Friday, September 26, 2014

Pagan Parenting

A topic that is often raised nowadays is the difficulties and challenges of being a Wiccan parent.

Often, this can throw up challenges and tests that other parents often don’t have to deal with. Questions and situations arise that test our wisdom and the strength of our characters.

Conversely, it is a special joy that Wiccan parents get to experience, sharing this special set of values with those we cherish most – our children. It is a challenge and a joy. Juggling both of them is the hard part, but Wicca is a fantastic system and thus has its own special up-sides.

As most people know, being a good parent is one of the greatest things you can do for your child’s well-being. Allowing them to be free and soar, as well as knowing when to step in to guide them, it’s all part of a healthy balance.

The power and the insight that Wicca grants us is not to be taken for granted. Neither is the benefit that it will have on our children. It would be remiss to think that simply being a Wiccan parent grants you better parenting abilities than the next person. Good parenting comes from the heart, not from the system of beliefs that you choose to follow.

Imagine if you encountered someone that believed that, simply because of their religion, they were better qualified to be a parent. It would be easy to think that person was being very presumptuous! Talk about losing track of what matters!

Being Wiccan is no secret key to great parenting. However, if can be a very useful tool in helping to bring up well-rounded children who are full of joy. A gentle reminder of that now and then can be very timely.

Occasionally you will come across those who take exception to your status as a Wiccan. You may even experience the distress of someone acting differently towards your child because of what you are. Tales of children coming home from school having been picked on because other kids say their mother or father is a witch are all too common.

There may also be resistance or discrimination from adults who are older and should know better. You may find yourself being left out, or treated coldly because someone in authority, like a schoolteacher or principal dislikes your life choice. The worst outcome of that is, of course, the danger of your child not getting the support he or she needs.

What’s the solution? Every situation differs, but don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights. Most of us live in a country in which everyone is equal, no matter what their beliefs, and this is something to bear in mind.

Don’t be afraid to be proud to be Wiccan! Calmly standing behind what you are, and asserting yourself can be difficult, but it makes all the difference. You are first and foremost a parent, and you need to be respected as that in order to help your child develop. If you are not receiving this respect, you can take it to the authority that will afford you the rights you deserve.

Similarly, if your child is experiencing bullying because of your choices, you need to explain to him or her that what is going on isn't right. The people that are bullying are in the wrong, and it is in fact they who are acting improperly. Give your child support and don’t be afraid to talk about what Wicca actually is. That way they’ll see that it is something natural and not strange at all.

Doing the above while following the proper anti-bullying channels to report and minimize this sort of behavior is a good idea. My heart goes out to those who suffer this, as well as my hopes for a rapid improvement.

This is one of the best parts of being a Wiccan parent. You get to share some of the most enjoyable aspects of being Wiccan with your children as they grow and develop. What could be more fun?

Some of the more practical ways you can do this is through a true appreciation of nature. Long walks, and explaining to your children the importance of the natural world is a great way to establish a reverence for all things that flow from the Earth.

Special days like birthdays can be made extra fun by the inclusion of a ritual or Spell that everyone can take part in (within reason). Once your children are old enough to be trusted with ceremonial items, the rituals that celebrate ancient festivals, such as Imbolg and Lunasa can be enjoyed as a family. These are practical activities that your children can quite easily take to. Encouragement and simple explanations can make a world of difference.

Of course – being Wiccan allows you to use Magick to help your family. Protective Magick is often used in this sort of setting, and can make a real and vital difference in the development and safety of those who your hold dear.