How do I handle this?


#1

The situation: My mom and I just came back from Church. We had gone to Mass, and then I went into Youth Group afterwards for a couple of minutes, than went back into the Church for Holy Hour (Adoration.)

On the car ride home, my mom was asking me questions. ei: "Why didn't you want to stay in with the rest of the teens?" Questions similar to this. Or, "Why are you being so quiet? You're too quiet, something has to be wrong."

All of my answers were very short, and small. I didn't feel very much like talking. Adoration had been extremely humbling tonight. As we were getting closer to home, she asked why I wasn't talking to her so much anymore. I never used to be like this, etc. etc.

The true reason I know in my heart why I haven't been talking to her when she asks me questions, become 'defensive,' is because I know that she wouldn't understand my answers, from comments she's made in the past. Unknowingly, she'll insult my personal beliefs.("You won't be crucified for not wearing a skirt.") I venture more towards traditional Catholicism, and she just doesn't understand it. I can tell her something about traditional Catholicism, and it'll go in one ear and out the other.

The help I need is how to talk to her. I have no idea how. I always see what has to be changed, but because I'm young, I can't do anything about it. I'm not a legal adult; I can't even volunteer at the parish unless it's a specifically teenage volunteering. Do you know how frustrating it is to have absolutely no power at all? No real say in anything? It's so heartbreaking when I see what's wrong, and I can't fix it.

Please, I want advice, and other perspectives on how to handle this. How can I talk to her so that she understands? I don't want to offend my mom, or grow farther apart from her. Please, don't worry about offending me. Just say it as it is.

Thank you so much,
Maria.


#2

I am currently reading a book called Real Women Real Saints and, not surprisingly, there are quite a few women who were called very early to a spiritual life and had parents that were not at all happy or excited by it. My advice to you is to offer your sufferings to Jesus who knows all that you are going through. He wants you to be obedient first and foremost. If you can try to look at all the roadblocks you feel are coming up as ways to bind yourself closer to Jesus, then perhaps you will find the joy in them. And why not talk to your mother about these things? If she asks, then let her know. If she doesn't appear to listen or chastises you for what you believe, then that is fine; you can't control her, you can only control how you react to her. But if there are small things that you can do to feel better about the practice of your faith, like wearing skirts, then go for it. I wish you all the best.


#3

[quote="Maria_Margaret, post:1, topic:233252"]
The situation: My mom and I just came back from Church. We had gone to Mass, and then I went into Youth Group afterwards for a couple of minutes, than went back into the Church for Holy Hour (Adoration.)

On the car ride home, my mom was asking me questions. ei: "Why didn't you want to stay in with the rest of the teens?" Questions similar to this. Or, "Why are you being so quiet? You're too quiet, something has to be wrong."

All of my answers were very short, and small. I didn't feel very much like talking. Adoration had been extremely humbling tonight. As we were getting closer to home, she asked why I wasn't talking to her so much anymore. I never used to be like this, etc. etc.

The true reason I know in my heart why I haven't been talking to her when she asks me questions, become 'defensive,' is because I know that she wouldn't understand my answers, from comments she's made in the past. Unknowingly, she'll insult my personal beliefs.("You won't be crucified for not wearing a skirt.") I venture more towards traditional Catholicism, and she just doesn't understand it. I can tell her something about traditional Catholicism, and it'll go in one ear and out the other.

The help I need is how to talk to her. I have no idea how. I always see what has to be changed, but because I'm young, I can't do anything about it. I'm not a legal adult; I can't even volunteer at the parish unless it's a specifically teenage volunteering. Do you know how frustrating it is to have absolutely no power at all? No real say in anything? It's so heartbreaking when I see what's wrong, and I can't fix it.

Please, I want advice, and other perspectives on how to handle this. How can I talk to her so that she understands? I don't want to offend my mom, or grow farther apart from her. Please, don't worry about offending me. Just say it as it is.

Thank you so much,
Maria.

[/quote]

I empathise with you.Im sorry i dont have any answers.Im much older than you and forgot how young peoplle and parents should relate.You make perfectly logical sense to me.Hope someone helps yoou out.God bless.


#4

How old are you? Are you the oldest child? My oldest is 16. So I will give you the perspective from where I stand. The job of a teen is to pull away from the parents and begin to make choices (and mistakes) as part of the process of becoming an independent person. The job of the parent is to let it happen, guiding the process as much as possible.

As nice and easy as that sounds, its anything but. Maybe I'm breaking parents' code here by admitting this, but we don't always have it all together, and we don't always know what we're doing in the parenting area, and yes, we make mistakes.

I don't say this so that you can lord it over your mother and undermine her parental authority, but so that you can be forgiving of her when she isn't perfect.

