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Helena94
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« on: September 06, 2008, 09:00:01 PM »

Hello, I am happy to have found this website-very informative and helpful!

I would like opinions on the matter of our daughter not wanting to convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism. She is 17. I must add, that for the past couple of years, we have had to practically drag her to Mass before we converted. My husband and I and our other daughter converted to Orthodoxy, for many reasons. I cannot see myself going back to the Catholic church, other than to take my 17 year-old on Saturday evenings, and she isn't interested. She feels that we never "considered her opinions" in converting, and the reasons we converted are many. I do believe that the Orthodox Church has the true faith. She comes with us to the Orthodox church, but she says it is too "different, confusing, etc." Part of me feels like I've done something selfish to take her away from the Catholic church, and I've tried explaining to her the many reasons why we left, along with explaining the reasons we feel at home in the Orthodox church. Now she doesn't want part of ANY church, and I feel responsible for ruining what little faith she had. She says that, although she reluctantly attended the Catholic church, that being Catholic was how she identified herself, and now she says she is confused and doesn't want to attend either. This really bothers me. Any thoughts?

I thank in advance anyone who can offer their views! God bless you!
Jen

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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 09:18:32 PM »

Hello, I am happy to have found this website-very informative and helpful!

I would like opinions on the matter of our daughter not wanting to convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism. She is 17. I must add, that for the past couple of years, we have had to practically drag her to Mass before we converted. My husband and I and our other daughter converted to Orthodoxy, for many reasons. I cannot see myself going back to the Catholic church, other than to take my 17 year-old on Saturday evenings, and she isn't interested. She feels that we never "considered her opinions" in converting, and the reasons we converted are many. I do believe that the Orthodox Church has the true faith. She comes with us to the Orthodox church, but she says it is too "different, confusing, etc." Part of me feels like I've done something selfish to take her away from the Catholic church, and I've tried explaining to her the many reasons why we left, along with explaining the reasons we feel at home in the Orthodox church. Now she doesn't want part of ANY church, and I feel responsible for ruining what little faith she had. She says that, although she reluctantly attended the Catholic church, that being Catholic was how she identified herself, and now she says she is confused and doesn't want to attend either. This really bothers me. Any thoughts?

I thank in advance anyone who can offer their views! God bless you!
Jen

Hello Jen and welcome to the forum.

The Prodigal's Father seems to have come up on a couple of recent threads - and His action is probably the one I would take. Let your daughter take her own path; watching, waiting and always loving. It doesn't really matter what you believe about Orthodoxy, because your daughter just isn't seeing it. So don't argue with her over this; don't even try to convince her or there is a very real danger that you will push her away, altogether. We can't live our childrens' lives for them and hard as it is we have to let them fly by themselves. If she is confused, it's no wonder, but she is also an adult who will finally come to her own conclusions. Be there for her and give her the freedom to do what she believes to be the right thing. Make it clear to her that this is her decision and whatever she chooses will make no difference to your very special Mother/daughter relationship.

God be with you both.
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 11:33:50 PM »

Hello, I am happy to have found this website-very informative and helpful!

I would like opinions on the matter of our daughter not wanting to convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism. She is 17. I must add, that for the past couple of years, we have had to practically drag her to Mass before we converted. My husband and I and our other daughter converted to Orthodoxy, for many reasons. I cannot see myself going back to the Catholic church, other than to take my 17 year-old on Saturday evenings, and she isn't interested. She feels that we never "considered her opinions" in converting, and the reasons we converted are many. I do believe that the Orthodox Church has the true faith. She comes with us to the Orthodox church, but she says it is too "different, confusing, etc." Part of me feels like I've done something selfish to take her away from the Catholic church, and I've tried explaining to her the many reasons why we left, along with explaining the reasons we feel at home in the Orthodox church. Now she doesn't want part of ANY church, and I feel responsible for ruining what little faith she had. She says that, although she reluctantly attended the Catholic church, that being Catholic was how she identified herself, and now she says she is confused and doesn't want to attend either. This really bothers me. Any thoughts?

