My 10 year old has said he doesn't want to come to mass anymore.(24 Posts)
I always knew this day would come but didn't really expect it just yet. He has always been really keen and is an altar server. This seems to have been precipitated by the fact that winter training for cricket starts soon and will clash with our usual mass time. I am quite prepared to go to a different time but he said he doesn't want to.
I fully expected to have this conversation at some stage after he goes to high school but not just yet whilst still at primary. I know he will make up his own mind but feel, at this age, I want us to still go as a family. He has quite a strong faith and has always had a mature understanding of it relative to his age and I don't doubt that this will continue and he will be drawn back in his own.time.
Do I insist on him coming or go with the flow? Maybe I just need to understand where he is coming from a bit more. I know there will be those who are horrified by children being made to attend but we made a decision to bring our children up catholic and this is a key part of this and is also something embedded within our family life.
Yes YOU made the decision, not him.
Allow him to go to cricket, keep inviting him to church, and hopefully he will come back into the fold. Forcing him to go will only alienate him and make him completely anti.
I say this as one brought up as a Catholic and was alienated by parents forcing me to go.
Could you ask him to compromise and at least come to the major celebrations like Easter and Christmas?
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If it was me OP I would have just discussed how the cricket and mass could be accommodated and just gone with the new mass time. The option of not going wouldn't have come up.
Urgh, parents forcing religion upon kids makes me cringe.
Its your beliefs, not his. He has been taught these
Let him choose what he wants to do.
I think parents hugely underestimate just how utterly fucking boring mass is to someone not interested in it.
Oh, I can still remember that physical pain at how boring mass was. Agree with the "It's your choice, not his" view to be a catholic. God, I was so conditioned into thinking I had to go I was a young adult before I realised I had a choice - never looked back
You need to respect his opinion on something like this. Religion is such a personal thing, and you have to allow him to have his own relationship with God, not the one you think he should have.
If you force him into it, you run the risk of him rejecting his faith completely.
This has happened in my family. My cousin was always very involved with the Catholic Church, and he even wanted to be a priest until he was about 14. Then he became less interested but was still forced to go. He is now a lovely, kind, compassionate 34 year old atheist, and is far more scathing of the church than any of the others in his generation that were allowed the freedom of choice.
Mass needs to be something a person wants to do, not something they are forced to do. You say he's quite mature in his understanding of his faith, so give him the credit he deserves.
I would go with the flow. He is ten, he knows what to do, how to behave, what the words are, when to sit, kneel, stand. If and when he needs it he can walk right back into church and feel at home.
We exercised parental authority until DS was 14. This was the age he left Sunday school and was expected to attend regular services. His passion was/is football and he persevered with our diocesan Saturday league up until then.
He negotiated his way onto a secular Sunday team, switching to our evening service.
As a student in London, he goes to an evening service at HTB, totally outwith parental control.
I'd trust his judgement.
If he's mature and has made his decision, then you need to trust him.
He'll not turn into a lying, thieving, murderer just because he misses Mass.
Maybe change the times so he can still come, if he's still interested in that.
Ellie, I find your post offensive and disrespectful.
And I'm not even a catholic (anymore).
Live and let live!
Ds is 6. He's been asking me why he isn't christened. I've told him its because he should be able to choose whether he is or not. If he wants to be when he's older ten that's his choice.
Let your son choose to go to cricket
I'd agree - we'd get quite a lot of parents come and speak to us about this type of thing at school. He's at the age where it is his decision. Let him play cricket for a while. Make sure he knows that you are happy to change what mass you attend so that he can come too, if he wants too.
He needs to explore and find where religion fits into his life. It's much better to do that at this age, where going to church will fit back in, then when he leaves home and church is less likely to just slot back into his life.
At 10 years old they understand the difference between right and wrong.
You should NOT be forcing your son to attend these events now - if you do you could end up with an emotionally damaged adult as a result.
In my line of work I have seen this happen frequently .
Ellie, I find your post offensive and disrespectful So?
I find brainwashing children rather offensive.
Ellie, the fact that YOUR post has been deleted and nobody else's has speaks volumes.
OP, this is a difficult one and I feel for you. My DS is the same age and is also an altar server which he loves doing. At present he is not bothered about doing anything else on a Sunday but I am certain this will come.
Interestingly our Priest told me that he and his brothers were told by their Mum to attend church until they were 16 after which they could make their own decision. His brothers never went again but he became a Priest....likewise the other Priest who says he does not dare MENTION religion when with his family .
So your DS loves cricket and that's great, perhaps suggest a break from Mass for him and then re-offer it in a few months.....but not sure how this fits in with the Catholic ethos.
What is within your Parish for children and young people. Our Parish has an active child and youth movement which has loads of (non-religious) activities. The y4-6 age group have film nights, discos and fun days but I know from our Priests that not all Parishes are like this. Maybe your DS finds it dry with nothing fun about it. It's a hard one and I don't envy you.
at the dismisiveness on here. As one who rarely has company from dcs any more.
I think it depends on logistics, OP. Could 1 adult and him go Saturday night, returning with fish and chip supper? I'd moot it as a trial for this season. Avoid last service Sunday- it'll hang over you all if he's resistant.
I'm coming at this from an atheist perspective, although our DC have faiths explained to them and questions answered as objectively as possible.
I'm thinking, hmmmmm, a ten year old. Mass, or cricket? Weigh up the pros and cons. If you let him go to cricket he'll get to have fun and exercise, plus develop social and sport skills. If you force him to come to mass he'll get to be bored and resentful.
....and before Ellie accuses me of "brainwashing", my DS's attendance at church has been entirely led by him. I was a non-churchgoer but his friend was an altar server and he wanted to do the same. It meant a lot of discussion with him about different beliefs.
He attended Holy Communion classes, was baptised (as Id never bothered with baptism) and has enjoyed going to church. He is autistic with ADHD and the church have welcomed him just as he is. I am proud of him for finding something he is interested in and sticking to it.
Could he do cricket, then just encourage him to attend mass once a month or so? I know what you mean about feeling sad that attending as a family has come to an end.
Thanks all for the advice from so many different perspectives.
My ds and I were chatting later on yesterday when he said that he did want to carry on going to mass, he just hadn't felt in the mood yesterday as he was tired. So we will just take him at a different mass time, and work around winter training as planned, for the duration.
All's well that ends well.
But make sure that he's not just going just to please you. It should be a positive choice- not a default position.
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