How do I get my kids to go to mass with me?

#21

I concur.

To the OP: You are the man of the house. Ground them. If you must, cut the electricity to the house while you are at Mass if they stay at home. You can install a main switch if you don’t have one, and put a lock on your door to the circuit breaker. Your children should fear the notion of disobeying you. Mine think I’m crazy. :smiley:

About your wife, tell her they are going, it is not negotiable, that she is in the wrong, and you will do it without her if necessary, but you will do it with her cooperation, or over her objection. Challenge her to justify what she is doing, and tell her that her children will understand one day that what Mommy is doing wrong, and you love them too much to withhold the truth from them. The children do not need to hear it directly from you. They will find out in their CCD class, or during a homily. This will work better if your parish currently has a faithful priest. In time, the children will ask her, without you telling them to.

Stand your ground. You will be blessed for witnessing to the Truth. God bless you and your efforts. :signofcross:

0 Likes

#22

It must be magic living at your house. :rolleyes:

0 Likes

#23

OP- One thing I notice is that your handle says you are in RCIA. One thing you could do is make your wife your sponsor. My dh was mine. (He was my fiance at the time.) It did bring him closer and opened up many conversations between the two of us. In addition most RCIA programs require the sponsors to do some activities with the catuchumens/candidates including Mass.

0 Likes

#24

Hmmm... when I was small, it was not an option to go to Mass... I dealt with it, went without books, games, and food, and stayed quiet. I'm not sure why this is now an option for people with their children. If I threw a tantrum about going to Mass, I got punished and went anyway. If I misbehaved during Mass, I was punished afterwards.

I know I'm only a teenager, but why would you make this an option for your kids?

And by the way... I did it all without having "children's liturgy" AND in dress clothes, something that seems to never pop up on children at Mass these days. For me, going to Mass in a dress and nice shoes was non-negotiable.

0 Likes

#25

You had some bench warmers for parents, and it very much was dragging you to mass, it was done so to show off, hey look at us, we have a perfect everything, even our kids are well dressed…this same reverence was NOT carried back home, that’s why I’m being harsh on them, it’s just easy to see it based upon your reactions. I too had bench warming parents, but I got a great deal out of mass in spite of it, simply being there alone was grace enough…

With your current perception, that’s not the Catholic church, not by far, and if you go on your own, without them, wearing normal attire, you are a much greater step ahead of them. Regardless, the raw exposure did, to you and the rest good.

0 Likes

#26

I'm not so sure how much I agree with all of this "making" the kids go. I know there were times that my parents "made" me go - and at the time I hated it! It became something to just "get through". I will say that when I began alter serving it did make it something I was willing to do - hey if it was a wedding or special event, I even got paid for it! But back to this, I did wind up resenting it when I had to go to mass when I got to a Parish that wouldn't allow girls to serve (we had a really weird priest who thought if girls wern't supposed to be priests they wern't to serve either- whatever)- and when I went through confirmation in 8th grade, it was something I did because it was expected at that age and because I didn't want to get a lot of **** sent my way for not doing so. When asked why I didn't want to go to church I was able to explain my stance which did get me out of church some. When they can answer, I highly reccomend trying this with them.

God Bless\
Rye

0 Likes

#27

I don't get this whole discussion. If purposely missing Mass on Sunday (for no good reason) is a mortal sin, why in the world would parents condone their underage children committing mortal sins? Do the parents who allow their children to "choose" to miss Mass make sure the children go to confession and make sure they do that before they receive Communion again? :confused:

0 Likes

#28

[quote="prodigalson12, post:25, topic:181840"]
You had some bench warmers for parents, and it very much was dragging you to mass, it was done so to show off, hey look at us, we have a perfect everything, even our kids are well dressed..................this same reverence was NOT carried back home, that's why I'm being harsh on them, it's just easy to see it based upon your reactions. I too had bench warming parents, but I got a great deal out of mass in spite of it, simply being there alone was grace enough...

With your current perception, that's not the Catholic church, not by far, and if you go on your own, without them, wearing normal attire, you are a much greater step ahead of them. Regardless, the raw exposure did, to you and the rest good.

[/quote]

The poster stated that the poster is "only a teenager." Still being only a teenager I am making the assumption that the poster is still living under that patronage of her parents. I do not think it would be wise to make negative comments against parents to someone of this age. Instead we should encourage them in their own sprirituatlity without commenting on the parents' behavior.

