Paths to Quaker Parenting

Religious Education

Paths to Quaker Parenting Using Quaker Beliefs, Testimonies and Practices

Edited by Harriet Heath

This book is the sharing of a group of parents who have struggled with concerns common to most parents. We asked ourselves questions such as: How should I respond to my three-year-old’s whining for a cookie at 5:30 in the afternoon? Should my nine-year-old have both an iPod and a cell phone, or neither? How do I deal with my anger when my teenager rolls his eyes and doesn\’t move after I\’ve asked him to take out the trash?

As Quakers, we looked to our faith for guidance. Where is that of God in my child at this moment? If there is that of God in my child, does my child need my guidance?  How does my belief, that there is a Way, lead me to try to stay connected to my wandering adolescent?  How should I parent following the Peace Testimony when I am so angry?

We found our parenting was part of our spiritual journey. It is a path that we are on. By parenting we came to a deeper understanding of the truths that Quakerism holds.  Our Quaker beliefs, the testimonies and practices challenged us to parent in deeper and more directed ways. There is that of God in our children’s wondering as they search to make sense of their world and seek to find their role in it. Joining their wondering the parental role becomes clear. It is to reflect, to guide, to ask questions with the developing child. The testimonies give us direction and guidance. Believing in the peace testimony we looked for knowledge and skills that would help us deal with our anger and with the situation causing it.  Quaker practices give us that approach. Take time, some silence, to find the way. Ask questions, queries.

The book is a summary of our sharing. A section of the book covers each of these three components of our Quaker faith, our Quaker beliefs, the testimonies and our practices. With each we drew from Faith and Practice to expand our understanding.  For each we wrote queries relating to child rearing. About each we shared our stories.

This book is available online from QuakerBooks of FGC