Children are totally dependant on parents when they are born. A baby would die very quickly without parental care and love.
I heard a beautiful poetic description of parents and children many years ago:
“Children are like arrows; the archer determines where the arrows will end up. The parents are the bow. The bow does not determine where the arrow ends up. However, the archer loves a sturdy bow.”
Parents share culture, values, education with a child.
I remember hearing stories from my grandparents and parents. Stories about our family, about their beliefs, about their experiences.
I remember enjoying those stories and looking forward to hearing more. The stories gave me a sense of connection, of belonging.
Sometimes I hear some parents say that they do not believe in Baptising children or bringing them up in a faith. “I will let them choose”, they say.
Parents choose a good, healthy food diet for children. If a child only wants lollies the parents will make sure that they also eat healthy good, vegetables, fruit, etc. If a child wants to stop school after their first two days, the parents will insist that this is not the end of school. If a child does not want to go to bed, but wants to watch TV all night, the parents will intervene.
It is perfectly ethical for parents to share their faith and value systems and beliefs with children.
As they get older, a child will want to relook at the values passed on to them by their parents.
There was a time that I questioned my parents and my faith as a young man.
I looked, searched, spoke with people, and decided to ‘own’ my Catholic Christian faith. I made my own adult commitment in faith. It was a faith that made sense to me and that I could own.
Although no-one told me what to believe at that time, the example of my parents’ faith, certainly helped me to seriously look at the faith I had been brought up in, and not dismiss it. I had experienced so many good things there myself.
My sense of belonging to the Church family, and the example given to me by my family, helped me to want to investigate the faith.
It gave me such a great start!
So, wanting the best for children is certainly not encumbered by sharing faith with them. It is indeed a gift. As Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, do not stop them”!