Tag Archives: parents

Parenting the Very Young Pagan

I grew up in a very spiritual, nature positive household, and I am doing what I can to pass this along to my daughter. Here is some advice from what I learned from both parenting my child and from what my grandparents did with me.

  • Remember that fairy tales are still real to the young pagan. Try seeing things thru her eyes– you may be surprised how this deepens your own practice, as you start viewing the Goddess/s not as grand architypes of evoked energies but as imaginary friends made real.
  • Cook with your child. This will help build wonder, herb lore, mathematical skills (counting, fractions, etc), and a sense of being a part of the creative process. Buy your child an age appropriate (since my child is 4, her knife is a butter knife with a pink plastic handle) set of kitchen tools which are special to them that they clean and care for themselves.
  • Take your child on walks, hikes and camping. Buy them a notebook and an identification book for animals or plants and plan to find one new thing each walk, and write the name and draw a picture of it.
  • If your local park system has a Junior Rangers program, join it. This teaches the child wilderness safety and a general reverence for nature.
  • Allow your child her own fashion sense, even if that means wearing ruby slippers and a Halloween cat shirt every day for year. Have a ceremony for the cat shirt when she finally outgrows it and keep a piece either on her alter or in a scrapbook.
  • Involve your child in a spirtual community where she can meet others with similar or complimentary beliefs. Volunteer and be active in the community to show her your support and respect.This will help her give her tools later to fight any bullying she receives for being different and to fight the peer pressure associated with the Junior and Senior High years.
  • Understand that all children follow the beat of their own drummers, and often will not comply with instructions in group rituals. Adapt and don’t shame her for not listening to all the directions of adults (unless, of course it is a safety thing.
  • Give your child a sacred space to decorate however they want.
  • Play with your child and do arts and crafts with them. Praise her efforts and let her display some of her creations.

35 Tips on Being a Pagan or Heathen Parent

1)      Keep it age appropriate and do what will work based on your kids maturity.

2)      It’s not just about what you want to do or your spiritual path its about theirs too. So don’t be surprised if they wind up on a different path then you.

3)      Make it fun and interesting for them.

4)      Play lots of games and do lots of arts and crafts.

5)      Keep rituals short don’t go longer than their attention spans.

6)      Make time to be able to go away and do your own thing.

7)      Don’t get upset if they don’t show as much interest as you wish they did. Don’t try to force it.

8)      Have other interests and hobbies to share with them too.

9)      Lead by example. Don’t just teach Harm None and the Noble Virtues DO THEM and then talk to your kids about how you live them.

10)   Let them have their own shrine and decorate it however they want.

11)   Read to them and with them and have them read to you.

12)   Don’t get ideas in your head about how they will grow up to be amazing High Priestesses or anything. Just let them grow into who they will be.

13)   Don’t live vicariously through them.

14)   Don’t treat them like trophies to show off.

15)   Monitor them and be a parent even at festivals and in ritual and stuff. The Pagan community is not your babysitter.

16)   Take every learning experience available and use it.

17)   Get outside with them as much as possible.

18)   Go camping lots.

19)   Have pets or friends who have pets. Take them to riding ranches and to volunteer to walk dogs at the SPCA and stuff. They can learn responsibility and have friends who are part of nature that way.

20)   Let them pray the way they want to pray.

21)   Tell the story about their Naming Day just like you tell the story of the day they were born.

22)   Celebrate little things and big things together.

23)   Find good role models and adopt some aunties and uncle in the community. Kids aren’t always going to want to talk to you or look up to you so they need other adults.

24)   Educate them as best you can. School is important. Even if it’s home school or an alternative school.

25)   Teach them to love to learn by loving to learn yourself in front of them. Get excited about learning new things.

26)   Take them to museums and historical sites.

27)   Tell them stories from their heritage like how great-great-grandpa came to Canada.

28)   Teach them to be full of wonder and reverence for the Earth by being that way yourself.

29)   Smile lots. Smile at them. Don’t let the stress of having kids make you frown all the time.

30)   Go on adventures together.

31)   Let them make their own rituals tools and get glitter everywhere.

32)   Don’t put so much time and energy into your spirituality that you don’t spend enough time with them.

33)   Remember your kids are more important than your gods and the gods are okay with that. Family always comes first.

34)   Teach your kids to be proud to be Pagan or Heathen and not to hide it like a dirty secret.

35)   Give a kid enough self esteem, love, security, strength and smarts and the bullies won’t hurt them no matter how hard they try.