I thank in advance anyone who can offer their views! God bless you!
Jen



As a teenager I would definitely take the advice of the Prodigal's father. We are a stubborn bunch who want our space to act freely and independently (the reason why God gave us the choice to love him or not).
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 03:07:14 AM »

Hello, I am happy to have found this website-very informative and helpful!

I would like opinions on the matter of our daughter not wanting to convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism. She is 17. I must add, that for the past couple of years, we have had to practically drag her to Mass before we converted. My husband and I and our other daughter converted to Orthodoxy, for many reasons. I cannot see myself going back to the Catholic church, other than to take my 17 year-old on Saturday evenings, and she isn't interested. She feels that we never "considered her opinions" in converting, and the reasons we converted are many. I do believe that the Orthodox Church has the true faith. She comes with us to the Orthodox church, but she says it is too "different, confusing, etc." Part of me feels like I've done something selfish to take her away from the Catholic church, and I've tried explaining to her the many reasons why we left, along with explaining the reasons we feel at home in the Orthodox church. Now she doesn't want part of ANY church, and I feel responsible for ruining what little faith she had. She says that, although she reluctantly attended the Catholic church, that being Catholic was how she identified herself, and now she says she is confused and doesn't want to attend either. This really bothers me. Any thoughts?

I thank in advance anyone who can offer their views! God bless you!
Jen



A couple of families at our parish had a similar makeup.  The parents converted, but the children didn't at first.  In one, the youngest's conversion was helped by the former parish giving sermons on how the former pastor (the father) was going to, well, not heaven.

My sons aren't teenagers yet, but I know you can't force them past a certain age.  At 17, your best bet is not forcing Orthodoxy on her, and if she puts a guilt trip on you, patiently explain that just like she has her own life, you have yours, and you had to do what you did.  I would suggest that you ask what exactly is "different, confusing," but dealing with teenagers (I teach High School) I take it you will get vague answers.  From what I've seen with the families in our parish, this is one thing that you are going to have to wait for her to realize how much wiser you Grin become as she grows older.

And as for responsible for ruining what little faith she had, who put what faith she had in her in the first place?
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 05:03:52 AM »

In my home its the opposite... Its the child who wants to convert and its the parents who don't want to.. LOL!  laugh

Well, I agree with Prodromas since Im a teen myself. Sometimes we think that were right and our parents are wrong, and we hold on to these things the more they insist. The parent's insistence actually inspires more rebellion in us, dont really know why..

Your family are in my prayers..
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2008, 08:39:51 AM »

From my experience with teenagers, if you try to force them to do anything, they will either refuse just because you forced them, or reluctantly do what you want but resent you for it. Much better is to simply go to church. Your daughter is almost an adult and can make some of her own decisions now. Why not let her drive herself to the Catholic church and the rest of you go to the Orthodox church? She may see things in Orthodoxy that are more desirable than Catholicism, much like you have. She may not. But what you do not want is for her to quit going to church altogether--and the Catholic church is certainly better than no church at all.
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2008, 10:49:53 AM »

Hi Jen,

What the others said (particularly Ytterbiumanalyst).

My daughter is 24 now. When she was in her late teens (17, 18 especially), she was exactly the way Mr. Y. described. Whatever you want her to do, unless it's something that she herself wants, she will resist JUST because it was perceived as something you "force" on her.

Nonetheless, my wife and I noticed that a bit later, she could do what we wanted her to do. We understood that she actually listened to us and thought about things that we were saying, - always! The "seed" we planted in her was never completely dead. It just took some time, and also our own humility and tactfulness.

Great to have you on this forum! Have a good time here!

George
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2008, 08:22:36 PM »

Thanks so much to everyone who gave great advice on my 17 year-old daughter! You are all right-that I have to let her make her own decisions. I guess I can understand why she's a little confused and peeved over us converting; after all, she was raised Catholic her whole life and then it all kind of stopped.Knowing I'm not alone helps. I appreciate the teens on this forum that gave their opinions, and everyone else, too, thanks so much!  Smiley 

Also, I think I have to let go of my own "Norman Rockwell" vision of our family being "perfect" (haha) and all of us going to church together like we did when our kids were little.
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2008, 08:41:37 PM »

While I agree with what everyone has said, I still feel that the statement of teenagers resenting authority is a bit over-arching. I was always as independent as was allowed, and when my parents felt strongly about something, I gave up my freedom on the matter and dutifully found a way to make up for the loss with something else.

