Book Review – Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion

I recently finished reading Parenting Beyond Belief:  On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion by Dale McGowan.  An excellent book and you don’t have to be a parent to gain something from reading it.  If you are a parent, please understand that this is NOT a book that tells you how to parent.  McGowan has collected stories from several freethinker parents and authors that describe their methods of raising freethinking children.  Picturing myself as a parent, there were many things I agreed with and few things I did not.  There’s a healthy debate in the book on how to handle Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.  Should children be told from birth that these are pretend or should children be allowed to figure it out for themselves?  Both sides are presented in a friendly, non-hostile discussion.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend you read it!


3 thoughts on “Book Review – Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion

  1. I didn’t know that book dealt with the Santa/tooth fairy/Easter bunny dilemma. Really glad to hear someone put together something with a reasonable discussion about that. It’s a tough question that I think a lot of people assume is obvious but really isn’t if you value critical thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does and presents both sides in a civilized manner. Personally I don’t think the decision is obvious and I can see benefits on both sides. What I do have a problem with, however, is when parents who choose to do the santa/easter bunny/tooth fairy tradition are not honest when their children ask for the truth. I have a relative, who one Christmas, had their child ask if Santa was real because a friend said Santa wasn’t real. At that point I would have asked “what do you think?” and based my follow-up response on what the child said. This is not what my relative did. My relative responded with “if you believe hard enough, Santa is real”. What a bunch of bullshit and what a huge lie this relative told the child. Not only is it a lie, but it suppresses critical thinking in the the child and in my opinion is a form of child abuse.

      Thank you for your comment, and if you haven’t, buy the book! It is well worthwhile each dollar!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! It’s so frustrating to see someone talking to children that way. You’re right, answering the question that way doesn’t support critical thinking at all. And I’ll definitely be looking into that book. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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