Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

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Kumahito
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Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by Kumahito » 18 Aug 2013, 15:48

So I read the below-linked article in the Lord's Newspaper, the Deseret News. The article itself is fine, but read the comments - as I read further and further, my blood began to boil. Who in the hell do these people think they are? The common strains are:
  • She must be sinning and seeking to justify it
    She should just shut up and do as her parents say
    It must be her "friends" or "boyfriend" who are ruining her
    She needs to go see the Bishop
*So angry*

As if a 16 year old couldn't possibly make up her own mind? One of the commentors hit the nail right on the head - what if this were a Catholic or Methodist or Muslim girl who wanted to attend LDS services, but her parents forbade it? All of these TBMs would be screaming about her freedom to choose. Are we really free to choose, or are we only free to choose so long as we're choosing what we're supposed to choose?

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8655 ... tml?pg=all
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
- Oscar Wilde

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Aug 2013, 16:07

I rarely read the comment section in any newspaper, but especially in the Deseret News. It's a self-selecting group, and it tends to run toward the extremes on both ends. It tends to bring out the worst in people - and the worst people - on both ends.

By and large, we are hypocrites when it comes to missionary work - but, at least, most other people are, as well. ;)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mackay11
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Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by mackay11 » 18 Aug 2013, 17:14

That last point is an excellent point. We encourage our teenagers (and sometimes even primary kids) to be missionaries and convert their friends. Next time I hear someone say it's ok to make kids go to church I'm going to ask this same question that you have.

Roy
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Re: Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by Roy » 18 Aug 2013, 17:21

I reserve the right to parent according to the dictates of my own conscience and respectfully ask everyone else to mind their own business (and children). :thumbup:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Aug 2013, 18:22

Perfect, Roy.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

conflicted testimony
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Re: Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by conflicted testimony » 18 Aug 2013, 20:41

Roy wrote:I reserve the right to parent according to the dictates of my own conscience and respectfully ask everyone else to mind their own business (and children). :thumbup:
Perfect!

I force my children to go to church. Same as I force them to go to family events, school, the dentist, etc. I don't force them to believe in God, love their family, enjoy school or appreciate the dentist - that's their business. I also have rules about not drinking alcohol, not smoking, personal safety, etc. They are house rules, and when they are old enough to leave home, they can do so and have their own set of house rules.

If they can present to me a coherent argument as to why they shouldn't go and how it will fit with the family, I am willing to listen.

Same as when they wanted a pet rabbit (and I thought it the worst idea ever), they did a presentation of how a rabbit needs to be looked after and the costs. They worked out who was going to do what (feeding, cleaning up, grooming) and how they were going to pay for it (weekly deduction from their allowance). It was a great presentation, well thought out and convinced me. The rabbit is now 4 yrs old and well looked after.

Simply saying "I want one because they are cute and fluffy" doesn't work, neither does "I don't want to go to church because I don't feel like it" (which is where they are at right now).

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Heber13
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Re: Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by Heber13 » 19 Aug 2013, 10:07

conflicted testimony wrote:Simply saying "I want one because they are cute and fluffy" doesn't work, neither does "I don't want to go to church because I don't feel like it" (which is where they are at right now).
Exactly.

With kids, they need boundaries and they need parents. As much as I love my kids, I can't go ask them what they want to do on everything...sometimes they need to get with the family program and be a part of what goes on in our house.

As they get older, they'll test the boundaries and they'll either rebel or find independence one way or another. So it takes loving patience (and sometimes long-suffering) to guide them without forcing them without being an irresponsible parent.

I have found talking to them a lot helps. We may not agree, and they may have to go to church or have other privileges taken away, but at least we talk about it to try to understand each other.

My 18 yr old daughter just left for college last week. With her, I made her go when she was young, she didn't want to go when there was YW drama but I made her go because that wasn't a good reason. Then she wanted to go and was completely dedicated, getting her YW award at age 14. By the time she was 17 she stopped going because she could no longer believe the church was what it claimed to be. That is a more valid reason, especially as she substituted this church service with going to church with friends...so she was searching and I could not blame her. The weeks before she left for college, she chose to go to church with me on her own. She just liked the feeling of it, even if she has questions about it.

I like to see the kids take it serious they are thinking about church, and their feelings around it. If they are just being lazy and don't want to go...well, then I make them so they get guidance.

But yes, my daughter was judged and told she was falling away and she needed to see the bishop. That did NOT help her want to come back. But she did when she wanted to and when she didn't care so much about the judging eye of others to the feeling she wanted to be there. Dealing with other people is part of the journey.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Kumahito
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Re: Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by Kumahito » 19 Aug 2013, 18:53

Good points, all.

I just love the delicious irony that this girl was seemingly accountable and mature enough at 8 years old to covenant with God and join the Church, but isn't accoutable and mature enough at 16 years old to decide to not believe and not attend Church.

I'm totally down with parental responsibility - when Junior is a teen I'm sure we'll have our share of issues with family rules and roles just like anyone else does. When it comes down to it, 99.5% of parents love their kids and are doing their best to raise their kids. There's no magic formula for success with kids - we're all muddling through it the best we can.
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
- Oscar Wilde

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cwald
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Re: Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by cwald » 19 Aug 2013, 19:21

I think parents have a right to force kid to learn their traditions.

I have that right too, and if I lived in Salem A couple hundred years...I would be burned as an heretic.

In our family, our kids go when we go. We have a, we go to church as a family, or we stay home as a family, policy.

We attend Mormon church about 6 times a year, Catholic mass a couple times, Easter sunrise service from the local community church, and practice jewish Sadar.

All off my kids have expressed gratitude and respect, when we walked from the church. None of them really believed it or liked the programs. They were very scared to tell us how they felt.

Now, we sit out for family home evening, watch the sunset, stoke the fire, do a little beer and wine pairing for FHE, and talk about the gods and the church and the options and paths they may wish to follow...and how best we can serve the masses and this planet, and become a little more humane to humanity.

It really is quite surreal.



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  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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mackay11
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Parents "Making" Kids Go To Church

Post by mackay11 » 19 Aug 2013, 21:32

cwald wrote: It really is quite surreal.
And if it works for you and your family I can only celebrate it.

I'd like to think that the divine creator is enough of a pragmatist to recognise that whatever leads to more good is,by definition good and godly.

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