When A Teen Rejects Their Parent’s Faith…

… I have to say, as a parent this is one of my biggest fears. It’s a nasty world, even nastier when you face it without the roots of firmly planted faith. I should know. I spent the majority of my youth rebelling against all types of authority, most especially religious authority. So I can say with 100% certainty that this article is probably the most accurate thing I have ever read on the subject. And I don’t say that lightly.

Dr. Gregory Popcak writes;

When teens fight you about Church, it usually has little to do with their actual beliefs about God or Church. Usually, a teen’s apparent rejection of his or her faith has to do with one of two things; a personal encounter with suffering he or she can’t make sense of or the breakdown of their relationship with you.


Now go read the whole thing. Read it!

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • hotboogers

    My son was confirmed in The Faith, then only a few months afterward, chose to become an atheist. It’s all my fault. I gave him the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. Son read it and was appalled at the horrendous lack of logic and the weakness of the arguments. Being a logical, mathematical sort of fellow, he felt a personal conviction to reject the subject of said horrificalness. So now he is atheist. Or more precisely, scientist, in the sense of someone who only believes what can be scientifically proven. Pray for us.

    • Anna

      Could you ask him to read Amy Welborn’s “Prove It!” books? Solidly Catholic, well-written, good teen-oriented summary of common objections to the existence of God (there are three or four in the series, starting with God, then Jesus, the Church, and prayer).

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

        That Prove It! series is seriously a great series. My son has read all of them and loaned a few out.

      • Joe Bigliogo

        You may well be convinced by such books since you are already Catholic. Would YOU consider reading some excellent atheist books that counter and dispose of the arguments in your “Prove it” books? Would you be open minded enough to consider the possibility that your religion is grounded in falsehoods and fraud?

    • Joe Bigliogo

      Even worse are Lee Strobel’s books which Christians love to flaunt for some reason unknown to me. Strobel is considered something of a joke in the atheist community not far removed from Ray Comfort. He’s also notorious for his lack of intellectual honesty. His arguments are lame, sophomoric, weaselly, circular, unconvincing and have been refuted over and over by far more thoughtful people.

  • qualcosadibello

    I worry when anyone makes such a sweeping statement as this, bringing things down to just 2 causes, on such a broad & guilt-ridden thing as parenting. Remember everyone has free will…children too. I know way too many good Catholic families with a child leaving the Faith. The parents are already living under a tremendous heap of guilt in these circumstances & those who are closest to me express the most tormenting suffering that tears the heart. None of these parents are the types to cause a breakdown in the relationships with their children. The are beating themselves up over what they as parents have done wrong. This article does not really touch on the societal influences that are beyond what most of us parents could imagine from our own perspectives in childhood/adolescence, including a loss of true Catholic identity in the American parishes. If mom & dad are teaching the true Faith, but the child isn’t hearing it at Mass/school/with friends, there will be a breakdown, but is that the fault of mom & dad? Some children navigate that within the Faith; others don’t. I would caution anyone with younger, still-very-faithful Catholic children: Do not assume that you may do everything “right” & your child will practice the Faith as an adolescent/adult in keeping with the precepts of the Church. I would, rather than sow discouragement, plead with all parents to spend frequent time on your knees~ preferably before the Blessed Sacrament & regularly avail *yourself* of the Sacraments, especially Confession, way more than the precepts of the Church prescribe. You will be an example to your child & if your child should stray away, you will have your most needed source of comfort in the dark days.

  • Joe Bigliogo

    “When teens fight you about Church, it usually has little to do with their actual beliefs about God or Church… but has to do with one of two things; a personal encounter with suffering he or she can’t make sense of or the breakdown of their relationship with you.”

    This has to be one of the biggest bold faced lies among all Christian delusions. All over the world kids are questioning the Christian faith whether it’s Catholicism or some variant of Protestantism. We are living in a time of unprecedented explosive growth of atheist and skeptical thinking most notably among the younger generation. In many homes, in every school and in every town there are scores of youth who reject the dogma of their parent’s faith as myths and fables of a primitive, fear based control system.

    So the parting from faith for so many young people is NOT about bad relationships, poor parenting or reaction to suffering, it’s honestly and genuinely about finding the Christian belief system to be irrational and untenable.