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CC - Youth Group, Do you make your high schooler go if the don't want to?


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My 11th grade dd doesn't like going to youth group. She doesn't have any friends at church. The girls her age are homeschooled and they are all friends with each other. Even when dd was homeschooled, she was not friends with this group. Dd is athletic and the girls her age aren't. Dd says they don't have anything in common. I have spoken with the leader about this and he thinks the responsibility rests on dd to engage. I don't agree with him, I think that as a leader, he should be encouraging the kids to be friendly and include everyone, but he doesn't share this opinion. So, anyway, it is miserable for her and she does not want to go. Our church doesn't have Sunday School for her age group. We do not do any Bible study at home with her. So, I consider Youth Group the only teaching that she gets. Dd says that she doesn't learn anything from Youth Group because it is boring and she tunes out, plus she was in Awana age 2 - 6th grade (and Sunday School then too), so she knows what they are learning at Youth Group anyway.

 

So, do I just let dd give it up? I can't think of anything to replace it. She is busy with school and sports, so just going to a different program doesn't seem to be a good answer. I suppose I could find a study that the two of us could do together instead. Maybe that is the answer.

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I don't force it. The more you push, the more they pull. DH and I have chosen a church that is not our first choice (we are comfortable with the theology but prefer a smaller church) because our children are so at home there. The youth leaders really promote a Christ like, loving atmosphere. They are condemnation free, attentive to group dynamics and individual needs, and they teach and show what it means to follow Christ.

 

What is your DD learning in/from this group? The leader sounds unkind and insensitive. Those aren't traits I'd want in a youth leader or minister! In your shoes, I would be looking for a new church. If there isn't a good church for you, perhaps you can find or start a Bible Study Group?

 

Hugs.

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Nope.  I have not forced my teens to go to youth group in the past and I am not forcing DD15 to go now.  I do encourage her to try an activity with the youth group every once in a while and she will go, but in her case she is older than the other kids that attend and they just don't click much.

 

I did require church attendance while they were living at home, but social activities like youth group have always been optional.

 

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I wouldn't. But when I wss that age, I really wanted to go. But the group at or church was so loud! My parents helped me find a bible study for teens at another church. It was study, it was quiet, it was small. It was perfect for my shy introverted self.

 

I certainly wouldn't make her go. If you are able maybe suggest another group? At another church.

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What is your DD learning in/from this group? The leader sounds unkind and insensitive. Those aren't traits I'd want in a youth leader or minister! In your shoes, I would be looking for a new church. If there isn't a good church for you, perhaps you can find or start a Bible Study Group?

 

Hugs.

Dd says she is not learning anything at youth group because it is too much like school, so she tunes it out after 10 minutes. (From what she says, it is an hour lecture by the youth leader, then they break up by age group into boy/girl groups to discuss for 30 minutes what the lecture was about, and then they have a 30 minute "fun" activity - games.)

 

I agree we have not clicked with the youth leader, but I don't think it is enough to leave the church over. Especially, when this dd only has a year left for youth. She is welcome to participate in other churches youth groups, but none of her friends go to any and she doesn't want to go by herself.

 

I guess dd and I could do a Bible study together ourselves, but I am not in a position to lead a group with other kids. Plus, I have no idea where those other kids would come from.

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Dd says she is not learning anything at youth group because it is too much like school, so she tunes it out after 10 minutes. (From what she says, it is an hour lecture by the youth leader, then they break up by age group into boy/girl groups to discuss for 30 minutes what the lecture was about, and then they have a 30 minute "fun" activity - games.)

 

I agree we have not clicked with the youth leader, but I don't think it is enough to leave the church over. Especially, when this dd only has a year left for youth. She is welcome to participate in other churches youth groups, but none of her friends go to any and she doesn't want to go by herself.

 

I guess dd and I could do a Bible study together ourselves, but I am not in a position to lead a group with other kids. Plus, I have no idea where those other kids would come from.

