Should You Make Your Child Go to Church?

One of the most personal and important elements of a person's life is their religion. Nearly everyone has an opinion about religion or an intense spiritual belief, yet this topic remains very sensitive and sacred. As a parent, you might be wondering what the best way to teach your child about your religion is without scaring them away. After all, it can be devastating to want your child to believe in your God only to have them walk away from the church. While your youngster is still living at home, though, should you make him go to church with you? Many parents are torn on the concept of forcing a little one to go to church. If your child doesn't want to attend church services, there are a few things that you need to think about.

First off, find out why your child doesn't want to go to church. Did your teen feel left out at youth group? Did she have a bad experience with a boy she was dating from church? Does your child feel embarrassed when he doesn't know the answer to a question in Sunday school? No matter what your child might be feeling or saying, it's important that you have an honest and open discussion to determine exactly why he doesn't want to go to church anymore. Chances are that there might be a simple reason your little one doesn't want to attend. 

It's also important to find out what you can do to make church more enjoyable for your child. For example, if your teen doesn't want to sit through the church service with you because he thinks that it's boring, find out if your church offers a youth service. If they don't, would you be willing to let your teenager attend a different church that does cater to teens? If your child feels scared or nervous when he goes to children's church, you could consider sending him with a bear or stuffed animal that brings him comfort. Another option would be to hold a play date with some of his classmates so that he doesn't feel quite so shy.

Finally, consider whether your child would be better off on his own. Would forcing your child to attend church when he doesn't want to help him learn more about your faith? Would making him attend church even when he feels bored make him into a more spiritual person? Remember that only you can truly know what's best for your child. You need to consider your child's age, maturity level, and reasons for not enjoying church. If your child is old enough, you might decide that he is old enough to make his own choices regarding religion. Younger kids might need a bit of growing up before they are ready to make up their own minds about which church they want to attend or not attend.