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ktgrok
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Maybe not even a vent, just a sad thing. Sort of. Like I said, it's not a big deal right now...I just worry it could become one. 

 

Anyway, I'm Catholic. My husband was raised Episcopal, but not really. As in, baptized, went to a private Episcopal school for a year or two, and that's it. He's not sure what he believes, but was REALLY turned off of religion by his mom and aunt. Mostly his aunt, who would say "WWJD" while scheming, betraying, lying, and being an all around horridly manipulative person. Just spiteful. As just one example, the day his mother (her only sister) died, she called DH, not to express sorrow or sympathy, but to bitch that she'd been "cheated" out of the money she had coming to her when the grandmother (her mother) died - to pressure him into giving her more than his mom (her sister's) will specified. Guilt. She called to guilt him over money, hours after his mother died!!!! (and she was NOT cheated out of anything, for the record). We've pretty much cut off all contact with her, but that's the kind of person he associates with religious people. And his own mother wasn't much better, if at all. His father died when he was 4 of a drug overdose (got hooked on drugs in vietnam, and had a heart attack while shoveling snow while on cocoaine, in front of my husband). 

 

So that whole "loving family" thing that you think of as the Church isn't what he knows. On the other hand, his relatives up north, his father's family are devout Catholics to various extents, and amazing, stable, solid, happy people. His one Aunt and I have become very close via Facebook, to the point that she's my favorite aunt without ever having met her, lol. So he does have some long distance examples of what it can look like to be both religious and a good person, but it's not the same. His grandmother up there was very devout, and when we married (shortly after her death) he commented on how happy she'd be that he married a Catholic girl, lol. 

 

Anyway...when we married I offered to attend an Episcopal church so we could go together as he didn't want to convert. And we did for a while, but then he stopped going, and when he did go I felt he resented it. So I went back to the Catholic Church, and he just doesn't go except on Christmas and Easter. My oldest is agnostic (long story..he's the aspie) but my two littles go with me, attend classes for their ages, etc. My DD especially has said she loves Mass, loves Mary, etc. She even begged me to pray the rosary with her. Such joy for my heart! And then last night, she said she didn't want to go to Mass. She wants to stay home with Daddy, and have Daddy time.  :ohmy:

 

A few times I have left her,and often when she was younger, but at this point she's sort of expected to go, as she preps for first communion next year. And I'm worried about this being the start of her not wanting to go in general. Sigh. I did tell her this morning I'd REALLY like her to go to Mass with me. And she said okay. So it's fixed for right now. But I have a feeling this won't be the last time this happens.

 

Anyone else in marriages where you go to Church and your husband doesn't? Or have experience with someone who has been hurt by supposed Christians, and been turned off the Church because of it? (to clarify, this isn't an issue with this denomination, he prefers a liturgical Church if/when he does go, and is NOT comfortable in a casual, praise type service. And he wouldn't go to the Episcopal Church either, despite saying he was more comfortable there. He did agree to have our wedding consolidated in the Catholic Church, is okay having the kids baptized, after a knee jerk negative reaction is okay with them attending Faith Formation classes, etc)

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My father isn't Catholic. Mass attendance was never optional for us kids. Dad never went because he wasn't Catholic, we were Catholic so we had to go unless we were throwing up. I don't know what to tell you to do I'm just saying my Mom never opened that door even just a crack. Sunday morning=Mass.

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Maybe Daddy can back you up with the kids attending church regularly and take turns taking them out for some Daddy time after church. Once a month, after church, breakfast or lunch at the diner or something. Given a choice it's easiest to stay in pjs and hang out, whatever your age. 

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hugs.  you are doing a commendable work, it's hard by yourself, but worth it.

 

I understand where your dh is coming from.  my grandmother used religion as a weapon, as in "if you don't do what I say god will damn you to hell'.  (think you got it backwards there woman.  God doesn't take orders from you.)  as a teen,  I used to joke she worshiped a god of death, hell, fire, and brimstone.  it was more perceptive of her than i realized at the time, and was actually my saving grace.  she was a miserable person and made other people miserable.