Does she want to have a Spiritual community? Does she want to study?
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I didn't force my kids to stay.  My son left one after a while when he felt there was nothing/no one in the group for him. 

 

My daughter is active in a youth group because she has one friend in it.  For a long time, the other (older) girls pretty much shunned her.  I asked the youth leader if my daughter was giving off unfriendly vibes which was causing the other girls to be unfriendly toward her.  She said no, but that the girls were pretty much stuck in their own school year and weren't friendly to anyone younger.   Fortunately for my daughter, there is one friend and they have become very close. 

 

The leader doesn't sound very helpful though honestly, there is only so much a youth leader can do to promote togetherness among the kids.  They can't make people like each other, or have anything in common.   They can force politeness, and that's about it.  

 

I'd start some sort of Bible study at home if youth group wasn't working out and that was the only way to get any teaching.   (It must be pretty poor teaching if it's at the same level in high school as AWANAS in 6th grade!)    Or rather than choose a study, pick a book and read/discuss it together. My son and I did that with Knowing God and it was pretty interesting for both of us.  

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Dd says she is not learning anything at youth group because it is too much like school, so she tunes it out after 10 minutes. (From what she says, it is an hour lecture by the youth leader, then they break up by age group into boy/girl groups to discuss for 30 minutes what the lecture was about, and then they have a 30 minute "fun" activity - games.)

 

I agree we have not clicked with the youth leader, but I don't think it is enough to leave the church over. Especially, when this dd only has a year left for youth. She is welcome to participate in other churches youth groups, but none of her friends go to any and she doesn't want to go by herself.

 

I guess dd and I could do a Bible study together ourselves, but I am not in a position to lead a group with other kids. Plus, I have no idea where those other kids would come from.

 

Honestly, it sounds awful to me, too.

 

I wouldn't force any kid to join a youth group, but I would most certainly not require it from an 11th grader. I'm not sure why this is so important to you when your dd has no interest in it.

 

I hate to say this because I don't want it to come across the wrong way, but I think your dd is a little old to be force-fed religious lectures at a church youth group if she doesn't enjoy it or express any interest in it. I'm sure she has already gotten a good basic foundation in the past, and at this point, I think you should probably let her make her own decisions about whether or not she wants to receive any kind of religious education. It would be different if she was attending a school where religion classes were required for graduation, but in this case, the youth group is nothing more than an optional activity.

 

So... that's my longwinded way of saying that if she was my dd, I would let her quit. :)

 

(Edited for the usual typos.)

Edited by Catwoman
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I do not, and did not, force my highschooler to attend any extracurricular activities they do not want.

I do not micromanage what they do in their non-school time.

:iagree:

 

How did you manage to say what I wanted to say in two sentences when it took me half a page??? :laugh:

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I didn't force my kids to stay. My son left one after a while when he felt there was nothing/no one in the group for him.

 

My daughter is active in a youth group because she has one friend in it. For a long time, the other (older) girls pretty much shunned her. I asked the youth leader if my daughter was giving off unfriendly vibes which was causing the other girls to be unfriendly toward her. She said no, but that the girls were pretty much stuck in their own school year and weren't friendly to anyone younger. Fortunately for my daughter, there is one friend and they have become very close.

 

The leader doesn't sound very helpful though honestly, there is only so much a youth leader can do to promote togetherness among the kids. They can't make people like each other, or have anything in common. They can force politeness, and that's about it.

 

I'd start some sort of Bible study at home if youth group wasn't working out and that was the only way to get any teaching. (It must be pretty poor teaching if it's at the same level in high school as AWANAS in 6th grade!) Or rather than choose a study, pick a book and read/discuss it together. My son and I did that with Knowing God and it was pretty interesting for both of us.

Thanks for the suggestion. I will look into that.

