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Author Topic: My daughter HATES Orthodoxy & I only have -3 more yrs w/her. Any advise?  (Read 9127 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: January 19, 2010, 01:25:36 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.

And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Those things are meaningless without the idea of the world being created as essentially good.

Why is that?

Because Christ sacrificed himself "for the life of the world". He came to restore our sacramental relationship with a world that was created good. Or, as Fr. Schmemann says, "in Christ, life-life in all its totality-was returned to man, given again as sacrament and communion, made Eucharist." We approach the Eucharist to commune with God, and for communion and wholeness with all his creation.
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« Reply #91 on: January 19, 2010, 01:29:48 AM »

I've loving and praying for her for years.

I've been trying to instill the Faith in her since our conversion to Orthodoxy.


This particularly caught my attention.  You wrote "since our conversion".  May I ask how old your daughter was at the time, please?  Was she interested in converting (from what if anything?) at the time and since then her erm.. excitement/devotion has faded? Was she willing at the time? Or was it that you converted and brought her along?  Were there significant changes in her life besides going to an EO church such as a move, or loss of relationships with others or changes in home life?  

I am not trying to be nosy, I assure you.  There could be some other parts of her life that are/have been affected.

We have three kids including 2 teenagers (16 and 13) so I have some experience with how they work/think sometimes.

Ebor
Ebor is asking about displaced feelings, perhaps anger.  It is none of our business, but you might want to evaluate if your daughter's hatred of the Church is displaced anger or a displaced hatred of some other event/object in which you are involved.

I was not thinking of that, actually, but with did Marina's daughter really want to convert of her own free will or did it happen when she was very young so had not say in it among other things.  There is also the possibility that it caused some disruption in her life. Perhaps that would be partly "displaced feelings" but changes in childrens' lives can cause problems besides just feelings. 

Ebor
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« Reply #92 on: January 19, 2010, 01:30:04 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.

And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Those things are meaningless without the idea of the world being created as essentially good.

Why is that?

Because Christ sacrificed himself "for the life of the world". He came to restore our sacramental relationship with a world that was created good. Or, as Fr. Schmemann says, "in Christ, life-life in all its totality-was returned to man, given again as sacrament and communion, made Eucharist." We approach the Eucharist to commune with God, and for communion and wholeness with all his creation.

Alright. I didn't doubt that you had legitimate reasoning for what you were saying. I just couldn't connect the dots in my head by myself.
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« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2010, 02:12:12 AM »

My advice?

Ignore the advice on this forum, and speak with your priest since he is your daughter's Spiritual Father, knows your daughter, knows you, and can actually offer advice that is relevant to the situation.
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« Reply #94 on: January 19, 2010, 03:27:29 AM »

Thank you everyone for your advise.

I think what I will do is sit down my favorite (and only) daughter down and let her know that I am hearing what she's been saying to me about the Orthodox Faith and her discontentment and that my decision considering she is growing up and soon to be an adult as well as my duty as her parent is that she will continue coming to Vespers/Confession but only once a month, that she will continue going to Divine Liturgy every Sunday, but only to the Russian Church once a month (my spiritual father had requested that we attend his parish for a while so kinda have to), but that out of all the Orthodox parishes in the area she can choose which one we will attend all the other Sundays of the month. This, I believe should be a happy median. I'll post how the decision is taken by her.
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« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2010, 05:07:18 AM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her. She's not 100% happy as she says she'd prefer to exercise her freewill, but understands that this is a good compromise and even High 5'd me. She wants to pick the Orthodox Church that we will attend most of the time. She wants to first check out the OCA. She then asked me what it stood for and I told her and told her the history of it and then she surprised me by saying, "So I guess that's why history is important." I then asked her if she knew the goal of Christians. She thought it was just to get to Heaven and I was able to speak to her for a brief moment to explain Theosis. Hopefully a bit of it sunk in. Earlier in our conversation she repeated over and over that she was going to become baptized in the Catholic Church the day after she graduates High School and then asked me why we don't go to the Eastern Catholic Church. I told her cause we're Orthodox, but that after she graduates High School, if she Really, Really must become a Catholic, then to become an Eastern Catholic because at least then when she marries, she'll have both Rites of marriage, the exchanging of the rings and the Coranation and because when she has kids then at least, in addition to baptism, they will be able to be confirmed and receive Holy Eucharist as infants - these things are So very important. She agreed. Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)
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« Reply #96 on: January 19, 2010, 05:56:44 AM »

Good one, Marina!  Smiley
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« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2010, 06:02:50 AM »

This sounds like a good turn of events, at least compared to how the situation sounded like it was going to end up in the original post. Smiley I'm glad that you were able to work something out without things getting worse. I hope that as time passes she will grow in the direction that God leads. I'm sure many people who have seen this thread have added you and your daughter to their prayers.
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« Reply #98 on: January 19, 2010, 11:23:39 AM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her.

