When your child rejects your religion
How would you handle it of your child rejected your religion?
Most religious parents that I know sincerely believe that if their children will benefit greatly from adhering to the family religion. I’ve heard these parents say: “Where else will my child learn about true moral values?” As a result these parents will bundle their young ones to a place of worship in the hope that the children will embrace the religion into adulthood.
However, not all parenting hopes and plans come into fruition. I’ve seen how devastated some parents become when their teenage children question or reject the parents’ form of worship. Who is to blame?
I wonder, did the parents force their beliefs on the child without trying to reach the heart? Are children obligated to go to adopt their parents’ belief? Some parents have a habit of stringing along their children to a place of worship out of duty, and expect other people will teach the child about that particular religion. At home such parents may spare little or no time to teach their children about their religious beliefs. As a result a child may fail to make sense of that particular religion. To a child a religion may seem like a meaningless and boring custom to be avoided at all costs.
Maybe as a parent you’ve done everything right but your child is just not into your religious beliefs. Remember that your teenage child is growing up in an environment different from the one that you grew up in. These days conservative values are frowned upon. For example premarital sex is now widely accepted as normal. Cohabiting is part of a modern culture. The modern way of thinking may make it a challenge for your teenager to embrace your seemingly ancient and restrictive religious values.
As parents we aim to raise our children to be able to make wise life decisions. Religion is a personal issue. Everyone is free to choose a religion of choice, or not to be religious at all. When your child rejects your religious values, it’s going to hurt. You may feel like you are losing something very valuable. Continue being a loving parent, maybe your child will be drawn back by your love. However, in the end you may have to face the truth- that your teenage child is transforming into an independent adult with different moral values from yours. Respect his or her choice.
Has your child changed their religion? How did you handle it?
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.