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Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion Paperback – April 25, 2007
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“Parents on both sides of the culture war will find this book a compelling read.”
-Newsweek, July 16, 2007
“…Parenting Beyond Belief provides engaging anecdotes about the challenges of raising children without religion.” Humanist
“Parenting Beyond Belief serves not only as a guide to families who choose not to make that identification, but it also made me feel that those of us who are struggling with these issues are not so alone.”
“The editor, Dale McGowan, a writer, educator, husband and parent of three, has pulled off the difficult task of weaving together diverse parts into a very cohesive whole. It sure helps that most of these parts (the individual essays) are simply terrific! … Parenting Beyond Belief is not only an interesting and enjoyable read, it is also stuffed full with good information and pointers to other sources.”
--John Logsdon, "Sex, Genes, & Evolution" and the Iowa Secularists Newsletter
Foreword by Michael Shermer, Ph.D.
Contributors include Richard Dawkins, Penn Jillette, Julia Sweeney, and Dr. Donald B. Ardell
It’s hard enough to live a secular life in a religious world. And bringing up children without religious influence can be even more daunting. Despite the difficulties, a large and growing number of parents are choosing to raise their kids without religion.
In Parenting Beyond Belief, Dale McGowan celebrates the freedom that comes with raising kids without formal indoctrination and advises parents on the most effective way to raise freethinking children.
With advice from educators, doctors, psychologists, and philosophers as well as wisdom from everyday parents, the book offers tips and insights on a variety of topics, from "mixed marriages" to coping with death and loss, and from morality and ethics to dealing with holidays. Sensitive and timely, Parenting Beyond Belief features reflections from such freethinkers as Mark Twain, Richard Dawkins, Bertrand Russell, and wellness guru Dr. Don Ardell that will empower every parent to raise both caring and independent children without constraints.
Top Customer Reviews
My wife and I are about to bring our first child into the world and were happy when we found a book that discusses ways to deal with the issue of holidays, belief in Santa/Easter Bunny, moral development in children without the threat of eternal punishment, how to tackle the questions kids are bound to ask about life/death, and so much more. Overall, it is a great resource for humanist or atheist parents (or wannabe parents) who wish to raise rational, freethinking children with the skills to make up their own minds as adults.
The essays are from a wide variety of people with viewpoints, backgrounds, and ideas not always similar. It was the contrast of ideas that helped my wife and I form a game plan on how we can raise children who will never stop asking "why?" for the right reasons. Our favorite sections are Does God Exist, which is written in a wonderfully and easy to understand conversational style by Stephen Law, and Dealing with Death in a Secular family by Kendyl Gibbons. Although the piece that I'm sure we'll go back to over and over is the list famous freethinkers. Ahhh resources, magnificent, beautiful resources...
My only complaint, and it is to be unavoidable, is that this book didn't come sooner. It was my hope to find a solid community to immediately fall into, but it was not meant to be. And even though there are over 20 million of us in the US, it IS hard to rally secular people around that single ideal. So I send my heartfelt thanks to Dale McGowan for helping to foster our community.
Read the book, raise intelligent, freethinking children, and the next generation will not have to work so hard to find a common identity.
Edit: I also wish that more of the books suggested were still in print.
The contributing writers in Parenting Beyond Belief (2007) offer hope in the form of alternative perspectives from the other side of the playground. As editor, McGowan has somehow managed to compile an outstanding cadre of knowledgeable, free-thinking authors in this highly readable volume. I am particularly pleased that he approached the topic from an open, respectful and inclusive stance, rather than joining the growing list of those who choose to smugly attack all religious beliefs and believers. This is not a book on "rearing atheists" and/or polarizing parent groups.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful resource! An excellent starting point on this journey in raising intelligent, thoughtful, moral children and in informing my own adult self of how to navigate a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marissa Silva
If only every parent would put their children before their own beliefs and raise a world of free-thinkersPublished 11 months ago by J. D.
A must read for every non-religious parent who struggles to maintain the balance between secular learning with the inevitable pressures their child faces from religious peers.Published 11 months ago by D G Van Curen
Fantastic book for the most part. Gets a little weighed down and starts to plod along at times with all the various essay authors. Read morePublished 12 months ago by JCP
Far more enlightening than I was expecting. It offers perspectives of my own views that I didn't take into account. Read morePublished 15 months ago by nasser guendouzi
What a wonderful covering of this essential subject from diverse voices!Published 17 months ago by S. Swan