Tween - Attending Church Without Parents

Updated on April 15, 2013
C.. asks from Columbia, MO
34 answers

I'm going to try to keep this question vauge on purpose, because I want a variety of thoughts, in general, on the topic.

Would you allow your 12 year old (will be 13 this summer) to attend a church that **fundamentally differs** from your beliefs, and one that you don't currently (and won't) attend, at least not on a regular basis?

A. What if this church *teaches* things that you think are factually incorrect?
B. What if this church believes things that you believe are just "wrong"?

I believe to my core that everyone should be able to follow their own path and that each individual is responsible for finding their own "truth". We are also a family of "talkers" so I know that the conversations we have will be priceless. I'm just trying to get some diverse thoughts on this subject, because I have about 10 differing points of view in my head!!!!!

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answers from San Francisco on

Yes, absolutely I would.
It's a great way to have an open, honest discussion about religion, AND the teen years are such an impressionable time. He may not be as open to discussion and differing viewpoints by the time he's an adult.

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answers from Chicago on

No, I wouldn't allow a child that young to attend another faith's service on their own, but I would sit with my child and learn about the faith together. I'd get books from various perspective, both for and against the denomination to have an open discussion about it. That should be enough for quite some time.

If the child persists, I would attend on my own a few times to see what it was like, in practice. If there are no bright red flags, I would allow the child to come with me a few times, not in place of our own family's church service, but in addition to it. I wouldn't allow my child to go on his/her own until they were not living in my home anymore, so age 18.

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answers from Kansas City on

Religion? Yes.
Cult? No.

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answers from Columbus on

Well, my parents weren't very religious -- my dad was Catholic (renounced the church after being beaten by nuns as a child), my mom was Lutheran (but had no interest in attending church). So my parents would drop me at the church door for sunday school and church every week and pick me up when it was all done. I had siblings to go with until about age 12 and then was alone until I graduated high school and moved away. I hated it. I hated sitting alone. I hated that they made me go when they wouldn't. We didn't discuss what I was learning there, so if anything disagreed with their beliefs, who would have known or cared. It was their way of meeting their obligation without really doing so.
You are almost too vague -- is it the child who wants to go? Another parent or relative? Why aren't you going?
Personally, I believe in honoring the child's wishes -- if the child wants to go, then I'd be there, whether I agree or not, to monitor what is being taught and engage in discussions. If the child has no interest in going, I would not force it.

ETA: by the way, I believe every person should believe what they feel is right for them, not what someone else tells them to believe. As an adult, I chose a different church than my parents' churches. I have no problem with a young teen exploring what those beliefs are, and the parents should be involved in that process.

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answers from Boise on

I don't attend any church. I am agnostic, and all of my kids have or do attend church. I don't have to believe the same things they do. I also give my opinion on something they may have been taught that 'I' think is way off (usually anything to do with intolerance).

My younger ones have attended the Baptist VBS, a few of mine have attended the youth group at the non-denomination church, and one is looking into the LDS church. the only thing I ask of my kids is to wait till they are adults to make a choice and then when they do to wait a year or so longer to make sure it is the right choice.

I say this cause the one looking into the LDS church is doing it because her boyfriend is a member and I want her to make sure it is for the right reasons. She tends to be a people pleaser, so I want her 100% sure first.

Beyond that, their religion and their relationship, or lack of, with God is up to them.

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answers from Dover on

I would still want my child/teen to attend the place of worship with the family and teach them the family faith. I would also allow them to explore other religions if that was in his/her heart to do so.

How do you know what you believe (or how does your child know what they believe) if you are not knowledgeable on the subject?

Since you believe the other church to be fundamentally different, I would encourage you to attend (if not all the time at least on a somewhat regular basis) to hear what he or she is hearing and learning. Making sure they understand what they are hearing (not just remembering bits and pieces) and to insure it is not a "cult" type situation.

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answers from Rochester on

Since I don't know the details, I'm just going to give you my brief point of view.

I'm a Baptist. I've taken my children to church since birth. I think that's my responsibility as a parent. I care about their eternal lives, and eternal salvation. I will always do what I can to protect them from lies...but we've been very vocal with them about what we believe to be lies in the modern world.

I wouldn't allow my child to go to a ___ church, or a ___ church, just like I wouldn't allow her to go to some Satanist gathering...because in my mind, wrong is wrong.

When my responsibility for raising them is done...when they are adults, when they are married...they can do what they want, whether I like it or not. But for now, it's MY responsibility to see that they participate in what I believe the truth to be.

Saying, "Everyone has the right to choose what they want" is akin, to me, to saying "I don't care if you go to hell." I DO care that people are going to hell. I can't take a wishy-washy stance, because that would mean I don't really have full faith in what I believe...and I do.

Hope that helps, regardless of what your choices are.

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answers from San Francisco on

Do you have a church that you already attend regularly?? That may simply be what your child is looking for. Not so much THAT church....but a church.

I would not allow my minor child to attend a church that fits your A and B without first finding out for a fact that A and B are correct. Are you sure this church actually is factually incorrect or believes things you think are just wrong? There are so many anti groups about various organizations and churches. It is good to go experience first hand the to its' clergy. Ask your own questions rather than go by heresay or what you see on various websites. (I am just throwing that out there...not sure how you found out your info.)

We attend church every Sunday and religious observance is integral in our everyday lives. My kids have no desire as of yet to look for another church. They enjoy church...we make worshipping an enjoyable and often fun time as a family. There are times of reverence for sacred or special things...and there is time to have fun. We attend religious ceremonies and services of friends and family members that go to other churches,synagogue etc. I love history...religious history is a topic we discuss often.

I too believe to my core that each individual has the right and privilege to finding their own truth..their own path. "But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." When they have their own house they can serve who or whatever they choose.

You say you have 10 differing points in your head. It is wonderful to have an open mind, wonderful to ask other's their opinion....but have you prayed to find out what you should do. I personally believe God is our Heavenly Father...He knows His children best. Ask Him what you should do...He loves all His children no matter what their faith is or lack of... and wants to help them on this journey(rollercoaster really) of life.

Good luck and best are such a great mom to actually ponder this instead of saying "Heck to the NO are not going to that wacky church!"

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answers from Dallas on

Well, this was me. I went to church without my parents starting in 7th grade. (13 years old.) My parents, while not overjoyed, allowed me to attend. I went to that church for 8 years. I am thankful every day, that my parents allowed me to take that path. I haven't been to that church in nearly a decade, but I still have friends from there. I had goof friends. I never had the peer issues many others did. No one ever pressured or asked me to smoke, drink, have sex, or do stupid things. I am NOT saying kids at church don't do those things. I'm saying, I noticed parents were more involved in their lives. They knew if something was up with their kid, and they nipped issues in the bud. I benefited from those kinds of families.

Mostly, I benefited from my parents trusting I could handle a path that differed from theirs. My family came to my baptism, they went to worship. They were proud of me. They enjoyed the experience, because they saw a church full of people that cared about me. They were pretty moved, that strangers to them we so on my side. At that point, beliefs didn't even matter. They knew I was cared for, protected, and celebrated there.

Unless this place is a cult, have dangerous beliefs, you have to let your child make this choice. It's not YOUR choice to make. Everyone has the right to make their open choices regarding God, or a higher power. It doesn't matter what YOU think is correct, they have the right to develop their own beliefs. That might be separate from you, and that's OK. This is a huge opportunity to allow your child to explore their world and spirituality. To allow them to make decisions, thoughtfully question their place on earth...all under your caring watch. On the flip side, this is also an opportunity to push them away. To show them you don't trust their ability to make their own spiritual decisions. To not allow them to develop their own thoughts and beliefs. It's not about the church, it's about your child being allowed to develop.

Are their beliefs harmful, or just different then yours?

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answers from San Francisco on

Yes. I am a non-believer, and I let my daughter go to church with some friends when she was young. I only stopped letting her after people started telling her I was going to hell, and she was crying about it. A good church won't instill fear and make someone cry, unless they are tears of joy.

I also sent my kids to bible camp, because it was cheap.

However, I believe exposure to different ideas is healthy. So sure, let her go!

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answers from Amarillo on

My daughter who is 14 now sometimes goes to another church (we are catholic this church is not) on Wednesdays and its just for teens (really even tweens) and they have activities that pertain to religion and a youth pastor who talks to them and prays for them. I personally like that she has this because it brings her closer to God even though its not a Catholic church they do worship the same God. And it deals with situations that pertain to today's youth. Its great! If i were you i would go and check it out and you may see that it works really well. Especially since you say you are a family of "talkers" you can count on your child telling you what's going on.