0 Likes

#29
  1. Have a talk with your wife, she is in error. Grave error actually, skipping mass is always grave matter (i.e. first step to mortal sin). Think about this way, God is literally at mass, we eat the body and drink the blood of Christ. For this to be true, Jesus is literally there with us. Does that sound like an optional attendance kind of thing? Particularly when the church only asks once a week attendance?

  2. Your kids aren’t legal adults, they don’t have a choice. Don’t bribe them, they’re just going to church period.

I would spend some quality time with the Catechism if I were you before bringing it up with your wife. Study time can do a lot to help prepare you for this conversation, and most certainly pray pray pray!!! As a primer, I went ahead and found this in the CCC

2192 “Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church” (CIC, can. 1246 § 1). “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass” (CIC, can. 1247).

You can find that in the section on the ten commandments, this comes from Article 3, The Third Commandment "Remember the sabbath day, keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath to that Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.

usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt1art3.shtml

0 Likes

#30

I don’t understand how anyone could think that children that don’t want to go to mass would actually want to go to confession.You can NOT make a child go to confession - you can bring the child and even push the child to go in but the child does not have to go (and in my opinion should not go until they go of their own FREE will without coersion - I don’t believe that God wants someone to go to confession because their mother or father tried to force them)-my parents tried multiple ways to get me to go and I never went - they even brought me to a Priest and i did speak with the priest but didn’t go until I was in my 20’s and made the decision to go ON MY OWN. It wasn’t just that I didn’t want to go, it was that I was only being told that this was something I “had” to do - and given no other explination even by the Priest. I won’t go into that further but in my experience working with kids and with my life experience I believe and have seen that kids need to go of their own free will or they may become adults who leave the faith because it was something not that they believed in or wanted to participate in but it was something they were “forced” to do.
God Bless
Rye

0 Likes

#31

Where did I suggest “forcing” kids to go to confession? :confused:

I simply asked if parents who allow their kids to “choose” whether to go to Mass take them to confession and explain that they need to go to confession before receiving Communion again. I simply thought that was part of raising your children in the Catholic faith - explaining that you cannot receive Communion while in a state of mortal sin.

Unless you are suggesting that the parents just leave everything up to the kids and if they don’t want to go to Mass or receive any sacraments they don’t have to. :eek: What is the point of even being Catholic or trying to raise your kids Catholic? :shrug:

EDIT: I just re-read my earlier post and I can see where using the words “make sure” could be viewed as forcing, but that was not the intention. I think I explained it better in this post. :slight_smile:

0 Likes

#32

[quote="crazzeto, post:29, topic:181840"]
1) Have a talk with your wife, she is in error. Grave error actually, skipping mass is always grave matter (i.e. first step to mortal sin). Think about this way, God is literally at mass, we eat the body and drink the blood of Christ. For this to be true, Jesus is literally there with us. Does that sound like an optional attendance kind of thing? Particularly when the church only asks once a week attendance?

2) Your kids aren't legal adults, they don't have a choice. Don't bribe them, they're just going to church period.

I would spend some quality time with the Catechism if I were you before bringing it up with your wife. Study time can do a lot to help prepare you for this conversation, and most certainly pray pray pray!!! As a primer, I went ahead and found this in the CCC

You can find that in the section on the ten commandments, this comes from Article 3, The Third Commandment "Remember the sabbath day, keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath to that Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.

usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt1art3.shtml

[/quote]

I want to respond to this as well - I see no problem with bribing the children to go to mass, especially if for no other reason than to keep them happy during church and to give them an incentive to go., It is when a child is "forced" to go because mom/dad said so that (in my experience) they begin resenting going. Because mom/dad said so just doesn't cut it when explaining to them why they should go to mass. I have seen it way too many times when kids are forced to go to church. At least if they were "bribed" with a movie or something if they went and were good, it would keep them fairly well behaved and possibly even listening in church. I have so many friends - many who even went to catholic school who were forced to participate in the Catholic Fiath and because of this wound up resenting it. When they are quite young, they should go to be exposed and more than likely because they will want to be with mom and or dad. But when the kids hit the teen years they should be able to decide. Forcing them to go will not make them want to learn more about their faith - many will wind up resenting the fact that they were forced into going - just "because" - with many kids there are enough of answers that are "because I said so..."

I want to think of this from God's perspective - do I want people to come to mass because they're forced to on pain of punishment (i.e. grounding, spanking - whatever?) - No, I want people (kids) to come because they want to be near Me and love Me.

