In part 2, Kristy explores the research on: how/if religion choice affects kids?, how much our parenting (like staying or leaving activity for example) truly has a long-term effect on how our kids turn out morally?, and simple measures parents can take to build a strong relationship with their children. Basically, I urge parents to focus on their relationship: being good to their kids and connecting with them rather than focusing on how to influence their later moral life choices, because the research seems to indicate parenting decisions (barring abuse and neglect, *important distinction* those have serious effects) seem to not translate to particular behavior outcomes for their kids when they grow up. Genetics and peer groups tend to instead.
But as parents, emotionally connecting with your children absolutely does matter, kids need to hear and see they are loved unconditionally, and one way you can do that by repeating to them from the time they’re little how they can come to you about anything, you wont get mad, that it’s important that they’re honest and there’s nothing they can do to change how you feel about them. That way, if your kids do get into trouble someday, they are less likely to hide it from you out of shame. And of course, you’ll want to be vigilant to ensure they are raised in a safe emotional environment, just in terms of quality of life. I end with some examples of what you can say in response to the question, “how are you going to raise moral kids without the church?,” acknowledging the limitations of actually changing anyone’s mind about a deeply held belief (i.e. that you need orthodoxy to raise moral children), especially a belief they based their own major life decisions on.
links mentioned in this episode: