Blended Families

Petty or what?

We like to go to church every Sunday (if we're not out of town or working).  Well, everyone is expected to get up every Sunday and get going except for my stepson  (age 14).  He doesn't like church so he doesn't have to go.  My daugher is 8 and whines sometimes but she is used to it now and gets up and going.

Is it me being petty? I just feel if we are going to claim that God is important to us- it should be important enough to make sure our whole family goes.  I have a hard time with this because it's one of several expectations that he is excempt from.  We had an argument over it, stepson heard and told my husband he is asking his mom to get him out of here asap.  I have an issue with my husbands expectations and his applications of it, not with my stepson but that is the way it gets interpreted.

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Re: Petty or what?

  • I dont think I am going to force DD to go to church when she doesnt want to. I think that at 14, he should be able to decide on his own. 

    God is important to me but it doesnt mean that Im in church. There are far more interpretation. I will forsee a hard time with DD regarding to this, I cannot imagine how difficult this is for a blended family.

    Does BM have the same religious upbringing as yours? 


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  • At 14, I think he's old enough to make his own religious decisions. I was a good kid at that age, but man I would have been livid if my parents had tried to make me go to church.

    I wouldn't want to see my child being forced into going to church.

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  • Team you. All family members are treated the same until they're of age to move out or start paying you rent. It's a few structured hours a week. Tell him to meditate or think about his upcoming week during the sermon if he protests church so much. Really it will not kill him and goes a long way as far as establishing family structure and routine

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  • BM is catholic which is even more strict than Anglican and apparently was really into church but also stopped going because my stepson didn't want to go and through his fits with her.  My real issue is whith the expectations being different for the kids.  He pretty much does what he wants when he wants and his parents follow.  I need to pick my battles and I think this one is one I will not bother with.  There have been too many with that kid. My main ones are grades (making sure he has a 2.0) and chores.
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  • It is not petty. I think if you all are going, then he should go.  And I do NOT agree that 14 is an age where they can make their own religious decisions. He's still a child.

    If he doesn't like it...too bad. Until a CHILD is 18, they are a CHILD.  Parents make the rules and the decisions and an hour in church every Sunday, or if it's every other Sunday that he is with you - will not kill him.

    You say he pretty much does what he wants and his parents follow - this kind of parenting is why I think we have a lot of entitled, self absorbed, "the world owes me" kids and young adults.

    I hated church myself when I was growing up, but I went every Sunday, I wouldn't have dreamed telling my parents no. And you know what, I appreciate the fact my parents made me go, and as an adult, I see the value in it - even if I didn't then.  What the hell is wrong with parents these days?  This isn't even a church issue to me. It's the simple fact that he is setting his own rules at too young of an age.  And what kind of example does this set for your kids?

    Not cool of your husband. I'd raise holy hell.

    No pun intended.

     

     

  • Eh, Im kind of torn.On the one hand, my brother and I were athiest for as long as I can remember but my parents never stressed religion in the first place so it was a nonissue.  We went to Catholic school so we went to mass once a month like everyone else, we didnt throw a fit over it. I took choir so I even sang throughout the service.  Is he athiest or does he just not feel like going?  Despite my personal religious beliefs, Im leaning more toward the idea that he should go.  It wont kill him and regardless of whether he believes or not, going can only solidify his personal beliefs one way or another PLUS I do think all family members should be treated equally. 
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  • image +j+k+:

    It is not petty. I think if you all are going, then he should go.  And I do NOT agree that 14 is an age where they can make their own religious decisions. He's still a child.

    If he doesn't like it...too bad. Until a CHILD is 18, they are a CHILD.  Parents make the rules and the decisions and an hour in church every Sunday, or if it's every other Sunday that he is with you - will not kill him.

    You say he pretty much does what he wants and his parents follow - this kind of parenting is why I think we have a lot of entitled, self absorbed, "the world owes me" kids and young adults.

    I hated church myself when I was growing up, but I went every Sunday, I wouldn't have dreamed telling my parents no. And you know what, I appreciate the fact my parents made me go, and as an adult, I see the value in it - even if I didn't then.  What the hell is wrong with parents these days?  This isn't even a church issue to me. It's the simple fact that he is setting his own rules at too young of an age.  And what kind of example does this set for your kids?

    Not cool of your husband. I'd raise holy hell.

    No pun intended.

     

     

    This. You are not forcing him to worship, pray, or even "listen" (he can daydream) to the sermon. You are telling him he has to join the family for a family activity. Maybe start going out to lunch afterwards together so he throws less of a fit about it? 

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  • I think I would base that one on whether or not you would make your DD go at that age if she didn't want to, since the biggest problem is that he is being treated differently. I personally wouldn't make teenagers go to church if they didn't want to. I feel it just builds resentment on matters that have to be decided for yourself.
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  • image Kaeldrasmommy:
    I think I would base that one on whether or not you would make your DD go at that age if she didn't want to, since the biggest problem is that he is being treated differently. I personally wouldn't make teenagers go to church if they didn't want to. I feel it just builds resentment on matters that have to be decided for yourself.