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answers from Seattle on

I'm an atheist and I would like it if my daughters "researched" religion by attending different churches (when they are older). In our society, I think it's helpful to have knowledge of different religions (I was raised Catholic), and it would be good for them to experience the various faiths with folks who believe in the faith. I don't think it would be helpful if I were the one to take them, for example. I would be okay if they decided to choose a faith if it suited them, which given my beliefs (or lack thereof) would likely be quite different from my beliefs.

However, I would draw the line at any fundamentalist strain of religion or any cult. I'd have serious issues with either of those. I intend for my girls to be critical thinkers.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

I allowed my daughter to attend several different houses of worship, and all of them had teachings that I didn't agree with. I don't even agree 100% with all the teachings of my own church. But I wanted her to find her own truth, or create it if need be. I wanted her to explore as many spirutual paths as possible.

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answers from Washington DC on

If there were fundamental differences that I felt strongly about, then I might compromise and attend the church some of the time with my child but also ask that my child continue to also attend the home church. So to answer your question: Unlikely to attend on her own, but if it was that important, I could go check it out.

It's hard when someone is on a faith journey that is different from your own. For a while, I completely left the church, any church, altogether. I had to come back on my own. My mother struggled with my non-attendance but only asked that I attend services for holidays when I was home, so I did Christmas and Easter.

I would also like to know why my child wants to attend that church - is it because of the beliefs or a friend is going there or what? If the child wants to attend their Sunday School with a friend or wants to join a youth program that your congregation doesn't offer, are there any benefits to the child attending? You might look at it as people who aren't Catholic sending their child to a Catholic school. You might also do a study with your child, to compare faiths and explain to him/her why you disagree with these points.

I have attended services and events that were not my "home church." Seeing how the Catholics, Jews, Baptists, Mormons, Mennonites, Lutherans, etc. do things gives me perspective on my own choices.

In my church, 12 was when you took membership/confirmation classes and when my mother allowed us to take communion. I think it's a good age to have some deeper conversations about religion and faith and share your personal beliefs with each other.

ETA: Someone else mentioned a child going to a church because of a boyfriend. I recall having a conversation with a friend about how if he was converting to Judaism, he should do so for HIMSELF and not his GF. They broke up and he dropped the study/conversion. I could respect my child for what's in their heart vs what their friend/sig other is doing. They need to be on THEIR journey.

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answers from Washington DC on


It would be a great teaching moment. Yes. I would allow my child to go. Stopping them will only make them more curious as to why you don't want him to go.

I wouldn't be so scared of their teachings that I would say no. When I was around 12 and through my teens - my parents let me attend and even encouraged me to attend other churches with friends...Mormon churches, 7th Day Advent (didn't like that one and the church was walking distance from my home at the time), Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic (I was raised Protestant). There were two that "clicked" for me was Eastern Orthodox and Episcopalian.

Yes! Let him go!! Just think of the conversations this will spur!! YAHOO!!!

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answers from Houston on

My son doesn't go to a church that fundamentally differs from our beliefs but he goes to public school here in Houston whose principal overwhelmingly and highly supports our gay mayor and uses the school to push his support. And at 7yrs old my son has overcome and survived the backlash, differences, and retribution of being from our family. You know why? Because he knows no matter what this society tries to shove down his throat, he has learned to accept and respect our family's values and beliefs.

So in answer to your questions:

1) This is why you keep an open line of communication with your kids, so that if they come home with teachings different that your own, you can talk to them and even show them why you feel/think the teachings are wrong.

2) This is where giving your children choices come into play. You tell them what you believe, you help them realize that church or school believes otherwise, and allow them to make the choice of what they want to be exposed to. We tell our son all the time "whoever you hang out with, however you act and what you believe will be a reflection on your family, so you need to decide what you want this world to know about us".

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answers from Grand Forks on

I allowed my son to go to a week long sleepaway camp run by a church whose ideology differs greatly from the church we attend. The reason I allowed him to attend was because it was a great summer camp, despite what they were teaching. I prepared him for what he was going to hear, and how it would be different from our beliefs, and when we returned wen talked more about what he had been taught there. I would be very disappointed if he chose to believe anything he had been taught there, but I am glad he was able to learn a little about the beliefs of others. I know many young people want to attend certain churches because they are big, have lots of money and are able to run great programs to attract youth. I would find out if my child wanted to attend because of the great programming or because he believes the teachings of the church.

