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Author Topic: Raising Children in a Mixed Marriage  (Read 8066 times) Average Rating: 5
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Quinault
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« Reply #90 on: August 20, 2010, 12:57:43 AM »

At least here in my area you can not just lie to a priest to be allowed to commune. If I want to visit another parish I have to pre-arrange with my priest and the priest of the parish I am visiting in order to be allowed to partake. Our priest helps run various pan-orthodox services around the country. The priests in my area are all in quite close contact, even across jurisdictions.
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« Reply #91 on: August 20, 2010, 01:09:36 AM »

As for Anglicans taking Communion in an Orthodox church, I have experienced them not being allowed in most cases, but a few weeks ago I experienced the local Armenian bishop openly welcoming an Anglican to Communion.

Maybe he was just ignorant of what Anglicanism is or has become.
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« Reply #92 on: August 20, 2010, 03:14:03 AM »

I discourage you violation the moratorium, unless you really want a 30-day-long-lasting green dot.
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« Reply #93 on: August 20, 2010, 10:45:51 AM »

Liz,

In 2006 the CofE allowed for children to receive the Eucharist even if they have not been confirmed. It is up to the local bishop to institute the practice in his diocese. However, once a child has been allowed to receive they may receive in any parish in the CofE even if the diocese the child is currently in has not instituted this policy. I am surprised that this is a rather new phenomenon in the UK. Quite different from what I have experienced in Anglican Communion Churches here. It is towards the bottom of the page. Also, Roman Catholic children also receive First Communion before confirmation. If I remember correctly First Confession & Communion are usually received in about the 2nd grade of primary school so they are about 8-10 years old. Confirmation at least in the diocese that I am familiar with was usually performed in 7th grade so somewhere between 12-14 years of age.

http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/education/children/

and I don't believe there's any reason they couldn't participate just as much as their peer-group in both services. The real issue comes after childhood, when the individual must make a decision - but then, you'd hope anyone making adult decisions about faith would do so carefully. With my partner and me, there is nothing whatsoever that would prevent a child from participating in both Orthodox and Anglican services just as fully as anyone else.

As far as I know, your partner/husband (sorry, I don't remember exactly what stage you are at in this) is essentially required by his church to forbid his children form partaking of the "Sacraments" in your own.

Children do not partake of the Sacraments in the Anglican Church; that's the point. The only one would be the christening, and an Orthodox ceremony would be as valid as an Anglican one.
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Liz
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« Reply #94 on: August 20, 2010, 01:42:15 PM »

If I did have children, they could not 'reject' communion, as they would be children!

We serve Communion to children from as young as possible in the East.

So what's the problem then?
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Liz
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« Reply #95 on: August 20, 2010, 01:44:44 PM »

Liz,

In 2006 the CofE allowed for children to receive the Eucharist even if they have not been confirmed. It is up to the local bishop to institute the practice in his diocese. However, once a child has been allowed to receive they may receive in any parish in the CofE even if the diocese the child is currently in has not instituted this policy. I am surprised that this is a rather new phenomenon in the UK. Quite different from what I have experienced in Anglican Communion Churches here. It is towards the bottom of the page. Also, Roman Catholic children also receive First Communion before confirmation. If I remember correctly First Confession & Communion are usually received in about the 2nd grade of primary school so they are about 8-10 years old. Confirmation at least in the diocese that I am familiar with was usually performed in 7th grade so somewhere between 12-14 years of age.

Yes, but it doesn't take genius to realize that, if you're trying to bring up a child in a mixed marriage, you simply decline the option - which was, in any case, mainly instituted to make older children feel included. Confirmation in my community usually happens 13-21. It's an unusual bishop who'd confirm a child of 8 - perhaps you are thinking of Catholic Churches?
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« Reply #96 on: August 20, 2010, 01:45:51 PM »

I discourage you violation the moratorium, unless you really want a 30-day-long-lasting green dot.

I'm so sorry; I haven't been on the forum for a while and so missed this. Thanks for correcting me.
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Liz
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« Reply #97 on: August 20, 2010, 01:48:36 PM »

There are two major issues that would be fairly insurmountable explaining to children. (George wouldn't have this issue since he doesn't believe that children should be taught about faith at all). The first would be the orthodox view of salvation, the second would be the orthodox view of hell. Those two issues will always be an issue, and a very confusing one at that. You can not teach that "mommy believes this and daddy believes that" without confusing the heck out of the child. Either raise the child orthodox, or raise the child Anglican. Maybe you can make it "work" for your children. But the children will grow up quite confused and may eventually become quite angry and leave all faith altogether. The issues of communion are great as well. You can not have your children partake at one church one week and another a different week. Kids don't stay little forever Wink A child would not be allowed to partake of Anglican and Orthodox Eucharists concurrently. This would place the child in a position where they will have to choose between mom and dad at some point. They will have to decide that one or the other is correct. That is not a fair position to put a child in, it simply isn't healthy. You place the child into a situation of religious divorce whether you intend to or not.