I'm sure there are plenty of stories of people out there that were foced to go to church and who now embrace the faith. I know there are many but there are (statistics seem to point out) many leaving the faith = I just don't see how forcing a teenager to go to church is going to endear that person to the faith. If it's something they have to do then when confimation comes up and they are expected to do that, do you want them doing it because it's expected and it's time to do this? That's why I went through my confirmation when I did and I know many others in that same group of kids being confimred either did it for that reason or for the huge confirmation party and gifts they were to get. Is this how we want our kids to get confirmed - because it's that time and it's expected or because they love God and want to make a commitment to Him and the Faith? Young children send to church, I don't know that you'll have a huge problem there (unless it's older children not wanting to go and having younger chidlren emulate them) - but when they get to be in High School, give them a chance to decide for themselves - otherwise you may find as soon as college hits that you have a kid who wants nothing to do with the Mass or Catholicism. This is just MHO - but it's based on what I've seen and my own experiences.
God Bless
Rye

0 Likes

#33

Perhaps, but speaking as someone who has absolutly no choice in going to mass for 18 years of my life... I have to say it was this that kept me going, or more acuratly brought me back to the faith after a pause I took for 10 years.

0 Likes

#34

[quote="Jay53, post:31, topic:181840"]
Where did I suggest "forcing" kids to go to confession? :confused:

I simply asked if parents who allow their kids to "choose" whether to go to Mass take them to confession and explain that they need to go to confession before receiving Communion again. I simply thought that was part of raising your children in the Catholic faith - explaining that you cannot receive Communion while in a state of mortal sin.

Unless you are suggesting that the parents just leave everything up to the kids and if they don't want to go to Mass or receive any sacraments they don't have to. :eek: What is the point of even being Catholic or trying to raise your kids Catholic? :shrug:

EDIT: I just re-read my earlier post and I can see where using the words "make sure" could be viewed as forcing, but that was not the intention. I think I explained it better in this post. :)

[/quote]

I should have been a bit more clear - what I was trying to get across was that if a kid doesn't want to go to mass then the kid is more than likely not going to want to go to confession or volunteer to go. A kid in this position could probably care less whether if he/she is forced to go he/she can receive Communion. Of course, you're completely correct that if a kid doesn't go to mass because he/she doesn't want to and for no other reason that this kid has committed a sin (obviously speaking about a child who is well over the age of reason) - that this child shouldn't place his/herself in line to reveice Communion. I guess part of my main point is that if a kid doesn't want to go to mass that making that child go is extremely unlikely to endear the idea of going to church to him/her.

You mentioned that parents should not leave receiving the sacrements up to the children. I agree that up until a certain age that the children should be brought along to mass to expose them and show them how you feel about your faith not only at home but in church. I am suggesting that when kids get into highschool that they are of an age to be able to make some decisions for themselves. I pointed out myself not wanting to go to church and pretty much being "forced" to go. This caused me later to resent going to church and to stop going. I just don't see how forcing someone to attend (note I said attend not participate because there were many times I attended and deffinately did NOT participate)- is going to help things. I believe that with many this will cause them to wind up resenting not only going to Mass but possibly even cause them to leave as soon as they leave the house or get out from under their parents "control".

You mentioned "sacrements" - perhaps I should begin another post but are you possibly suggesting that kids should be forced to participate not only in mass but also in confession (if so how - I think I well explained that you can't force a child to go to confession if he/she doesn't want to) - and what good would come from forcing a kid to go through confirmation? Is this not supposed to be the decision of the person to be confirmed? Would you really want your child confirmed either because you "said so" or becuse they felt obliged to or even because of the gifts/party they would get after being confirmed?
I know I was confirmed because it was something that was expected of me and something I just wanted to get out of the way - when I was told that I would have to change my middle name to the Saint I chose so I just used my middle name which I found there really was not Saint with my middle name! - Just using and example of what can happen when someone is coerced or forced into participating in Confirmation. Until older, I can't think of any other sacrements that a kid could really participate in (Baptism I"m not even referring to because with Catholics it's done generally as infants) -
God Bless
Rye

0 Likes

#35

[quote="ryecroft, post:34, topic:181840"]
I should have been a bit more clear - what I was trying to get across was that if a kid doesn't want to go to mass then the kid is more than likely not going to want to go to confession or volunteer to go. A kid in this position could probably care less whether if he/she is forced to go he/she can receive Communion. Of course, you're completely correct that if a kid doesn't go to mass because he/she doesn't want to and for no other reason that this kid has committed a sin (obviously speaking about a child who is well over the age of reason) - that this child shouldn't place his/herself in line to reveice Communion. I guess part of my main point is that if a kid doesn't want to go to mass that making that child go is extremely unlikely to endear the idea of going to church to him/her.

