2013-08-16 / Community

Parenting forum: Raising kids to be good grown-ups

The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island and the Long Island Center for Inquiry are hosting an all-day secular parenting forum on Saturday, September 21, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, located at 38 Old Country Road in Garden City.

Recent polls indicate that as many as one in five Americans identify as nonreligious, atheist or agnostic. As a result, an increasing number of children are growing up in families that do not observe religious practices, or in which the beliefs of at least one parent are significantly different from the other. How will this affect our society as these children grow to adulthood? How do families cope with mixed (or no) faiths? Will a generation of children raised without a god grow up to be more or less ethical than kids from religious homes?

CFI-LI and EHSLI feel that these are questions worthy of discussion. Featured speakers include Dale McGowan; author of “Parenting Beyond Belief” and executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, activist Lenore Skenazy, author of “Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)”, Prof. Chris McDougal, Suffolk Community College, Dr. Alison Pratt, clinical psychologist, on “Morality, Religion, and Cognitive Development of Children,” and CFI-NYC Executive Director Syd Leroy on “Fun Activities for Skeptical Kids.” Babysitting is available for a small fee, provided by Babysitting Barter.

Both CFI-LI and EHSLI believe in strong family values and the importance of teaching children the importance of compassion, respect, and social responsibility. This conference is presented to help foster a society that encourages open debate and critical thought, as well as investing in the future for our children. Key topics include Play Mates and Axe Murderers: How to Tell the Difference; Without God, Will My Kid Grow Up to be a Criminal?; Morality, Religious Concepts and the Cognitive Development of Children; and Think...Question...Grow...Fun Activities for Skeptical Kids; plus a panel discussion: Good without God? and other activities.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For a complete schedule visit www.secularparentingforum.org or call 516-741-7304.

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