And in my case, I had to drag my mom out of bed every morning at age 16 to get her to church.  Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 09:07:51 PM »

You should stay out of your child's spiritual life. My parents tried to force Protestantism on me and because I was only exposed to insubstantial 'non-denominational' Protestantism I got the idea that all Christianity was as mediocre and bad. I also hated it because my parents forced it on me. Therefore, I dropped all religion and became an atheist leaning towards Buddhism. In the end though, after a long story, I ended up coming to Eastern Orthodoxy despite my parents unapproval up to this very day. Mind you I am also only 15, it is hard being the religious minority in your family. Respect her.
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 10:39:49 PM »

You should stay out of your child's spiritual life. My parents tried to force Protestantism on me and because I was only exposed to insubstantial 'non-denominational' Protestantism I got the idea that all Christianity was as mediocre and bad. I also hated it because my parents forced it on me. Therefore, I dropped all religion and became an atheist leaning towards Buddhism. In the end though, after a long story, I ended up coming to Eastern Orthodoxy despite my parents unapproval up to this very day. Mind you I am also only 15, it is hard being the religious minority in your family. Respect her.

You've got a real attitude problem. If you're using Orthodoxy as some kind of a way to reject your parents, Orthodoxy is going to place you straight in Hell. If you were less contentious as a Protestant, you might have been better off.

Peace. Acquire peace.
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 10:49:10 PM »

Alveus Lacuna,

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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 10:57:44 PM »

You should stay out of your child's spiritual life. My parents tried to force Protestantism on me and because I was only exposed to insubstantial 'non-denominational' Protestantism I got the idea that all Christianity was as mediocre and bad. I also hated it because my parents forced it on me. Therefore, I dropped all religion and became an atheist leaning towards Buddhism. In the end though, after a long story, I ended up coming to Eastern Orthodoxy despite my parents unapproval up to this very day. Mind you I am also only 15, it is hard being the religious minority in your family. Respect her.

You've got a real attitude problem. If you're using Orthodoxy as some kind of a way to reject your parents, Orthodoxy is going to place you straight in Hell. If you were less contentious as a Protestant, you might have been better off.

Peace. Acquire peace.

I love Orthodoxy and I joined it because I knew it was the true Church. Only, the challenge of being the only Orthodox Christian in my family gets to me and affects my attitude. Sometimes I feel that none of the other Orthodox Christians I know can sympathize because they are mostly Greek or Russian people who were fortunate enough to be raised in the true faith and have nearly an entire family that is Orthodox. Even in my OCA Church, much of the Parish is made up of third generation Eastern Europeans who have been raised under the faith.
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 11:06:53 PM »

You should stay out of your child's spiritual life. My parents tried to force Protestantism on me and because I was only exposed to insubstantial 'non-denominational' Protestantism I got the idea that all Christianity was as mediocre and bad. I also hated it because my parents forced it on me. Therefore, I dropped all religion and became an atheist leaning towards Buddhism. In the end though, after a long story, I ended up coming to Eastern Orthodoxy despite my parents unapproval up to this very day. Mind you I am also only 15, it is hard being the religious minority in your family. Respect her.

You've got a real attitude problem. If you're using Orthodoxy as some kind of a way to reject your parents, Orthodoxy is going to place you straight in Hell. If you were less contentious as a Protestant, you might have been better off.

Peace. Acquire peace.

I love Orthodoxy and I joined it because I knew it was the true Church. Only, the challenge of being the only Orthodox Christian in my family gets to me and affects my attitude. Sometimes I feel that none of the other Orthodox Christians I know can sympathize because they are mostly Greek or Russian people who were fortunate enough to be raised in the true faith and have nearly an entire family that is Orthodox. Even in my OCA Church, much of the Parish is made up of third generation Eastern Europeans who have been raised under the faith.

