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Old 10-01-2005, 06:11 PM   #1
malsmith
Dojo: Masters of Aikido in Fogelsville
Location: Bethlehem
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i have issues.

im not really sure where to start with this, but im hoping that someone was or is in my situation and can help me out, both my parents claim to be christians, and they force me to go to a christian school, where they have a chapel service every week and bible class everyday, and then they also make me go to church every week, and for a while i was seriously trying to be a christian, but i decided that it just was not for me, and i beleive only i can make that decisione, and i cant stand all this christianity being forced on me anymore.

before i even got into high school i begged them to put me in public school (because i had been in private school my whole life) and they wouldnt, and now i asked if i could not go to church anymore and they said i have to go until im 18, and my mom said she feels like she failed as a mother because none of her kids are christians, but i think part of it is that she is trying so hard that its like 'turning me off'.

and i dont know what to do, because if the people at my school found out i wasnt a christian they would flip out and try to 'convert' me, and i dont know how to make my parents understand that, at least for now, i dont want to have a christian lifestyle.

any suggestions?

just a side note, i dont think theres anything wrong with christians or christianity, i just dont think its for me.
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Old 10-01-2005, 06:49 PM   #2
aikigirl10
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Re: i have issues.

I think maybe we need just a little more info....

What kind of christian does she want u to be (baptist , methodist , catholic, etc.) ? It might not be that you dont want to be a christian, it might just be that that type of christianity is not for you.

Also how old are you? If you dont care to tell.
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Old 10-01-2005, 07:15 PM   #3
akiy
 
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
any suggestions?
Keep talking to your parents.

-- Jun

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Old 10-01-2005, 08:37 PM   #4
malsmith
Dojo: Masters of Aikido in Fogelsville
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I think maybe we need just a little more info....

What kind of christian does she want u to be (baptist , methodist , catholic, etc.) ? It might not be that you dont want to be a christian, it might just be that that type of christianity is not for you.

Also how old are you? If you dont care to tell.
i am sixteen, and my father is pretty much catholic and my mom is presbyterian (im not sure how to spell that one!)

i have never thought of looking into the different kinds of christianity, maybe i will one of these days.
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:35 AM   #5
aikigirl10
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
i am sixteen, and my father is pretty much catholic and my mom is presbyterian (im not sure how to spell that one!)

i have never thought of looking into the different kinds of christianity, maybe i will one of these days.
Im almost 16 and im kinda in that same situation. My family is Catholic and i do enjoy being catholic and i like catholicism more than other churches i've been to. But it seems like the more my dad pushes me to go to church, the less i want to go. If he would just leave me alone about it, then when i would go it would be better for me because i would want to be there and i actually might pay attention and pick something up. He cant seem to get that through his head.

I really dont know a solution to this problem. The only thing i know is to wait til im 18 (which isnt that far away) and then he has no control over me.
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Old 10-02-2005, 07:58 PM   #6
Nathan Gusdorf
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Re: i have issues.

I'm 16 and I'm Jewish so I don't go to church and I enjoy going to my synagogue so I can't relate specifically. However I refuse to be forced into things in general. If my parents forced me to go to church I would try my best to talk them out of it. If I was still forced to go to church I would either stand up and argue with the priest about something so as to never be taken again go and live up on the roof until they renegotiated. But seeing as you probably don't want to be that drastic, the first thing to do is debate with them. My argument would be: Since your parents want to turn you into a good christian, you will only become a good christian of your own accord If you don't want to be chrisitian then they should drop that idea and change their focus. The best thing they can do is create a nurturing environment where you can make good decisions on your own and be a good person who is not religious. If they say that all good people are religious then you have history on your side and larger problems than being forced to go to church.

If they aren't convinced that you can be a drug free teenager with good grades without going to church and the former approach doesnt work you have a few options: 1) Become Unitarian or Buddhist or something and see if they go for that. 2)Go along with it until you are 18 and then say 'haha im outta here'.If you go to a catholic church i suppose you could create a game where you try to scare the priest at confessional by making up horrifying stories for entertainment. Granted thats kinda terrible but it would be fun at the same time. 3)Physically resist by climbing up a tree, locking yourself in your room, etc. until they are convinced that you really dont like church. 4)Go to church and ask a lot of obnoxious questions so that they can't really take you back. 5) Refuse to go until they grab you and pull you along at which point use aikido to escape and then when they grab you again give up but tell them they are committing battery and then later sue them for child abuse. The last one might not be the best decision money wise but w/e.

You can tell them that if you were an adult they would be violating your constitutional rights and because you are old enough to take responsibility for a lethal weapon (a car) you should be treated like an adult. Regardless, don't give up until its clear that absolutely nothing is working and at that point try to benefit from it- like becoming a better person or writing a good novel during the sermon.
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Old 10-02-2005, 09:28 PM   #7
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Keep talking to your parents.

-- Jun
I'm with Jun on this one. So long as you're under-age and living under your parents' roof, you need to keep your communications open.