I just don't understand this assumption that children cannot understand two views at once. It speaks poorly of the state of education in America, perhaps, because I've never encountered problems with it here.

I suppose you are right that, if we had a child whose mental abilities were very limited, it would be unfair to put him or her in this situation, and I think then we would simply take him or her to the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #98 on: August 20, 2010, 01:53:02 PM »

Who is pretending? We have seen it with our own eyes. So are your children Orthodox? So they reject open communion as practised by your Church along with all the other variants that are contrary to Holy Orthodoxy?

Sorry, I don't understand what you're asking?

This thread is moving fast! I'm sorry if I'm not answering everything.
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« Reply #99 on: August 20, 2010, 01:53:36 PM »

Liz,

I think you may be in a unique situation, for the short term at least. Here in the US the Episcopal Church (Anglican Province) administers communion to all baptized Christians regardless of age. It seems that the CofE is moving in that direction or else they wouldn't have instituted this policy. The problem is that if you are trying to raise your children in the Orthodox Church and then take them to an Anglican parish and other kids are receiving, which probably will become more regular, how would they feel? Will they feel pressured? I think you misread my post as I did not say that Roman's Confirm at 8 rather between 12-14 years of age (if they are properly prepared).

Liz,

In 2006 the CofE allowed for children to receive the Eucharist even if they have not been confirmed. It is up to the local bishop to institute the practice in his diocese. However, once a child has been allowed to receive they may receive in any parish in the CofE even if the diocese the child is currently in has not instituted this policy. I am surprised that this is a rather new phenomenon in the UK. Quite different from what I have experienced in Anglican Communion Churches here. It is towards the bottom of the page. Also, Roman Catholic children also receive First Communion before confirmation. If I remember correctly First Confession & Communion are usually received in about the 2nd grade of primary school so they are about 8-10 years old. Confirmation at least in the diocese that I am familiar with was usually performed in 7th grade so somewhere between 12-14 years of age.

Yes, but it doesn't take genius to realize that, if you're trying to bring up a child in a mixed marriage, you simply decline the option - which was, in any case, mainly instituted to make older children feel included. Confirmation in my community usually happens 13-21. It's an unusual bishop who'd confirm a child of 8 - perhaps you are thinking of Catholic Churches?
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Liz
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« Reply #100 on: August 20, 2010, 01:59:13 PM »

And how would this mysteriously make him Anglican?

From our perspective, Holy Communion is an expression of a whole, full, and integral faith. If you take Communion at a church it means either that you believe what that church teaches or that you are a hypocrite.

Yes, but surely, an outside perspective is irrelevant here?

Pardon me? I don't understand what you are meaning.

I mean, you can't really start telling people which church they belong to based on your beliefs on communion, if their, and their church's beliefs, are different. It'd be like me saying I'd like to define anyone who supports capital punishment as a Communist - it's arbitrary.
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« Reply #101 on: August 20, 2010, 02:03:51 PM »

We are not talking merely about opinions but rather Truth. Two opposing views on right doctrine/ right practice cannot be reconciled one is right and one is wrong or they are both wrong. Orthodox do not consider many of the things found in these posts as being true or possible. I think Anglicanism is perhaps more accomandating because it has less requirements for belief and practice. I could be wrong but I can't seem to think of another way to expalin it at the moment. Let use a different example Anglicans profess the Nicene Creed with the Roman addition of the filoque. Now Orthodox believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. Romans and I would imagine Anglicans as they adopted the changed Creed believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. How can anyone believe both? So one is right and the other is wrong or they are both wrong.
 
There are two major issues that would be fairly insurmountable explaining to children. (George wouldn't have this issue since he doesn't believe that children should be taught about faith at all). The first would be the orthodox view of salvation, the second would be the orthodox view of hell. Those two issues will always be an issue, and a very confusing one at that. You can not teach that "mommy believes this and daddy believes that" without confusing the heck out of the child. Either raise the child orthodox, or raise the child Anglican. Maybe you can make it "work" for your children. But the children will grow up quite confused and may eventually become quite angry and leave all faith altogether. The issues of communion are great as well. You can not have your children partake at one church one week and another a different week. Kids don't stay little forever Wink A child would not be allowed to partake of Anglican and Orthodox Eucharists concurrently. This would place the child in a position where they will have to choose between mom and dad at some point. They will have to decide that one or the other is correct. That is not a fair position to put a child in, it simply isn't healthy. You place the child into a situation of religious divorce whether you intend to or not.

I just don't understand this assumption that children cannot understand two views at once. It speaks poorly of the state of education in America, perhaps, because I've never encountered problems with it here.

