Friday, May 30, 2008

Raising Children in One Faith: Resources that make sense

We frequently hear that children should be raised in ONE faith or they will be confused. Recently a member of Kathy Kahn's Outreach Fellows posed the question - how do we know this? What do we have to back that statement up?
For many of us have plenty of anecdotal information -- having worked with many adult children of interfaith couples we've heard enough stories to be able to express the concerns and challenges that real people report. We want to help the parents understand what the children are experiencing. Our goal is to impart knowledge that will help the parents make thoughtful choices for their families.
There's nothing like some data to help sort out the issues. Kathy has posted to the URJ website a very useful article by Dr. Peter Robbins titled: Choices for Children of Interfaith Families Here is the link:
Dr. Robbins looks at the stages of child development and the challenges at each age.
(Dr. Robbins is a doctor of pediatric and adolescent psychiatry)
I also use the Stages of Religious Development from The Interfaith Marriage Handbook. I ran the chart by a granduate student in the department of Psychology at UC Berkeley a couple years ago and he showed it to his professor who said it was a good general tool for parents.
I'd be interested to know of any resources you use in this area.