If you are an atheist or freethinking parent, what books, websites, blogs or other resources have you found to be useful to help you raise your children in a way that is consistent with your views?

Please post one resource per answer, so the community can vote up individual items, and include images of book covers and links to websites where possible.

See also Religion-specific child-raising resources.

This question is marked "community wiki".

asked 27 Oct '09, 10:59

Paul%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Paul Stephenson
accept rate: 4%

edited 04 Nov '09, 07:36


My recommendation post aside, there are a lot of phenomenal sources of information out there about people and about parenting from non-religious and from highly religious sources. Remember to look into religious sources as well -- they will say as much about people as about spiritual beliefs. I'm firmly of a certain faith but have learned a lot from other faiths, non-religious sources, and anti-religious sources. (I don't know whether or not you agree with this already, but I thought it was worth including here for like-minded people who may read your question but haven't considered this view)

(27 Oct '09, 16:01) Dinah

@Dinah: Ultimately this site is all about that kind of sharing of knowledge across all boundaries. We've had people posting questions and answers from literally around the globe. I find the answers to this question just as informative as a question about books on how to be a parent in any particular faith. They're all interesting. I think it's all great!

(27 Oct '09, 23:39) Scott ♦♦

@Dinah: Thanks for your thoughts. I see you have now deleted your answer. I think a book with religious content is an appropriate answer, but really only if posted by an atheist parent who has read it and found it helpful and consistent with her views (e.g. if it concentrates on developing critical thinking in children and doesn't overdo praying or churchgoing).

(30 Oct '09, 08:40) Paul Stephenson

@Dinah, @Paul Stephenson: Keep in mind that we're collaboratively building a Q&A site for future parents. It would certainly be reasonable for Dinah to create another question opposite to this one and post the answer there, then cross link these two questions. That way someone coming to the site looking for one or the other finds what they're looking for, but also finds the alternatives.

(01 Nov '09, 12:25) Scott ♦♦

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 27 Oct '09, 13:05

JJJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

edited 27 Oct '09, 19:29

I know they're by the same author, but is it worth separating into two answers so that people who have read one but not the other can vote accordingly?

(27 Oct '09, 13:36) Paul Stephenson

Raising Freethinkers is kinda like the practical application of the first... I'd say they go hand in hand

(27 Oct '09, 13:37) JJJ

OK, fair enough. I am halfway through Parenting Beyond Belief and it's been great so far. I don't have Raising Freethinkers (yet).

(27 Oct '09, 14:42) Paul Stephenson

This is a blog, but I really like it, as I'm happy to learn from, and share experiences with, other like-minded parents: Rational Moms

Like this site, although the title contains "Moms", of course it's for all rational parents :-)

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 27 Oct '09, 15:12

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

edited 05 Nov '09, 01:58

@YMCbuzz: Thanks for the update. You could post it as another answer, so other readers of the Meming of Life blog can vote it up separately from Rational Moms. That way the community can see which blogs people think are worth reading overall.

(04 Nov '09, 07:32) Paul Stephenson

The Athiest's Guide to Christmas may be a good, especially given the time of year we're entering...

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 28 Oct '09, 21:12

ceejayoz's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I saw that on Amazon. Has anyone here read it yet? Much specifically related to parenting?

(30 Oct '09, 08:34) Paul Stephenson

Growing up, one of my closest friends was an atheist and another friend (but not so close) was Jewish. Both families celebrated Christmas, not in a Christian way, but in a cultural way and as a time of Thanksgiving, charity, and family. I couldn't wrap my brain around it as a child. As I grew up it ceased feeling like a contradiction.

(03 Nov '09, 14:09) Dinah

I like The War for Children's Minds: Liberal Values and Why We Should Defend Them which is about the importance of teaching your children to think for themselves.

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This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 31 Oct '09, 09:22

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

Not a book, but another blog I think is excellent: Parenting Beyond Belief. The author of the blog is the Editor/co-author, Parenting Beyond Belief & Raising Freethinkers books which were recommended in another answer. I was really moved by this particular post though, so just wanted to share with other freethinkers.

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 05 Nov '09, 02:02

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

I don't want to start a flame war here, but I'd just like to point out that faith and teaching you children to think for themselves are not logically incompatible, even though it may sometimes appear that way.

A while ago I posted a comment on a blog on a vaguely related subject, if anyone's interested...

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 07 Jan '10, 14:32

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

Faith: 1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. I suggest that thinking for yourself requires you to question everything, never to accept anything without proof.

(20 May '11, 11:30) Meg Stephenson
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Asked: 27 Oct '09, 10:59

Seen: 5,240 times

Last updated: 20 May '11, 11:30