I suppose you are right that, if we had a child whose mental abilities were very limited, it would be unfair to put him or her in this situation, and I think then we would simply take him or her to the Orthodox Church.
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Liz
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« Reply #102 on: August 20, 2010, 02:04:39 PM »

Liz,

I think you may be in a unique situation, for the short term at least. Here in the US the Episcopal Church (Anglican Province) administers communion to all baptized Christians regardless of age. It seems that the CofE is moving in that direction or else they wouldn't have instituted this policy. The problem is that if you are trying to raise your children in the Orthodox Church and then take them to an Anglican parish and other kids are receiving, which probably will become more regular, how would they feel? Will they feel pressured? I think you misread my post as I did not say that Roman's Confirm at 8 rather between 12-14 years of age (if they are properly prepared).

Well, if it happens in the US!  Cheesy Wink

The CofE instituted that policy because it's practical: teenagers don't feel excluded, as there's a problem with teenagers being shy of/unkeen on the ceremony of confirmation, but wanting to participate. I can't see if ever becoming mandatory for a child (or anyone else) to take communion - that'd be a much bigger step in a different direction. So, I doubt any child would feel unusual not to take communion - if they felt awkward, it might of course be a sign that other things were amiss, which would I think be a more important problem (eg., child wanting to be confirmed).

Sorry about the misreading - there's a whole lot of posts here!  Smiley
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Liz
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« Reply #103 on: August 20, 2010, 02:07:17 PM »

Yes, but we're not talking about asking a child to reconcile two opposing ideas of Truth, are we? Everyone (I believe even in the Orthodox Church), has to experience faith, not just accept teachings blindly, and I would have thought this is a good way of showing how different beliefs need to be evaluated against each other.

We are not talking merely about opinions but rather Truth. Two opposing views on right doctrine/ right practice cannot be reconciled one is right and one is wrong or they are both wrong. Orthodox do not consider many of the things found in these posts as being true or possible. I think Anglicanism is perhaps more accomandating because it has less requirements for belief and practice. I could be wrong but I can't seem to think of another way to expalin it at the moment. Let use a different example Anglicans profess the Nicene Creed with the Roman addition of the filoque. Now Orthodox believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. Romans and I would imagine Anglicans as they adopted the changed Creed believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. How can anyone believe both? So one is right and the other is wrong or they are both wrong.
 
There are two major issues that would be fairly insurmountable explaining to children. (George wouldn't have this issue since he doesn't believe that children should be taught about faith at all). The first would be the orthodox view of salvation, the second would be the orthodox view of hell. Those two issues will always be an issue, and a very confusing one at that. You can not teach that "mommy believes this and daddy believes that" without confusing the heck out of the child. Either raise the child orthodox, or raise the child Anglican. Maybe you can make it "work" for your children. But the children will grow up quite confused and may eventually become quite angry and leave all faith altogether. The issues of communion are great as well. You can not have your children partake at one church one week and another a different week. Kids don't stay little forever Wink A child would not be allowed to partake of Anglican and Orthodox Eucharists concurrently. This would place the child in a position where they will have to choose between mom and dad at some point. They will have to decide that one or the other is correct. That is not a fair position to put a child in, it simply isn't healthy. You place the child into a situation of religious divorce whether you intend to or not.

I just don't understand this assumption that children cannot understand two views at once. It speaks poorly of the state of education in America, perhaps, because I've never encountered problems with it here.

I suppose you are right that, if we had a child whose mental abilities were very limited, it would be unfair to put him or her in this situation, and I think then we would simply take him or her to the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #104 on: August 20, 2010, 02:28:49 PM »

There are two major issues that would be fairly insurmountable explaining to children. (George wouldn't have this issue since he doesn't believe that children should be taught about faith at all). The first would be the orthodox view of salvation, the second would be the orthodox view of hell. Those two issues will always be an issue, and a very confusing one at that. You can not teach that "mommy believes this and daddy believes that" without confusing the heck out of the child. Either raise the child orthodox, or raise the child Anglican. Maybe you can make it "work" for your children. But the children will grow up quite confused and may eventually become quite angry and leave all faith altogether. The issues of communion are great as well. You can not have your children partake at one church one week and another a different week. Kids don't stay little forever Wink A child would not be allowed to partake of Anglican and Orthodox Eucharists concurrently. This would place the child in a position where they will have to choose between mom and dad at some point. They will have to decide that one or the other is correct. That is not a fair position to put a child in, it simply isn't healthy. You place the child into a situation of religious divorce whether you intend to or not.

I just don't understand this assumption that children cannot understand two views at once. It speaks poorly of the state of education in America, perhaps, because I've never encountered problems with it here.

I suppose you are right that, if we had a child whose mental abilities were very limited, it would be unfair to put him or her in this situation, and I think then we would simply take him or her to the Orthodox Church.

