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My Friend's Daughter Has A Serious Problem


antix
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I keep in touch with 2 Christians anymore. One is a friend from high school and never passes judgement or pushing it.  The other guy, a friend from college has high dived along with his wife into this church a couple yrs ago. It runs their whole lives and they basically live for the church.  OK, fine:   But their 13 yr old daughter wants more out of life instead of church and she is doing horrible in school. But she is being punished now because she yelled at her parents that she does not believe in God. Next time I talk to her dad I will be blunt and say: she wants a life and that life does not include some building down the street filled with people hanging onto a myth. She is entitled to her belief and you should not force her to go to church. You should worry more about her homework.

 

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Well... good luck

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Not helpful.  You are interpreting the situation according to your assumptions.  Her parents are likewise understanding the issue under their own inferences.  If you spoke to the parents this way, they would see this as attacking the faith as they expected would happen.  They would take it out on the girl, and the situation would get worse.  The whole scenario is probably quite a bit different than the way any of you are imagining it, including the daughter.  This is especially so if you have not been there to make personal observations.  What would be better would be to simply take the kids out on an afternoon trip and let mom and dad have a date night.  Things would probably lighten up after that.  Or, if you don't live nearby, send a meaningful gift that has nothing to do with religion or irreligion.

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I think you should try to avoid pissing off your friend, because they might cut you out of their life and then you can be of no help to the daughter.

 

Try to take a longer term view; there is always a certain amount of teen angst and the daughter will survive this and still achieve her goals in life eventually.

 

Part of being friends with parents of kids is that you have to look past their sometimes poor parenting and love them anyway, even when you see their kids suffering.  A dear friend of mine is spoiling her 5 year old and the kid is getting some serious entitlement issues from it.  But I can't say this to my friend (especially since I don't have kids myself).  I am just firm with the child when I am babysitting and I wait for opportunities to gently say things to my friend about it some time.  Never underestimate how hard it is to parent kids.  People generally do their best and the kids generally turn out ok.

 

The caveat to that is that if you know of genuine abuse or neglect, call child protection services and stay out of it after that.

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Thanks for listening and the replies. I realize I need to keep quiet. I am reacting (not overreacting in my opinion) to a good friend who has basically been brainwashed and thinks the local nazarene down the street is the meaning of life. But when he gives 10k a yr plus to the church as well as the majority of his vacation time, I have to wonder.

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I keep in touch with 2 Christians anymore. One is a friend from high school and never passes judgement or pushing it.  The other guy, a friend from college has high dived along with his wife into this church a couple yrs ago. It runs their whole lives and they basically live for the church.  OK, fine:   But their 13 yr old daughter wants more out of life instead of church and she is doing horrible in school. But she is being punished now because she yelled at her parents that she does not believe in God. Next time I talk to her dad I will be blunt and say: she wants a life and that life does not include some building down the street filled with people hanging onto a myth. She is entitled to her belief and you should not force her to go to church. You should worry more about her homework.

Walk lightly with this...if you really want to talk with him about this and get deep into it, it is going to take time. Plus, how is your friends wife going to react to your opinions? Be carful interjecting yourself too far into this.

 

I am just curious to the reasoning why you feel you need to get involved in this. Pick your fights, that being said, what i would do is work my way to talking about his religion somehow and ask what his kids think about it and go from there. Other than that you are risking going too far and offending him or his wife.

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Thinker: you are correct, I need to stay out of it 100 percent. His wife is one of these people with a good heart, but her view of the world consists of less than a few weeks outside her small town.  What is upsetting me is once they dived into this church, I was listening too all this bullshit about giving a ton of money and freetime and forcing the daughter to go with them all the time. She almost had to repeat 6th grade and my friends response is she needs home schooled (I knew I would hear this comment sooner or later).   What she needs (and I am staying out of it, except for I will make a comment that the kids who get better grades usually have parents that push the good grade issue) is to take school more seriously and not be forced to go to church multiple times a week.

