Announcing the Raising Freethinkers Virtual Book Club!

Join in on Secular Parenting’s first ever virtual book club as we read Raising Freethinkers this winter! Our book study will start on February 1, 2016, and run for about 6 weeks. The idea behind the project is simple: nonreligious parents across the country and around the world connecting with each other to discuss the same book.

About Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief (Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura, Amanda Metskas, Jan Devor):

Raising Freethinkers offers solutions to the unique challenges secular parents face and provides specific answers to common questions, as well as over 100 activities for both parents and their children. This book covers every important topic nonreligious parents need to know to help their children with their own moral and intellectual development, including advice on religious-extended-family issues, death and life, secular celebrations, wondering and questioning, and more. (Amazon.com)

If you don’t have a copy of the book already, grab a copy, and get ready for a great discussion!

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Here’s how you can join the conversation:

  1. Stop by the Secular Parenting forums to participate in weekly discussions. New questions are added on Mondays and Thursdays.
  2. Join our weekly Twitter chat each Monday night, 8-9 p.m. CST, using #RFChat2016.
  3. Join the Facebook discussion group.
  4. Write a blog post related to that week’s reading, and share it with us!
  5. Connect with other secular parents in person by hosting a local meetup or finding one near you.

Reading Schedule

Week 1 (Monday, February 1st) : Chapter 1

Week 2 (Monday, February 8th) : Chapters 2 & 3

Week 3 (Monday, February 15th) : Chapter 4

Week 4 (Monday, February 22nd) : Chapters 5 & 6

Week 5 (Monday, February 29th) :  Chapter 7

Week 6 (Monday, March 7th):  Chapters 8 & 9

 

We are excited for a wonderful winter of reading and sharing!

Happy reading!

Corrina Allen

@corrinaballen

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Corrina

Corrina

Corrina is a wife, mom, teacher, and humanist. She lives in Central New York with her writer husband and their two young daughters. She is the current President of the CNY Humanist Association (www.cnyhumanists.org) and Coordinator of the CNY Coalition of Reason. She also writes for Secular Voices. In her off time, she loves to read, play Scrabble, crochet, and binge-watch shows on Netflix.

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Doing Good Without God

17079546379_0325b61aad_k(1)Foundation Beyond Belief’s National Week of Action–“a way to come together regardless of beliefs to benefit our communities”–was celebrated this April 30th through May 6th. This year my family worked with our local humanist group, the Central New York Humanist Association, to clean up a local park.

We spent two lovely hours enjoying the sunshine and the company of like-minded atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers while raking leaves and gathering litter. My two daughters donned gloves and had a grand time competing to see who could find the coolest bit of trash. (An old bird’s nest was the winner!)  Afterwards, my gals explored the playground and made friends with the kids from other secular families while the adults chatted over donuts and coffee.

As we were finishing up, t17270521371_febacf8f28_h(2)he local Little League coach and his team who use the park’s baseball field came by and were thrilled to see how much we’d spruced up the place. We had a great afternoon showing the community how nonbelievers can be “good without god!”

Looking for a local freethought group to volunteer with?  Check here to find a Beyond Belief Network team near you!

Corrina

Corrina

Corrina is a wife, mom, teacher, and humanist. She lives in Central New York with her writer husband and their two young daughters. She is the current President of the CNY Humanist Association (www.cnyhumanists.org) and Coordinator of the CNY Coalition of Reason. She also writes for Secular Voices. In her off time, she loves to read, play Scrabble, crochet, and binge-watch shows on Netflix.

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Share your #SecularFamily on #OpenlySecular Day!

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Today is #OpenlySecular Day! It’s a campaign started by Openly Secular to help raise acceptance and awareness of the secular community.

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We’d like to invite you to help us show the world what it means to be a #SecularFamily! Post a photo of your family doing something you love on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or to our Facebook page with #SecularFamily and what makes your family special.

Will Snyder

Will Snyder

A Humanist Celebrant through the Humanist Society and American Humanist Association, as well as father of two. Will is a founding member of Secular-Parenting, working to promote secularism and a Humanist world-view.

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The “Torn Allowance” Conundrum.

What would you do if you walked out the door and discovered that your child had shred their allowance and left it on the floor?

What if I told you that their reason for tearing the money was because it “wasn’t enough”?

