I got an email recently from “Jen.”
Jen’s a smart woman who told her parents she didn’t want to go to church anymore… when she was 8.
They made her go, anyway, until she turned 15. That’s when she graduated high school (early) and moved out (there may have been some forging of signatures to make that happen…).
She’s now 21, working a couple jobs, attending an Ivy League school (and is an honors student there), and hoping to go to law school.
Are her parents proud of her?
It doesn’t look like academic success is even on their radar, based on a recent incident.
Jen’s sister couldn’t access her email and asked Jen (over the phone) to log in for her… so she did, finding the email her sister needed.
But before logging off, she saw an email from her parents to her sister. The subject line: “Concerning Jen.”
How could she not open that?
Jen (admitting it’s “ethically horrible”) opened it up and found a link to this article.
It’s about Mormon parents whose children stray from the faith. At the end, it recommends a counseling center parents can send “wayward” children to.
This isn’t just about religion. It’s parents projecting their beliefs and wishes onto their children. When the child chooses a different path, these parents go berserk.
I have another friend who decided to drop out of medical school after his third year. He became a special-ed-certified math teacher.
His parents haven’t spoken to him in nearly two decades. (Decades!)
I hope Jen’s parents will come around, but for that to happen, they will have to look beyond religion. Jen’s not going back to the Mormon church anytime soon.