    The only problem with this is that if BM and BD do not feel it is a requirement then I do not feel that the SM making her kid go at 14 matters, obviously BM and the kids parents do not have the same belief on this. My only concern would be if DH is Adams t that your kid go but not his. I do agree that if there is a family event then everyone goes and the kid does not decide.
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  • I made my nephew go to church with us every Sunday when he was living with us and he was 19 when he moved out. He had to go because we went as a family and my only requirement was that he be respectful during the service. We told him it was because DH and I were treating him like we would our own kids and if our kids were living with us at that age, we would still make them go.

    I think you and your DH need to get on the same page because if not, when your kids are older they make think it was unfair that SS got to stay home but they cannot. This is definitely something you and your DH need to come to an agreement on.

    DD(13),SD(12),SS(11),SS(9),DS(3)

  • I went to a private methodist school until I turned 13. At 14, I decided I was an atheist, and I'm still one at 32. My parents respected the decision, and I respected them more because of it.


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  • Dh is the religious one in the marriage, so going to church is very important to him.  That includes almost 14 year old dss, who has acted surprised that there is church on Sunday and whines since I can remember. 

    He has to go because it's a commitment and it's important to dh.  He can't whine to get out of his other commitments, like school or team sports (like just not feeling like going one game and letting the team down).  He can decide later that he doesn't want to go.  I've told him that his dad does a lot of him, he can do this one thing for his dad and go to church for 1 hour a week.

    Ds and dd will be the same.  

  • image Valeriam:

    We like to go to church every Sunday (if we're not out of town or working).  Well, everyone is expected to get up every Sunday and get going except for my stepson  (age 14).  He doesn't like church so he doesn't have to go.  My daugher is 8 and whines sometimes but she is used to it now and gets up and going.

    Is it me being petty? I just feel if we are going to claim that God is important to us- it should be important enough to make sure our whole family goes.  I have a hard time with this because it's one of several expectations that he is excempt from.  We had an argument over it, stepson heard and told my husband he is asking his mom to get him out of here asap.  I have an issue with my husbands expectations and his applications of it, not with my stepson but that is the way it gets interpreted.

    Your SS is old enough to decide if God is important to him. If he doesn't like church, he shouldn't have to go. But I do think he needs to articulate that in a smart way and describe his beliefs/non-beliefs. 
  • I am catholic, living in a catholic country, with very catholic traditions.  My mom is very religious but she never made me go to church, ever. My brother drifted from Catholicism when he was 15 or 16, my mom didn't like it but she didn't stop him.

    I really thing that religion and spirituality is not something to be imposed.  

    I hear you on the different expectations but if you sit down and talk to him, you will be able to understand what is going on in his head. 


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  • I think if your ds can articulate why he doesn't want to go to church other than just "I don't want to" he shouldn't have to go. 14 is certainly old enough to decide whether or not you believe in a certain religion.

    When I was 14 I really started questioning my Catholic upbringing. I believed that the stories of the bible taught us good morals, but I felt the church was getting too political (re: abortion rights specifically). I didn't agree that church should tell me what I should think from a political perspective. I explained this to my mom. She said she understood and asked that I give it a little more time to see if all the political chatter chilled out after the election (I was 14 during a presidential election  year so there was political chatter all over the place). That next year, the youth group was organizing a "peaceful protest" against abortion. They asked me to go and I refused. So they called my mom and she (thank goodness for my awesome mom) told them that I was 15 years old and very smart and have decided that I think a woman has the right to choose, so she was not going to force me to go to this protest. I was kicked out of the youth group that day. But, because my mom gave me the opportunity to articulate why I didn't want to go to church anymore, I felt very empowered --  not in a bratty "I got my way" way, but in an "I can express my opinions freely" kind of way.

    Best part, shortly after that, my mom realized that what I was complaining about regarding the church was pretty accurate and she also decided that she would still have a relationship with God, but it wouldn't involve the formal church setting.

    I was the age of your ss when this happened, so I can certainly see that he might have a legit reason for not wanting to go.

  • I haven't read all of the PP posts.

    My husband was forced to go to church every Sunday while growing up. My parents also had a rule that while we lived under their roof, we went to church unless it was a darn good reason not to (like the flu). My husband does not go to church now, and I do most Sundays. So making him go to church while growing up may or may not skew his view, it's a crap shoot.

    That being said, I think maybe since he is a teenager, he is looking for more say in his life. Could you come to an arrangement that everyone is okay with? Say maybe you could tell him that he can pick 1 Sunday a month where he he chooses not to go to church. It's his choice each month. BUT then you expect him to go to church the rest of the Sundays.

    You could give him more control, but also not completely negate your feelings and church as a family. When your other children get to be 13, it could possibly be an option offered to them too?

    Another option would be that whomever stays home gets a list of chores to do while the others are gone. My parents did that too. Participate with the family in family functions or not.... but if you don't, you don't just get to sit on your butt and do nothing.

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