A new study by Mississippi State University sociologist John Bartkowski published in Social Science Research of 16,000 first-graders found that children with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other kids. The kids whose parents regularly attended religious services—especially when both parents did so frequently—and talked with their kids about religion were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents.
Dr. Bartkowski attributes the positive impact of religion on children's social skills to the social support provided by worship communities, the positive values and social norms promoted by religion, and the fact that religion "imbues parenting with sacred meaning and significance."
This research comes as no big shock to those of us who spend a lot of time around different children. I belong to both a Catholic homeschooling support group and a secular one, and the kids in the former generally have much better manners. Lest I be seen as biased towards those families who share my religion, I also have to state that this politeness is shared by the Mormon children I know and also many devout Protestants, Jews, and those of other faiths.
No shock also that this study was ignored by the mainstream media with the exception of Fox News. The msm is filled with secularists who take a very hostile view of religion. Christianity in particular is under attack in this country; since the overwhelming majority of Americans who regularly attend worship services are Christians, any validation of religion's benefits for children is going to be seen as a threat to those who are anti-Christian.