 

As far as the teaching at youth group, from the topics that I see, it looks like it is good/strong teaching. Dd may not realize it if she tunes it out though, so hard to go by with what she is saying. She also grew up going to strong teaching Sunday School classes, and when the kids were younger, I did more stuff at home when we homeschooled. So, we hopefully gave her a strong foundation.

 

Another mother at our church feels like the kids who have a strong foundation overwhelm the kids who don't have that and makes them feel like they don't belong. I can only imagine the job of the youth leader to accommodate all of the different levels of knowledge the kids have as well as the social aspects. (Hence, I am NOT a youth leader!)

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Without asking her, my guess is no - not on her own. However, she doesn't want to do much of anything on her own (can't think of the word). She would be content sitting on her tush playing on her phone 24/7.

I know it can be frustrating to see your dd wasting her time and not doing anything productive, but it sounds like she has a full schedule and I think it's important for teens to have free time to relax and enjoy themselves -- even if they're sitting on their tushes playing on their phones! :)

 

Your dd will be an adult soon, and she will have adult responsibilities. She doesn't have many more years of being able to just be a kid and have some fun.

 

I'm very relaxed about this sort of thing with my ds, though, so maybe I'm the wrong person to be responding to your thread!

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I know it can be frustrating to see your dd wasting her time and not doing anything productive, but it sounds like she has a full schedule and I think it's important for teens to have free time to relax and enjoy themselves -- even if they're sitting on their tushes playing on their phones! :)

 

Your dd will be an adult soon, and she will have adult responsibilities. She doesn't have many more years of being able to just be a kid and have some fun.

 

I'm very relaxed about this sort of thing with my ds, though, so maybe I'm the wrong person to be responding to your thread!

I don't think dd is wasting her time and not doing anything productive, and I agree that she needs the down time. My dilemma is whether to force youth group on her not. When she doesn't go, she spends the evening home with us, which when we are home, is one of the only relaxed times we have together, so I am happy to have her home with us.

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Dd says she is not learning anything at youth group because it is too much like school, so she tunes it out after 10 minutes. (From what she says, it is an hour lecture by the youth leader, then they break up by age group into boy/girl groups to discuss for 30 minutes what the lecture was about, and then they have a 30 minute "fun" activity - games.)

I agree we have not clicked with the youth leader, but I don't think it is enough to leave the church over. Especially, when this dd only has a year left for youth. She is welcome to participate in other churches youth groups, but none of her friends go to any and she doesn't want to go by herself.

I guess dd and I could do a Bible study together ourselves, but I am not in a position to lead a group with other kids. Plus, I have no idea where those other kids would come from.

I absolutely would not force a child to attend youth group. Diamond gave up on our former church's group in 9th grade. She attended TeenCBS at a different church instead http://www.communitybiblestudy.org/students/high-school/ See if there's isnone in your area. Bible study doesn't have to be a group activity. There are even AWESOME devotional apps for her phone if she prefers her phone!

 

While I agree somewhat that it is up to DD to try to engage with the group, IF she has tried maybe three times or more and it hasn't worked, then I think it IS up to an adult in charge to try to find ways to change the groups dynamics. Not a church group, but BabyBaby quit a group she really wanted to be a part of because of crummy group dynamics leaving her out of things, with zero effort in the part of the leaders other than worthless pep talks to "just keep trying!" rather than telling the offenders to stop being buttonholes. :(

 

I also agree that this may not be a reason to leave a church, if it is a bigger pattern overall it might be. We ended up leaving our former church when Diamond started attending a different church's youth group. The difference in the people and leadership was enormous.

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No, I do not make my kids go to that kind of stuff. They usually want to go even when they feel left out of the group and ignored. They hope for the best.

One dd did not go and that was fine for her that year. She went the next and wished she hadn't, like the first two times she went. She will go again this year even though she'll be a senior next school year. Her choice.

If she doesn't go, maybe you could take a short camping trip.

Two of our sons didn't really enjoy scout camp so eventually we backed off. Another was so-so with it but would go anyway, and when the younger brother was going, he enjoyed it more. But it is never really worth it to force kids to go to that kind of stuff after a certain age, especially when they don't feel included.