Your mom sees that you are changing. You are becoming stronger in your faith, you want to share that faith, you are straining against the constraints of not quite being an adult yet. She sees you moving away from her and is trying to find a way not to loose the closeness you used to have. To you it seems like interrogation.

Can you find ways to be close to your mom that don't involve conflict over faith? Can you just spend time with her doing something the two of you usually enjoy together? Above all, realize that this is new territory for your mom and she is trying to find her way through it, just as you are.

Best of luck.


#5

[quote="Maria_Margaret, post:1, topic:233252"]

All of my answers were very short, and small. I didn't feel very much like talking. Adoration had been extremely humbling tonight. As we were getting closer to home, she asked why I wasn't talking to her so much anymore. I never used to be like this, etc. etc.

The true reason I know in my heart why I haven't been talking to her when she asks me questions, become 'defensive,' is because I know that she wouldn't understand my answers, from comments she's made in the past. ... she just doesn't understand it. I can tell her something about traditional Catholicism, and it'll go in one ear and out the other.

The help I need is how to talk to her. I have no idea how. I always see what has to be changed, but because I'm young, I can't do anything about it. I'm not a legal adult; I can't even volunteer at the parish unless it's a specifically teenage volunteering. Do you know how frustrating it is to have absolutely no power at all? No real say in anything? It's so heartbreaking when I see what's wrong, and I can't fix it.

Please, I want advice, and other perspectives on how to handle this. How can I talk to her so that she understands? I don't want to offend my mom, or grow farther apart from her. Please, don't worry about offending me. Just say it as it is.

Thank you so much,
Maria.

[/quote]

Bless you. You want to do the right thing but often feel limited by you age. That's part of growing up. I don't know how old you are but one day soon you will be able to have more control over your life. Mothers are under a lot of pressure today, and they don't always do the best by their daughters. Look for times to talk with your mother. She doesn't seem to be secure in her relationship with you. You have to tell her that you love her and respect her but remind her that you are growing up and people do change as they grow. Ask her to respect you beliefs and practices. If you feel like going to Adoration instead of the youth group tell her. She may see some of you actions or lack of conversation as rejection.

The catechism has a section that may relate to your situation.

*2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: *

This goes for mothers and daughters.

God bless you and keep you. I will pray for you and you mother.


#6

Thanks everyone. I had everything written up to say to you guys individually, but my computer accidentally erased over half of it, so I’ll have to get back to all of you guys later. But I did read all of your responses and am very grateful of them.
~Maria


#7

[quote="Maria_Margaret, post:1, topic:233252"]
The situation: My mom and I just came back from Church. We had gone to Mass, and then I went into Youth Group afterwards for a couple of minutes, than went back into the Church for Holy Hour (Adoration.)

On the car ride home, my mom was asking me questions. ei: "Why didn't you want to stay in with the rest of the teens?" Questions similar to this. Or, "Why are you being so quiet? You're too quiet, something has to be wrong."

All of my answers were very short, and small. I didn't feel very much like talking. Adoration had been extremely humbling tonight. As we were getting closer to home, she asked why I wasn't talking to her so much anymore. I never used to be like this, etc. etc.

The true reason I know in my heart why I haven't been talking to her when she asks me questions, become 'defensive,' is because I know that she wouldn't understand my answers, from comments she's made in the past. Unknowingly, she'll insult my personal beliefs.("You won't be crucified for not wearing a skirt.") I venture more towards traditional Catholicism, and she just doesn't understand it. I can tell her something about traditional Catholicism, and it'll go in one ear and out the other.

The help I need is how to talk to her. I have no idea how. I always see what has to be changed, but because I'm young, I can't do anything about it. I'm not a legal adult; I can't even volunteer at the parish unless it's a specifically teenage volunteering. Do you know how frustrating it is to have absolutely no power at all? No real say in anything? It's so heartbreaking when I see what's wrong, and I can't fix it.

Please, I want advice, and other perspectives on how to handle this. How can I talk to her so that she understands? I don't want to offend my mom, or grow farther apart from her. Please, don't worry about offending me. Just say it as it is.

Thank you so much,
Maria.

[/quote]

Dear Maria.

Be careful you don't fall prey to pride.
It sounds like you mother misses you and wants to talk to you, but you are being a grumpy teenager who refuses to answer.
Answer her questions in all honesty and peace, you will be surprised how eager she is to be on your side.
"You wont be crucified for not wearing a skirt". Answer her politely that you happen to think skirts more pretty and comfortable right now, not because pants makes you a lesser Christian etc, but just because you have a preference.. You can also ask her: don't you like my dress? Pull her into your world, give her space in it. Thats what she wants.
If she asks why you dont join the other young people, tell her that you are tired, have other things on your mind after a powerful time infront of Jesus, or that you just haven't made friends well in that group.
Its normal for parents to worry if their teenagers don't associate with other kids.. It can be a sign of either unhealthy ideas which isolate, depression, or teasing.

