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I Worry My Parents Won’t Accept My Beliefs

From a young teen in the U.S.: I as a child i was born into a christian family. As i got into 6th grade my friends and I started to read Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the heroes of Olympus, and after that i got really interested in the Greek gods and always had fun talking about them. so i discovered that other people believe in them to and i wasn’t alone and that made me happy. soon i found my self praying to those gods. i’d pray to Zeus to keep them safe if a family member went on a plane ride. i looked up a what it was called to believe in them, and now i’m a Hellenic.

None of my family know that but at night i think of telling them and them not accepting me, i feel like they’ll just say ” Oh honey your just being silly and you just like them”;, or them treating me different. I have a voice in my head just telling me the bad thing that could happen if i tell them but i try not to believe it but i kinda do. I just don’t know what to do and if they think i’m faking, it’s been driving me crazy thinking about it. Thank you for reading

I Worry My Parents Won’t Accept My Beliefs

A.

During the teen years, most people go through a period of questioning their parents’ beliefs and struggling to find their own identity. in addition, it is normal for teens to start to both separate from their parents and worry that doing so will make their parents angry. For a kid who is curious and thoughtful and sensitive, as your letter shows you to be, it can be a time that provokes a lot of anxiety.

Finding a spiritual and/or relgious direction is a huge issue for many people. I encourage you to keep exploring. I’m not saying you aren’t serious about being Hellenic. I am suggesting that it is usual for a thoughtful teen to explore a number of religions as they become more aware of them.

If your parents are very conservative, they may feel threatened by your exploration. Do understand that it is usually not because they are controlling or unloving. It is often because they worry that there are negative spiritual consequences for leaving their religion even for a while.

But when young people feel free to explore, they also generally explore their family’s beliefs more fully. Often they return to the religion they were raised with. When they do, they feel more committed to their faith because it was a choice, not just an automatic acceptance of the family’s beliefs.

For now, I think it would be wise to do what you can to deepen your relationship with your parents, not get into a debate about your religion. If they know you love them and feel connected to the family in profound ways, your parents are more likely to be accepting as you work to find yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Worry My Parents Won’t Accept My Beliefs

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Worry My Parents Won’t Accept My Beliefs. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/08/07/i-worry-my-parents-wont-accept-my-beliefs/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 3 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Aug 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.