Positivity for Pagan Children
Article ID: 15700
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,214
Times Read: 2,838
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Author: Jessica Marie Baumgartner [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 1st. 2014
Times Viewed: 2,838
You donít have to be an optimist to understand that kids crave happiness. All people do. But children have the amazing ability to find joy in the simplest pleasures of life. Add magick and the Gods into this mix and any parent can find the home transformed into its own little world.
The atmosphere that my husband and I work to create for our children is very different from that of other places our daughters visit and they are becoming more aware of that as they grow. A big part of this is our faith. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wiccans make up one 1% of the American population. That may not sound like a lot but when you realize that the U.S has about 365 million inhabitants, it makes for a lot of witches, and that is only the self-declared Wiccans. When you add in Pagans of all kinds the numbers grow, not enough to give us any majority but enough that we donít have to feel alone.
I myself am an optimist; I canít help it. Not only am I a minority due to my religion, but I am also a homeschooling stay-at-home mom, which makes me a minority of a minority of a minority. All parents have to work hard no matter what kind of work they do, mine is just at home. If I were a pessimist, I donít think Iíd have the strength to get out of bed, much less take care of my children and our dog, keep my house clean, balance the budget, work on lesson plans, properly educate my daughters, grocery shop, prepare and cook meals, work in the garden, have any time with my husband, meditate, write, and take time to honor the Gods. Somewhere in there, I try to exercise and have time for myself too but I consider that a luxury.
So, here we are a family of four in a neighborhood of mostly Christians, and instead of having problems with my neighbors or worrying about what we donít have, we do our best to enjoy life. Thatís what following a nature-based faith is all about, right? Getting out and taking a walk in the woods and passing your knowledge of the world onto your children. Of course, I donít have all the answers, I have very few to tell the truth, but I always feel more connected with others when hearing of similar shared experiences.
One of my main goals is to always help my children look at the world and its different types of people with a good attitude. Sometimes a positive outlook is all that you need to succeed and I want success for my girls. Who doesnít want that for their kids, right? After writing about Pagan parenting, I started getting some amazing feedback from readers. It seems that a lot of us struggle with the ďMy family is differentĒ talk in addition to all of the other issues that every family has to face.
Many Pagan families have little or no hereditary guidance. I was raised Catholic by my mom and dad was a Lutheran whose philosophy was, ďI donít bother God and he donít bother meĒ. My husbandís family is Catholic and he found his path in Taoism, so we definitely have had to learn how to take charge and pave our own way.
Luckily, I married the most patient understanding man Iíve ever met. It was even his idea that our daughters should be raised of my faith because he gets it. And because I get him, I naturally want our children to be educated in the teachings of his beliefs as well as others. Throughout the past four plus years that I have been a mother, I have answered innumerable questions about life, death, and everything in between.
When my mother-in-law passed away, my eldest was very understanding because she is being raised to accept death as a part of life and she embraced the concept that Grandma just moved on in spirit. It was a very poignant moment when I witnessed her leaning over the open casket with two of her cousins explaining that Grandma isnít in her body anymore, her spirit lives on somewhere else. As sad as we were to see my husbandís mom go, I was able to smile and even find some humor in the matter of fact way that my daughter knowingly told the other kids, ďSheís really, really deadĒ with a smile on her face.
Everything that we deal with, as a people and parents, is about how you handle it. This thought kept simmering in my mind as I was finishing my college degree program; nothing prestigious, just a simple Associate of the Arts through St. Louis Community College. On the day that I went to pick up my diploma, my mind burst with creativity and the entire drive home was spent mentally laying out a simple childrenís book, something for young minds that would put a positive spin on the talk about how being Pagan may not be the norm but all families are different in their own ways.
When I got home, I dove for paper and pen and poured out my ideas. The actual physical process didnít take very long, but seemed to ooze from my fingertips. And I know a very talented artist, Laura Winship Fanaei, who made my words come to life with her enchanting images.
Thus ďMy Family is Different Ē was born.
We shopped it around and signed a contract with THG Stardragon Publishing, a Pagan publisher that I found listed right here on ďThe Witches' VoiceĒ. The book will be released in the coming months and I not only do I feel thankful that this publisher decided to take a chance on our unsolicited material, but that this story will be told. It is something we can all relate to and share with our children in order to give them a healthy positive image of what it truly means to honor the Gods.
If anyone finds this work to be helpful to their family, I will consider this endeavor a success. Itís not always easy to create a positive atmosphere when you donít have the support of others in your family or neighborhood, but we, as Pagans, can support each other.
The U.S. Census Bureau
THG Stardragon Publishing
Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
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