Monday, April 11, 2011

Parenting philosophies

A lot of Mormons i know* are frantic about their children attending one of the Brigham Young Universities,** believing that that sort of environment and the religious training their children would receive there is necessary for them (the children) becoming strong enough in Mormonism to stay in the faith throughout their adult lives.

Apparently, it’s sinful of me*** to think that it would be at least as useful for my children to go to Baylor or Catholic and take religion courses from other traditions—or, in fact, to go to Bryn Mawr or Penn or Maryland and have the option of taking religion courses that don’t even have a Faith background—and figure out how to apply those ideas to a Mormon context themselves, rather than receiving religious training where they wouldn’t have to work as hard to get through the struggle of making that application.

* And yes, i’m aware that this is a very middle- and upper-class group of Mormons i’m talking about.

** I figure that has to be the right plural—it’s better than any of the other obvious options, like Brigham Youngs University or somesuch—but it still doesn’t look right, for some reason.

*** Or so i’ve been told. No, seriously. I mean, only a couple of times, but i still find it a bit mindboggling.


Susan said...

Good topic about church schools. Found your blog searching for the "three dark w's".

I am one of those pro-church schools people. Not so much for what is taught (although that is important too), but because of the other good young people that a student can interact with - and maybe marry! (especially after all the talks on marriage in the last conference).

I would be interested in hearing more on your opinion! I think this is an interesting topic because I don't think there is a right or wrong side of this debate!

Heather the Mama Duk said...

My view on the church schools is they are simply too far away. Some kids do great. Some kids, well, don't. The distance can be too much I guess. That would go for any school a far distance away. I do know people who are BYU-all-the-way types. My opinion is MD can be a fine choice (sometimes better), too.

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Oh, and Catholic University is an *excellent* school. Michelle almost went there.

Michelle said...

We have friends who say they will not pay for their children's higher education unless they attend BYU (and for these families it is not because BYU is less expensive than many other schools). I find this appalling. Nothing like increasing your child's chances of rebelling like forcing a particular environment down their throat.

I agree with Susan's point that statistically there is an easier time finding a "good" future husband/wife. I have nothing against BYU.

But it still gives me great joy to tell people that I graduated from WVU. I love the shocked reactions I sometimes get. And it's even better when they learn that Jim didn't go to BYU either.

And yes, I was registered to attend Catholic. That's a fantastic school.

Jeanne said...

So, this comment is really for Susan...I'm preaching to the choir as far as Heather or Michelle go, I think...

I still remember the sacrament meeting where one of the sisters in the ward we were in spoke about how she had chosen a church school and her friend hadn't and because of those decisions, she was active and her friend wasn't.

I'm not the type of person who likes to refute others, especially not publicly, but I couldn't let it pass and I got up and bore my testimony...differently. When choosing a college, I thought very carefully about how the school would affect my activity in the church, so I decided not to attend a school that didn't have an active institute program. After I'd chosen University of Maryland (because they gave me a _much_ better scholarship than BYU and let me play in the band as a non-music major), I made a commitment to attend church every week even though I would have to rely on other people to give me a ride every week.

That's what decides your future activity in the church - not just placing yourself in the right environment, but choosing to be active wherever you are. (You can choose to be inactive at BYU, afterall, to a certain extent. And being active just so you don't get kicked out of school doesn't really count as active, does it?)

As far as marriage, three of my siblings went to BYU as undergrads and two of them found their spouses there. The other one found her spouse through the institute program at University of Washington (doing post-graduate work). Of the three of us that went to University of Maryland for undergrad, two of us found our spouses through the institute program. (The last of the six of us is not married to a member of the church.) So my family has experienced better marriage results in institute programs than at BYU.

You just need to listen to the Lord and discuss your schooling options with Him...