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One last comment on this and I will shut up: For about 4 - 5 yrs his daughter has been asking to go to Disney World and his excuse was he does not like vacations and it is too expensive. But giving 10k a yr to the church is mandatory.

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Teenagers are tough… lots going on there. You may be more helpful to her as an example… kids are smart  Your attitude toward their treatment of her will be more than obvious to her, especially if you keep your mouth shut about it in front of them (don't agree with them, etc). - she will see that you don't believe and that you are living a good life, and maybe even you may become a 'safe place' for her, or someone to confide in. Just stay open to her. But not if you estrange her parents… then she will not have access to you at all. 

 

Other than her friends you may be the only non-believer she knows.

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I understand your feelings in your OP, but the daughter will be better off with you in her life rather than (potentially) kicked out of it by her parent/s.   Good luck!

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It's times like this that the Rants Section here sure comes in handy!    Wendycrazy.gif vent.gif  

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One last comment on this and I will shut up: For about 4 - 5 yrs his daughter has been asking to go to Disney World and his excuse was he does not like vacations and it is too expensive. But giving 10k a yr to the church is mandatory.

When you have children you can make different choices.

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE:  She is 12 not 13.  Time to wash my hands of any of this: had a conversation with my friend saturday

 

Him: We had to enforce punishment on her, we took away all her electronics

 

Me: Could it possibly be she is not happy with going to church twice on sunday and whatever church activities you guys do on sat and the middle of the week

 

Him: She is 12, she does not like it but she needs to listen to us, she is too young to make decisions.

 

Me: I am not saying that, I am saying you should be respectful of some of her wants

 

Him: No!  We are taking her to a Christian psychiatrist, the head pastor at our church thinks she is possessed.

 

 

I'm done

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Like the rest of us, I don't know the family - but based on this thread, I feel very sad for all of them, but of course most for the kid.  She probably can already see that the cult is a pile of shit. The parents are setting themselves up for their daughter to decide to keep them at a long distance once she's no longer financially dependent.  I hope she's not too damaged by any attempts to cast out a demon.  Maybe she can just sort of act the part so things don't get to that point.

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I worry when people say a child is possessed... its one thing to fall for that crap as an adult, but to put it on a child?  That's potentially child abuse.  At 12 she's got a lot of years ahead of her to put up with this.

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Him: No!  We are taking her to a Christian psychiatrist, the head pastor at our church thinks she is possessed.

 

What a red flag!  It's almost as bad as "My priest said my son would be perfect as an alter boy".

 

The trouble is this is the minor of somebody else.  As an outsider there is nothing you can do.

 

Filing a complaint with the government won't do anything unless the abuse has already happened.

 

Otherwise you will just look like an idiot or worse.

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Our friendship is over, I sent him a message saying I was sick of hearing nothing from the past 2 yrs except church church church. I talked to him recently before this and asked "how does Abbey feel about having to go to church and do church related activities all the time" and he replied she does not like it. That alone told me what I suspected: she is rebelling being force fed church.   He sent a message back saying I need professional help because I like to drink and my life is in a downward spiral heading to a crash since I am no longer a xian

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Our friendship is over, I sent him a message saying I was sick of hearing nothing from the past 2 yrs except church church church. I talked to him recently before this and asked "how does Abbey feel about having to go to church and do church related activities all the time" and he replied she does not like it. That alone told me what I suspected: she is rebelling being force fed church.   He sent a message back saying I need professional help because I like to drink and my life is in a downward spiral heading to a crash since I am no longer a xian

Move on.  The daughter will eventually escape from the religious abuse, or she won't.  There's nothing you can do about that.  However, there are likely many things you can spend your time on that will improve the lives of certain folks.  

 

In short, invest your time in something that will make a difference, and not in fretting about something for which you can do little, or nothing.

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True, I cannot make a difference. If they think a Christian shrink can do the job, so be it. I only hope they see the light and realize their daughter has issues that can easily be addressed by cutting down in church

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