First, I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!  I think the conversation you've had with your daughter was a good one.  You calmly gave her some options so she can exercise her free will while maintaining your wishes as a parent.  I don't have extensive experience with teenagers, but I know I was pretty strong-willed when I was 14-16 and I would have appreciated this approach.  The key, I believe, is letting your daughter have some control over the situation but not compromising your own beliefs and you seem to have accomplished that.  High five indeed!

Quote
Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)

Between the ages of 13 and 17, I wanted nothing to do with church either until I started dating a churchgoing boy and suddenly I wanted to go to church too.  Do you think this might have influence on her as well?
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« Reply #99 on: January 19, 2010, 12:28:00 PM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her.

First, I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!  I think the conversation you've had with your daughter was a good one.  You calmly gave her some options so she can exercise her free will while maintaining your wishes as a parent.  I don't have extensive experience with teenagers, but I know I was pretty strong-willed when I was 14-16 and I would have appreciated this approach.  The key, I believe, is letting your daughter have some control over the situation but not compromising your own beliefs and you seem to have accomplished that.  High five indeed!

Quote
Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)

Between the ages of 13 and 17, I wanted nothing to do with church either until I started dating a churchgoing boy and suddenly I wanted to go to church too.  Do you think this minght have incluence on her as well?

Probably because when she was Catholic she Hated anything that was Catholic,  including her Catholic Youth Bible, but last night when we spoke she picked it up telling me that since she has a Catholic Bible, then she's Catholic...roll of the eyes...She also has an Orthodox Study Bible...whatever.

I hope are arrangement works out and lessens her bad attitude! :-)
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« Reply #100 on: January 19, 2010, 12:56:59 PM »

I may be overlooking something already covered, but: does the parish have youth programs?
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« Reply #101 on: January 19, 2010, 01:19:17 PM »

Aparrently I must be the only person in the world who never rebelled against the church. I must say that the my house, my rules, you will go to church even if by force worked for me. Of course I was attending church every Sunday from the day after I was baptized, so going to church was part of the normal routine on Sundays; It wasn't something extraordinary. This won't really work for older kids because they are more self aware and interested in making decisions. I do however think that:

A) You need to be at church, Orthodoxy cannot be found outside the church
B) You need to receive the Eucharist
C) Its not going to kill you to spend 2 hours on Sunday thanking God for the 2 hours you have Sunday night to watch tv or play video games.

Just my thoughts, as I have a 6 week old now, she will attend church every week from her baptism and I have no doubt it will be a normal part of the Sunday routine for her.

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« Reply #102 on: January 19, 2010, 02:50:04 PM »

I never rebelled against the church until I was well into college and even then it was half-hearted.  I went to Mass every Sunday and then some.  It was just something we did.  It wasn't even discussed.  Even my brother, who now hates anything that has to do with religion of any kind, went when it was obvious that he no longer believed; he, at least, had the decency to not go to communion, too.  He also never brought it up to my parents, either.  We were also never late and never left before the final hymn was sung and the priest was out the door and in the vestibule.

All this was due to my father and our fear/respect of his authority.  As I said, it was never even discussed.

That being said, I think forcing a teenager who has made a conscious decision to avoid religion to go to church will backfire.  I've seen it happen time and time again.  Making an eight year old who wants to sleep in get up and go to church is entirely different from a 16 year old who thinks that they no longer believe.  There is not, IMHO, some magical age where we can/should stop forcing children to "do the right thing" and respect the decision making of a young adult; it's more of "you'll know it when you see it" kind of situation. 

The most important aspect is to talk with one's older children about stuff like this, not to them and most certainly not at them.  The OP, I think, handled this well by having a conversation and asking questions and offering simple, honest answers.  I applaud her for her patience and diligence in working something out with her daughter. Smiley
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« Reply #103 on: February 05, 2010, 03:26:47 AM »

Quote
This is probably her reaction to anything that's not on MTV right now.  Don't take your teenager too seriously, because they sure don't take anything very seriously.