You mentioned that parents should not leave receiving the sacrements up to the children. I agree that up until a certain age that the children should be brought along to mass to expose them and show them how you feel about your faith not only at home but in church. I am suggesting that when kids get into highschool that they are of an age to be able to make some decisions for themselves. I pointed out myself not wanting to go to church and pretty much being "forced" to go. This caused me later to resent going to church and to stop going. I just don't see how forcing someone to attend (note I said attend not participate because there were many times I attended and deffinately did NOT participate)- is going to help things. I believe that with many this will cause them to wind up resenting not only going to Mass but possibly even cause them to leave as soon as they leave the house or get out from under their parents "control".

You mentioned "sacrements" - perhaps I should begin another post but are you possibly suggesting that kids should be forced to participate not only in mass but also in confession (if so how - I think I well explained that you can't force a child to go to confession if he/she doesn't want to) - and what good would come from forcing a kid to go through confirmation? Is this not supposed to be the decision of the person to be confirmed? Would you really want your child confirmed either because you "said so" or becuse they felt obliged to or even because of the gifts/party they would get after being confirmed?
I know I was confirmed because it was something that was expected of me and something I just wanted to get out of the way - when I was told that I would have to change my middle name to the Saint I chose so I just used my middle name which I found there really was not Saint with my middle name! - Just using and example of what can happen when someone is coerced or forced into participating in Confirmation. Until older, I can't think of any other sacrements that a kid could really participate in (Baptism I"m not even referring to because with Catholics it's done generally as infants) -
God Bless
Rye

[/quote]

I see your point, but as a parent, I am responsible for my children's upbringing, physically and spiritually, so I will make them do things they may not necessarily "want" to do. I don't let them eat whatever they want whenever they want, so I'm certainly not going to have that attitude when it comes to their soul. Certainly I hope that as they are growing up that I am fostering a love for our Faith in them so that they want to go, but if even if not, I still expect them to obey God's laws. When they are out of my house they can decide not to go. If I just let them "decide for themselves" while they are underage, then I am complicit in their commission of a mortal sin.

With regard to Confirmation, again I hope to have given my children enough education that they understand the Sacrament and want to receive it, but even if they don't, I trust in the Lord that His Gift of the Holy Spirit will give them the grace and strength to remain steadfast in their Faith. Either way, I intend to pray for my kids throughout their lives that they will remain faithful Catholics.:signofcross:

0 Likes

#36

[quote="prodigalson12, post:25, topic:181840"]
You had some bench warmers for parents, and it very much was dragging you to mass, it was done so to show off, hey look at us, we have a perfect everything, even our kids are well dressed..................this same reverence was NOT carried back home, that's why I'm being harsh on them, it's just easy to see it based upon your reactions. I too had bench warming parents, but I got a great deal out of mass in spite of it, simply being there alone was grace enough...

With your current perception, that's not the Catholic church, not by far, and if you go on your own, without them, wearing normal attire, you are a much greater step ahead of them. Regardless, the raw exposure did, to you and the rest good.

[/quote]

Um... my dad making me go to Mass really made me Catholic. Even when I wanted to give up, going to church brought me back, so don't you DARE say that what my dad did was wrong. I don't think anything he did was wrong... he had every right to do what he did. I resent your harsh judgement.

And by the way... I'm only 16. I can't go to church without him because I can't drive. And I will never wear "normal attire" to Mass because it's inappropriate in my view. Dressing like Mass is no big deal is disrespectful.

0 Likes

#37

[quote="rick43235, post:22, topic:181840"]
It must be magic living at your house. :rolleyes:

[/quote]

Hey, it's a true saying - where there is no fear of God, the fear of Mom (or Dad) must suffice.

If your kids aren't literally terrified at the idea of disappointing you, then you are not doing your job as a parent. You're not put on this earth to be their buddy - they have tons of buddies - they only have one mother, and one father, and if mother and father aren't setting high standards for them with hell to pay if you don't meet them, nobody else is going to.

To the original poster: I agree with the person who said, how you tell the kids to go to Mass with you is, "Get, up, get dressed, we're going to Mass this morning." Don't make it negotiable. And while attending Mass in your best clothes is the ideal, if you have to take them in their jammies, then that works, too. :thumbsup: (That's how they'll know you're serious, is when they refuse to get dressed, and then you just pile them into the car "as is.")

0 Likes

#38

[quote="Jay53, post:35, topic:181840"]
I see your point, but as a parent, I am responsible for my children's upbringing, physically and spiritually, so I will make them do things they may not necessarily "want" to do. I don't let them eat whatever they want whenever they want, so I'm certainly not going to have that attitude when it comes to their soul. Certainly I hope that as they are growing up that I am fostering a love for our Faith in them so that they want to go, but if even if not, I still expect them to obey God's laws. When they are out of my house they can decide not to go. If I just let them "decide for themselves" while they are underage, then I am complicit in their commission of a mortal sin.

