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Author Topic:

Need some advice for a 17 year old

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Faerie
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« on: July 14, 2010, 08:15:27 AM »

Got home last night and found my eldest son's best friend waiting for me on the patio. Knowing my lad is off having a driving lesson I walk up to him to tell him, but he interrupted me just after my "hello". Mrs B, he says, I need some advice please.

So I sat myself down and had a listen at this 17 year old's tale of woe. His folks are divorced and his mom and dad belong to different churches (Catholic and Methodist), every second weekend he has to spend with his dad, and thus needs to attend the Catholic church, and the alternate weekend, he warms a pew in the Methodist. He is now being forced to attend confirmation classes during the week at BOTH churches, and he's fed up with the stress coming from both sides of the parental pool as well as from the respective churches who is attempting to "convert" him for themselves. He doesnt WANT to attend either church, and claims that he feels its a load of hogwash packaged in different giftboxes. He knows we're secular and figured I'd be able to advise him.

I'm a tad at a loss though, what rights does he have at 17 when it comes to parental control?  He can refuse to go, but what effect would this have in an already stressed household (TWO if you think about it). He's currently being used as a pawn between the parents and once again religion is at the base of it.

Any advice from anybody would be welcome.
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cyghost
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 11:02:44 AM »

I heard about a girl recently who sued her parents and are now divorced from them...  Shocked

Not saying that is the way to go but at 17 I think this bloke should be able to sit his parents down, separately perhaps, and discuss it with them. And make his feelings known. Then it all depends on how religious his parents are and how strongly he feels about not attending these ceremonies I guess.

it is sad that a kid has to be faced with such a dilemma though...
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Tweefo
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 15:44:12 PM »

Sadly, no advice. Parents should write and pass a "Parental exam" before they are allowed to start a family. No scrap that. The religious lot would probably hijack this as well.
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GCG
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 15:54:14 PM »

this dude should just use an opportunity, and get them both in the same place, whether they want to or not, and say, listen, im not gonna do this anymore.
or, if he's clever, get hold of one or both of the lawyers, and tell em that his education and social growth is being affected by having to attend redundant church learnings.
or, he can choose a church (if he's really into that), that kinda inbetween the two points of call, and say, right, i go to this church, you make sure i get there every sunday.  maybe contact the relevant dominee of that church, and have him/her contact the parents and say, right, this is it.
or, he can attend the school religious stuff they do, and say, right, i allready do the church thing in my school, and that is what i want.
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Brian
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2010, 16:06:01 PM »

I agree with GCG but he should also point out to his parents that while he loves them both (I think) he was born an atheist (shit he couldn't have been born both Meths or Caths) and should get to choose any religion (or none) when he has the opportunity to do so and they should respect his choice and the right to choose
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GCG
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2010, 16:14:57 PM »

mebbeh he culd do the whole rebellious thing, and dress so weird that his folks wouldnt want him anywhere near their church.  worked like a bomb for me.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2010, 18:37:38 PM »

He's 17. What are they gonna do if he refuses to go, beat him in to submission? Kid needs to grow some balls.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2010, 21:14:36 PM »

In less than a year he will be old enough to vote, get a driver's licence, die for his country legally in the army or be executed for murder. Surely he is old enough to choose which religious leaning he prefers. Easier said than done in some families but what can they do to him? When my son first told his Mom he was an atheist she freaked at first but has come to accept it in time.

If I wasn't so big on truth I would suggest he tells each parent he's decided to go with the other one's church.
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Lilli
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 15:20:13 PM »

As a kid, I was forced to attend church (only one, but it was bad enough for me) right up until the day I moved out of my parent's house. I got to tell my folks that I was attending the 'youth' service while they attended the other even boringer one, and I snuck out to go play pool at the bar around the corner. Just a quick game, once a week, for an hour while they were in church. Thankfully I was never caught (that would've sucked) but I didn't have to go to church and I didn't have to have the really reeeaaallly awkward conversation about my lack of faith with them. Win-win situation I guess. The 17 year old needs to weigh up his options - confront your folks with how you feel, put up with the religious bs for another year, or just don't go to church and hope your parents never find out. Good luck.
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st0nes
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2010, 09:08:33 AM »

There is no easy solution to his dilemma.  I went to a very religious boarding school and really started to think about religion when I was attending confirmation classes.  I decided I just didn't buy what they were trying to sell, so I told my father I didn't believe and therefore I should not be confirmed.  His response: "If you don't get confirmed I'll break every bone in your body!"  So I just went ahead and told the bishop a bunch of lies about believing his mumbo jumbo to keep the peace in the family, but since then I have had zero respect for my father, and in fact I haven't spoken to him for years.

Your guy is 17; perhaps it would be best for him to just put up and shut up for the brief time he has left before he goes off on his own and can make his own decisions.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2010, 09:48:16 AM »

Hey st0nes, Respect! At least you confronted the psycho. Angry
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