Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
When Parents Disapprove|
Posted: March 2nd. 2002
Times Viewed: 4,835
All parents of teenagers disapprove of something their teenager has done at least a thousand times in their 8 eventful teenage years. There's no denying it.
Teenagers of the 90's and 00's are a whole new breed of teenager. Our parents, typically born in the 50's and 60's, were teenagers in the 60's and 70's. The social history of the time was when everything was just starting to change for teenagers. The term 'teenager' was a very new term in the 50's, initially created as a marketing tool. It was starting to take effect when our parents were teenagers, but only just starting. Teens of our parents' generation were testing the waters of making their own decisions, and this was evident in many ways, particularly through music, drama and political events. An example lay in the play, Michael Gow's Away, 1968, a controversial play, and the extreme controversy of the "radical" 70's musical Hair. The more conservative grew into adults who reared children in the ways that their parents raised them, not prepared for the distance the social reform had travelled.
Religion is one of the most current social controversies at the moment. Recent events like the terrorist attacks in America last year, have had the media repeatedly confusing religion with countries and terrorist cults. The age old disputes between many religions are continuing, like Muslims against Christians, Protestants against Catholics, and so on. Parents of the current generation of teenagers have plenty of reasons to be worried about their teen's religious choices. But what can we Pagan Teens do about it? How can we help our parents see that we have not stumbled on a dangerous cult? We know that we haven't stumbled into a real life version of Charmed, The Craft, Harry Potter, or Bewitched. How can we help our parents see that?
In the past, if your parents were Buddhist, then naturally, you (their teenage son or daughter) were Buddhist too. If your parents were Christian, then naturally, you were Christian too. The same with every other religion. Lucky for a Pagan teen with Pagan parents! But what about the rest of us - the ones with non-Pagan parents?
Teenagers with non-Pagan parents, like myself, have to consider our parents point of view. In my case, my parents were brought up on a vague basis of Christianity, my mother more-so than my father, basically because that's what everyone else is. I practice Paganism quietly and secretively, because I know that my parents don't approve. Conversations with my parents on the topic of my Paganism, usually start because I've minutely publicised that I am Pagan, or I had been researching the topic. Thus the conversation never started on a positive note.
My parent's point of view cannot differ too greatly from the average non-Pagan parent of a Pagan Teen. Their concerns were mostly in regards to my safety. Most parents still hold the belief that Paganism and its branches are a dangerous cult or the like. It is not classed as a "mainstream" religion, and so they refuse to accept it. (I'm sure my parents, would be, if not happier, more relaxed if I was Buddhist or Jewish...)
Another concern my parents have, are my career opportunities. My example: Having just finished school, and moving onto university to study music, I have been seeking a job in musical instrument tutoring. My first offer came from a friend of a friend who works at the local Christian College. My parents were genuinely concerned that I would not be employed through the school system if anyone knew that I was Pagan. So they basically told me to stop being Pagan. After dealing with the employment position, the music teacher has no problem with my religion, but the school system wouldn't like it if they knew. As you can see, my parents had a very valid point. But instead of telling me to stop all connections with my religion, they should have advised me to not mention it whilst applying through the school.
Sometimes parents are threatened by the unknown, and don't know how to handle it and so shut it out of their existence. Some parents find it scary that their teenager has grown up so fast and is making their decisions, but being different to other teenagers worries them the most, I think. They want us to be the same as everyone else. Because of their experiences, they combine anything outside their square of reason with danger. We teens have to understand where they're coming from, because they do have more life experiences and wisdom than we in our youth have. Then again, it wouldn't hurt them to look into our side of things.
Many parents won't let their teenager have a fair go at explaining their situation. Some get to a point where they shut down their receptors when they hear anything faintly outside their square of 'normality'. The best way to handle your situation, is talking it through. Every case is unique, as is each and every person. I have found the best way is to slowly introduce things, and explain them as you go. Eventually though, you'll most probably have to have a big long chat to your parents about your religious path. Explain to them in the most reasonable ways possible that you would like to speak until you are finished before they make comment, because most parents like to intervene when they've only heard half the story. Being open and honest will usually impress them!
In combination with your chats, a suggestion I have heard, is picking up a few essays written by adults, or a very reasonable book written by a well recognised adult, and suggest they read it, or just leave it lying around somewhere for them to pick up and have a good look through.
Every situation is different, unique and special. I'm sure all Pagan Teens with non-Pagan parents will have to face this situation at least once in their lives. Some parents will be more accepting and understanding than others. Just remember though, if you become a Pagan parent, you might have the same problem, reversed! Just remember these times when your teenager comes to you with their newly found religious path differing from your own, and be understanding!
Location: , USA
Bio: I am 17 years of age. I study music, and I live in Newcastle Australia. I have been Pagan (Eclectic Solitary with Celtic influence) for around 4 years. I feel that I am still a newbie, because I have much to learn, but I have learned so much already.
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