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I absolutely would not force a child to attend youth group. Diamond gave up on our former church's group in 9th grade. She attended TeenCBS at a different church instead http://www.communitybiblestudy.org/students/high-school/ See if there's isnone in your area. Bible study doesn't have to be a group activity. There are even AWESOME devotional apps for her phone if she prefers her phone!

 

While I agree somewhat that it is up to DD to try to engage with the group, IF she has tried maybe three times or more and it hasn't worked, then I think it IS up to an adult in charge to try to find ways to change the groups dynamics. Not a church group, but BabyBaby quit a group she really wanted to be a part of because of crummy group dynamics leaving her out of things, with zero effort in the part of the leaders other than worthless pep talks to "just keep trying!" rather than telling the offenders to stop being buttonholes. :(

 

I also agree that this may not be a reason to leave a church, if it is a bigger pattern overall it might be. We ended up leaving our former church when Diamond started attending a different church's youth group. The difference in the people and leadership was enormous.

 

There is only one close to us, but 25 miles away at night, the same night as her club soccer team practice, so that will not work. Thanks though!

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I probably would not force it.  In my family of origin, from which I get most of my family customs :), we were required to participate in religious instruction through 8th or 9th grade, and then it was our choice.

 

I would look around for something more amenable to her personality, even if it's at a different kind of church.  The youth club I attended had sports as part of the program.  We would go have dinner, religious discussion, and an indoor sport (basketball / volleyball).  I really enjoyed it, even though I felt very excluded at school.

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Just asking for clarification. Does she go to church with you? Don't you have teaching from the pastor for all?

Yes, she does go to church with us. Without youth group though, she would be the only one that doesn't have more in depth teaching - youngest dd has SS, dh and I have a small group.

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I don't force any of my kids to go to youth group, but we did join the church we are at because it was a youth group all of our kids liked and wanted to be involved in.  After a while my middle stopped wanting to go to youth group, and we let him drop for a time until he changed his mind about it.  We did have discussions about why we, as parents, feel that church community is important, but it doesn't have to be youth group per se.

 

We do "make" them to go church with us on Sunday morning as a family.  So far none of them have balked at it, and if they had problems with it we would talk it out.  I have also "made" DD try out a new Bible study that meets once a week, it is not part of the core youth group program, but is for high school students.  I told her I wanted her to give it a month.  She really doesn't like it because she knows more about the Bible than the teachers and it irritates her.  But she has continued to go because the Bible study leader encourages her to attend.  It is DD's choice at this point.

 

DD has had some problems fitting it at youth group.  Many of the teens that attend have been in the church for generations and they have had friend groups for years.  It makes it hard to make friends.  She doesn't really have any close friends and I am surprised that she still wants to attend youth group to be honest.  But she is starting to slowly become more involved and has joined youth band and is taking guitar classes from the youth pastor, but it has taken a while and effort on the part of not only DD but also the youth pastor and other youth leaders to help her find her place to fit in.  Without the support of the youth pastor it really wouldn't be successful IMO.

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I wouldn't make her go. It doesn't sound like a good atmosphere for her. One of my now adult sons went to youth group and there was someone there who didn't treat him well and he won't set foot in a church now and still has bad feelings about youth group. Is it possible for your dd to try a youth group at a different church? In my experience, youth groups are open to all youth in the community and she may find one that fits her better and allows her to make friends. Maybe another church will have a Bible study and, in your situation, I might even go to a different church that offered a high school level Sunday School class. My church tries to have a good mix between fun, large activities and small, serious Bible studies for youth. I would let her drop it and find something else.

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Yes, she does go to church with us. Without youth group though, she would be the only one that doesn't have more in depth teaching - youngest dd has SS, dh and I have a small group.

 

Game time does not equal in-depth teaching. 

