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May 21, 2022

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Maryann TaylorNovember 15, 2021

There is probably not a ward or branch in the church where parents are not struggling with the heartache of rebellious children. I agree with all the sentiments expressed here about continuing to love and to express that love. There are few things that are more powerful in softening a child's heart. However, if your daughter decides not to respect the rules you set down in your home--especially if she brings drugs or other harmful substances into your home after you have made your rules clear, you have an obligation to protect your younger children. If that means she must leave, then she has made that choice. There is no such thing as agency without accountability and consequences.

amaryNovember 15, 2021

I think its important to not blow this out of proportion. What they described sounds pretty tame compared to other things she could be doing. I also went to a church school, and let me tell you this is extremely common. Way more common than people think. Especially with kids who grew up in very strict households where they felt constantly controlled. Once they are living on their own and finally have some freedom they go a little overboard. They just don't usually tell their parents, which makes me wonder how they found out and if she told them as a bid for attention or to rile them up. Who knows. When interacting with the daughter, just act with love and compassion. Resist the urge to lecture or guilt trip, this will just push her further away. Her feeling unconditionally loved and maintaining positive connections with family will make a big difference in her future choices. She already knows the parents stance on the matter, there is no need to keep repeating it. As for the younger children, maybe have a discussion as to why we try to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and other things. Explain what the negative consequences could be if they make certain choices. Some times we focus so much on the "Don't do that!" that we provide little information on the reasons behind it. Also resist the urge to become more controlling with the younger kids in an attempt to keep them from making similar choices. Often the more controlling and overzealous we become with religious matters, we cause the opposite effect than intended. I wouldn't worry about the younger kids too much. I had older siblings and friends that made poor choices but I felt no need to follow in their footsteps.

HMCNovember 13, 2021

While the scriptures teach that we are ... • “free to choose” (2 Nephi 2:27), and • “free to act” (2 Nephi 10:23), and • “free [to] act for [ourselves]” (Helaman 14:30) ... some mistakenly believe that have something called “free agency.” You will NOT find the term “free agency” anywhere in the scriptures. HOWEVER ..  in D&C 101:78 you WILL find the term “moral agency.” AND ... there is a significant difference between these two terms. I invite you to go to the Gospel Library App to investigate this subject ... just search for “moral agency.”

TrudyNovember 12, 2021

We are going through his with two of our children. You can make a choice to love them or ostracise them. We choose to love. How else will they learn that we as parents and church members are Christlike. It’s been 13 yrs for our daughter but now she has a partner and 3 children of her own and we notice her softening each year and it’s wonderful! Everyone has their own conversion, and time to learn. Some learn by faith and faster than others. Some learn very slowly and the hard way… and that’s painful but their way of learning. Also on the flip side this has been a refining process for us as parents, we have had to learn to respect the process and love our children - and sometimes loving them is hard when you are being treated poorly. But we need to dig deep and remember that as parents we need to continue to set the example and just continue to keep the channels open and LOVE. Continue to fast and pray. We have lessons to learn as parents and this is as much a learning curve for us as it is for them. I look at my parents who had 7 children, all very different and they survived the trials of raring a family :) so it must be possible ♥️♥️

Sandra WhiteNovember 12, 2021

My oldest teen son was a rebel during high school years along with friends used drugs, etc. His 3 siblings knew what he was doing and realized it was not for them but his behavior did cause problems even to the point I had to call the police as he was cursing & destroying furniture....they found drugs hidden in a cut out in a book and he spent the night in jail. Was not easy for me as a single mother but had to be done. Eventually i had to have him leave the house but told him I loved him and if ever he needed anything I would be there for him.....he struggled but eventually found Christ and turned his life around. He is now 62 and has lived a life for Christ and I am proud of him. Suggest this mother not be too concerned about the siblings as they too can see what she is doing is wrong and if she just loves her wayward daughter, they will not follow in her path.

JudyNovember 12, 2021

I agree with the advice about always honoring agency. I feel the most important thing is to let the child know of your love and NEVER GIVE UP! Our family experienced a situation like this, but our child eventually came back and is a strong member and an example to many.

JeanNovember 12, 2021

I love the advice you gave to this concerned mother. I love how "agency" is part of the gospel plan. It was so important that God chose it over Satan's plan of forced obedience. I also love the knowledge that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who is more concerned about our children than we are. I had an experience with one of my children when he was a teenager. He got into some serious trouble and had to have a probation officer. I was so upset with him and ready to read the riot act to him. However, I decided to go to the temple first. For me, the veil is very thin in the celestial room. It was there that I prayed fervently for this child and asked Heavenly Father to give me revelation for him. I felt impressed to show him an increase of love. This was opposite to how I felt. He did turn his life around and after many years has come back to the gospel. I know every child is unique but I highly recommend asking Heavenly Father, who loves your child deeply, for revelation on how to treat your situation.

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