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Thread: I need a multi-religion book for a preschooler in an atheist family

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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Default I need a multi-religion book for a preschooler in an atheist family

    Long story short, I married into a hardcore French Catholic family. I'm an atheist and hubby is agnostic and we are NOT raising our daughter in any religion. However, I do believe she should be aware that others are different (religion, race, cultures, etc.) and embrace those differences.

    Problem is my mother in law (hardcore Catholic) is trying to push Catholicism on my daughter by buying her a "My first Bible" kind of book when she knows I am not a Catholic. I am somewhat offended and do not intend to read her this BIBLE unless I can find a story in it that does not push Christianity (I can explain it's make believe). I don't like the idea of brainwashing my daughter into believing this religion is the "true" one before she's even in kindergarten. I want variety for her.

    WHAT I NEED: A book aimed for preschoolers that explains religions around the world. Something cartoonish for little kids. One that DOES NOT promote a religion and one that does not state there is a god.

    I cannot find a book like this! Any help?

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    We'll be doing pretty much the same thing - but I'm not sure you can find it all in one book. Check out some of my wish list:

    The Most Magnificent Mosque

    People
    Children Around the World
    If the World Were a Village

    Especially that last one, I reckon: "This wonderful, educational book "tells us who we are, where we live, how fast we are growing, what languages we speak, what religions we practice and more." Written by seasoned teacher David J. Smith, who believes that the "world-mindedness" of children is vital to the health of our planet, If the World Were a Village gives us insight into the unique cultures, languages, religions, and traditions of the world's people. Enlightening and eye-opening, this book is a useful way to show your child the way the rest of the world lives."

    Good luck!
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Mine had this one: Amazon.com: The Usborne Book of World Religions (World Religions Series): Susan Meredith, Cheryl Evans, N. J. Hewetson, Jeremy Gower: Books
    but it's for an older child. I don't know that I've ever seen one for a preschool aged child. You might just have to find a book with lots of great pictures and talk about them.
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Twitchy, that page also recommended this:

    The Kids Book of World Religions

    Though it does say grades 3-6, so an older child as well. But might be good to have around.
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    What about a selection of fairy tales and folk tales from around the world as a way of introducing other cultures?
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    What about a selection of fairy tales and folk tales from around the world as a way of introducing other cultures?
    It's all about Ten Thousand Villages!

    Nursery Tales Around the World

    I raided their book selection a few months ago.
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

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    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    I suggest you all leave the baby alone..there is time enough for her to learn when she is older.
    Let the kid enjoy his babyhood indisturbed and carefree.
    Why should you or anybody need to teach a subject diffucult enough for adults to a barely 2yo?
    "Effie is all kinds of awesome." - Some internet moderator


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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    i cant suggest anything, but put your MIL in her place. NOW.

    She'll be pushing her dogmatic garbage on your hatchling and infecting its mind as soon as she can.

    Also, throw out that book. Presumptuous cow.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    You might have to write one! I mean-just let her have the one your mother in law wants. She isn't 2 yet right? Hardly something that will scar her for life. Your husband did alright. I would make sure she was exposed to all of it. I did my son. Knowledge is power,after all. Besides,you made up your mind,she needs the same chance. I don't know why I say that-we ALL know they make up their own minds! Here is the main problem with being too rigid: they can go sharply the other way much later.
    There are those who will say your MIL has some nerve,etc. But you know she meant well. If I am not mistaken,you have also said that same woman really loved you,your baby & tried to help all she could. Just soft pedal it & take it in stride. I cannot see your daughter ever being happy as a nun!
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    A*O
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    I agree with effie. Unless you want to start teaching/indoctrinating (according to your POV) your kid into a specific religion then pre-schoolers are too young to understand the concepts behind the various religious beliefs. Stick to secular stuff for the time being and tell your MIL to Back Off. If she's hardcore RC she will make it her mission to save her little grandchild's soul so you will have to make your position crystal clear.
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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tati View Post
    It's all about Ten Thousand Villages!

    Nursery Tales Around the World

    I raided their book selection a few months ago.
    Oooh! Neat stuff in there.
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    Kids learn more from everyday living than from books and stuff.
    Let your baby enjoy Chrismasses and Easters and thanksgivings as a cultural thing first,and if and when she asks for more,then you can tell her.It is enough for the kids of today the daily mind bombing of tv and media,kids need to be innocent for a while.
    Dont push the matter,tell your mil exactly how you feel,she wont try to push her religion down the kid,s throat,you will do the same with your atheism.
    "Effie is all kinds of awesome." - Some internet moderator


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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I guess this is my main concern: reading a toddler BIBLE stories is pushing religion on her. I won't allow my daughter to go to mass or Catholic preschool for this same reason. It is instilling ONE belief system on her at an age where she will accept it as the truth, she doesn't have the ability to reason or question Jesus, god, etc. I believe that a few years later when she can supposedly "choose" her beliefs, she will already be biased by the eposure to western religion (i.e. the BIBLE she was read since before she could "think" for herself).

    I don't push atheism on my kid, but I don't tell her "God" made us like my MIL wants us to. I won't ever tell her that, but I am not keeping her from learning about other religions, it just has to be more than 1 religion I teach her because I don't believe any religion is the "true path" anyway.

    I'll check out those books for when she is older, for now I will keep the bible in the closet and we will just focus on other multi-cultural stuff.

    Thanks to everyone that replied!


    P.S. You guys don't know half of the shit I have put up with concerning Catholicism with my in-laws. They started this before she was even conceived!

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    My mother is hard core catholic, and it was a to the death fight to make it understood in small words that A. We were absolutely NOT baptising the child, B. That we were abolutely NOT taking the child to church NOR was she permitted to do so. C. That if Grandma was to do what she was 'joking about' ie, take the child to her church and have it baptised would cause a complete throw down

    As many of you know I am an atheist. Believe me when I tell you that dealing with people who have strong religious beliefs is quite literally the same as dealing with the taliban. They will walk all over you unless you take an equally strong stand. Especially when you are dealing with people who...for example...believe that Noah LITERALLY paired up a male and female of each and every animal on the earth in 48 hours. Ummmm....Mom....do you know how many hundreds of thousands of insects alone are indiginous to Africa? It's statistically impossible.....OH NO scooter...it's a MIRACLE. Ahhhh haaaa.

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    A*O
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    Atheists think Bible stories are fairy tales anyway so provided the "holy" aspect isn't pushed too hard that's how she will regard them too. It's a tricky one because in a way teaching your child there is no God acknowledges that there are some people, eg grandma, who firmly believe that He does and I just don't think a pre-schooler has the intellectual maturity to process such a complex idea. Stick to Cinderella and Sesame Street!
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
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