 

If she is attending your regular church service with you, she IS getting spiritually fed.  So maybe she doesn't feel she needs youth-directed teaching.

 

My children are not required to attend youth group, they do it out of their own desires to do so.  If they didn't want to go it would be okay with us that they skip it.  In fact, I am constantly asking my DD if she still wants to go, because I don't want her to ever feel like she is required to go.  DS just turned 13 so will now be attending.  It will be interesting to see if DD decides to stop soon with her little brother in the room. 

 

I guess I'm thinking that it's not keeping your DD engaged if she's tuning out.  So that right there sounds like it's a waste of time to me.  In my own youth group days, I stopped going during the 11th grade.  I was tired of all the lectures about the hot-button issues and being not of the world, all while half the youth group (the half that were my age-mates) went out and partied on the weekends.  I had no friends in youth group and oh, how I hated all those stupid games and group things that were meant to carry the lesson further.  

 

I would not have wanted to do a Bible study with my mom in lieu of YG. I might have responded to the idea of my own personal and private (key word) devotional if I were allowed to choose it.  

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Yes, she does go to church with us. Without youth group though, she would be the only one that doesn't have more in depth teaching - youngest dd has SS, dh and I have a small group.

 

Wait, are you saying that youth group provides MORE in-depth teaching than the adults get in the main service or do you mean that you just want her to have more teaching in quantity?  Because I have not found youth groups to be meatier by any means.  My kids are usually there for social aspects and if they get anything additional, great.  I think youth groups COULD be so much more than that, but they rarely are.  I don't make them go, although I do encourage them to try it a few times before deciding to ditch it.  I say this because my super shy ds15 is just now getting involved...this weekend he is at the youth winter retreat --that he chose to attend--and having such a good time that I'm thankful I asked him to try the youth small group (which I like way better than the LARGE group thing they also do and he usually doesn't attend).

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Yes, she does go to church with us. Without youth group though, she would be the only one that doesn't have more in depth teaching - youngest dd has SS, dh and I have a small group.

 

Carolyn, we always had our teens with us in a small group. It was a lot of fun and we would have them lead some weeks. They would head off for video games at the end/dessert time. Perhaps there is another family or two that would like that option?

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Our church's youth group doesn't really provide in-depth teaching -- this comes from the regular church services and Sunday School.  We do not force our teens to go to youth group, but if they choose not to attend, they are in the adult class that meets at the same time.  (This is like a regular church service.) 

 

Does Awana meet at the same time as the Youth Group?  Maybe she could be an assistant in one of the Awana classes instead.

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Wait, are you saying that youth group provides MORE in-depth teaching than the adults get in the main service or do you mean that you just want her to have more teaching in quantity? Because I have not found youth groups to be meatier by any means. My kids are usually there for social aspects and if they get anything additional, great. I think youth groups COULD be so much more than that, but they rarely are. I don't make them go, although I do encourage them to try it a few times before deciding to ditch it. I say this because my super shy ds15 is just now getting involved...this weekend he is at the youth winter retreat --that he chose to attend--and having such a good time that I'm thankful I asked him to try the youth small group (which I like way better than the LARGE group thing they also do and he usually doesn't attend).

It sounds meatier, yes, because it is an hour lecture on whatever they are studying. Then, they break off into small groups based on age (middle school/high school) and sex (boy/girl), so four groups, for a 30 minute discussion about the lecture. They end with a 30 minute game. The adult small groups are only slated for 90 minutes!

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Carolyn, we always had our teens with us in a small group. It was a lot of fun and we would have them lead some weeks. They would head off for video games at the end/dessert time. Perhaps there is another family or two that would like that option?

At our current small group, we are one of the younger couples. I think there are only two teens including our dd and another younger girl. This is one of the only groups that dh is able to attend because of the day and time, so us switching isn't really an option. I haven't heard of any of the other groups including teens, although our old group now has several families with teens, so it could be an option.