You keep speaking of younger children. Children grow up, quickly I might add. I have 4 children; 9, 5, 3 and 1. Maybe the Anglican church allows for the touchy feel-y "you believe that, I believe this, we are all happy" stuff, the Orthodox church does not. Truth is truth, and you can't correctly teach a child the Orthodox faith by saying "mom thinks this, dad thinks that." Kids won't put up with that for too long. Parenting has to be done with cohesion. If you don't raise children cooperatively you end up pitting parents against each other. Children ask very difficult questions fairly early as well. A 4 year old is not going to understand or accept that dad believes that hell is merely the state of rejecting the love of God and experiencing the consequences when mom thinks hell is punitive. A big issue to overcome would be free will. The Orthodox church recognizes our ability to choose to serve God, the Anglican church does not. How would you tell your 4 year old that? "Mom doesn't believe she can do anything good on her own. Dad believes that he must climb the ladder of salvation and choose to get back up again every time he falls." The Orthodox church recognizes that the Theotokos was without sin. Again, how would you explain this to a 4 year old? I have 4 children, and all of them started to ask these kind of questions by the time they were about 3. And answers like "Mom thinks that even the Theotokos sinned and Dad adheres to the church father's in saying she was without sin." Intercession of the Saints is a big issue as well. We seek the intercession of the saints in every single service, morning/evening prayers and in times of trouble. The Theotokos is our chief intercessor, her position as the mother of God (not the Mother of Christ) is an essential part of the Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #105 on: August 20, 2010, 02:39:04 PM »

How would you explain why your children can receive from birth in the Orthodox church and have to wait to be confirmed in the Anglican church? Either the Orthodox view (that no one can really "understand" the mystery of communion, so waiting until you have been thru catechism is a moot point) or the Anglican view is correct. Otherwise you will set the kids up to believe that one Eucharist is more/less holy than the other. Again the issue is that truth is truth, not subjective. Either the sky is blue and the grass green, or the sky is green and the grass is blue. It can't be both, it can't be open to interpretation. One is a truthful statement, one is not.

And seeing as you have no children, I don't think you really know how very VERY VERY literal children are. Children develop the ability to see things as less black and white as they grow older.  This isn't a US thing, this is a developmental fact. You have to specifically teach children a more relativistic mindset (and even then, it isn't certain that it will even work if you do).
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« Reply #106 on: August 20, 2010, 02:52:11 PM »

From a child development angle, it is actually better to raise a child in a single church up until they are about 9-10 and then introduce the second faith and allow them to try to compare/contrast the faiths for themselves. This would lead to the least amount of confusion and the greatest level of understand of both faiths. Otherwise a child is likely to mix up the two and not have a complete view of either. You seem to think that children that are younger are more elastic in terms of thinking, that is simply not the case. We develop elasticity of thought, it isn't ingrained. (except in language development, it is best to introduce multiple languages as young as possible).
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« Reply #107 on: August 20, 2010, 05:20:47 PM »

Thanks Quinault, I'll try to go through and reply (and thanks for getting off the 'let's discuss Anglican theology' angle again!).


You keep speaking of younger children. Children grow up, quickly I might add. I have 4 children; 9, 5, 3 and 1. Maybe the Anglican church allows for the touchy feel-y "you believe that, I believe this, we are all happy" stuff, the Orthodox church does not. Truth is truth, and you can't correctly teach a child the Orthodox faith by saying "mom thinks this, dad thinks that."

How can you be sure of that? And what about the (rather large number of) disagreements we seen on this forum between people, all of whom claim to be Orthodox. Don't Orthodox parents sometimes disagree too?

Quote
Kids won't put up with that for too long. Parenting has to be done with cohesion. If you don't raise children cooperatively you end up pitting parents against each other.

Well, this isn't how I was raised, and it's not considered very good practice here (so far as I gather from speaking to parents/reading the literature). Much better not to pretend mum and dad can preserve an artificially united front - after all, children need to learn that their parents are sometimes wrong, sometimes fallible, and sometimes, unable to answer all their questions.

Quote
Children ask very difficult questions fairly early as well. A 4 year old is not going to understand or accept that dad believes that hell is merely the state of rejecting the love of God and experiencing the consequences when mom thinks hell is punitive. A big issue to overcome would be free will. The Orthodox church recognizes our ability to choose to serve God, the Anglican church does not.

My vicar teaches that we choose to serve God, and I agree with him.

Quote
How would you tell your 4 year old that? "Mom doesn't believe she can do anything good on her own. Dad believes that he must climb the ladder of salvation and choose to get back up again every time he falls." The Orthodox church recognizes that the Theotokos was without sin. Again, how would you explain this to a 4 year old? I have 4 children, and all of them started to ask these kind of questions by the time they were about 3. And answers like "Mom thinks that even the Theotokos sinned and Dad adheres to the church father's in saying she was without sin."

What's wrong with that answer? It's not complicated!

Quote
Intercession of the Saints is a big issue as well. We seek the intercession of the saints in every single service, morning/evening prayers and in times of trouble. The Theotokos is our chief intercessor, her position as the mother of God (not the Mother of Christ) is an essential part of the Orthodox faith.

So? Do you think a child wouldn't understand that unless they'd been told that Mary was sinless? I can't see the connection myself.
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« Reply #108 on: August 20, 2010, 05:26:21 PM »

There are issues that are open to interpretation with orthodoxy like aerial toll houses and the ability to choose to serve God after death and no longer be in "hell." But you can't have all issues of theology open to interpretation otherwise there is no framework to work upon.