Well, you interactions in another thread really got to me. Just to illustrate how destructive your attitude is, I could tell you to:

Man up and stop being such a baby, because I have a wife and two children and none of them are Orthodox. I have three sisters, mom dad everybody up the ladder and I'm the only one Orthodox. Just stop being such a little girl and airing your laundry in public. This is a theology forum, not a cry room for babies. Jesus says that we should take up our crosses, and St. Paul says not to complain about anything, so you should really thicken your skin like me and just get your stuff together.
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2011, 11:07:41 PM »

You should stay out of your child's spiritual life. My parents tried to force Protestantism on me and because I was only exposed to insubstantial 'non-denominational' Protestantism I got the idea that all Christianity was as mediocre and bad. I also hated it because my parents forced it on me. Therefore, I dropped all religion and became an atheist leaning towards Buddhism. In the end though, after a long story, I ended up coming to Eastern Orthodoxy despite my parents unapproval up to this very day. Mind you I am also only 15, it is hard being the religious minority in your family. Respect her.

You've got a real attitude problem. If you're using Orthodoxy as some kind of a way to reject your parents, Orthodoxy is going to place you straight in Hell. If you were less contentious as a Protestant, you might have been better off.

Peace. Acquire peace.

I love Orthodoxy and I joined it because I knew it was the true Church. Only, the challenge of being the only Orthodox Christian in my family gets to me and affects my attitude. Sometimes I feel that none of the other Orthodox Christians I know can sympathize because they are mostly Greek or Russian people who were fortunate enough to be raised in the true faith and have nearly an entire family that is Orthodox. Even in my OCA Church, much of the Parish is made up of third generation Eastern Europeans who have been raised under the faith.

I'm not familiar with the details of the relationship between you and your parents, and frankly it is none of my business. However, you cannot fault your parents (or any parents, for that matter) for trying to raise you in the faith which they know and love, as that is what we are commanded to do as Christians.

Even the Orthodox Church tells parents to have their infant children baptized in the faith, so that they may raised in the Church.

In regards to the OP, the post is from a few years ago, so I'm not sure what the poster ultimately ended up doing, but at the age of 17, she's got to let her daughter make up her own mind. At this point, the best thing the OP could do is pray for her daughter, and let her know that she is welcome to join the family in worship whenever she feels comfortable in doing so.
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 11:09:25 PM »

You should stay out of your child's spiritual life. My parents tried to force Protestantism on me and because I was only exposed to insubstantial 'non-denominational' Protestantism I got the idea that all Christianity was as mediocre and bad. I also hated it because my parents forced it on me. Therefore, I dropped all religion and became an atheist leaning towards Buddhism. In the end though, after a long story, I ended up coming to Eastern Orthodoxy despite my parents unapproval up to this very day. Mind you I am also only 15, it is hard being the religious minority in your family. Respect her.

You've got a real attitude problem. If you're using Orthodoxy as some kind of a way to reject your parents, Orthodoxy is going to place you straight in Hell. If you were less contentious as a Protestant, you might have been better off.

Peace. Acquire peace.

I love Orthodoxy and I joined it because I knew it was the true Church. Only, the challenge of being the only Orthodox Christian in my family gets to me and affects my attitude. Sometimes I feel that none of the other Orthodox Christians I know can sympathize because they are mostly Greek or Russian people who were fortunate enough to be raised in the true faith and have nearly an entire family that is Orthodox. Even in my OCA Church, much of the Parish is made up of third generation Eastern Europeans who have been raised under the faith.

Well, you interactions in another thread really got to me. Just to illustrate how destructive your attitude is, I could tell you to:

Man up and stop being such a baby, because I have a wife and two children and none of them are Orthodox. I have three sisters, mom dad everybody up the ladder and I'm the only one Orthodox. Just stop being such a little girl and airing your laundry in public. This is a theology forum, not a cry room for babies. Jesus says that we should take up our crosses, and St. Paul says not to complain about anything, so you should really thicken your skin like me and just get your stuff together.

Maybe it's time for both of you to step awaaaay from the keyboard, take a walk, and get some fresh air.