 

It would be hard for us to commit to meeting on a regular basis with our current schedule were our absence would be felt, so we are not in a position to start something like that. At least at youth group, dd's absence doesn't affect the group, whereas, if we met with several families with teens, that would.

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Our church's youth group doesn't really provide in-depth teaching -- this comes from the regular church services and Sunday School. We do not force our teens to go to youth group, but if they choose not to attend, they are in the adult class that meets at the same time. (This is like a regular church service.)

 

Does Awana meet at the same time as the Youth Group? Maybe she could be an assistant in one of the Awana classes instead.

Awana was at another church. I am sure they would love for dd to be an assistant, but she would miss too many times because of sports. And when she doesn't have practice or a game, she needs the time that they meet to do her school work.

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I don't think dd is wasting her time and not doing anything productive, and I agree that she needs the down time. My dilemma is whether to force youth group on her not. When she doesn't go, she spends the evening home with us, which when we are home, is one of the only relaxed times we have together, so I am happy to have her home with us.

If I had to choose between my ds either spending time at home with the family or going to a youth group he didn't enjoy, I would be thankful for the family time together.

 

Think about it -- years from now, which memories will mean more to all of you? Spending the time together is more of a blessing than any youth group, especially if you make a point of trying to do something together that evening.

 

I really think quitting youth group could be a blessing in disguise. :)

 

 

 

Edited for typos -- I think my iPad is in a mood because it couldn't be my fault, right? ;)

Edited by Catwoman
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No. I would not make my DC go to youth group.

 

IME youth group is more focused on social rather than Bible study or mission activity or or religious growth activity.

 

Not having friends or commonalities with the participants is a reasonable objection to participating. Additionally, there may be a few things going on that make her uncomfortable that she does not want to discuss with you which she'd like to avoid. I'd just assume she had a good reason to not be a part of youth group and let that go.

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If I had to choose between my ds either spending time at home with the family or going to a youth group he didn't enjoy, I would be thankful for the family time together.

 

Think about it -- years from now, which memories will mean more to all of you? Spending the time together is more of a blessing than any youth group, especially if you make a point of trying to do something together that evening.

 

I really think quitting youth group could be a blessing in disguise. :)

 

 

 

Edited for typos -- I think my iPad is in a mood because it couldn't be my fault, right? ;)

 

I like this way of thinking! It is one of the only evenings we get to spend together. Time goes by fast!

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I think a weekly church service is adequate church time activity for believers.  Anything else is extra and completely optional.

Not every kid's personality and temperament are a good fit for even the best youth group. Some people are homebody, introvert types.  To be honest, high quality youth groups are extremely rare.  There are teenagers who don't actually enjoy other teenagers.  I didn't.  I didn't like teenagers  because most people who knew me well said things like, "You've never been 16 in your whole life." Meaning I just wasn't a teenagery type teenager.  People considered me an "old soul." My middle daughter is like that.

It sounds like she has other kids her age at soccer that she can spend time with in a shared interest.  The norm in America is to spend time with people who share your interests.  Few teenage girls are athletic types so it's perfectly natural for her to want to spend time with other athletic types.  Who do you spend time with outside your family that you don't share an interest with? I picked my church based on my very specific, explicitly stated doctrinal convictions and service preferences, I quilt and go to sewing/quilt themed events with my quilting friends, I do outdoorsy things with my outdoorsy friends, and I go to the symphony and talk books with my bookish friends.  Other than relatives I just don't spend much time with people who don't share one of my interests. 

Is there some sort of social pressure on you to meet some sort of social norm like attending youth group?  Do you think of teenagers going to youth group as "normal"  rather than an option that's a good fit for some and not others? Have you been sent the message that that's what "good kids" do? Are you wanting her to go to avoid some problem you experienced with your older kids?

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I think a weekly church service is adequate church time activity for believers. Anything else is extra and completely optional.

