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What to Do When Your Adult Child Chooses a Different Spiritual Path

People typically choose a spiritual path because they believe in it, and it makes sense that those who raise their children in the same path would like to see their children remain there when they are old enough to decide for themselves.

 

But life doesn't always work out that way.

 

"A reality of modern life is that people get to decide for themselves what to believe, and emerging adults today feel they have not just a right but an obligation to make that decision (among others) on their own," write Elizabeth Fishel and Jeffrey Arnett, the authors of "Getting to 30: A Parent's Guide to the 20-Something Years."

 

And so they offer some questions and answers that could help. Among them:

 

What if your 20-something doesn’t want to celebrate religious occasions with you?

 

What if your emerging adult moves away from your faith?

 

What if your twentysomething is more religious than you?

 

What if your son or daughter marries someone from a different faith?

 

"For some parents with deeply held traditional beliefs, emotions run especially strong on this topic," write Fishel and Arnett. "They may criticize or even reject their children as punishment for not remaining in the fold."

 

But that might not be the most effective tactic. 

 

"The more you express your faith through love, forgiveness and generosity of heart," they write, "the more attractive the faith is likely to seem, to your grown children, their partners and their family-to-be."

 

READ MORE [Next Avenue]

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