- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: AMACOM (April 25, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0814474268
- ISBN-13: 978-0814474266
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 123 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.00 shipping
Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion Paperback – April 25, 2007
There is a newer edition of this item:
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“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.
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-5 of 123 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As you might expect, the quality of these essays varies widely. To me, the Gaylor, Nelson and Barker essays were least useful. The Wernick essay "Parenting in a Secular/Religious Marriage" was most helpful.
The format of the book makes it a bit difficult to find the answer to a specific problem/question, although there is an index at the end.
The essays are easy to read. Most of them can be read in 10 minutes, which is a plus for busy parents.
I only have two criticisms. First, because the essays are short, they do not dig very deeply into any particular subject. Much of the information is just common sense that most non-theist parents will already know. Second, philosophers, psychologists and people without any clearly relevant qualifications are over-represented. In my experience, giving children a hard-science education is one of the most powerful things that a parent can do to raise rational, socially responsible children. Sadly, there are essays by only two scientists in this book (Richard Dawkins and Emily Rosa, each of whom wrote very good essays).
Overall, though, it was worth reading.
For example, in one of the essays the author explains when the child asks about Santa Claus that Santa Claus is someone people pretend to believe in for fun. That, to me, was a very clever answer for someone trying to seek a way to enjoy Santa without lying about Santa or crushing the fun of the lie.
Not all of the stories may be of direct use depending on ideas you may already have, but even the ones I do not agree with have given me some food for thought.
I saw this at the library, read only the introduction and bought a copy, read part way through and bought the kindle version to read late into the night. Finished the book and bought two more copies for friends. The kindle version is missing only 2 pieces. As I have the paper copy as well (highlighted like crazy) I did not mind getting a slightly abridged e-version.
I planned to teach my children the wonders of science and reason without ever mentioning religion. The more I thought about it, I realized it's probably better to be prepared since we live in a country that is mostly Christian. This book was everything and more to guide me with some of the questions I had regarding parenting.
Chapter 3 Holidays and Celebrations was the only chapter that was not useful to me. I will still celebrate secular Christmas and Easter, but I would like to add Darwin Day. Chapter 1 Personal Reflections was worthwhile and an enjoyable read. I have read an extensive amount from free thinking scientists and philosophers like Bertrand Russell, so I'm really glad this book included their insights and listed the historical smart people who were atheist/agnostic or deist. This book is a must for anyone that wants to raise educated children who believe in reason, empirical evidence and science.
My favorite and the most applicable chapters for me were:
5 Values and Virtues, Meaning and Purpose
7 Wondering and Questioning
8 Jaw-Dropping, Mind-Buzzing Science