You obviously haven't worked with a lot of children from a variety of ages. I don't think I can explain what I mean without you sharing at least a baseline knowledge of child development, which you obviously don't have. Otherwise you wouldn't think that cohesion in parenting was a bad thing. If there is anything about parenting/disciple that is a must it is consistency. Without consistency you are essentially throwing children to the wolves to raise themselves.

You also don't understand Orthodox theology at all. Learn what it is before you declare what aspects are disposable and what aspects are flexible. I suggest you read or go to some catechism for the Orthodox church so that you can know what Orthodox theology is. Not that you need become Orthodox, but you do need to know what Orthodox theology is. Obviously you have no clue. The Theotokos is either sinless, or she sinned, this is a MAJOR aspect of orthodox theology that sets it apart from both the Catholic and Protestant churches.
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« Reply #109 on: August 20, 2010, 05:28:15 PM »

How would you explain why your children can receive from birth in the Orthodox church and have to wait to be confirmed in the Anglican church?

Well, they are quite different things. In the Orthodox Church, you think Communion has a different purpose from what we think in the Anglican Church, so why should it be strange that different customs attend each one?

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Either the Orthodox view (that no one can really "understand" the mystery of communion, so waiting until you have been thru catechism is a moot point) or the Anglican view is correct. Otherwise you will set the kids up to believe that one Eucharist is more/less holy than the other.

No, I don't think so. Why so?

Quote
Again the issue is that truth is truth, not subjective. Either the sky is blue and the grass green, or the sky is green and the grass is blue. It can't be both, it can't be open to interpretation. One is a truthful statement, one is not.

It's interesting that you pick that example! You see, my dad is colour-blind, so we grew up knowing that, to dad, lots of things looked red that were actually green, and vice-versa. We learned very early on that, actually even things we think are self-evident, are matters of perspective. You could learn the same lesson through languages - there's a very famous linguistic 'map' that shows how the word for 'blue' in one language corresponds with two different words (for 'bluish-green' and 'bluish-gray') in another, and so on. It's fascinating, but also says something important about the way we learn about truth. Children take to these things pretty naturally - in the linguistic experiment, bilingual children have no difficulty distinguishing medium from content. Truth is truth, yes - but our understanding of it varies.

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And seeing as you have no children, I don't think you really know how very VERY VERY literal children are. Children develop the ability to see things as less black and white as they grow older.  This isn't a US thing, this is a developmental fact. You have to specifically teach children a more relativistic mindset (and even then, it isn't certain that it will even work if you do).

Maybe this is so! I'll live and learn - but, I don't think this is really to do with being literal or less literal. Plenty of adults are still very literal-minded, but it doesn't make them incapable of understanding different points of view.
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« Reply #110 on: August 20, 2010, 05:31:46 PM »

But, were you taught to say that the color of the sky is subjective simply because your father was color blind? I doubt it. Either a color is called blue or it is not called blue. Color blindness effects a small portion of the population, but that doesn't mean we eliminate the names of colors to accommodate everyone.
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« Reply #111 on: August 20, 2010, 05:32:25 PM »

There are issues that are open to interpretation with orthodoxy like aerial toll houses and the ability to choose to serve God after death and no longer be in "hell." But you can't have all issues of theology open to interpretation otherwise there is no framework to work upon.

You obviously haven't worked with a lot of children from a variety of ages. I don't think I can explain what I mean without you sharing at least a baseline knowledge of child development, which you obviously don't have. Otherwise you wouldn't think that cohesion in parenting was a bad thing. If there is anything about parenting/disciple that is a must it is consistency. Without consistency you are essentially throwing children to the wolves to raise themselves.

No, I've not worked with children, so I am hoping to learn. However, I do study child development as part of my academic work (a very poor second to being a mum, no doubt!). There is a big difference between consistency - eg., being firm about what the 'house rules' are - and cohesion. I guess I'm thinking a lot about young children because most of my reading has been looking at language development and how it affects comprehension (bilingualism and so on), but I do know that if a child is very, very literal and unable to adapt from this, it is a warning sign. Not a good thing at all.
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« Reply #112 on: August 20, 2010, 05:34:20 PM »

But, were you taught to say that the color of the sky is subjective simply because your father was color blind? I doubt it. Either a color is called blue or it is not called blue.

No, this is simply wrong. It is well understood that things like names and perceptions of colours (amongst other, apparently experientially verifiable facts), differ from language to language and population to population.

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Color blindness effects a small portion of the population, but that doesn't mean we eliminate the names of colors to accommodate everyone.

No - precisely. We keep using the same structures of language that more-or-less work, just as one does when explaining about faith to a child.
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« Reply #113 on: August 20, 2010, 05:35:50 PM »

From an Orthodox perspective it is simply wrong to say that the saints don't intercede and that the Theotokos sinned.
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« Reply #114 on: August 20, 2010, 05:39:34 PM »

From an Orthodox perspective it is simply wrong to say that the saints don't intercede and that the Theotokos sinned.

