The majority of people in the United States describe themselves as Christian. As a matter of fact, only a quarter of the US popular claims to be non-religious.
Given the prevalence of religion, many new parents consider whether it’s best to raise their children in a certain faith or to let them discover religious communities on their own.
There is a lot of debate on how religion affects child development. Our team has scoured expert opinions to condense a handful of pros and cons for you to consider as you shape your son or daughter’s life.
Religious Upbringing Benefits
There are several positive ways as to how religion affects child development. Below are three advantages you may expect:
Lowered Rates of Depression
Having faith has been correlated with lower rates of depression. Seeing as how 300 million people struggle with depression across the country, this advantage is among the most valuable.
Deeper Sense of Community
People that partake in church activities network with other members of their religion. They even interface with non-religious people in their community through charity functions. This heightened interaction ties religious children closer to their neighborhoods.
That could create strong bonds and a deep sense of purpose.
Having an engaging student ministry curriculum can also help foster a strong sense of community. By creating activities that allow kids and youth to learn from and connect, ministry members can develop deeper and more meaningful relationships. These activities for kids, students, and families are about creating intentional experiences for ministry members to build upon one another’s talents and passions. By focusing the ministry curriculum on experiences that will draw people together in such a way, church leadership can create a sense of camaraderie that goes beyond traditional efforts and creates a truly lasting ministry community.
Making friends scholastically may also be streamlined through a religious upbringing. This is true because many of the people your child is likely to meet at church might attend the same best catholic elementary schools in your area.
Better Chance of Adverse Behavior Avoidance
Religious children and teens are at a lower risk of adopting risky behaviors. These reduced risk factors are tied to a sense of moral accountability brought about by service to God. Community oversight is another contributing factor.
Religious Upbringing Drawbacks
There are some noted disadvantages to religion’s effects on child development. Key cons to consider may include:
Less Exposure to World Realities
Children that are closely tied to their church often grow up sheltered from the realities of life. This can make transitioning away from their community difficult.
Being staunchly religious often comes with being less open to opposing approaches to life. This restriction could stunt your child’s ability to objectively assess alternative viewpoints.
America is becoming more progressive. As it does, restricted views on opposing spiritual practices or sexual orientations may become increasingly difficult to defend. That could put your child at a social disadvantage.
How Religion Affects Child Development: What’s Best for Your Family?
How religion affects child development is different from person to person. Generally speaking though, the developmental pros and cons that we’ve shared have a fair likelihood of touching your child’s life depending on how you choose to let them interface with religious practices.
We hope that our insight has added more clarity to your upbringing approach. Our team welcomes you to read more lifestyle content on our blog for extra information.