Have you told them that

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
i think part of it is that she is trying so hard that its like 'turning me off'.
Perhaps she needs to hear this from you. Parenting isn't an exact science, and good communication helps.

But, I sympathize with your dilemma. It has to be tough living under a household that requires regular church-going, when you're not into it.
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:39 PM   #8
MColeman
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Re: i have issues.

Did you ever consider that your parents have your best interest in mind?

Part of growing up is responsibility. Some have suggested acting out in a childish manner to get your own way. Does that demonstrate the argument that you can make your own decisions? Or does it cry out - I am a child, treat me like one!

Discuss it openly with your folks. Be prepared to lose. If I refused to do something they wanted (i.e.church) I could bet that they would refuse something I wanted (i.e. aikido).

Acting out is NOT the answer.

Good Luck.
Mike
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:55 AM   #9
SeiserL
 
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Keep talking to your parents.
Ditto.

Speaking as once that rebellious youth and now as a parent and grandparent, they love you and want what they truly believe is best for you, even if you don't agree.

Try to enter and blend with them. There is plenty of time to grow up and make you own decisions. The more you resist the more they feel the need to force. Basic Aikido. Relax and breathe.

Bill Cosby once said that when he was a teenager he couldn't believe how dumb his parents where. When in got close to thirty, he was surprised to see how much they had learned.

Talk to them. Keep the communications open. In time, through love, you'll find the answers.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:06 PM   #10
Nathan Gusdorf
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Re: i have issues.

Alright so half of what I said was in a joking manner- dont really sue your parents for child abuse or climb up a tree. Perhaps I should have made it clearer. On that note, I would not consider any physical act of resistance childish by default. Perhaps assholish but not childish. Saying "I refuse to take your crap" is not saying "treat me like a child" Crying and whining "I dont wanna" over and over again is what a little kid says. What I was semi jokingly suggesting was something like arguing with the priest about gay marriage, intelligent design, the trinity, etc. or telling the priest in confessional that you are part of an underground crime ring illegally selling chemical weapons to Myanmar. That seems mean and asshole-like, but not child-like. Semi-jokingly in that scenario would mean "that would be funny, dont really do it unless you're just angry and dont really care what happens and just want to piss someone off". But perhaps I should footnote such statements with "this is not serious" in the future.

Half of my post was serious however, including the part about converting. My arguments were real. I imagine you have already tried "talking to your parents" so I suggested specific points to be used. I have issues with religion being forced upon anyone, regardless of who that person is. While it is true that as teenagers we tend to see more faults with our parents now than we will in ten years it is also a time when the magic of being an adult wears off. After age 11 you learn that being an adult does not make one infallible and intelligent by default.

If talking does not work at all and if completely futile then you can either resist to protest their actions or go long with it and try to get something out of it- e.g. "I go to church you take me to Aikido 3 days a week".

Last edited by Nathan Gusdorf : 10-03-2005 at 05:08 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:48 AM   #11
Mats Alritzson
Dojo: Malmö Aikidoklubb
Location: Malmö
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Re: i have issues.

IMHO. Religion shouldn't be about telling others what to do. Religion should only rule how you live your own life, setting a good example for others. Your parents actions are very contra productive. If they want you to go to church after you're 18 they shouldn't force you now, but maybe they're not interested in how you live your life as an adult.
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:52 AM   #12
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: i have issues.

Maybe it is time to ignore your parents - learn to make up your own mind. But that does not mean disrespect them. They have tried to help you in their own way, it is just that we all have to learn to make our own choices.

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Old 10-04-2005, 10:26 AM   #13
James Davis
 
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
im not really sure where to start with this, but im hoping that someone was or is in my situation and can help me out, both my parents claim to be christians, and they force me to go to a christian school, where they have a chapel service every week and bible class everyday, and then they also make me go to church every week, and for a while i was seriously trying to be a christian, but i decided that it just was not for me, and i beleive only i can make that decisione, and i cant stand all this christianity being forced on me anymore.

before i even got into high school i begged them to put me in public school (because i had been in private school my whole life) and they wouldnt, and now i asked if i could not go to church anymore and they said i have to go until im 18, and my mom said she feels like she failed as a mother because none of her kids are christians, but i think part of it is that she is trying so hard that its like 'turning me off'.

and i dont know what to do, because if the people at my school found out i wasnt a christian they would flip out and try to 'convert' me, and i dont know how to make my parents understand that, at least for now, i dont want to have a christian lifestyle.

any suggestions?

just a side note, i dont think theres anything wrong with christians or christianity, i just dont think its for me.
I think that your parents are simply trying to do what they believe to be their duty. As your guardians, it's their responsibility to try to keep you on what they believe to be the right path. I suggest that you treat going to church like going to aikido class. When in the dojo (if you're a good student), you keep your eyes peeled when sensei is demonstrating a technique and you listen very carefully to what he says, right? Just treat your religious leader the same way. Respect him for the life experience that he has and try to take something away from your time with him that will make you better or stronger. If there are things on which you and your sensei (or you and your religious leader) cannot agree, that's okay! Just try to come away from any experience having learned something useful, and your time probably won't be wasted.
Why did you say in your post that your parents "claim to be christians"?

