Christian children do better in life than do their secular counterparts on many levels. These differences begin at birth with Christian and Jewish mothers more likely to nurse their children than secular parents.
As the children grow up, Christian parents do a better job of raising their children as demonstrated by multiple metrics; there is improved parent-child relationships, closer supervision and more responsible discipline, better education with less delinquency, and much greater concern with their children’s education.
More religious college students feel closer to their parents. A definitive study of mother-child relationships over twenty-four years demonstrates this increased closeness as rated by both the mother and child.
Another study from a random sample of 867 white families in the Detroit metropolitan sample showed the following conclusions
- The more frequent the mother went to church, the closer the mother-child relationship as reported from both the mother and the children,
- The more importance mothers place on religious belief produces an even stronger positive effect on this relationship,
- The higher the church attendance of both the mother and the child produces even greater closeness in their relationships,
- The more importance placed on religion by both the mother and the child produces an even greater closeness in their relationship
- If children seldom attend church, the mother-child relationship is poorer than if both attend church regularly
Fathers who attend church are more likely to praise and hug their children than those who do not. Additionally, another extensive study has shown that religious belief positively influences fathers to become more involved with youth-related activities such as leading Scout troops and coaching sports teams.
Valerie King form Pennsylvania State University had a national sample of nearly seven hundred men who had at least one child. King developed five measures of the quality of their relationships and came to the conclusion that “Religious fathers are more involved fathers.”
Another national survey by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas measured a sample of adolescents with respect to their satisfaction with their family. This satisfaction was based on three factors: how well they felt their family understood them, how much fun they had with their family, and how much they felt their family paid attention to their needs. The study found,
- The more the parents attended church, the more satisfied the teenagers were with their families,
- The more the parents placed importance on religion, the more satisfied the teenagers were with their family,
- If the parents were conservative Protestants, teenagers were more satisfied with their family,
- The more the teenagers attended church, the more satisfied they were with the family,
- The greater the importance teenagers placed on religion, the happier they were with the family,
- These benefits of church attendance were with both male and female adolescents
Mark Regnerus also evaluated the adolescent’s satisfaction with their families involving freedom from adult supervision. More specifically, they were asked whether parents let the teenagers make their own decisions in the following areas,
must be home on weekend nights, the people you hang around with, what you wear, what you eat, how much television you watch, which television programs you watch, and when you go to bed on week nights
The study found that the less they were allowed to make their own decisions, the more satisfied they were with their family life. This was because the teenagers felt that the increased supervision of their parents meant they were concerned regarding their well-being.
Parental religiousness was strongly related to supervision in the study. This study was confirmed by another evaluation by Christian Smith from the University of North Carolina. He explained, religious parents
manifest … greater amounts of supervision of their children’s lives than parents who are less religiously involved.
Secular “research” showing that children who were spanked experienced all forms of psychological ills and abnormal behavior in their adult life. In many circles, spanking is now considered a form of child abuse, mainly administered by parents who are misguided by their religious beliefs.
Much of this research involves recollection from samples of people with emotional problems who, when asked, recall having been spanked in childhood and then blame that spanking for their later difficulties. One such offensive paper included Donald Capp’s address to the Society for the Scientific Study of Religions titled, “Religion and Child Abuse: Perfect Together.”
Well done research regarding religion and discipline reveals the following,
- More frequent church attenders are more willing to approve of spanking of children,
- Active members of conservative Protestant denominations are more approving of child spanking
- More frequent church attenders are more willing to spank their children,
- Conservative Protestant denomination members are more likely than other religious persuasions to spank their children,
- There is nothing to suggest form the research performed that such spankings are abusive or severe,
- Active members of conservative Protestant denominations are less likely to yell or shout at their children
Atheists claim that children from religious households tend to be uneducated and are inclined to stay that way putting little value into formal education. This is a ridiculous fantasy that is one of the most outrageous regarding people of faith.
Americans who never attend church are significantly less likely to have attended high school than those who attend church on a weekly basis. Religious parents are shown by multiple studies to have significantly more interest in their children’s education than to atheist parents. Furthermore, they encourage their children to learn more, and their children perform better in school.
