Ashley is a 14-year old from Wisconsin and enjoys kayaking, hiking and reading. Her favorite subject is English because the teacher is amazing!
Parenting or teaching religion can be one of the most important things in a child’s life. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult “lessons” to oversee. No matter what faith you are too much pressure to be involved with a religion can lead to a strong dislike of the subject. But if you don’t enforce these beliefs then it can lead to an unstable moral compass and many other troubles throughout adulthood. There are certain steps and tips you can use to guide your student or child onto the right path.
a. Exploration- Just because your child isn’t interested or devoted to the religion your family practices it doesn’t mean they won’t. Exploring a new branch of religion will make anyone more sure of their religion and it definitely can’t hurt. As long as you are always there and your teen knows it, they will always come back, as long as you don’t pressure them too much.
b. Interest- Make sure you always encourage interest in religion. There comes a time when teens get naturally curious and need to define a religion for themselves, to make it their own.
2. Tell Stories
a. Mythology is one of the most fun things about religion. Telling stories to any age group will make religion much more memorable. Whether they are true stories from a holy text or just stories of saints or people like Ghandi.
a. Obvious explanations- Religion is very important and there are many reasons to study it. But you have to explain it to your teens. Explain things like why you chose to follow you religion, why they should chose to study a religion or a certain belief in particular.
b. Answer Questions- If you don’t ask questions, you don’t learn. By asking questions teens show interest or at least curiosity. Most importantly, they can tell whether you are sure of the answer you give or not. And if you aren’t sure refer them to someone who will have an answer, someone like a priest, pastor, or rabbi.
4. Make it Relatable and Personal
a. Fun! – Religion doesn’t have to be boring. Become active in you church or start your own group within your church. If religion feels like a chore, or a requirement teens will not want to do it.