Last edited by James Davis : 10-04-2005 at 10:27 AM. Reason: spelling

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-04-2005, 06:22 PM   #14
malsmith
Dojo: Masters of Aikido in Fogelsville
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Re: i have issues.

[quote=
Why did you say in your post that your parents "claim to be christians"? [/QUOTE]

well thats sort of another topic, but they say they are christians but my mom talks trash about my dad all the time, which is bad but its because he deserves it, and my dad is just a bad person, he doesnt take care of himself or his family, he doesnt respect other people, he abused my sister when she was in HS, and all my other siblings dont talk to him anymore for various reasons, and a personal pet peeve of mine is that he doesnt approve of women doing martial arts, or being in the government or anything like that.

(which is another thing i struggle with almost everyday, is how do i 'defend' myself against men like that, i mean they tear me down all the time and i know theyre wrong i just dont know what to do about it)

so in my head im thinking if their lives are so chaotic and screwed up why would i want to learn their lifestyles or be like them at all.
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:36 AM   #15
James Davis
 
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
well thats sort of another topic, but they say they are christians but my mom talks trash about my dad all the time, which is bad but its because he deserves it, and my dad is just a bad person, he doesnt take care of himself or his family, he doesnt respect other people, he abused my sister when she was in HS, and all my other siblings dont talk to him anymore for various reasons, and a personal pet peeve of mine is that he doesnt approve of women doing martial arts, or being in the government or anything like that.

(which is another thing i struggle with almost everyday, is how do i 'defend' myself against men like that, i mean they tear me down all the time and i know theyre wrong i just dont know what to do about it)

so in my head im thinking if their lives are so chaotic and screwed up why would i want to learn their lifestyles or be like them at all.
How do you 'defend' yourself against sexist men? By succeeding! Keep working at your martial arts and whatever else you're into. Get so good at what you do that you make a noise so big it can't be ignored or denied.
If they're not what you'd consider the ideal christian, then don't learn by their example. Heck, why not try to be a BETTER christian than what they've demonstrated? I'm sure you've heard the song at some point-"They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love". Show them what being a christian is truly all about. There's no law that says parents can't learn from their kids. Your post shows me that you know what to do. I hope all of us have been of some help to you. Take care.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:18 AM   #16
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
well thats sort of another topic, but they say they are christians but my mom talks trash about my dad all the time, which is bad but its because he deserves it, and my dad is just a bad person, he doesnt take care of himself or his family, he doesnt respect other people, he abused my sister when she was in HS, and all my other siblings dont talk to him anymore for various reasons
It's not because they claim to be christians that your parents behave like this, it's because they are people who have made mistakes, the biggest one being that they haven't learned from their previous mistakes! You have an advantage here in that you can see these mistakes and learn from them, so you don't make them yourself.

Of course it's bad to talk trash about other people, even if they do deserve it. It only hurts you, not the other person. My dad is a bad person too but I don't talk about him other than to say he's a bad person and I'm glad he's not in my life It's inexcusable to abuse your child or to fail to take care of your family, but you know you will never do that. What is important is that you love and respect yourself, then you will love and respect others. I often say "I like myself too much to want to do that" or "I do this because I like and respect myself".

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
and a personal pet peeve of mine is that he doesnt approve of women doing martial arts, or being in the government or anything like that. (which is another thing i struggle with almost everyday, is how do i 'defend' myself against men like that, i mean they tear me down all the time and i know theyre wrong i just dont know what to do about it)
My dad doesn't approve that women are on the planet at all! So what? He's entitled his opinion, as is everyone, but remember that these are all just opinions and not facts. You know that you are a strong woman with your own power and that is all that matters. Don't let other people's opinion's affect how you see yourself! When one of these "men" starts to tear you down, just say quietly (or even silently to yourself) "that is an opinion, not a fact" and don't get into a debate with them.

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
so in my head im thinking if their lives are so chaotic and screwed up why would i want to learn their lifestyles or be like them at all.
Well you wouldn't - you are your own person and you will grow and develop to be an individual. If your parents and society do not recognise this fact (and it is a fact, not an opinion) then it's very sad for them. You are here to become the best person you can be, and this has nothing to do with religion or society. You will find your own path to be that great person. I think you have already started to take it, and I for one am proud of you

Ruth
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:36 PM   #17
malsmith
Dojo: Masters of Aikido in Fogelsville
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Re: i have issues.

awe! thanks Ruth!!!!! i feel better now.
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Old 10-07-2005, 04:52 AM   #18
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
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Re: i have issues.

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
awe! thanks Ruth!!!!! i feel better now.
Good! Don't ever let other people drag you down

Ruth
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