Religious parents and adult children
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SEL2682 posted:
I am the oldest child out of five children in my family. We are adult children at the ages of 21, 24, 26, 28, and 30. At Christmas this year, my brother told my mother that he does not believe in God and that religion is not a priority for him right now. The other three children do not attend church and don't worship as a high priority list either. When visiting my parents for a weekend, most often, the adult children refuse to go to church. They feel like my parents are inflicting their religion on them, even though we grew up with a pretty fundamental interpretation of Christianity. I do attend church by choice, however, have more liberal beliefs on certain topics than my parents. After the incident at Christmas, my mother has been struggling with the feelings of feeling that she has failed as a parent because her children did not adopt the values and beliefs she has taught us. She feels that it is her fault and that her children are going to hell because they do not believe. She is to the point where she is bottling her feelings up and refuses to seek counseling or talk with a pastor about it. She opened up to me a little bit finally, but she did not feel it was appropriate to be talking with me about it. I am afraid that she is in a significant depression and withdrawing. I do not feel she is to the point of hurting herself, due to her religious beliefs. She does not feel like she can even talk with my dad about this. Has anybody been in this situation? How do I help my mother out of her misery and tell my siblings to have more respect for our parents?

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