddhism is also harmless. Most Jews are OK with religion too, except for the bother-causing ultra orthodox. Most of the religions of India seem OK. That leaves Islam. Best not to go there.

bluegran Wed 11-May-11 15:11:48

Hi Joan,
I agree with you. I would love to teach my older grandchildren Chriatian values, but I am a long distance granny, and the ex-daughter-in-law wouldn't have that.

milliej Wed 11-May-11 15:48:51

I haven't got any grandchildren but my daughters both became Christians in their teen years (yes!) I wasn't until I went through some nasty stuff, healthwise and family death....and she invited me to the church she went to (Pentecostal).

I was 44 but have never for a moment doubted it was right and has made a world of difference smile to me and my family!

My mother-in-law was brought up 'convent' fashion and hated the nuns, said they were hypocrites! Sad because 'religion' can give God such a bad name and God is good!

Pandemonia Wed 11-May-11 16:06:06

As a pagan it is highly unlikely that I shall be teaching my granddaughter about Jesus. That said, I would hope, when she is older that we can have interesting discussions about all faiths and religions because it is only by greater understanding that we can achieve a more tolerant society.

I certainly don't intend to influence her decisions about faith though and unless she wishes to accompany me to our significant celebrations and her parents are happy with this, she will not be actively involved in my beliefs.

Nono Wed 11-May-11 18:37:33

Joan, I do agree with you and I wish there was more emphasis placed by all institutions (government included) on the importance of ethics and philosophy in our lives.
Most religions share these values but unfortunately focus on any one 'religion' can be divisive

GranMarie Thu 12-May-11 00:22:29

'religion' is a highly personal issue, it can be institutional, dogmatic and controlling, but belief, trust, acceptance, belonging and support come from a variety of
churches and communities. I am happy to wholly subscribe to a faith which undoubtedly enhances my life and in no way inhibits me.

lucyjordan Thu 12-May-11 10:00:58

Religion was invented as a way of controlling the masses, Anyone who knows even a little history will surely understand how much the church controlled the people, by stories of hellfire and gods wrath. Anything that instils fear into a child isnt in my book, a good thing. The cruelty of monks, priests and nuns in days gone by makes a mockery of the dogma that they preached.

To speak of gods forgiveness as if everything will be all right after you have committed all the wrongs in the world, providing you confess to god, is a load of old twaddle.

I tell my grandson fairy stories, amongst those stories are stories from the bible. Its a good way to get children thinking, its a good way to get children to use their own imagination, and like fairy tales some of these stories have a subtle message to give to make children consider whats right and whats wrong.

What i wont do is indoctrinate him and brainwash him into believing that the only truth of our existence is through a god that nobody can prove exists.

Kiwigran Thu 12-May-11 10:12:24

Teaching your children and grandchildren that God is their Heavenly Father and cares about everything that happens to them is THE most important gift you can give them.

He is alive and with us in all our difficulties and concerns, and wants to give us insights on how to deal with this precious life He has given us. It's a very real and personal relationship, teaching grandchildren to simply talk to Him in prayer is a tremendous privilege and a wonderful part of grandparenting.

Joan Fri 13-May-11 00:10:29

I'm sorry but I don't agree. They will grow up and realise it is all made up, sooner or later, and lose respect for what was taught, including the good bits. Teaching ethics is forever. There is no imaginary sky-friend to compete with reality.

Joan Fri 13-May-11 02:42:22

Perhaps I was a bit hard in the above post. There is nothing wrong with stories of Jesus, and the good things he did, like disobeying the rules to heal on the sabbath, or the pacifist stuff in the sermon on the mount etc. Jesus as a historical figure, as a charismatic young rabbi does not compromise logic.

Pandemonia Fri 13-May-11 12:05:05

I'd be keen to know whether those of you who feel your role is to impart Christian values to your grandchildren are doing so with the express wish and/or full agreement of their parents.

I'm not asking this out of any desire to kick off a binfest but am generally interested. Only it has never occurred to me to direct my granddaughter down any specific route in terms of faith.

I do think it is important to provide broadly ethical guidance but this will be much more general and involve codes of behaviour - unselfishness, environmental awareness and an understanding that injustice and war is wrong, for example - but I would feel that I had overstepped the mark considerably if I took it upon myself to instruct my dgd in matters of specific faith.

Certainly I cannot imagine playing any sort of evangelising role because I hope she will be brought up with a knowledge of all faiths and the freedom to choose which path she might take when old enough to decide for herself.

So would any of you overrule your own children's wishes in your determination to instil Christian values?

supernana Fri 13-May-11 12:30:18

Pandemonia I agree with every word of your comment...para 3 makes perfect sense.