I don't mean to take this forum off track, but I seriously object to this statement.  I happen to be just under a month away from 16, yet I take many things seriously (such as religion).  I know many other people my age who take many things seriously.  I find your comment to be insulting.  You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

Anyways, I only read the first few posts, and so this may have already been covered.  Your daughter is likely just trying to rebel against anything, she just happens to have picked the Church (likely because it is important to you and she is trying to forge her own identity).  I believe this is happening due to the fact that by the age she is at, she really ought to have an incredible amount of responsibility (a job, perhaps even living on her own with a husband - something that historically speaking would be happening, except the job part).  However, society has created an artificial stage between childhood and adulthood.  Speaking as someone close to her age, I think the best thing for you to do is to not push Orthodoxy onto her.  If you let her choose whether or not to go to Church, go to confession, go to communion, she probably won't at first.  However, she may soon.  On the other hand, if you try to force her to be Orthodox for the next three years, she may forever be gone from the Church once she hits 18. 

EDIT: Also remember that no matter how hard you try, you can never make someone believe something.  It may be that she legitimately does not believe in the Church.  If that is the case, forcing her to go will do absolutely nothing.

EDIT 2: Realized that I unintentionally quoted the post within the post I responded to.
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« Reply #104 on: February 05, 2010, 09:10:48 AM »

Just so I'm clear on the advise being given: I should continue to pray for her. I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?

Keep living your faith, if you are living your faith in the home (remember the home church, family prayer) she will be exposed.  Invite her to participate, but do not demand.  Do not try to guilt her into participating.  Always remain calm, peaceful and loving when inviting to participate, which must be real and genuine.  Always keep her in your prayers. 

What is happening with your daughter is not uncommon for any faith tradition, this is something you are not alone.  It is interesting how universal this situations is and how we fret over it, when in fact it may be an essential part of the healing.  To put it another way, it is like giving the person enough rope to hang themselves, and when they do, the experience breaks their self-will and they come back in repentance and a stronger faith.

Just some thoughts,
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« Reply #105 on: February 05, 2010, 10:44:11 AM »



I don't mean to take this forum off track, but I seriously object to this statement.  I happen to be just under a month away from 16, yet I take many things seriously (such as religion).  I know many other people my age who take many things seriously.  I find your comment to be insulting.  You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

I absolutely understand that you may take religion and others things very seriously, but I think that you may be an exception to the rule. I have been teaching teenagers for five years and find that the vast majority behave just as the media portrays them, if not worse. They don't take any of the important stuff seriously and they take the very unimortant stuff very seriously. This is partly a function of their immaturity but also partly a function of the crap they are fed by our secular society. Perhaps you have developed your thinking skills. Perhaps you are more mature than your peers. But this does not change the fact that most teenagers are hardly functional.
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« Reply #106 on: February 05, 2010, 11:14:22 AM »

Most teens don't care about anything other than what's popular, yet claim they are individualist.  Fact is, they are bombarded with a hedonist atheistic society.  Not just on t.v. or music, but also in schools.  Many teachers and later on, professors, push their own opinions on students as fact.  It's common for a teenager to stray from religion anymore, but if they have at least a good foundation in the faith, later they will be able to separate fact from opinion.  As it's been said here, you can't force anyone to believe in anything.  Prayerfully, your daughter will come around and see how beneficial Orthodoxy is. This can only be if she is able to block out the message that organized religion is detrimental, which is rampant in our society.  Let her do as she believes she should, it will be appreciated later.
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« Reply #107 on: February 05, 2010, 01:21:38 PM »

Quote
I absolutely understand that you may take religion and others things very seriously, but I think that you may be an exception to the rule. I have been teaching teenagers for five years and find that the vast majority behave just as the media portrays them, if not worse. They don't take any of the important stuff seriously and they take the very unimortant stuff very seriously. This is partly a function of their immaturity but also partly a function of the crap they are fed by our secular society. Perhaps you have developed your thinking skills. Perhaps you are more mature than your peers. But this does not change the fact that most teenagers are hardly functional.