 

it is a hard dichotomy to be surrounded with that - and still believe God is loving and wants good things for me.   and I *rejected* her indoctrination while I was a young teen, and it was very hard for me.  some part of me deep inside believed in a loving God, but the dichotomy with my early life led me to a lot of compartmentalization just so I could "deal".  It helped I've known some truly saintly people over the years.  (and realized there is a difference between trying and failing - and saying one thing and doing another.)

I've had experiences where the dichotomy is no longer there and I can feel (really feel) God's love for me.  but it was a journey that took years, even decades.

 

I had one who refused to go to church for a few years as a teen.  I kept my hand out, always invited for family activities, church activities, including family prayers.  didn't come, but i'd invite anyway.  I never censured for not coming (nor did I grill "why don't you want to come?"), just invited again next time.  always making sure they knew I loved them - for themselves.  this child now goes on their own to church, seeks the Lords guidance in their life themselves.  gets answers to prayers etc.

 

at this age - it is a fine line between allowing staying home and teaching.  is there a balance of maybe once a month she and dad have time, and other weeks she goes?  what is your daily religious practice like in the home? (rhetorical question for you to think about - you don't need to answer.) does she participate in that?

 

I know how hard aspies can be - when dudeling was two - he'd scream  he hated god and wanted him to die.  if Jesus name was so much as mentioned, he'd scream. family prayers - he'd slam doors.  I started reading him old testament stories - from story books with lots of pictures, well past the age when kids move on to actual scriptures.  he really liked noah's ark - and I was able to use that as a jumping off point.  blessings on the food would result in him  trying to throw plates. I would have s__ prayers with him most nights before bed. I would say them, it was the only way it was going to happen.  he's 11 and barely started saying prayers himself because he wants to.  (he has the intransigence of an aspie - you can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do) if he could have, - he'd never have gone to church. ever.  for now- he's there, and we're working on the rest.  he's 11, he doesn't get a choice.  now he dresses by himself - but for years, I had to help dress him or offer to take him in his pjs.  he never took me up on it.

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I grew up with a very Catholic dad, and an athetist mom.

I didn't go to church as a young child because my mom had a much stronger personality.

When I was about 8, my dad started having nightmares about his kids going to purgatory / Hell.

He told my mom. She agreed that since it was so important to him----- she would support it. 

She even joined for the first few years so she could pinch my leg if I was too squirmy  (but, now they have kids rooms!)

 

So my brother and I both went until age 18.

I think it was an overall positive experience.  Kinda boring at times :) but such an education, I love the erudite Catholic approach to history and theology.

It was good to see how a functional, happy community is supposed to look.

I am not longer Catholic but I am drawn to bringing the positives I got from church to my own kids.  By that I mean cultural literacy, weekly time to mediate and focus on doing what's right, supportive community, giving to the needy.

So we are UU now.  I don't love everything about UU but I am glad my kids are church-goers.

 

Hope that expereince helps somehow.

 

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I went to church w/out dh for years and he eventually came. Our oldest also wanted to stay for home "daddy time" and that was a legit need. But dh was going to the gym when we went to church and told her it wasn't a good time for daddy/ daughter time and he found other time with her. That is probably the real issue in your case. Your dh should find other time with his little girl and it will probably be fine. A new baby coming is probably making her a little nervous for time with parents. 

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We all attend Mass but there have been many times in the past that we went to different Masses and there was an adult home to stay with little kids so I did not always make mine attend.  We drew the line at 1st grade.  In 1st grade there was no more staying home just to hang out with the other parent.  

 

I have an 18 yo, 16 yo, 13 yo, and 8 yo right now and they never ask to skip Mass.  I don't think they even see it as an option.  Even on vacation they ask where/when we are going to Mass.  So it hasn't been an issue with the older kids.  Not that they love church or are particularly devout kids.  It is just an expectation they never bucked up against.  That said, I am not as rigid as they think I am and I wouldn't fight an older teen to attend, I don't think.  I just haven't told them that.