Yes. It's perfectly acceptable from my point of view, to say this may be true. But (as with the colour of the sky), we can all say what we see, but we can never see what someone else does. So, perhaps the saints do intercede. Perhaps, when something good happens to you, that is proof. Perhaps not.

Why do you think a child wouldn't understand that? I understood relative belief systems before I was out of playschool, and I wasn't an especially precocious child.
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« Reply #115 on: August 20, 2010, 05:40:01 PM »

I am glad you brought up house rules. It is obvious that our faiths are very different which maybe why we are not having a meeting of the minds. What would happen if you told your child they had to go to bed at 9PM and your husband said they could go to bed when they wanted... who would the child follow?

There are issues that are open to interpretation with orthodoxy like aerial toll houses and the ability to choose to serve God after death and no longer be in "hell." But you can't have all issues of theology open to interpretation otherwise there is no framework to work upon.

You obviously haven't worked with a lot of children from a variety of ages. I don't think I can explain what I mean without you sharing at least a baseline knowledge of child development, which you obviously don't have. Otherwise you wouldn't think that cohesion in parenting was a bad thing. If there is anything about parenting/disciple that is a must it is consistency. Without consistency you are essentially throwing children to the wolves to raise themselves.

No, I've not worked with children, so I am hoping to learn. However, I do study child development as part of my academic work (a very poor second to being a mum, no doubt!). There is a big difference between consistency - eg., being firm about what the 'house rules' are - and cohesion. I guess I'm thinking a lot about young children because most of my reading has been looking at language development and how it affects comprehension (bilingualism and so on), but I do know that if a child is very, very literal and unable to adapt from this, it is a warning sign. Not a good thing at all.
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« Reply #116 on: August 20, 2010, 05:40:09 PM »

Understanding different perspectives requires abstract thought. Children must develop the ability to think abstractly by thinking literally first.
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« Reply #117 on: August 20, 2010, 05:43:35 PM »

I am glad you brought up house rules. It is obvious that our faiths are very different which maybe why we are not having a meeting of the minds. What would happen if you told your child they had to go to bed at 9PM and your husband said they could go to bed when they wanted... who would the child follow?

Well, I hope we'd agree beforehand on a bedtime - but if not, I think it would have to be whoever said it first - it's only fair to a child to go with the first response to a question, and also, you shouldn't encourage children to go asking mum something when dad's already answered, or vice-versa.

Are you saying you think they should automatically obey my husband before me?
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« Reply #118 on: August 20, 2010, 05:45:39 PM »

Understanding different perspectives requires abstract thought. Children must develop the ability to think abstractly by thinking literally first.

Ah, but understanding different perspectives isn't the first thing you do ... first you simply acknowledge that they are there. I didn't understand for a while why dad said something was red when I saw it was green, but he did, and it was just one of the peculiarities of the world. If you think about it, so many things seem arbitrary to a child, they're less likely to be bothered than you may think.
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« Reply #119 on: August 20, 2010, 05:48:32 PM »

^Very, very, very VERY bad idea. If you raise a child that way you will cause extreme marital strife. Children will just ask the more permissive parent first. This will cause the children to essentially be single parented. The stricter parent will be left out of all parenting decisions and labeled the "bad guy."
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« Reply #120 on: August 20, 2010, 05:49:06 PM »

No I am not saying they should obey the husband what I am saying is that it is far more important to have agreement on faith than something as trivial as bedtime. Also, I would imagine that the child would follow whoever gave them more of what they want and then let the parents fight it out.
I am glad you brought up house rules. It is obvious that our faiths are very different which maybe why we are not having a meeting of the minds. What would happen if you told your child they had to go to bed at 9PM and your husband said they could go to bed when they wanted... who would the child follow?

Well, I hope we'd agree beforehand on a bedtime - but if not, I think it would have to be whoever said it first - it's only fair to a child to go with the first response to a question, and also, you shouldn't encourage children to go asking mum something when dad's already answered, or vice-versa.

Are you saying you think they should automatically obey my husband before me?
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« Reply #121 on: August 20, 2010, 05:53:02 PM »

Understanding different perspectives requires abstract thought. Children must develop the ability to think abstractly by thinking literally first.

Ah, but understanding different perspectives isn't the first thing you do ... first you simply acknowledge that they are there. I didn't understand for a while why dad said something was red when I saw it was green, but he did, and it was just one of the peculiarities of the world. If you think about it, so many things seem arbitrary to a child, they're less likely to be bothered than you may think.

How long have you worked on child development? I have worked in this field as either a mother or a teacher for over a decade and a half. Color theory is an example of a concrete concept. You were not taught that your father was right when he called a color red. You were taught that he had a condition that caused his eyes to see the color as red. IF you took a preschool class, and were asked to name a block of color and you had a choice between labeling the green block red, or labeling it green, you labeled the green block green. The way your father saw the color was and is fundamentally wrong as an answer when answering the question. Faith is a primarily concrete concept. When I taught my children about the concept of God the first time, I didn't teach them about EVERY God and view on God at once. Children need succinct explanations when they are young and then you can expound on them as they grow older.
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« Reply #122 on: August 20, 2010, 05:56:08 PM »

^Very, very, very VERY bad idea. If you raise a child that way you will cause extreme marital strife. Children will just ask the more permissive parent first. This will cause the children to essentially be single parented. The stricter parent will be left out of all parenting decisions and labeled the "bad guy."