You know teenagers from teaching.  I know them as friends.  Teenagers do care about a lot of things, important things.  I have had conversations with friends my age about topics ranging from philosophy to religion to politics to history.  It isn't that young people don't care, it's that young people have been given a certain image of what's cool and what's not by the media.  Unfortunately, the media has portrayed intelligence and thinking as being uncool.  As such, many young people will - especially in school, ironically enough - tend to downplay their intelligence.  However, in a more relaxed and personal setting than a school (which tends to be a pressure cooker for young people due to it being essentially one great big popularity contest) many young people will show that they are bright, intelligent, and thoughtful including on the important topics in life.  This is not to say that all teenagers do care about anything important, many do not.  However, I can think of more than just a few adults, of all ages, who seem to think the most important thing in life is appearance.  I believe that far more teenagers would be amongst those who are responsible and thoughtful if not for the fact that society has created a situation in which young people are to have essentially no responsibility of any kind until they turn 18 (and for many, no responsibility until they are 21).  Young people are expected by society to act reckless and to not care about anything, and many are like that because of society's expectations.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

By the way, I reread my original post in this topic, and I realize the first part of it sounds much harsher than I meant it. 
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« Reply #108 on: February 05, 2010, 02:19:37 PM »

I don't mean to take this forum off track, but I seriously object to this statement.  I happen to be just under a month away from 16, yet I take many things seriously (such as religion).  I know many other people my age who take many things seriously.  I find your comment to be insulting.  You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

Let me go ahead and apologize for being out of line and making such a sweeping and dismissive judgment of teenagers.  I can remember taking a lot of things seriously as a teenager.  It hasn't been that long.  I'm only 27.  Forgive me for an offense against you.
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« Reply #109 on: February 05, 2010, 02:37:20 PM »

Quote
I absolutely understand that you may take religion and others things very seriously, but I think that you may be an exception to the rule. I have been teaching teenagers for five years and find that the vast majority behave just as the media portrays them, if not worse. They don't take any of the important stuff seriously and they take the very unimortant stuff very seriously. This is partly a function of their immaturity but also partly a function of the crap they are fed by our secular society. Perhaps you have developed your thinking skills. Perhaps you are more mature than your peers. But this does not change the fact that most teenagers are hardly functional.

You know teenagers from teaching.  I know them as friends.  Teenagers do care about a lot of things, important things.  I have had conversations with friends my age about topics ranging from philosophy to religion to politics to history.  It isn't that young people don't care, it's that young people have been given a certain image of what's cool and what's not by the media.  Unfortunately, the media has portrayed intelligence and thinking as being uncool.  As such, many young people will - especially in school, ironically enough - tend to downplay their intelligence.  However, in a more relaxed and personal setting than a school (which tends to be a pressure cooker for young people due to it being essentially one great big popularity contest) many young people will show that they are bright, intelligent, and thoughtful including on the important topics in life.  This is not to say that all teenagers do care about anything important, many do not.  However, I can think of more than just a few adults, of all ages, who seem to think the most important thing in life is appearance.  I believe that far more teenagers would be amongst those who are responsible and thoughtful if not for the fact that society has created a situation in which young people are to have essentially no responsibility of any kind until they turn 18 (and for many, no responsibility until they are 21).  Young people are expected by society to act reckless and to not care about anything, and many are like that because of society's expectations.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

By the way, I reread my original post in this topic, and I realize the first part of it sounds much harsher than I meant it.  
Look kiddo, I am only twenty eight. I remember what it was like to be a teenager. Not only do I remember that, but I worked closely with teenagers in youth ministry for years. The fact of the matter is that because of all of the crap they have been fed, most of the things that they classify as "deep thinking" would qualify as shallow crap. They don't know the difference between right and wrong for the most part but only like and dislike. Now are there exceptions? Of Course. But again, those expeceptions are exterme outliers.
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« Reply #110 on: February 05, 2010, 03:13:32 PM »

I share the same experience of youth as Papist. And, btw, I'm 24.
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« Reply #111 on: February 05, 2010, 06:04:02 PM »

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This is probably her reaction to anything that's not on MTV right now.  Don't take your teenager too seriously, because they sure don't take anything very seriously.