 

My only advice is to just not open that door to it being an option at such a young age.  

 

 

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Katie, I'm not Catholic, and this is NOT my general parenting SOP, but what I did rather shamelessly in an analogous circumstance was to come up with a Good Bribe.  You figure out your priorities and you do what you gotta do.

 

Scaffolding my dyslexic son through literally hundreds of hours of Hebrew tutoring to get him ready for his bar mitzvah was excruciating, for all of us.  The right ritual directly after his sessions made it possible (special Mommy Time at a favorite ice cream shop, during which I bit back any and all monkey-mind about any commentary I had on his progress and also all my anxiety about my own looming To Do list, and I sat there with him expounding endlessly on Harry Potter theories, which at the time were his greatest fascination).  At the time it took all my self control to put this ritual ahead of the million other more pressing claims on my time.  Five years later both my son and I look back on those twilight ice cream hours (right before dinner!! yet another not my SOP element!) with great nostalgia.

 

Good luck working out something.   :grouphug:

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Agreeing special Daddy time is in order, perhaps after church.

 

I'm an Episcopal clergy spouse, and there are times I don't want to go to church. (ahem this morning ahem)

 

I know it's different for Catholics, as far as mandatory attendance. I think I'd be rather tough on this one, out of love for your dd--because isn't it seen as spiritually dangerous for Catholics to miss Mass? So I'd probably rather instill the habit. YMMV, of course.

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I went to church w/out dh for years and he eventually came. Our oldest also wanted to stay for home "daddy time" and that was a legit need. But dh was going to the gym when we went to church and told her it wasn't a good time for daddy/ daughter time and he found other time with her. That is probably the real issue in your case. Your dh should find other time with his little girl and it will probably be fine. A new baby coming is probably making her a little nervous for time with parents. 

 

This is probably the issue. And how we handled it. Daddy told her he was going to do work while she was gone (for his job) and that this afternoon they would go ice skating. And then I reminded her how important it is to go to Mass, even if it doesn't feel like it. So although DH won't say "you should go to Mass" he did back me up and tell her he couldn't do Daddy time during Mass, that he would be busy. It's a step. 

 

I gave up on the teen. I mean, I gave up trying to make him go, I still pray for him and hope for a miracle. St. Monica was my confirmation saint for a reason!

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Thank you all for the helpful, and kind posts. It helped! 

 

And she went very nicely, with no real pushback. She did say "Mom, I'll go if you really want me to, but I'd rather stay home." I praised her for what a grown up way she stated that, and then Daddy explained he was going to be busy anyway, and I explained how important Mass was, and she went :)

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For years, dh went to (Episcopal) church along with me and the kids for the very reason you mention . . . If he didn't go, I knew the kids would soon not want to go . . . Anyway, in your shoes, what I'd ask is for your dh to decide, and make clear from here on out, that during church, he is having ALONE time doing alone things (or things with "the guys" or whatever, but something that excludes kids. He's working out, or mowing, or having some other "alone time" . . . If he is willing to really take that to heart and make it clear to the kids that staying home with Dad isn't an option (unless they are sick or something, in which case, he'd forego his alone time) . . . But, even then, he must make sure NOT to make home time with Dad fun. It needs to be boring. 

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Good idea. Also, DH could use that alone time anyway, because the kids glom onto him aftewards!

For years, dh went to (Episcopal) church along with me and the kids for the very reason you mention . . . If he didn't go, I knew the kids would soon not want to go . . . Anyway, in your shoes, what I'd ask is for your dh to decide, and make clear from here on out, that during church, he is having ALONE time doing alone things (or things with "the guys" or whatever, but something that excludes kids. He's working out, or mowing, or having some other "alone time" . . . If he is willing to really take that to heart and make it clear to the kids that staying home with Dad isn't an option (unless they are sick or something, in which case, he'd forego his alone time) . . . But, even then, he must make sure NOT to make home time with Dad fun. It needs to be boring. 

