What is considered good manners if your kid is sleeping over a friends house on a Saturday night and they invite him or her along to church in the morning? I suppose there are several ways to go about this, but most of the time I let my kids decide.
If you happen to be a Baptist or a Catholic or an Atheist or any other -ic, -ist, or -ism, you may feel worried that your child may be “exposed” to some poisonous untruth that will either fill them with the fear of Hell or send them there. I don’t.
First of all, if my kid is sleeping over somewhere, I already know the parents well enough to assess whether or not they are generally responsible adults around children, and I have a pretty good idea if they are fundamentalist in their beliefs. I know enough about the different christian denominations to have a decent idea of what they will see or hear.
So for me, I think it is a good way to allow my kids to see a different part of their friends lives, and to provide talking moments after. My hope for my children is that when they are older, they have enough information to make a sound decision, based on evidence and critical thinking, not indoctrination (by me or anyone else).
I also think it is important to understand that I have had my whole life to come to the conclusions I have made, but my 8 year old hasn’t. For me to tell him that my way is right because I said so is no better than the fundamentalist preacher that thinks shouting makes it true.
By the way, my son did sleep over a friends house and was invited to church and happily explained that he doesn’t like church so no thank you, so I came and got him early Sunday morning.