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answers from Dallas on

Yes. Our family sounds much like yours; we're also a family of "talkers." We actually had a discussion about this very topic last night. :)

We are practicing Catholics; we go to mass every Saturday night. When I was growing up, my mom encouraged my brother and I to go to church with our friends. She wanted us to be educated about other religions so that as adults we could decide for ourselves what religion "fit." I went to so many different churches with friends, and learned so much. It has made me a much more tolerant person. It also strengthened my Catholic faith. I know that being Catholic is right for me, but I respect other's beliefs. I understand them better, too. I want that for my boys.

My oldest will be Confirmed in the Catholic church next year, and he has gone to church with many of his friends through the years. Each time, we have discussed the differences and similarities between those churches and ours, and what our son liked/didn't like about each one. Last night we were talking about Confirmation class (he's in pre-confirmation classes now), and he said he is so excited about it. He really wants to be Catholic. Learning about other faiths has helped him confirm his belief, but like me, it has also taught him to respect the beliefs of others. We're doing the same with our 9yo, but he has only gone to church with his best friend and my brother's family, so he hasn't been exposed to as much, yet.

Also, if either of our boys chose to leave the Catholic church, we would respect that, as well. I would probably be disappointed, but I would respect their decisions.

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answers from Fort Myers on

1. It has to be a legitimate religious organization, not something disreputable like Scientology. ( I have firsthand experience with them).
2. I would definitely go the first couple times with your child to make sure you feel comfortable with the people running that church.
3. Make it clear they are to attend the service and come straight home. No one on one time with anyone from the church that you don't know.
After that I would allow it because at that age they're starting to do things on their own anyway like going to the mall, movies, sports, etc.

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answers from Seattle on

I would handle it like a PG13 movie. I would go with my child and hopefully discuss what we have observed later.
As an atheist I don't agree with any church or religion, but I can see how it an important part in many people's lives and I do anticipate that DD will be curious about it at one time or another.
I would rather go with her and see what's going on than have her make that experience a secret that she doesn't feel she can talk about with me.
Good luck.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I wouldn't allow my children to regularly attend a church that I believed was fundamentally wrong. As long as they live with me, I want to be directly involved in shaping their beliefs. After they are on their own, its up to them what they choose to believe.
I may allow some youth group activities as those are generally more non-denominational.

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answers from Dallas on

I'd have to go with them to "get it from the horse's mouth" so that I had my facts right before going on the defensive. Then it would be time for a discussion with the child. Yes, their path is theirs, BUT, if there are fundamental differences, incorrect info, etc., your child needs to be taught the critical thinking to see that. Tween/early teens are still learning this.

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answers from Detroit on

By themselves, no. With a friend, occasionally.

I am an atheist but allow my children to accompany my mother to the church I went to as a child. The church is progressive in their beliefs and teaches values similar to what we believe at home. To answer your question, yes I would and do allow my children to attend a church that i believe is fundamentally wrong. I would not allow them to attend a church that doesn't share the same values as i do, though. I think I started to question different aspects of religion around thirteen or so, so I think I would be okay with them branching out at that point. It will probably lead to some interesting discussions!

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answers from Kansas City on

As an Agnostic, that sends her kids to a Christian Church...YES! I would.

A. Yes the absolutely teach things I think are factually incorrect...pretty much all of it! But they enjoy and need to have their own freedom to choose. they are five and eight (they attend with aunts/uncles/cousins) I don't just drop them off at a random church, I know the ppl who attend and have known non family since I was their age.
B. I"m not sure what you mean by "wrong"? As I don't want to start a debate...but I think it's wrong to put the "Fear of GOD" into someone and then say "God is all loving"...yeah I think that's wrong.

Hope this helps.

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answers from New York on

Let's say, for example, you are Jewish and your daughter has been going to a Christian faith church. Let's say her BFF goes there and she met some other kids and became interested and involved. As long as it is not harming her, yes, I'd let her attend. However, I would have some serious chats about her family's beliefs and how they are a part of her and her culture. I'd mention how religion can be the core of who we are and our family. Remind her that she can be a part of people's worlds but not necessarily practice their religion. You can be Jewish and help in a church soup kitchen or be Catholic and help raise money for a Jewish relief fund.