 

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I'm going to agree with a few others, especially Pam, and suggest bribes. :) Maybe directly after mass, you have scheduled mommy time, and some set daddy time late that day or another day. Make it special.

 

You probably know this, or have heard it from other sources, but there really aren't guarantees for the future. My DH attended mass every week, minimally, and participated fully in church. He had to. His father was adamant that he do it, while living at home. His sister, too. He and sister are both ... I don't know how to say it nicely, but they are very bitter about their experiences, and have no love for Catholicism, or religion in general. DH's significantly younger sister was not made to attend when she asked not to, as a teen, (DH's father was at a different point in life), and she is still a practicing catholic. My general feeling is that DH's dad's rigidity drove both his older kids from their church. DH had to work through an angry atheist phase, and though he's still atheist, he is at least no longer angry, but it took 30 years for him to say the word God without choking. Really. I can't quite imagine what happened in their household or church, but clearly it was not effective if the idea was to bring the kids into church, with the intent that they'd continue that path.

 

All that said, I'm thinking that if you can make it appealing to go, with bribes or otherwise, your DD will be less likely to have those negative associations.

 

(Full disclosure: I, too, am atheist, but grew up in an evangelical church. I never went through the anger or sense of betrayal that DH did though, and my life has been more peaceful for that. So my opinion may not be what you want.)

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Anyone else in marriages where you go to Church and your husband doesn't? Or have experience with someone who has been hurt by supposed Christians, and been turned off the Church because of it? (to clarify, this isn't an issue with this denomination, he prefers a liturgical Church if/when he does go, and is NOT comfortable in a casual, praise type service. And he wouldn't go to the Episcopal Church either, despite saying he was more comfortable there. He did agree to have our wedding consolidated in the Catholic Church, is okay having the kids baptized, after a knee jerk negative reaction is okay with them attending Faith Formation classes, etc)

 

 

I'll preface by saying I have no idea if what I chose was right... But I feel God honored it.  We both were raised "culturally" Catholic - meaning we were made to attend CCD and church on Sundays but after the requisite box was checked (by going) there was zero impact on Monday through Saturday, kwim?  Hypocrisy is something that really fosters resentment.

 

Here's the issue I see - too many people go to church for community.  They go to find other people... Whether for accountability or inspiration or comradery.  No.  Just no.  Church is for the worship of a holy God who requests that you honor Him through worship.  The end.  Everything else is fluff.  And, if you want to give an unbeliever ammunition to hate religion, take him to a building hopeful that you'll find amazing believers who do everything right.  It won't happen.  Humanness, hard hearts, sin nature, all that jazz.  Any time  you walk into church with your eyes not fixed on worship for Christ,  you'll find something to despise.

 

So.  We didn't go.

 

I converted (born again) on the last weekend of July in 2000.  We then attended the Catholic Church while he was in the Army and I went to Protestant Women of the Chapel and I took our children to Awanas and taught there.  It was a compromise.  We continued attending the Catholic Church until about 2005, did a very nice stint for about a year in a non-denominational Christian church but what was happening was what you're talking about - resentment.  He wanted to stop going, I was more than welcome to continue.

 

But, here's  the gist, I couldn't figure out how to go without giving my children the message that I was doing the "right" thing and Daddy was wrong.  Or to keep others from giving that message.  So, I taught my children.  We memorized scripture.  We worshipped.  We sang.  We did *not* attend church though we did have friends who were believers through this - from about 2005-2016.

 

We started attending a non-denominational church about 2 months ago - per his request.

 

 

ETA:

Again, not saying I'm "right" just saying this worked for our marriage and it didn't polarize it if that makes sense?  My kids still received biblical teaching and actually, maybe more so.... Because I really couldn't depend on them hearing it from anyone except me, I felt the weight, the necessity of teaching them myself.  We only have two "adult" children so far who were raised this way and I have no idea what the fallout will be.  However,  I'll say that my oldest daughter chose to join a baptist church about 1.5 years ago, then my oldest son began going there almost a year ago for a worldview class and then began being a regular attender for Sundays.  They are both confessing believers.    