Me thinks the purple demons are online tonight.
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2011, 11:43:10 PM »

No, I'm quite holy and dispassionate. I am trying to cultivate empathy in my young apprentice.
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2011, 11:54:03 PM »

You should stay out of your child's spiritual life. My parents tried to force Protestantism on me and because I was only exposed to insubstantial 'non-denominational' Protestantism I got the idea that all Christianity was as mediocre and bad. I also hated it because my parents forced it on me. Therefore, I dropped all religion and became an atheist leaning towards Buddhism. In the end though, after a long story, I ended up coming to Eastern Orthodoxy despite my parents unapproval up to this very day. Mind you I am also only 15, it is hard being the religious minority in your family. Respect her.

You've got a real attitude problem. If you're using Orthodoxy as some kind of a way to reject your parents, Orthodoxy is going to place you straight in Hell. If you were less contentious as a Protestant, you might have been better off.

Peace. Acquire peace.

I love Orthodoxy and I joined it because I knew it was the true Church. Only, the challenge of being the only Orthodox Christian in my family gets to me and affects my attitude. Sometimes I feel that none of the other Orthodox Christians I know can sympathize because they are mostly Greek or Russian people who were fortunate enough to be raised in the true faith and have nearly an entire family that is Orthodox. Even in my OCA Church, much of the Parish is made up of third generation Eastern Europeans who have been raised under the faith.

Well, you interactions in another thread really got to me. Just to illustrate how destructive your attitude is, I could tell you to:

Man up and stop being such a baby, because I have a wife and two children and none of them are Orthodox. I have three sisters, mom dad everybody up the ladder and I'm the only one Orthodox. Just stop being such a little girl and airing your laundry in public. This is a theology forum, not a cry room for babies. Jesus says that we should take up our crosses, and St. Paul says not to complain about anything, so you should really thicken your skin like me and just get your stuff together.

That was horribly rude, offensive and un-Christian. Yet, that sounds exactly like me...I think I see what you are doing. Do I really appear this way to others? Pray form me. I'll try to make a change.
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2011, 02:54:34 AM »

No, I'm quite holy and dispassionate. I am trying to cultivate empathy in my young apprentice.

This is the best post I have read in a long, long time.
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2011, 07:40:20 AM »

Hello, I am happy to have found this website-very informative and helpful!

I would like opinions on the matter of our daughter not wanting to convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism. She is 17. I must add, that for the past couple of years, we have had to practically drag her to Mass before we converted. My husband and I and our other daughter converted to Orthodoxy, for many reasons. I cannot see myself going back to the Catholic church, other than to take my 17 year-old on Saturday evenings, and she isn't interested. She feels that we never "considered her opinions" in converting, and the reasons we converted are many. I do believe that the Orthodox Church has the true faith. She comes with us to the Orthodox church, but she says it is too "different, confusing, etc." Part of me feels like I've done something selfish to take her away from the Catholic church, and I've tried explaining to her the many reasons why we left, along with explaining the reasons we feel at home in the Orthodox church. Now she doesn't want part of ANY church, and I feel responsible for ruining what little faith she had. She says that, although she reluctantly attended the Catholic church, that being Catholic was how she identified herself, and now she says she is confused and doesn't want to attend either. This really bothers me. Any thoughts?

I thank in advance anyone who can offer their views! God bless you!
Jen



It would bother me too.  Keep talking to her.  Admit your wrongs.  I know I made mistakes coming to Orthodoxy with teenagers.  If it's just a matter of not being used to it, it may just be a matter of time.  We have a rule in our house that you have to be in church, so if she's just as happy going with you why fight dragging her to Mass on Sat. nights?

My son was about that same age as your dd when I started going to the Orthodox church.  We let him decide for himself and yes, it was heartbreaking that he chose not to become Orthodox.  He also showed very little interest in Christianity but faithfully attended the EO church with me and his sibs.   We told him we'd help him find the church of his choice, but he didn't want to do that.  I prayed A LOT and was worried A LOT.  He headed off to college and I really worried that he'd completely lose his faith.      What happened was he got hooked up with Intervarsity, which is a Protestant college group.  I wish he'd become Orthodox, and he has read some books and I know he talks with our son-in-law (but never to me) about EO stuff, but he doesn't seem interested or ready.   While it isn't exactly what I'd want, his faith is strong and it is so much better than some of the alternatives.
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