When I was first asked to write a series of articles on pagan parenting I said "Sure, no problem". Well that was some time ago and here I am in front of this computer thinking of what a daunting task this is. While I have definite ideas about parenting, it has only been lately that I have included paganism into the formula.
Like most I was raised in a monotheistic religion (mine being Christianity) but became disillusioned in my teens. I have thought of myself as pagan for years but not in any formal kind of way until recently. In fact I was attending church regularly a few years back, not because I was a believer but to be with my father. I absolutely loved the people in the church but the preachings only reinforced my own particular beliefs. Now that those beliefs have coalesced into a ritualized format I find myself to be a pagan Mom. With that title I am forging into unknown territory for raising a small child with those same beliefs. I have a teenage daughter that I have raised alone, while I didn't raise her completely in a Christian faith nor did I raise her with a firm pagan belief system. She has turned into a wonderful human being and was on a Wiccan path before me. So I must have been doing something right. ;)
The challenges with my son are only beginning to show. My son will be 4 in December, so he is not totally immersed in the workings of society, but he does go to the sitter during the day. Now I am not the sort of person that goes out of my way to confront people with my religion of choice. I respect other people's theology but I am smart enough to know that not all feel the same way. While I won't lie, I don't offer information. I don't want my son to feel alienated from the general population so here is where my challenge comes in. One thing that has helped me most is that I don't have cable TV. My son has movies that he watches (approved by me) and we get two stations, therefore there is not a lot of brain numbing oblivion going on in the house. When my son is playing and tells me he has baby raccoons I don't just say, "that's nice". I engage him in his play. I ask him about his raccoons, what he does with them, where do they live, how does he take care of them etc
It also gives me the chance to bestow nature's lessons to him. I can explain to him why they need to live in the forest, and the interconnectedness of all living things. If he tells me he sees fairies, I ask him what are they doing, what their names are, what they look like, and he will tell me. He even has an alter ego, not an imaginary friend but a person that goes to work, and has amazing journeys and that can sometimes make terrific messes. All of this has created a boy with a great imagination and an ability to convey his thoughts. His sitter thinks he will be a writer some day because of the stories he weaves. I don't worry at this point when he tells her he had circle last night or that the Gods and the Goddesses are his friends. He has enthralled and captivated his sitter so thoroughly that she chalks it all up to the inventiveness of his creative mind. At this point his pagan leanings are so interwoven into his creative story telling that I don't see it infringing on other peoples faith. His inherent goodness and likable personality enchants all the people he encounters he is well on his way to being an outstanding pagan.