Edited by BlsdMama
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(Full disclosure: I, too, am atheist, but grew up in an evangelical church. I never went through the anger or sense of betrayal that DH did though, and my life has been more peaceful for that. So my opinion may not be what you want.)

 

I went through the anger/betrayal after becoming born again, ironically.  I really felt the Catholic church had pushed religion on me (I also attended Catholic high school) while neglecting my actual belief/faith.  I really didn't realize that happens in *all* denominations for many years.  I have come to "forgive" (not sure that's the right word) the Church because of a truly beautiful Christian sister who is a devout Catholic, but it really took a long time.  As a believer I believe we were meant for a relationship based on faith with our God, but that rules of men and traditions often lead to hypocrisy and resentment when they are nothing but a bunch of laws/rules with no love.  A great recipe to raise a religion hater is to demand practice and obedience to laws but give them no reason to love and faithfully serve thier Lord through love.  

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I think part of the issue with skipping, or not going is that we have almost no Christian friends. My friends are crunch atheist/agnostic/pagan types, as are their kids. So I feel she needs the community aspect, just to show her mom isn't the only one doing this. But we definitely try to incorporate our religion into our daily lives. not just weekends or CCD. 

 

Thinking tomorrow we may make the 45 minute drive to the Basillica to go through the doors of mercy, and attend the All Saints Mass. 

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I went through the anger/betrayal after becoming born again, ironically. I really felt the Catholic church had pushed religion on me (I also attended Catholic high school) while neglecting my actual belief/faith. I really didn't realize that happens in *all* denominations for many years. I have come to "forgive" (not sure that's the right word) the Church because of a truly beautiful Christian sister who is a devout Catholic, but it really took a long time. As a believer I believe we were meant for a relationship based on faith with our God, but that rules of men and traditions often lead to hypocrisy and resentment when they are nothing but a bunch of laws/rules with no love. A great recipe to raise a religion hater is to demand practice and obedience to laws but give them no reason to love and faithfully serve thier Lord through love.

Thank you so much for sharing that. I think that's part of what's happened with DH and his sister. It has been a huge relief to see his resentment, hurt and betrayal fade over the years. He's had to process a lot. I never felt the betrayal or hurt that he did, and it's always troubled me that he's had to deal with that. I could write more, but won't hijack. :)

 

OP, I hope you find the right answer for you and DD, it sounds like you have a good plan.

 

FWIW, even as an atheist, I enjoy going to mass with my in laws. I love the feeling of being connected to their family's past (their family donated the land and a lot of the items in the church they attend, and there's a sense of timelessness to it all.). I can understand wanting your DD to continue in your family's faith and traditions.

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I'm from the evangelical wing, so bear with me if what I say needs adjusting to a Catholic point of view.  My husband left the faith.  I go to church and he doesn't, so I get it.

What do you and your husband think of making it mandatory until she's done with the confirmation process or a certain age when you consider the foundation laid and then it's up to her with no signs of negativity either way from mom and dad?

Once my older girls were teens they had the option of going or not going.  One went fairly regularly and the other only did on a holiday or two.  They know they're always welcome to join me.  Youngest is still attending with me.  If she just doesn't want to go then I don't make her.  I'm from a point of view that says there's absolutely no benefit in taking someone to corporate worship who just doesn't want to be there, so I don't stress about the kids not going if they genuinely don't want to be there. 

We do Bible time during the week at home as part of school, so they're not going without and my job as a parent is getting done in that department. 

My point of view also sees believers as individuals who are part of the The Church, so I just build my relationships with fellow believers in ways that meet my needs and the kids can come along or not for the ones that are geared to kids. 

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Coming at this from the other end...there are a number of good books / audio on this subject of spiritual abuse, for lack of better word.

"Toxic Faith" by Arterburn is one.

"12 Christian Beliefs that can drive you crazy" by Cloud/Townsend is another.