She's going to be curious and experimental in lots of ways in the next few years. This one isn't so bad. Just keep the lines of communication open.

I look forward to you SWH...

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answers from Jacksonville on

Do you mean on a regular basis, or to visit with a friend, or what exactly?

For me, the answer would be "no". (clarification: to doing this on a regular basis, and generally, not even an issue, b/c we always are at church on Sunday morning, and our kids like going and receiving communion. We go to church TO receive communion). And part of that is because I don't think a child, at age 12, knows enough to know what they are being exposed to and to fully think through what is being presented to them. They are still children and easily manipulated by adults who know how to use emotion to manipulate. But also, because going somewhere else doesn't just expose them to other influences, but denies them of receiving what they would otherwise be receiving at our church on Sunday morning, namely the Body and Blood of Christ, given and shed for you.

In our home, we go to church regularly and have since our kids were babies. Our children have both been catechized and confirmed in the faith. I would be blown out of the water if one of them asked to attend a church of a different faith, unless it was so they could attend with a friend the morning after a sleep-over or something. I think that if your home has been a place where your theology has been consistently taught and lived, then it is unlikely that a 12 year old is going to veer in some other direction. Yes, when they are older teens and young adults, many people change their faith or leave it completely... but not at 12... not without some sort of outside influences. So, my question would be: Where is the outside influence coming from that has this 12 year old child asking to go to a church that is not your own? Is it more of a church offering a more exciting youth group atmosphere? If that is the case, then I would ask how that fits into what they believe theologically---because the theology is what it comes down to. And our children hold the same faith that we do, and I'm pretty confident that they value that faith over a youth activity "fun-ness" rating. And one of the things that we have taught our children is that truth is not subjective. So I disagree that everyone is responsible for finding "their own truth". Truth is truth, or it is non-existent.

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answers from Washington DC on

No. If I did not believe in what the church was offering, I would not let my child attend.

That is not to say that we haven't attended functions at churches that I would not attend - Easter Hunts, Music Concerts, etc., but I consider those different from regular services.

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answers from Los Angeles on

A lot of my friends parents felt they could find their own religion/truth for themselves. My parents took me to church regularly, and I was taught our family's beliefs.

I did get to a point where I questioned out beliefs for myself and made some decisions for myself that my parents would question. However, I am glad my family taught me what they believed and why they believed it and gave a me a church home growing up.

I could not in good conscience send my child to a church that taught things that are against my personal beliefs unless I went with them and we used the sermons as a start for some good conversations. Even then, I am not sure if I would be willing to do that at 12...

So go alone,no...go together, 12 almost 13, depends on the child and their maturity.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I would NOT allow my son to attend a religious service that taught intolerance, hate, inequality between the sexes or was anti-science. Since I am an atheist - any religion fundamentally differs from my beliefs. However my son is being exposed to religious school and does know that some people believe that there is a deity.

I would no more allow a 12 year old to attend a hate filled church than I would allow them to attend something like a KKK rally. If the question is more along the lines of is Mohammed the messiah or has the messiah not come yet - sure, let him investigate a bit.

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answers from Columbia on

I actually think this could be a really good thing for your family. Learning about different religions helps teach us tolerance for people who have beliefs that differ from our own. (and how could that be bad?) My hang up about this is that she's still so young. Do you think you could go with her? Maybe you wouldn't have to attend every Sunday, but what if she attended your church with the family on certain Sundays of the month and then you attended her new church with her on certain Sundays of the month. Then you can have an open dialogue about how the churches/religions differ, what she/you like about each and dislike about each. What strikes a cord with each of you and what doesn't ring true. It could be a great bonding and learning experience for your family. Your daughter sounds very bright and curious which is a wonderful thing. And if you go with her, you'll be able to point out the things that you believe are contrary to the way you're raising her and get her opinions about them. She'll be in high school soon, and very soon after, out of the nest. It's better to help guide, support and encourage her at this point, in my opinion, than just to tell her no.

Best of luck with whatever you decide!

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answers from Denver on

Boy that's tough. I would say if my daughter was curious and wanting to attend a different church, I would be having lots of talks about why. I would be willing to go with her to check it out. But honestly, my daughter is this exact age and I would discourage her. I think she is too young and too impressionable to be reasonable about this and not get 'sucked in'.