Oh come on Quinault, that is just silly now. You seem to think couples exist as if with a great yawning chasm between them, that can only be hesitantly covered over. Unless something is already very wrong in a relationship, why would they be like that?
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« Reply #123 on: August 20, 2010, 05:59:48 PM »

Because parenting can either ring a couple together or tear them apart. Issues that are small in a marriage before children will become a big issue as parents. We parent based upon a world view and from the perspective of our faith. If you believe that we are incapable of doing anything good you will parent a child to correct the sin out of them. If you parent from the perspective that children are inherently good and learn to sin you will parent in another way. And if each of your parents parent from a different perspective you are in a parental method divorce situation. The rules with Dad are different then the rules with mom. Then the child will decide which method they prefer and only seek the parenting of the parent they "like" more. One parent is parenting to teach and the other is teaching to correct. They may seem like the same concept, but they are not.
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« Reply #124 on: August 20, 2010, 06:00:15 PM »

Understanding different perspectives requires abstract thought. Children must develop the ability to think abstractly by thinking literally first.

Ah, but understanding different perspectives isn't the first thing you do ... first you simply acknowledge that they are there. I didn't understand for a while why dad said something was red when I saw it was green, but he did, and it was just one of the peculiarities of the world. If you think about it, so many things seem arbitrary to a child, they're less likely to be bothered than you may think.

How long have you worked on child development? I have worked in this field as either a mother or a teacher for over a decade and a half. Color theory is an example of a concrete concept. You were not taught that your father was right when he called a color red. You were taught that he had a condition that caused his eyes to see the color as red. IF you took a preschool class, and were asked to name a block of color and you had a choice between labeling the green block red, or labeling it green, you labeled the green block green. The way your father saw the color was and is fundamentally wrong as an answer when answering the question.


Oh, I see - I thought you'd researched child development yourself.

What I've looked at is the research into cognitive/linguistic theory, which is rather different from the (much more useful, of course!) practical stuff about how you teach a child his colours. The point is, children are equipped to understand far more, and far more subtly, than you're giving them credit for.

A child knows that, when he's asked, 'what colour is this?', he should give the appropriate answer. But, it's been shown that children also learn about perspectives, and not as late on as you think. If you have a child of 5 or so, who can't comprehend someone else's perspective affects their perception of truth, you have a problem. In the UK, you'd usually be referred for special check-ups of the child's development (it being one of the common and observable signs of autism). These things are really quite important, and if you try to blank them out of a child's development, you will damage that child.
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« Reply #125 on: August 20, 2010, 06:07:24 PM »

No, you aren't getting what I mean. I have studied child development a great deal both professional and as a parent. I have at least 2 children with Sensory Processing Disorder. Children can be willfully deceptive at an early age. But a child does not know what the abstract concept of a "lie" is until they are older. My 3 year old can steal a cookie and not tell the truth when asked if he stole it. That isn't a lie, that is just a lack of understanding truth from non-truth.

A child can be taught that hitting another child is wrong from several different perspectives. All of it comes down to the basic premise as to whether or not the abstract concept of hurting someone else is "wrong" or subjective. If it is subjective then you teach a child that they are hurting someone else and leave it up to them to decide if hurting someone else is wrong/right justifiable. If you teach a child that hurting someone else is wrong, you must teach them why hurting someone else is wrong.
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« Reply #126 on: August 20, 2010, 06:08:44 PM »

Because parenting can either ring a couple together or tear them apart. Issues that are small in a marriage before children will become a big issue as parents.

That, I am sure is true!

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We parent based upon a world view and from the perspective of our faith. If you believe that we are incapable of doing anything good you will parent a child to correct the sin out of them. If you parent from the perspective that children are inherently good and learn to sin you will parent in another way. And if each of your parents parent from a different perspective you are in a parental method divorce situation. The rules with Dad are different then the rules with mom. Then the child will decide which method they prefer and only seek the parenting of the parent they "like" more. One parent is parenting to teach and the other is teaching to correct. They may seem like the same concept, but they are not.