 

He may find out that being Christian means something completely different than what he was taught - or accidentally caught from family's behavior. :)

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re relationship between religious compulsion and anger/betrayal later on:

I went through the anger/betrayal after becoming born again, ironically.  I really felt the Catholic church had pushed religion on me (I also attended Catholic high school) while neglecting my actual belief/faith.  I really didn't realize that happens in *all* denominations for many years.  I have come to "forgive" (not sure that's the right word) the Church because of a truly beautiful Christian sister who is a devout Catholic, but it really took a long time.  As a believer I believe we were meant for a relationship based on faith with our God, but that rules of men and traditions often lead to hypocrisy and resentment when they are nothing but a bunch of laws/rules with no love.  A great recipe to raise a religion hater is to demand practice and obedience to laws but give them no reason to love and faithfully serve thier Lord through love.  

I'm coming from a different religious tradition (that puts a pretty high value on community as its own end, as well as a framework for worship) but I also see a real risk in trying to make religion compulsory.

 

My kid was older than the OP's, a tween, when we hit this issue hard in our family.  And when we hit it, my husband and I didn't start on quite the same page.  But what we eventually both had to face up to was, you really can't COMPEL a kid to learn another language (even a kid without learning issues, let alone our kid), any more than you can COMPEL a younger kid to eat a food that makes him throw up, or an older one to "believe."  Kids have agency and coercion, therefore, has limits.

 

Around this time, a former poster on these boards (Jill in OK, for the wizened ones among us, lol) wrote something wonderful and wise that has stayed with me for years: 

 

You can lead a horse to water.

But you can't make him drink.

But you can salt the oats.

 

Over the years I have added to this: And also, you can sweeten the water.

 

Salting the oats, to me, is what I can do to pique my kids' interest and make them want to do things some kids find unpleasant (like go to museums and concerts).  Sweetening the water is what I can do to make things my kids find unpleasant, more bearable.  Like the standing post-Hebrew-session ice cream date.

 

 

And, even then...

...
You probably know this, or have heard it from other sources, but there really aren't guarantees for the future. My DH attended mass every week, minimally, and participated fully in church. He had to. His father was adamant that he do it, while living at home. His sister, too. He and sister are both ... I don't know how to say it nicely, but they are very bitter about their experiences, and have no love for Catholicism, or religion in general. DH's significantly younger sister was not made to attend when she asked not to, as a teen, (DH's father was at a different point in life), and she is still a practicing catholic. My general feeling is that DH's dad's rigidity drove both his older kids from their church. DH had to work through an angry atheist phase, and though he's still atheist, he is at least no longer angry, but it took 30 years for him to say the word God without choking. Really. I can't quite imagine what happened in their household or church, but clearly it was not effective if the idea was to bring the kids into church, with the intent that they'd continue that path.

All that said, I'm thinking that if you can make it appealing to go, with bribes or otherwise, your DD will be less likely to have those negative associations.
...

 

 

Right, because, agency.

 

Just as there is a sizable segment of people on these boards who have settled as adults into a different spiritual place than that in which we were raised -- whether that is a different tradition altogether, or a different denomination, or a different degree or type of observance, or we've wandered to a more formal affiliation with faith or in the other direction... so, too, will a sizable segment of our collective children end up in a different spiritual place that we've raised them.  I grant that this idea is a bit disorienting to me -- I confess to wishing that my own kids don't wander too far from the fold -- but, at the same time... it's their lives, and they must make their own way.

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Oh, I definitely understand I can't force or guarantee future belief. (see aspie son that won't go, lol). But my goal is more to give her a foundation...so that if later she rejects it, at least she knows what it is she's rejecting. I also want her to have her first communion next year, so that as an adult, even if she leaves the church for decades, it would be a fairly simple process to come back. (joining otherwise is a 9 month process...versus just making a confession and showing up to Mass). 

 

I want my kids to have a spiritual "home" to return to, all their lives, even if they walk away. 

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re relationship between religious compulsion and anger/betrayal later on:

I'm coming from a different religious tradition (that puts a pretty high value on community as its own end, as well as a framework for worship) but I also see a real risk in trying to make religion compulsory.