But, if yours is already curious, then it's hard to unring the bell. My guess is that if you attend a service together, then talk about why it is appealing, it will pass. If you listen more than you talk, that is. Don't argue why this other religion is wrong or try to debate it. Just ask what they like about it. But let them know you are ok with them being curious about it and learning about it- from a distance. Hopefully the appeal will fade.

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answers from Washington DC on

Why alone? I'm curious about the circumstances here.

If my child (12) were interested in this church, I would absolutely attend WITH her so that we could talk in depth about what she heard and saw. I think it's vital to do so. We are Christians and I do understand what you mean about churches that teach things that are fundamentally different from what you believe (someone below didn't see the issue with any "Christian" church and assumed they'd be similar in teachings but I know that some have beliefs that are far outside what others believe). If my child got very interested in a denomination that I felt had these issues, I would first have her research it .And then I would take her to visit but i would keep my mouth shut and afterward, let her talk about what she observed; what was different from or similar to our own church; what made her feel comfortable or uncomfortable; what questions she had; etc. Then we could discuss it. I would want to be sure that I could sensibly and factually tell her why we didn't attend that church and where I felt our own church had important differences that do matter to me and to us as a family. In short -- I would expect her to do some homework before visiting, and I would do my own homework too.

I would go with her because at her age, going alone might signal to the members of the church that she is being left to her own devices regarding her choice of churches -- and it sounds like that is not the case here. So I would want to be there to ensure that it's clear that you, not she, is in the driver's seat (just your presence does that; no need to lecture them or make announcements other than "We're just visiting, thanks" when they ask you back). She is a tween, yes, but still a kid and probably more susceptible to this church if it has a great youth group, an active Sunday school class for kids her age, etc. -- all fantastic things, but if it is a church with which you disagree to the point that you would not attend and would not approve of her attending, then you want to be there while she visits, so YOU see and hear what SHE is seeing and hearing, and can discuss it with her.

I know you left the situation vague on purpose but I would love to see a SWH on what it's all about and what you chose.

We are liberal Christians and I would be open to visiting many churches, but yes, there are a few Christian denominations with which I have theological issues that are serious ones and which I would not attend regularly. I would want my child to take a good look at those congregations and to ask questions. I would also have her talk with our pastor (because I know our pastor would not judge her or these other churches but would help her frame questions). But at the same time, she is a minor, and for now, she could visit those places with me to discuss them but I would not take her to those denominations for regular worship.

I want to add -- I would be OK with her attending a church other than ours if it were one where I was comfortable with the teachings. And I'd also add: I went to church alone from about age 10 to 18! My father was dead and my mom wasn't a churchgoer but she did let me go to the church the family had attended when we kids were young, and she knew my Sunday school teacher there very well (longtime co-worker and friend of hers). I had a wonderful time being a "solo" tween and teen in our tiny church but at the same time -- it was our "family" church so my mom and grandmother knew what was being taught and how the worship worked.

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answers from Dallas on

No I would not. If it's totally different than what we believe no way. We attend a non denominational church. But I was raised Baptist. My husband was Assembly of God. I have no problem sending my son to a baptist church with his friend but honestly I don't think I would send him to an Assembly of God church without me or my husband. That is because if it SO different and I know I got freeked out at one when I was in my late teens.

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answers from Boston on

If my child were interested enough in a belief system to want to attend services without being forced to go, I would respect my child's interest enough to attend *with* her. That way if what was being preached was really objectionable or false, I'd be able to ask thoughtful, informed questions of my child, talk with her about my concerns or what I believe is different and guide her in thinking more critically about what she is hearing. I would take this as an opportunity to learn more about what speaks to and motivates my child. I would want to learn what about this is appealing? Is it that her friends or a relative she admires goes there? Is she interested in socializing with this group? Does it offer opportunities for community service or enrichment? Are the beliefs that you think are "wrong" harmful or just different from what you believe?

You can have different beliefs systems from those of a loved one and still learn about and respect theirs while following yours. For example, my husband is Jewish and I'm Catholic. We are raising our children as Catholic but if they wanted to explore another religion, I would respect that and be there for their journey. I don't normally support the "choose your own religion" line of thinking - I believe that faith is a gift that we give our children and raise them up in - but if I had a child who sincerely wanted to look at something else, I would respect that and support her exploration. There's no harm in learning.

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