Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Ways to Introduce Your Children to Alternative Lifestyles and Belief Systems

It is important that your children are exposed to as many different cultures and belief systems as possible while growing up. While they don’t have to like everything about a given culture or agree with every belief that they learn about, it is important for kids to learn about them. What are some ways to introduce children to a variety of views about life?

Read Books or Watch Shows About These Subjects

The best way to introduce an alternative lifestyle or belief system is through books or movies that are appropriate for your child’s maturity level. You can read those books or watch those videos together and have a discussion throughout. This will allow your child to ask questions or express any concerns that they may have.

Talk to People Who Live Alternative Lifestyles

You may want to accompany your child to talk with people who are in a same-sex relationship or someone who decided not to get married. It may be a good idea to talk to spiritual leaders from religions or sects that may not be in the mainstream. This enables your child to get experience being around those types of people and may make them less afraid.

Pretend That You Have an Alternative Belief System

One of the best parts about being a child is having the ability to pretend that you are someone else. Some companies, like Top 10 Jungle, know that parents can buy replica magic wands and cauldrons that Wiccans use in their ceremonies. While you may want to keep the game appropriate for that child’s age and emotional maturity level, it allows your son or daughter to learn by experience as opposed to just watching or talking about it.

Let Your Child Be Friends with Others with Different Views

Your child is more likely to be better adjusted as an adult by associating with people of differing cultures and beliefs. Therefore, you should let your child be friends with kids who may have Wiccan parents or family members who are outside of the mainstream. Of course, you want to vet these people first to ensure that your child is safe around them.

Children need to be exposed to as much of the world as possible before they leave home and start to chart their own path in life. Allowing them to learn about other people gives them the tools needed to understand that everyone is worthy of respect based on their actions and not what religion that they belong to.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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Each day, IFCS works to meet the needs of families in our community. We meet their needs through your support of our mission. Please consider supporting IFCS through continual giving by becoming a Compassion Partner or through one of our many other forms of giving. ... See MoreSee Less

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Integrated Family Community Services

Thank you to our partners at Aspen Grove Shopping Center. Give a gift and receive a gift - we appreciate your support!Donate gift cards from any Aspen Grove retailer today and tomorrow from noon to 4 PM and it will be given to local families in need by Integrated Family Community Services. Receive a limited-edition Aspen Grove ornament with the donation of a gift card from an Aspen Grove retailer valued at $10 or more. Non-perishable food items and hygiene products are also accepted. Drop off your donations at our Holiday Station near Gigi's Cupcakes. ... See MoreSee Less

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Who -

**Parents seeking gifts for their children age infant through 17.

Dates & Times -

** Thursday, Dec. 13, 8:30 to 11:00 and 1:00 to 3:00 for those living within western Arapahoe or Northern Douglas counties. Areas include Centennial, Englewood, Glendale, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Lone Tree, Sheridan and unincorporated Arapahoe County.

**Friday, Dec. 14, 8:30 to 11:00 and 1:00 to 3:00 for anyone in Colorado

What’s Needed -

**Interested parents will complete a registration form in our office. The following documents are also needed - Parent ID, Child ID (birth certificate, Social Security Card, or school ID), and Proof of Address

What to Expect -

- We will not be able to honor requests for clothing or specific toys.
- We have very few items for teenagers.
- If we run out of toys, we run out of toys.
- Unfortunately, those seeking gifts can receive no other services that session.

Call 303-789-0501 for details
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