 

My kid was older than the OP's, a tween, when we hit this issue hard in our family.  And when we hit it, my husband and I didn't start on quite the same page.  But what we eventually both had to face up to was, you really can't COMPEL a kid to learn another language (even a kid without learning issues, let alone our kid), any more than you can COMPEL a younger kid to eat a food that makes him throw up, or an older one to "believe."  Kids have agency and coercion, therefore, has limits.

 

Around this time, a former poster on these boards (Jill in OK, for the wizened ones among us, lol) wrote something wonderful and wise that has stayed with me for years: 

 

You can lead a horse to water.

But you can't make him drink.

But you can salt the oats.

 

Over the years I have added to this: And also, you can sweeten the water.

 

Salting the oats, to me, is what I can do to pique my kids' interest and make them want to do things some kids find unpleasant (like go to museums and concerts).  Sweetening the water is what I can do to make things my kids find unpleasant, more bearable.  Like the standing post-Hebrew-session ice cream date.

 

 

And, even then...

 

 

Right, because, agency.

 

Just as there is a sizable segment of people on these boards who have settled as adults into a different spiritual place than that in which we were raised -- whether that is a different tradition altogether, or a different denomination, or a different degree or type of observance, or we've wandered to a more formal affiliation with faith or in the other direction... so, too, will a sizable segment of our collective children end up in a different spiritual place that we've raised them.  I grant that this idea is a bit disorienting to me -- I confess to wishing that my own kids don't wander too far from the fold -- but, at the same time... it's their lives, and they must make their own way.

 

 

I think this post has a lot of value and makes me think.... I *do* believe it an absolute obligation because, of course, as a Believer, I believe the Word is Truth, so I believe, "I (Jesus) am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."  So, if I don't do absolutely everything within my ability to teach them this, I'm in a world of pain, because, well... to not believe has unpleasant consequences in my faith system. :(

 

That said, rules and traditions aren't the most persuasive way.  My children had no other option  than to listen through it, and I love the idea of phrasing it as "sweetening" the water. :)   But I think something valuable that someone reminded me of the other day - a friend read to me a passage from Cindy Rollins' book - I am not the Potter.  KWIM?  And sometimes I forget that.  

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Yup.  Hubby dragged me to church when we met in college and I was a raging hellion on drugs.  After we were married, however, he quit going and hasn't been in over a decade.    :huh:   My kids tried the wanting to stay home with Daddy thing, but it just wasn't allowed.  They complain about going, but they go.  Hopefully she'll get back to enjoying it.   :grouphug:   Maybe y'all could make father daughter time another part of the week?  Or once a month?

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She did enjoy going, for the most part. She and I sit together and snuggle, and she likes the songs and such. And they have a liturgy of the word for kids, so during the readings and homily she goes with the other kids for that, which she enjoys. She just wanted to stay home in her pjs and watch TV, lol. 

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Well, I'll just say that DH's parents compelled him (and his siblings) to go to church for years and years and it did not suddenly change what was for them a dead hypothesis (that is, something they absolutely could not believe) into a live one (something they could believe).  DH's sister has told me many times (from which I gather that it made an impression on her) that their mother broke down in tears in the car one day when DH and sister (twins) were about 11 or 12, saying that she was just so sad because her daughter (SIL, to whom she was talking) was not a believer and therefore would burn in hell.  They had a fairly abusive childhood in other ways, and this is one of the few incidents from that childhood that she has told me about more than once.  

 

 

I can see that it is a difficult balance, but I would just urge not pushing as much as you can not push.  She didn't somehow become more religious because her mother thought she'd go to hell, and it damaged the relationship.

 

 

I have, interesting, almost the opposite problem - I sent DD5 to a religious preschool for 3 weeks.  DS8 went to a Lutheran one and came out with a positive attitude toward religious people and the church, which was my goal, without any particularly concrete dogmatic beliefs (which we wouldn't share, obviously).  It was fine.  Unfortunately either DD5 is a different kid or the preschool is a different sort, because she will not stop asking me complicated theological questions to which I have no satisfactory answer!  Also she has become super concerned about death and heaven all of a sudden.

