As soon as this came to my attention, I went straight to Amazon to place my order. The book is Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief. If this book is half as good as the first book, Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion, I will LOVE it.
These books address the issues where atheists may differ from theists in the subject of raising children. Some of these subjects include: death and dying, values, holidays, living with religion, meaning and purpose, wondering and questioning, etc. It is very difficult to do things differently from one's parents. I was raised by fundamentalist Christian parents who thought that James Dobson wrote the best parenting books. I felt like I was starting from scratch and had to question every reaction I had when I became a parent...I often still do. Is this reaction reasonable? Why do I feel that their actions were wrong? Is that a good reason? I couldn't rely on the answers I was given when I was a child. No...thunder and lightning is not happening because god is bowling. I had to figure out a way to explain these things in kids terms so that I was giving a real answer. If I don't know an answer, which happens a lot, we look it up together. Reading how others have dealt with similar situations has been very helpful to me. I have referred to my PBB book many times and I'm sure I'll do the same with Raising Freethinkers.
I should also add that the feeling that I was starting from scratch was not only because of my change in views on religion. My sister and I had our first children 1 month apart. She is a Christian and she also has her Master's degree in Social Work. We both do things very differently from our parents and have relied on one another for advice and ideas. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that we both have degrees in Psychology and have learned better behavior modification techniques than what our parents used. For example, neither of us spank our children because we know that the science just doesn't back it up as an effective form of discipline. This change was challenging for both of us, but we've helped each other find research on different methods of discipline and other parenting issues. My non-belief compounded my feeling of starting over and it's nice to have these books available....kind of like having another sister to talk to ;)
While I was at Amazon, I also ordered 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God. I've heard the author, Guy Harrison, interviewed on many of my favorite podcasts and have been anxious to read it. The other book I ordered is Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became one of America's Leading Atheists. Now that I'm finished with school, I should have more time to read the books I want to read. I'll call these my early Darwin Day presents ;)