 

Not every kid's personality and temperament are a good fit for even the best youth group. Some people are homebody, introvert types. To be honest, high quality youth groups are extremely rare. There are teenagers who don't actually enjoy other teenagers. I didn't. I didn't like teenagers because most people who knew me well said things like, "You've never been 16 in your whole life." Meaning I just wasn't a teenagery type teenager. People considered me an "old soul." My middle daughter is like that.

 

It sounds like she has other kids her age at soccer that she can spend time with in a shared interest. The norm in America is to spend time with people who share your interests. Few teenage girls are athletic types so it's perfectly natural for her to want to spend time with other athletic types. Who do you spend time with outside your family that you don't share an interest with? I picked my church based on my very specific, explicitly stated doctrinal convictions and service preferences, I quilt and go to sewing/quilt themed events with my quilting friends, I do outdoorsy things with my outdoorsy friends, and I go to the symphony and talk books with my bookish friends. Other than relatives I just don't spend much time with people who don't share one of my interests.

 

Is there some sort of social pressure on you to meet some sort of social norm like attending youth group? Do you think of teenagers going to youth group as "normal" rather than an option that's a good fit for some and not others? Have you been sent the message that that's what "good kids" do? Are you wanting her to go to avoid some problem you experienced with your older kids?

I do think I have been conditioned to think that attending youth group is normal and what "good kids" do. (My older kids attended pretty much every week unless they were busy, so it was the three of them going and with a different youth leader). All of the teens at our church attend a youth group, if not at our church, then somewhere else.

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Thanks for helping me think this through. No where in the Bible does it say that attending youth group as a teen is a requirement to be a Christian. I think the time spent at home with us is more precious than spending it in at youth group and resenting being there.

 

Tonight, she and younger dd cleaned part of the basement for fun without me asking them too! That was worth keeping her home! That time spent with her sister is time well spent.

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Thanks for helping me think this through. No where in the Bible does it say that attending youth group as a teen is a requirement to be a Christian. I think the time spent at home with us is more precious than spending it in at youth group and resenting being there.

 

Tonight, she and younger dd cleaned part of the basement for fun without me asking them too! That was worth keeping her home! That time spent with her sister is time well spent.

I'm glad you made a decision that you think is best for your family. :hurray:

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My youngest went to a youth group for two years when there were different youth pastors.  When yet another was hired, she stopped going pretty shortly.  She said that he didn't try to integrate the different groups and get kids included and she thought the group was a clique and not any fun.  She did love going to youth Bible study where they had really interesting conversations.  She continued with those all four years.  

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If I had to choose between my ds either spending time at home with the family or going to a youth group he didn't enjoy, I would be thankful for the family time together.

 

Think about it -- years from now, which memories will mean more to all of you? Spending the time together is more of a blessing than any youth group, especially if you make a point of trying to do something together that evening.

 

I really think quitting youth group could be a blessing in disguise. :)

 

 

 

Edited for typos -- I think my iPad is in a mood because it couldn't be my fault, right? ;)

 

:iagree:   A thousand times, yes!!! 

 

I have zero complaints about the youth group at my church.  They have committed wonderful leaders who do make every attempt to help kids engage and build relationships at youth group.  (And, IMO that is a part of their job.  I don't understand the attitude of your youth group leader.)  The do have in-depth teaching as well as worship and then just "hang-out" time too.  They have several retreats throughout the year, social events out in the community, they schedule time to serve and help various community groups, and also offer weekly small group Bible studies.  It is an awesome Student Ministries department.

 

However, I would never force my two teens to attend.  I would absolutely encourage them to give it several tries, maybe even year after year because the nature of groups do change.  I would not enforce it though.  I want my kids to own their faith and to learn how to nurture it.  Part of that is picking and choosing what works for them.  Your dd already goes to church with you and she is being spiritually fed that way.  And, I agree with Catwoman that this opportunity to spend time together as a family brings about its own blessing.  Sure, offer to do a one-on-one study with her and if she's interested, great.  But, if she's not, cherish that time you can spend with her.  

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