 

 

I dunno, those are my disjointed thoughts.  I think Pam's ideas sound reasonable.

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I should clarify she's not anti-religion at all. In fact, she begged me today to get the saint movie that they watched at faith formation classes so she could watch it with her brother. She's asked me to pray the rosary with her. She believes as much as a 6 yr old can. She just didn't feel like going. 

 

My teen, he's against going. He's anti religion. I do not make him go. 

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 He's not sure what he believes, but was REALLY turned off of religion by his mom and aunt. Mostly his aunt, who would say "WWJD" while scheming, betraying, lying, and being an all around horridly manipulative person. Just spiteful. As just one example, the day his mother (her only sister) died, she called DH, not to express sorrow or sympathy, but to bitch that she'd been "cheated" out of the money she had coming to her when the grandmother (her mother) died - to pressure him into giving her more than his mom (her sister's) will specified. Guilt. She called to guilt him over money, hours after his mother died!!!! (and she was NOT cheated out of anything, for the record). We've pretty much cut off all contact with her, but that's the kind of person he associates with religious people.

 

This stuff drives me crazy.  It's the reasoning of a 12 year old. 

 

I once knew a _____ that was bad, they must all be. 

 

It doesn't help that I don't really believe people when they say it.  What I really think is that is their excuse, because you DON'T see people applying it in a global fashion.  I see newspaper articles just about every week about some teacher who has abused a kid.  I see articles regularly about parents who have abused a kid.  You don't hear anyone saying we need to get rid of teachers and parents. 

 

When I hear stuff like that I just want to say "grow up".  You don't want to be religious, fine, whatever.  But don't try to snow me with pretend 12 year old reasoning.

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This stuff drives me crazy.  It's the reasoning of a 12 year old. 

 

I once knew a _____ that was bad, they must all be. 

 

It doesn't help that I don't really believe people when they say it.  What I really think is that is their excuse, because you DON'T see people applying it in a global fashion.  I see newspaper articles just about every week about some teacher who has abused a kid.  I see articles regularly about parents who have abused a kid.  You don't hear anyone saying we need to get rid of teachers and parents. 

 

When I hear stuff like that I just want to say "grow up".  You don't want to be religious, fine, whatever.  But don't try to snow me with pretend 12 year old reasoning.

 

I think the difference is living it, versus reading about it in the paper. I fully believe that if a person were abused themselves by a teacher they would have a hard time trusting teachers. 

 

He doesn't actually state these as his reasons, but when we've discussed it, it came out, and he was like yeah, that makes sense. 

 

I very much do think that having crappy parents can skew your view of a a father like God. 

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My SIL (another one - DH has a plethora of sisters) told me that the reason she finally gave up trying to believe in Christianity (they were Baptists) was because of the hatred she saw in her church's youth group after 9/11.  

 

I that for her, the difference between that experience and, say, a bad teacher (and we had teachers who were pretty hostile at that time too) was that the basic message she got from teachers wasn't, "we're morally correct and the rest of the world is morally misguided - so much so that they're spending eternity in hell," while that was, more or less, the message of her church.  It just didn't hold up when she was confronted with the obviousness of their moral failings, and the hypocrisy made it hard for her to trust anything they said about anything.

 

It would be like if you had a math teacher who taught you over and over than 50+50 equalled 90, and you wanted to believe, and you tried to believe, but then one day you learned that the teacher was taking 50 cents change when paying for a 50-cent candy bar with a dollar.  How much more math knowledge would you believe he had?

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I should clarify she's not anti-religion at all. In fact, she begged me today to get the saint movie that they watched at faith formation classes so she could watch it with her brother. She's asked me to pray the rosary with her. She believes as much as a 6 yr old can. She just didn't feel like going. 

 

My teen, he's against going. He's anti religion. I do not make him go. 

 

ah, that makes so much more sense!  somehow I thought this kid was a pre-teen.  Yes, I can understand wanting your 6 year old to be a part of your religious faith traditions. :)

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