You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

Adolescence is not an artificial concept. Scientific observations have shown that from the onset of puberty to roughly age 25 for girls and age 27 for boys, electrical activity at the pre-frontal cortex is reduced and the electrical activity at the parts of the brain that deal with emotions is increased. The problem is that the pre-frontal cortex is where we make rational decisions (weigh the risks and benefits, etc..). So, there are many critical health behaviors that are associated with adolescence, according to the CDC, that may imprint themselves on the adolescent mind and be a problem even later in life. These critical health behaviors include: alcohol, drug and tobacco use; violence; suicide, risky sexual behaviors; obesity; dropping out of school; underperforming in school, and delinquency. CDC did not include not going to Church and broadly rebelling against parental guidance/controls but I suspect that these are also the result of this condition that is called adolescence. It is true that some of us do better than others at this phase of our lives; there is no question however that we all undergo this organic development and that we all need adult guidance and supervision when we are undergoing this trial.
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« Reply #112 on: February 11, 2010, 11:04:02 AM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her.

First, I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!  I think the conversation you've had with your daughter was a good one.  You calmly gave her some options so she can exercise her free will while maintaining your wishes as a parent.  I don't have extensive experience with teenagers, but I know I was pretty strong-willed when I was 14-16 and I would have appreciated this approach.  The key, I believe, is letting your daughter have some control over the situation but not compromising your own beliefs and you seem to have accomplished that.  High five indeed!

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Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)

Between the ages of 13 and 17, I wanted nothing to do with church either until I started dating a churchgoing boy and suddenly I wanted to go to church too.  Do you think this minght have incluence on her as well?

Probably because when she was Catholic she Hated anything that was Catholic,  including her Catholic Youth Bible, but last night when we spoke she picked it up telling me that since she has a Catholic Bible, then she's Catholic...roll of the eyes...She also has an Orthodox Study Bible...whatever.

I hope are arrangement works out and lessens her bad attitude! :-)

Marina, I can't comment on how your daughter should become Orthodox, but it does sound as is she would rather explore her faith privately. I think that, when you are a teenager, it is important to have enough space to consider issues of faith alone. Clearly, your daughter is not opposed to the idea of Christianity, and it seems that she is keen to think about Orthodoxy. But perhaps she needs some private time to consider and adjust to the Orthodox faith?

I know that my faith is now a cornerstone of my life now, but being a teenager is difficult. Maybe your child needs some more time to work things out on her own? After all, she has to know God on her own behalf, not through you.
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« Reply #113 on: February 11, 2010, 02:56:06 PM »

Marina,

Welcome to the forum!  I applaud your open ear and your willingness to work with your daughter.

I also applaud, however, your guiding of the compromise.  I agree with Ms. Hoorah that parents should be parents, and I also believe that, in a Christian family, regular church attendance should never be optional.  I must admit, i don't understand how we can be so serious about making children go to school because "it's the law."  Is it not in God's Law to meet together regularly?  We did not ask the child if he wanted to be baptized; we do not ask them if they want to come to Saturday Vespers and Sunday Liturgy.

But, a few general thoughts...must "regular attendance" then mean, "every time the doors are open, you will be there"?  Two priests whom I greatly respect (both of whom have grown children in the Church), were strict regarding the dominical cycle (Sat. Vespers/Sun. DL), but let their kids have more leeway regarding weekday services, lenten things (to a point), and even some of the repeated Holy Week services.  So regular doesn't have to mean "shove a typikon down their throats and stuff their iPod full of Znamenny."  It could just mean attending some services on a regular basis.  This is not burdensome, though it may be imposed.

And...the method of imposition is crucial.  It's not so much what one says as how one says it.  We mustn't come down on Ms. Hoorah, Tamarah, or Marina (or myself Grin) for insisting on regular church attendance, assuming that any insistence to any degree must be done with a scowl and a threat.  My wife and I both had very devout parents and were in church a lot.  One of the reasons we (along with my wife's siblings) are still Christian is because 1) as has been said, we knew our parents believed what they told us, and that it impacted their lives consistently, and because 2) we knew that they were doing this because they thought it was good for us; even though we may have chaffed some at the degree of involvement with church at times, we knew they weren't making us go so that they would look good in front of other folks, for example.  We sensed the love behind the insistence.  I think that's absolutely vital in dealing with children/youth of any age; they need to know you love them, even as you make them do things (including church).

Excellent topic.  Keep us posted on your daughter, Marina!
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« Reply #114 on: February 12, 2010, 08:31:07 PM »

You need to be at church, Orthodoxy cannot be found outside the church

I disagree. I essentially "found" Orthodoxy before ever stepping foot inside an Orthodox church (granted, I only converted spiritually after experiencing the Divine Liturgy several times).
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