If you are the parent of a young person interested in alternative spiritual practices or witchy things, this post is for you.
I don’t have actual statistics, merely anecdotes, but it seems to me that many teens who spend time on TikTok and/or identify as LGBTQIA+ may eventually show some degree of interest in mystical spirituality.
This can include things like magic, spells, candles, plants, herbs, Tarot cards, crystals, rituals and more.
These alternative spiritual practices are quite common among young people, seem to go along with a certain goth or emo aesthetic, and are especially popular among queer kiddos.
They are also all utterly harmless! Modern witchcraft has more to do with personal empowerment and self-care than anything dark or scary.
I don’t know why witchcraft strikes fear into the hearts of so many (especially Christian) parents but hopefully, after reading this post, you can remove that worry from your list. Trust me, there are bigger things to worry about.
It’s always seemed crazy to me that people fear witches but not the people who hunted women down and burned them alive in the name of Christianity. That is far scarier than anything the alleged witches may have done!
Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to listen to a wonderful speaker on this topic during a Mama Bears retreat for moms of LGBTQIA+ kiddos. The speaker did a great job explaining that nature-based spiritual beliefs and practices, including Paganism and Wicca, are not bad or evil. In fact, one of the core tenets of Wicca is to do no harm.
If your child is showing interest in Paganism, Wicca or anything you don’t like, you have two choices. The first, which is totally fear-based, is to shun or forbid their new interest, which will serve to drive them farther away from you and toward “the dark side” (if you see it as a dark side – I personally don’t).
Parental disapproval will not stop them from being interested in witchy things, it will only stop them from sharing their interests with you. And, if you have even a slightly rebellious child, showing disapproval or forbidding this interest could backfire and make them even MORE interested in witchcraft.
Another option is for you to show interest and support for their newfound spirituality and actually learn something new yourself. Nature-based beliefs are not in opposition to traditional religions and actually can coexist with them quite peacefully.
As proof that Pagan practices are not evil, did you know early Christianity adopted many Pagan practices in order to entice Pagans to become Christian? Christmas trees, Easter eggs and many current practices around death, to name just a few examples, were borrowed from Paganism. Basically, the Pagans know how to have fun and celebrate rituals, so the early Christians hopped on board.
Bottom line, if you love nature then you already have common interests with Pagans and Wiccans.
When you have a young witchling in the house, you will have lots of opportunities to go outdoors. If your kiddo is going to be out in nature to gather flowers, look for pretty rocks, and do rituals under a full moon, why not join in the fun and do it together?
If you decide you want to support their new interest, you could take your kiddo to one of several shops or markets around town that sell witchcraft-related books and supplies. Find some part of their spiritual interests that you can enjoy, too; shared interests could include collecting crystals or going to fun festivals and pop-ups like the Mystic Market.
You could even create a cool DIY project together to create a special cabinet for your young witch to keep all her supplies in.
As parents of young people today, we have so much to worry about – their mental health, first and foremost. If doing spells and practicing nature-based beliefs can help kids to feel more positive about their lives and selves, then I say bring it on.
Has your tween or teen shown interest in alternative spiritual practices, too – and if so, how did you handle it? I’d love to hear your witchy stories in the comments below or over on Instagram or Facebook.