For what it's worth, my husband and I don't disagree about whether people are inherently good, or inherently sinful. But I don't think it's usual to let a child choose which parent it will always go to. It'll be randomized by things like, who's home when, who's in the room, which parent does what with which child, etc. etc. Indeed, lots of things will vary depending on mood - I know my mum would sometimes be strict because she was feeling cross, and she won't be the only parent like that!
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« Reply #127 on: August 20, 2010, 06:12:00 PM »

I have seen how teaching abstract ideas of truth can warp a child. And when it comes to faith you have to wait to make a concept abstract until you can build upon a concrete view. If there is not a base of absolutes to build upon a child will not be capable of understanding anything. You will essentially be teaching a child that they only rule there is is that there are no rules, which a child simply can not understand. A rule that there are no rules is a false dichotomy.
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« Reply #128 on: August 20, 2010, 06:19:36 PM »

No, you aren't getting what I mean. I have studied child development a great deal both professional and as a parent. I have at least 2 children with Sensory Processing Disorder. Children can be willfully deceptive at an early age. But a child does not know what the abstract concept of a "lie" is until they are older. My 3 year old can steal a cookie and not tell the truth when asked if he stole it. That isn't a lie, that is just a lack of understanding truth from non-truth.
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Well, I thought 3-4 was roughly when you start to watch out and see if children are capable of lying, pretend play, understanding the 'naughty Teddy' type experiment, and so on. It's a pretty important stage in development, not something you should be blase about if a child can't do it.

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A child can be taught that hitting another child is wrong from several different perspectives. All of it comes down to the basic premise as to whether or not the abstract concept of hurting someone else is "wrong" or subjective. If it is subjective then you teach a child that they are hurting someone else and leave it up to them to decide if hurting someone else is wrong/right justifiable. If you teach a child that hurting someone else is wrong, you must teach them why hurting someone else is wrong.

Yes, of course. But I don't see why that would be a problem in a Christian marriage - we all know that hurting someone else is wrong, for a range of reasons from the simple ('how would you feel if Timmy did that to you') to the more complicated ('Timmy is just as important as you'). Now, of course, the pain probably is a bit subjective, but I don't see that as a great excuse for a child to learn!
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« Reply #129 on: August 20, 2010, 06:20:15 PM »

Let's put it this way; the set of letters we use in the English alphabet are used in plenty of other languages. The sounds that a certain letter makes can vary from language to language slightly or sound completely different. When you teach your child the alphabet, you don't start by teaching them all the various sounds that letter makes in every language. You teach that child that a letter makes a specific sound in a specific language. Visually the letters may be the same, but the sound is different. Teaching a language by hearing bypasses this issue. But you don't teach a child the names/sounds of a letter concurrently when they differ unless you introduce context. You can't introduce context before a child is capable of reading. So you teach the English alphabet and the other alphabet separately. You don't say the alphabets altogether at once. The "a" says ... but in this language it says.....and so on and so forth.
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« Reply #130 on: August 20, 2010, 06:22:36 PM »

I have seen how teaching abstract ideas of truth can warp a child. And when it comes to faith you have to wait to make a concept abstract until you can build upon a concrete view. If there is not a base of absolutes to build upon a child will not be capable of understanding anything. You will essentially be teaching a child that they only rule there is is that there are no rules, which a child simply can not understand. A rule that there are no rules is a false dichotomy.

Interestingly, my mother-in-law, who catechizes the children in church, thinks this is completely wrong!  Wink

But she's just one person, so only one view.

What concerns me is, I am sure if you teach children like that, they will learn about Christianity by rote. But they will have no faith.
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« Reply #131 on: August 20, 2010, 06:23:23 PM »

Children can not reliably discern and differentiate a "lie" from "the truth" until they are about 5-8. They can discern "right and wrong," but not the truth from a lie. A lie is the willful act of with holding or clouding the truth. Whereas something wrong is incorrect, and something true is correct.
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« Reply #132 on: August 20, 2010, 06:24:27 PM »

Let's put it this way; the set of letters we use in the English alphabet are used in plenty of other languages. The sounds that a certain letter makes can vary from language to language slightly or sound completely different. When you teach your child the alphabet, you don't start by teaching them all the various sounds that letter makes in every language. You teach that child that a letter makes a specific sound in a specific language. Visually the letters may be the same, but the sound is different. Teaching a language by hearing bypasses this issue. But you don't teach a child the names/sounds of a letter concurrently when they differ unless you introduce context. You can't introduce context before a child is capable of reading. So you teach the English alphabet and the other alphabet separately. You don't say the alphabets altogether at once. The "a" says ... but in this language it says.....and so on and so forth.

Sorry Quinault, I really appreciate you trying this analogy because I am fascinated by language, but I'm not getting it. Could you explain a bit more clearly what you think this means for teaching a child about faith?
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« Reply #133 on: August 20, 2010, 06:25:28 PM »

Children can not reliably discern and differentiate a "lie" from "the truth" until they are about 5-8. They can discern "right and wrong," but not the truth from a lie. A lie is the willful act of with holding or clouding the truth. Whereas something wrong is incorrect, and something true is correct.

Really? In this country, the 'silly Teddy' test is still done on children in reception (ie. 4). It's considered a concern if they can't do it.
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« Reply #134 on: August 20, 2010, 06:28:53 PM »

The teddy test is not a test about lie versus truth. That test determines the ability to discern correct versus incorrect.



I have to get to the Farmers Market before it closes, I hope someone else can take over and explain more. If not, I can write more tomorrow.
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