Contrary to popular belief, parents still play a big role in instilling religious faith and political beliefs in the next generation.
An Institute for Family Studies (IFS) research brief reveals that parents have a significant success rate in passing on both their religious and political affiliations to their children. The report states, "Most parents pass along both religious and political affiliations to their children at high rates." Furthermore, it highlights the efficient transmission of politics and religion across generations, from parents and grandparents to their children.
Pew Research Center's report supports this finding, stating that "82% of Protestant parents had teenagers who also identified as Protestant, 81% of Catholic parents had Catholic teenagers, and 86% of parents with no religious affiliation had teenagers who identified as 'nones.’"
In addition, the theological approach that parents take plays a significant role.
Jesse Smith, a sociologist from Penn State University, conducted an extensive academic study revealing that "religious transmission is more pronounced among children of religious conservatives compared to other groups."
The study also found that the variances in transmission can be largely attributed to the parenting approaches of religious conservatives, their involvement in religious congregations, and, most notably, their commitment to intensive religious socialization. In Christian terms, this aligns with the concept of "discipleship."
This should serve as tremendous encouragement. Parents hold a powerful and lasting influence as the primary evangelists for their children, and this influence has not diminished in recent years.