The more religious the student, the better they achieve in standardized tests of academic achievement. This is especially true for African American children and Hispanic students. Additionally, studies show that students who attend religious schools perform even better compared with their peers at public government schools. African Americans and Hispanic students achieve most.
Several influential books published in the 1970s advocated abandoning government schools in favor of teaching children at home. The widespread dissatisfaction with results achieved by public schools encouraged a growing number of parents to begin to educate their children at home.
It must be noted that parents who chose to withdraw their students from government schools and educate them at home continue to pay taxes for the government schools they did not attend. Furthermore, teacher-parents often have to make significant sacrifices to teach their children at home.
Parents met significant opposition from local school authorities who made the assumptions parents would not be able to teach their children at home – they did not have formal education degrees. Various local school boards brought legal action against homeschooling parents on the grounds that they are violating statues regarding universal school attendance.
Laws against homeschooling were introduced in many state legislatures but few passed. The United Nations in 1991 adopted a Convention on the Rights of the Child which proposed that both spanking and homeschooling should be outlawed. The National Council of Churches immediately began to urge the United States to ratify this convention. As of 2011, all UN member nations except the United States and Somalia have ratified the convention.
A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeals ruled in 2008 that homeschooling was illegal unless one of the parents had a valid teaching license which could only be obtained by completing the full teacher training course at an accredited college or university. Fortunately, that decision was vacated later in the year.
A proliferation of educational material was published for homeschooling parents both in printed form and online. This enabled the parents to develop lesson plans and educational goals that would meet that required for formal education in a school. The materials stress rigorous training in academic subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, along with science, history, art, and literature.
Then it was discovered that homeschooled students did better than their government school counterparts.
In 1998, 39,607 homeschooled students were given the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills if they were below the ninth grade, while older students were given the standardized Tests of Achievement and Proficiency. The report was published in a social science journal with the finding noted below,
This was true despite bias against the homeschooled students; they were compared with students at their current grade level regardless of their age, despite the fact that homeschooled students were studying well beyond their age level. A 10-year-old homeschooled student working with fifth-grade materials was compared to other fifth-graders who were eleven years old (not with 10-year-olds).
Homeschooled children in grades one through four perform one grade above their government school counterparts
The achievement gap widens so rapidly that by the eighth grade, the average homeschooled student performs at four grade levels above the national average – thus, eighth graders that are homeschooled perform at the level of high school graduates.
The more a student is homeschooled, the greater their achievement scores.
College admission officials regard homeschoolers as the “cream of the crop” and are often given preferential treatment. These officials know that homeschooled children tend to be more organized and serious students than their government school counterparts.
Homeschooling parents often have an excellent education. More than 80 percent of them have attended college. Three-fourth of homeschooling mothers do not work outside of the home.
Homeschooling parents greatly limit the time children are permitted to watch television. Only 1.6 percent of homeschooled fourth-graders watch more than three hours of television a day compared to 40 percent of government school children.
Sixty-five percent of homeschooled children belong to a conservative Protestant denomination.
When asked why the parent is willing to put forth such effort in homeschooling their children, parents noted in a US Department of Education survey in 2007,
- Eighty-five percent were concerned about the school environment; about safety, drugs, and negative peer pressure,
- Seventy-two percent wanted to provide religious and moral education they would not receive in a government school,
- Sixth-eight percent were not satisfied with the academic rigor of government schools.
Religious parents are so concerned about their children’s education that they are willing to spend many hours a day with their children at home in order to provide an excellent education.
The thought that religious parents lack an education has been proven incorrect by many studies; they tend to be more educated and do better on standardized studies.
The homeschooled children predominantly of conservative Protestant parents excel in their academic pursuits. The average eighth grade homeschooled child is fully four years ahead of his government school counterparts.
Those who do attend public schools tend to take their education more seriously as well and perform better than their secular counterparts. Multiple metrics reveal the religious person – especially those from a conservative Protestant background, place considerable value on their education and the academic achievement of their children.