For Jewish parents..Do you have a hard time with you kids??

I have a hard time with my kids when it comes to talking about church. We live in a very christian area and they want to go to church. I dont want them to go and I have no problem with them finding religion for themselves when they are older, thats what i did when i became a teenager. BUt they are still young and they tell me they want to go to have fun with the kids from their school. I even have achurch bus that comes by on sundays to pick up the other kids in the neighborhood. they stop by about once everyother month to see if my kids want to join, I have told them no and to please not to come by, but they dont listen. The n my kids throw a fit and embaress me. Any suggestions??

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  • 1 decade ago
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    My daughter's best friend lived next door and she was the daughter of a minister. My daughter started to be interested in G-d and why we were not going to church. That got us off our butts and into a local temple. Sundays became no problem as Sunday school became the normal activity in the morning and my wife was on the education committee and I became a Sunday school teacher. I think children have a natural desire to learn about G-d. You are the one to help them at least have a jumping off point. Try checking out your synagogue.

    Source(s): s
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They see that all their friends are doing something that seems fun and interesting; it's only natural they want to join in.

    I think you really, really need to start giving them more of a Jewish 'experience' and identity. If you don't fill this gap, something else will - and that something may be Christianity. When they are older, obviously it is their right to choose their own faith.

    Until that day comes, it is up to you to show them that we as Jews have a wonderful, unique, colourful heritage that they can be proud of.

    Is there a synagogue in your area? Or one that you can get to even if once a month? Find one and take your children there. I would also suggest that if you haven't, you start teaching them about Jewish history. Goodness knows we have some amazing events in our collective Jewish past - make the 'lessons' colourful and your kids will enjoy them.

    Start now - your children are already being drawn towards the Church.

    RE CHURCH BUS

    You must contact the actual Church and TELL them that they are NOT to come to your house again. Explain that if they do, you will report them for harassment.

    This might sound drastic but here's the thing: this IS a drastic situation, because your children are being sought out BY the Church and you MUST stop this happening. NOBODY has the right to try and lure your children into another religion.

    Whatever you do, DO NOT agree to your kids attending Church 'just this one time'. If you do that, you have already lost.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have no problems with my son about going to schul. I started bringing him at age 3 months, and he has ALWAYS come with me, and he loves to go.

    My question is Why on earth would you NOT want your children to go? It is important as a formative thing for them to have religion!

    And, in order to do things properly on the Jewish timeline, you can't just expect your kids to start going when they are teenagers. Jewish kids almost always have to have a pretty well-formed set of values in order to have their bar or bat mitzvah at age thirteen. We generally start religious training at about age 4 - 6. and Hebrew school at first to third grade. (varies in some congregations).

    So, no. I don't have any trouble keeping my child AWAY from schul, since that's absolutely NOT what I want, anyway.

    Suggestions: if the church that sends the bus by is creating problems, and is NOT the church you want your children to attend, then be firm, call the office, and make sure they understand that you DON'T want them bothering you, and if they don't stop, then you should call some stronger authority. obviously they are a really pushy group, and I wouldn't allow my children to go to church on some bus that the people wouldn't take no for an answer, and I wouldn't send them anyplace without me.

    The other piece of my suggestions is: take them to church!

    *edit* I took this from the point of view that you are Christian, yourself, and want them to choose their own path. You didn't say that you were Jewish, but it sounds to me like you simply don't want the kids to have ANY religion until they are older. If you are Jewish, that adds a whole different spin on things, and I take back the last word. Change that to "Schul". And if the religion you found is neither, then take them to whatever house of worship YOU go to.

    And I totally agree with the others about taking a strong stand against the church bus people. I would never have thought about the police though. If it takes that strong a statement, then make it. There are too many stories out there about churches that convert and baptise kids without letting them know what they are doing, and this sounds like that type of organization. Can't let them "coerce" your children into something that you don't want. However, you DO need to give them something to fill that void with.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hang in there, you'll get through this. That is rude of the bus to keep stopping. Maybe ask at a higher up level in the Church politely?

    Some ideas of what you can try, if you aren't already:

    - Make sure to add some Jewish friends to their lives if you can find them. Go to synoguage even if it's not that meaningful to you. And enroll them in religious school. Do something for Shabbat such as lighting the candles & saying the prayers. Make plans for when the bus comes that involve Judaism.

    - Have the hard talk with them as much as you need to, about being a minority & how it feels to them. Let them know they can invite their friends over to share in your celebratations such as making challah for Shabbat (there's frozen ones if you're not into baking), but once defrosted you can braid. Listen to them a lot because it may be more than just being with their friends that their worried about.

    - My nieces had different reactions. One thinks her friends were jealous of her matzo (why?) but she's young. The other was in tears about being a minority & subbed the toothfairy for her santa envy. However, she also really values all the little spirituality pieces.

