The amount of ignorance that could be avoided with people just having an open dialogue with their kids in insurmountable.
I do understand that someone having a kid doesn’t mean they will be morally “good” (if that’s a word you want to use). However, speaking to anyone on the way you should act is generally beneficial, and most adolescents aren’t having that discussion with their peers.
So my point isn’t to say that parents are these wise, love filled gems who will guide all children to enlightenment. My point is that kids need to be talked to.
I don’t want to police how you choose to talk to your kids, but I will suggest that you try to keep it unbiased, while also giving your opinion. Instead of saying, “God created the Earth over seven days,” you can say, “There are different opinions on how the Earth came into existence, what I believe is _________ because…”
What I see too often is middle school, high school aged kids forming uneducated opinions based on what their friends think, who based their opinions on what little knowledge they do have. Kids need someone educated to have these conversations with, or at least a backboard to bounce ideas off of.
Finally, I want to thank my own parents for finding a balance of speaking their own opinions, and letting me find my own path. The person I am today came into fruition largely in part due to my parents open communication with me about sex, religion, respect, school, work, and any ethical dilemma I ever had.
If you find the ability to push past the uncomfortable nature of the conversation, and do what many parents in the past failed to do, your child will grow up secure, confident, and able to speak their mind. And they will thank you.