You just never know what your kids will learn from you.
My dad was a devout atheist, not uncommon for Jews who came of age in the 1940's and who knew that a lot of their families were murdered in the Holocaust. He was a pediatrician and a man of science, who used to tell me the greatest human-made invention was penicillin. He also used to tell me the horrors of practicing medicine before certain standard antibiotics and certain vaccines, such as for polio, mumps, rubella, and tetanus, were in the mainstream. He never jammed his atheism down me, and as it so happened, I grew up to be a believer in God.
I also grew up with a deep respect for believers in other faith traditions, for atheists, and for agnostics. At no point did I ever hear that I had to believe or not believe in anything to have a life filled with meaning and purpose; rather, it was always understood that we are on this earth to help others, to respect others, and to learn from others. No dogma came my way as a kid; rather, there was the skeleton of the Golden Rule, and there was the space for me to figure out things for myself, to be sure with the foundation of religious school, Hebrew school, and an Episcopalian coeducational day school.
The art and the craft of creating and giving space to children to develop is simply one of the trickiest and most challenging aspects in parenting. Not just now in middle school, but in high school and college as well. And the hope is that the path(s) chosen will bring meaning, joy, and purpose for your child for a life to be well lived.
Head of Middle School