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"Desperate" for the Kids to Find God?

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Lynnette and Tom struggled with the decision to get their kids to church; Tom had reservations because he was forced to attend when he was a child.

If you were forced to go to services when you were growing up, do you force your kids now?

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Guiliana April 14, 2008, 2:11 PM

I don’t force my kids to go because I’d rather emphasize spirituality with them rather than religion.

JMM April 14, 2008, 2:32 PM

It’s like the Desperate Housewives writers wire tapped my house. My husband and I have this struggle weekly. He’s pretty much over it and I feel like we need to provide the kids with some sort of religious upbringing. The Catholic guilt still works wonders on me.

Nicole J. April 14, 2008, 3:31 PM

I think forcing children to go to church or any other religious activity will eventually backfire. I was forced to attend Mass and catechism until my early teens. When I was little I enjoyed it, but once I grew into a questioning pre-teen, I was not thrilled with the whole thing. I continued to go to Mass with my dad, because he took me for pancakes and chocolate milk afterwards.

My partner and I are pretty much as un-religious as you can get. But we do have definite ideas about ethics and morality (although decidedly not the same as many other people). We will raise our son according to these values, while exposing him to other religious and cultural traditions through friends, family and field trips.

April April 14, 2008, 4:44 PM

I think parents should take their kids to church. No this is not “forcing” them to go, no more than we “force” them to go to school every day. (“Forcing” makes it sound like a bad thing.) This is simply giving them the opportunity to know God. Why should we deprive our kids of that? There is no “forcing” about it. Using this logic, I also “force” my kids to take a bath every night, “force” them to eat their veggies, and “force” them to put on clean underwear every day. This is just being a good parent, people!

NoReligionForMe April 15, 2008, 11:25 AM

I was raised a Catholic and forced to go to church, confession and cadecism class. Today I’m not any religion and don’t go to church unless it’s a wedding or funeral.

Summer April 15, 2008, 5:53 PM

I think there’s a difference between force and encouragement. I don’t force my kids to eat their veggies, but I do encourage them to and explain why. And guess what, they eat pretty well. Forcing them to do anything will eventually backfire. Encouraging them and explaining why at least teaches them how you feel and the reasons for doing so.

I was forced to attend church as a child because that what “good parents” do. Now, keep me as far away from that place as possible.

Susie April 16, 2008, 12:08 PM

Why does she wear a scarf? Is she bald?

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