Since we are talking about groups that are underrepresented in the skeptic community, Iâ€™d like to bring mention a group that I donâ€™t think has gotten a mention yet . […] That group is people with kids. Letâ€™s face it TAM is not family friendly. I understand that this may be because the majority of skeptics choose not to have children. But there are many of us that would like to be able to raise our kids as skeptics and have the support more support from skeptic community. After all, we will need to replenish the skeptic population at some point.
Since I have a kid of my own, I understand what she’s saying here. In my own local skeptic group, I and other parents sometimes struggle with organizing events around the little ones, and I’ve tried to create more opportunities for us to participate in skeptic outings as families – science museums, zoos, etc. But it’s not always easy, and when it comes to conferences such as TAM, it sometimes becomes impossible.
But, in addition to that, I have to say that while I enjoy taking a break from the daughter for a night at Drinking Skeptically or a similar event, I also have a ton of fun watching and helping kids discover their natural curiosity and learn the skills of experimentation that I think is the heart of skepticism. Not only does it seem a good idea to think more about how to accommodate parents’ needs in the skeptic community, I also think that it’s worth considering how children can be an important part of the community as well. With the success of organizations like Camp Quest and Camp Inquiry, it appears freethought and skeptic parents are interested in raising their children to be critically-thinking adults – in short, the next generation of skeptics like you and me.
So here’s the question – what can we do to make skepticism more family-friendly? What suggestions would we have for conference organizers, such as the JREF, when it comes to reaching out to parents and their children? Or, do you think things are fine as they are?