    There are lots of great sites to work with. Also, childrens books. I found one by David Adler "Jewish holidays" (title?) that's a workbook (there's a story book version to), that looks very good.

    A few (not specifically for kids, but I'm sure their are):

    http://www.reclaimingjudaism.org/

    http://urj.org/Shabbat/index.cfm?

    - really cool singing of prayers individually

    I wish I could give you a great answer. Hopefully something I or someone else said will spark ideas for you -- and also make you feel less alone in this.

    ----

    PS. After reading the other answers. Growing up it a mixed areas, it was the associations with others, but mostly I had pride in being Jewish even if it meant being different. Judaism is great. After all you choose it & care about. Show your kids our pride & how to feel it themselves (in a non-snobby way).

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    someone responded how very rude for the church bus keep coming esp after asking them not to..for starters,call the church & speak to the pastor to stop this harrasment..Doubt the police would do anything..

    How old are your kids & are they aware of the of the differences in Judaism & Christianity? Make Sunday's a fun,special day for them.Take them to the zoo or something they'd enjoy..

    Is there a Jewish community center near by where the kids could also have fun? If not perhaps some Jewish friends who have children of the same age could have a barbeque party.Sure you're not the only one w' similar problems.. Perhaps your Rabbi could suggest other answers.

    Edit: Michelle,not knowing the circumstances,it's difficult to answer..It's not always easy to move to a Jewish community but yes,would be nice if feasible..

    Best wishes, Shalom

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I've starred for my Jewish contacts. Hopefully they'll have some advice. I'm not a parent so I'd just be talking out of my.... hat. I would suggest that you call the church and tell them they are NOT to stop by your house or you will consider it religious harassment and take it to the police. Harsh, yeah but they aren't respecting your wishes.

    Explain to your kids that the Christian Sunday school teaches things that you don't believe in and offer to do something special with them on Sundays to distract them.

    Just a couple of thoughts. Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If you're not teaching them Judaism and taking them to synagogue, then I don't know why you should expect anything different. You chose to live among Christians and you chose to send your kids to a predominantly Christian school. If you were a dentist, would you raise your kids in the center of Hershey, Pennsylvania? Or would you surround them with influences that share your own values? If you are not offering them anything better, then it makes perfect sense that they want what all their friends have and enjoy.

    Religious Jews almost never have this problem, and never with grade-school-age kids. We send our kids to Jewish schools when possible, and when it's not possible we live in communities where they can have Jewish friends and not feel ostracized or second-class for being different. With the path you're currently walking, you will very likely have Christian kids on your hands when they reach their teens - heck, you said yourself that you don't mind them choosing their own road "when they're older." If that's the case, then why not let them go now? Why wait for the inevitable? You'd be far better off letting them go and hoping when the teen rebellion years come, they reject church and not you and what's left of your Jewish values.

    You have to decide what matters to you, and stick to it. If raising them as Jews matters, don't let the current situation continue. Be Jewish yourself. Get them involved with Jews and in Jewish activities. I know it's impractical to say you should move over this - but if raising Jewish kids is a priority for you, then how practical it is shouldn't be the concern. For religious Jews, it would be a no-brainer. On the other hand, if you genuinely don't mind if they choose for themselves when they're older, even if that means choosing Christianity, then you will never win the fight you're having now. Kids can spot hypocrisy a mile away.

    I'm sorry if this sounds harsh. It's not my intention. But you really need to take a good look at what your needs and priorities for your kids actually are. Intermarriage doesn't happen in a vacuum (and maybe that's not a problem for you, either). But your actions right now are all your kids have to rely on - not just your words.

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  • 1 decade ago

    My advice would be to have your kids at a Jewish day school, mingling with Jewish kids so they have no peer pressure to conform to another religion. The reality is that as long as you live amongst Christians, socialise with Christians and their friends are all Christians, they will want to be like the people they are surrounded by. Effectively you need to make a choice if you want your kids growing up as Jews or not. if you want them to grow up as Jews, the reality is that you need to mix and socialise with jews- or they will succumb to peer pressure and either end up as nothing or as Christians.

    Yep- I know this isn't the kind of advice people want to hear- but it is the reality in such situations- and why the assimilation and intermarriage rates in the liberal movements are so high.

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  • kismet
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I have never had such issues with my son, perhaps because he had always attended a Jewish school.

    Education is indeed the key, and a religious education takes place at home as well as in school.

    Source(s): I am Jewish and Orthodox
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the churches in my area tried the same thing to my children until I (I did try to reason with them first nicely) Had them arrested for attempted kidnapping, while the charge did not hold up in court it did stop them permanently.

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