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Bootsie

appropriate youth events

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My dd (14) attends an all-girls Catholic high school where she is expected to act like a young lady and be treated like a young lady. My daughter has experienced several things out our church that I find inappropriate. She has heard high school boys screaming the "f" word. This weekend she attended a youth Christmas party with a white elephant gift exchange; the gift she received was a pair of used men's boxers and a bra--I view this as a totally inappropriate gift for a 14-year old girl to receive at a party for boys and girls.

 

I have raised these issues with the youth director and basically got "don't be surprised" and teach your daughter not to be surprised when things like this happen. He went on about how he wouldn't apologize for the students who were attending because they needed grace extended to them. (At no point has he made any statement to the group about the inappropriateness or addressed my daughter's discomfort witht he situations.)

 

My stance is that if I take my 14-year old daughter needs to be nurtured at church. She needs to be supported in standing up and saying this is NOT the way to talk/act anywhere, but it is definitely NOT OK in God's house.

 

I would like any input or suggestions others might have.

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This is unbelievable! I'm sure someone else will have some better suggestions on how to handle it, but I think if you don't get anywhere with the youth director, then speak to the pastor. Also, are you friendly with the other parents? Surely they wouldn't approve of this (at least not shouting the "f" word at a church function!). If a group of parents approaches the youth pastor, I'd think this would be effective. I'd try not to be confrontational, but nicely ask if something can be done to change the tone of the group and to ensure that ALL members feel comfortable and welcome.

 

Sheesh! I can't believe this, and am looking forward to hearing how it goes. How frustrating.

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Approaching the other parents is somewhat tricky, because some parent either knowingly allowed their child to bring this present OR is so disengaged from their child that they didn't know what the child was doing. Also, the mother of one of the boys using the foul language is on the staff of the church.

 

We do plan on speaking to the minister after the holidays. From the youth director we are getting "these boys don't know the difference between school and church so they behave the same." Since I don't find this behavior appropriate for a school environment either, I see why my dd asked to go to a different school and why my ds is being homeschooled.

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Well, yikes. Good luck! I'm sure the woman on staff would be mortified to find out her son is speaking that way at youth group. And just to play devil's advocate, I can imagine having a teenager (I don't yet!) and not being involved in what they chose for a gift exchange. I don't know if any kind of communication was sent home about the event, but I don't get a lot of information out of my son and can imagine it him not mentioning the upcoming gift exchange. I guess at that age I wouldn't really expect parents to be part of the gift selection process, and if they have a lot of kids it might not be at the top of their list as far as checking up on what gift was selected by the teen. It would probably not occur to me to make sure and check up on my son to be sure he'd chosen an appropriate gift (since I'm sure he would never give such a crazy gift anyway!). I don't consider myself disengaged at all.

 

Not trying to defend these kids' parents, but I wouldn't assume they are necessarily disengaged (SURELY no parent would knowingly allow those gifts, so I think we can safely assume the parent did not ok it!). Maybe just have more independent kids. Unfortunately, looks like these particular independent kids still need some supervising!

 

Good luck!

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