It’s a fair question that Kandice Moore, who blogs at RaisinEmReal, answered in response to a Facebook post that shared this story.

Ms. Moore, before offering her advice, makes a side note about the “flack” she receives for supporting spanking.

“There are just times in parenting where spanking is not only called for, but down right needed”

This statement is what leads me to believe she feels that would be an appropriate consequence in this instance. Her formal response is to make the child tape the money back together and then “force” them to use it towards the family utility bills, and also to contribute several months worth of allowance the same way. Her concept is that this would teach her child the value of money.

Before I can respond to her advice, I have to deal with the the inferred consequence of spanking the child.

I get it! I totally would want to spank my child as well! I can say with utmost certainty that if I came out and found money purposely shredded at the door to my bedroom because it “wasn’t enough” I would EXPLODE inwardly. I would literally see red. In fact, I would have to go into the other room and NOT face my kid until I came down from Mt. Rage and entered the Valley of Calm Calculation. It is my job is to educate and raise my child and therefore I would want think of an appropriate and effective response.

The reason I am an atheist is because over time I found there was overwhelming evidence for a natural world and no legitimate evidence of a deity. I would wager most people become atheists or lose faith in religion because of compelling evidence against the concept of a deity. Which then leads me to suspect that a majority of secular parents are probably evidence driven people.

Well, spanking has also been (and continues to be) researched rather rigorously and thus far been linked to have a strong correlation to antisocial and aggressive behavior in children (http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/spanking.aspx). There is a huge body of evidence to suggest that alternate forms of behavior modification should be used instead and as a person of reason, I follow that suggestion. To do the opposite and spank my child despite knowing that it’s harmful and ineffective in addressing the root of the problem is, in my opinion, cruel. Despite what some of the highly religious might think about us secular families, we are not actually cruel or amoral. 🙂

Which brings us back around to finding a solution! And I applaud Ms. Moore for coming up with a more long term solution! I don’t know how effective just telling a kid their allowance is going to a bill would be but I agree that they clearly don’t know the value of money, and as a good parent I would want to educate them. As a kid I got allowance every month without any stipulation of earning it (I just had to budget it into various categories). My wife received money every week for doing chores growing up. I think removing the “you get money every (insert random time interval here) with or without any work” and replacing it with a “you get a nickel/dime quarter for every chore/work around the house” makes more sense. It provides instant reward at a sustainable rate for parents that the child can pocket and spend on their own. They can save up for their candy or toy and work extra to earn extra. If they don’t want to participate in this then they can be broke. Of course you’ll have to walk them by stores they would want to purchase at next time you go out to really let them feel that financial pain but whatever. The message here is a simple: “If you feel you are entitled to handouts then no more handouts. You want money, you $&%# earn it just like the rest of us.”

My wife was thinking there could also be another educational piece here with having them volunteer to help or work with people who are less fortunate. I think that a multifaceted approach is better than just a single solution for sure. I’m sure you fine folks will also have ideas that would be appropriate and effective. Spanking in my opinion doesn’t make the cut. Teaching a child to fear their parent doesn’t address the actual underlying problem and possibly adds more difficult problems down the road according to current studies.

Feel free to share your ideas and even other parenting conundrums. Even though I disagree with some of what Ms Moore wrote, I am glad she wrote about the problem. Mental exercises like this allow us to problem solve before we have to take on a challenge like this ourselves.

Spencer

Spencer

Spencer is a happily married father of two. He works full time (and then some) as a paramedic in Oregon. He is a fan of gaming, reading, and the skepticism movement. In his off time he enjoys playing “cars” with his kids.

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Celebrate Your #SecularFamily!

We are excited to celebrate the launch of blog.secular-family.com and are glad that you’re here on this journey with us!

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One of our missions is to show the world what it means to be secular and dispel myths. We invite you to help us show the world what it means to be a #SecularFamily! Post a photo of your family doing something you love on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or to our Facebook page with #SecularFamily and what makes your family special. You might even be featured on one or more of our social media accounts!

Thank you for being here with us and we are excited to share this journey with you.

Amber

Amber

Amber is a happily married mother of two who is currently studying to be a middle school science teacher. She is a self-described science enthusiast. Her other hobbies include crafting and hiking

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