With regard to Confirmation, again I hope to have given my children enough education that they understand the Sacrament and want to receive it, but even if they don't, I trust in the Lord that His Gift of the Holy Spirit will give them the grace and strength to remain steadfast in their Faith. Either way, I intend to pray for my kids throughout their lives that they will remain faithful Catholics.:signofcross:

[/quote]

In no way was I trying to imply that you wern't doing your duty as a parent if it came off that I thought that, I do apologize because I didn't mean that at all. But Confirmation is supposed to be a sacrement of "maturity" with regards to the ChatecismCC - I guess part of this is coming up because I wish I had put off getting confirmed - instead it was something expected that I went along with to make everyone happy.

You seem to believe that you can "make" your kids participate in the sacrements - and I applaud that one way you feel will help them desire to participate is by your example - and I had a fairly good example as well - but I know that when it came down to it, my parents could only force me to attend Mass when I got to about the age of 12 and began High School in the States and decided that I wasn't really interested in Catholicism or going to Mass or dealing with the other sacrements. For me, and for many of my friends, being "made" or "forced" into going just made us that much more ready for the time when we didn't have to deal with it any longer. Do you really feel that if any of your children came to you and told you they didn't want to be confirmed that you would/could force them into receiving the sacrement? (either the reason being they didn't want to do all the stuff that was required and/or because they just didn't want to) I really had the belief that Confirmation was when you were supposed to make your own decision about being an active memeber/part of the Catholic Church and would then receive the Holy Spirit. I guess I feel it would be forcing a kid to almost lie about their faith - I know I kind of felt that way - and when the Bishop asked me why I desired to be confirmed, I gave a two part answer - he first part which I could tell really threw him was that my parents "made me" and the second part was part of the desired, memorized answer. I know that nun that was up there behind each of us heard my answer and was pretty ticked at me. She even told my parents - but luckily they were o.k. with it and just took it in stride. I guess I just can't see Jesus wanting a kid to get confirmed because his/her parents wanted them to. I'm actually going through a similar situation with one of my God Children and one of the kids I had for CCD a while back (and NO, I never told them about any of this nor acted as if "not wanting" to get confirmed was an answer - I actually only taught them about it - the Confirmation class didn't begin until a year later in 8th/9th grade). I have no doubt that you've provided a wonderful example - but really, if you saw that one of your kids was going along with getting confirmed just to get it out of the way or because you were expecting this of them, would you honestly want them to go through the sacrement?
God Bless
Rye

0 Likes

#39

I make my kids go, on the theory that thus they will be comfortable in the Catholic church when they grow up, unlike me who was always scared to walk into a church so different from what I was used to.
If I had not had an exchange student who was Catholic and wanted to attend church, I would never have set foot in one, even though I did go with my father a few times as a child.
So my kids attend church as teenagers, though my 16 year old gives me a very hard time about it. I tie their allowances to church attendance - as well as having clean rooms -- and we often go out to a mexican restaurant afterwards.

Anonymoususer, I read a recent study that showed that children continue attending church much more often if their fathers attend than if they just go with their mothers. Apparently the father attending gives it real legitimacy.
I would encourage you to make attending mass -- once your wife is on board with it, of course -- part of the responsibility of being part of your family. The perks of being part of your family grow out of the basic respnsibility of loving, supporting one another and worshipping God.

0 Likes

#40

[quote="ryecroft, post:38, topic:181840"]
I have no doubt that you've provided a wonderful example - but really, if you saw that one of your kids was going along with getting confirmed just to get it out of the way or because you were expecting this of them, would you honestly want them to go through the sacrement?
God Bless
Rye

[/quote]

I guess at that time it will depend on the reasons they give me for not wanting to be confirmed. If they are having questions about their faith etc. then no, I will not "make" them get confirmed, but I will then have to address their questions better.

However, if their reason is simply teenage laziness, then no, I will not accept that. Either I will "make" them get confirmed or I will allow them to not be confirmed, but I will also cut off friends and social activities or whatever it is that they are replacing God with. Nothing is more important than God.

Ironically, neither my husband nor I were confirmed until later in life. (I was 19, my husband was older.) But that was not due to undesire, simply the circumstances of my (and his) life. So, I don't necessarily have a problem with waiting to get confirmed, it's the reasons behind it that I would question.

0 Likes

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.