Really, the I'm too good to answer your questions-attitude is not pious. Your mother might have to learn to rephrase her questions (thats her task). You can only teach her that by answering politely to her questions. Perhaps you are the one who is making her ask questions in an uncharitable way because you are shutting yourself off from communication?.

You have to know that no matter what spirituality or faith you have, you have a duty to speak with respect, honesty and kindness to others.
Otherwise you will make the impression that you do think you are better than other people.
You wanna be a traditional Catholic.. then open the New Testament and read. The people there were talking to anyone at any time, with power and kindness, about the Lord and the joy in Him.


#8

[quote="Maria_Margaret, post:1, topic:233252"]
TheAll of my answers were very short, and small. I didn't feel very much like talking. Adoration had been extremely humbling tonight. As we were getting closer to home, she asked why I wasn't talking to her so much anymore. I never used to be like this, etc. etc.Maria.

[/quote]

I sympathize heartily. My teen grandkids talk to me because sometimes the communication with parents just breaks down, and from my perspective, it is often the parent's fault because of this very reason, they want to force confidences from you and don't know when to lay off this type of nagging. That being said, review what you just said about your experience in adoration tonight. Cultivate that virtue of humility, whose mother is obedience. At your stage in life it is the hardest kind of obedience, submitting graciously without resentment and grumbling even when parents seem so unreasonable (never submit to sin of course). This kind of loving submission can lead to astounding spiritual growth and is in fact one of the biggest reasons religious orders have rules that govern even seemingly common sense things. Keep your answers short, but mild and polite.

At another time when she is not riding you find something about your day you could ask her about to initiate a conversation, and tell her right out you do want to talk to her but that when she tries to make you talk for some reason you clam up. don't apologize, don't criticize, just tell her this fact about you.


#9

First, about the skirt. There’s alot of funky non-catholic cults who put their women only in skirts. your mom may have been trying to see just how far you push the issue. If you’re stressing out about it beforehand, she may also be trying to bring you back to reality in the only way she knows how.

Second, be as respectful to your mom as you’d be to your peers. If you were tired and dealing with alot of stuff emotinally, you should say that “Mom, I’m just too tired tonight and I just wanted time for quiet reflection.” Our world is far too noisy. Wanting 30 seconds to youself is not wrong. However, take your mom’s concerns into account…are you withdrawing too much?


#10

Pray for tolerance of your mom’s faults. The teen years are so hard for us moms. We still see you as our little girl, or little boy, and you are growing up and away from us so fast! We want you to love us like you used to, and you need more independence. We want to be important in your life, and you need more than just your mommy’s viewpoint. It’s hard for us to let go of you gracefully. Sometimes, we manage to do it fairly well, but inside, we ache for the connection we used to have with you. We miss the days when you would tell us anything and everything about your school day, your friends, your life! When you are grumpy, we take it personally. When you are too quiet, we worry that your heart is breaking and you aren’t turning to us to help you through it.

:slight_smile:

Be patient with your mom. Tell her that sometimes, there is nothing wrong, that you are just in prayer or contemplation. Even if she knew you as a bubbly, talkative child, you are going through some growth and need some quiet so you can think. Maybe there is some sacred music you could put on in the car? I find that music helps me not chatter to my son if he is in a mood. Things get so much better when I allow HIM to talk to ME, not always the other way around.

When you say you see what needs to be changed, you are talking about the church and not your mom? Is that part of what you are frustrated with? Then by all means, talk to her about that. You are in-between stages right now, and I remember that feeling very well - to be in a stage of just waiting for the time to pass so you can be an adult and be taken seriously. Perhaps your mom could either start a ministry so you can carry out some of your ideas through her, or at least she could help you channel your frustrations into something positive for you, your family and your parish.

:hug1:

You’ll get through it. You love your mom, that’s obvious. And she loves you, too, more than you probably know. She gets on your nerves because that’s what being a teenager involves. You have to get annoyed at your parents in order to fly out of the nest! And we have to be annoyed enough at you in order to boot you out the door! It’s normal, it’s healthy and it will happen of its own accord.

Hang in there, try to be patient, and communicate with her as best you can, if not face to face, then write her notes or send her emails.


#11

Hi Maria!

I can relate to that. Boy was I mad as a teenager about the fact that I had so many ideas how to change the world to a better one and I had no say-so because I was “too young”.

Here’s what I did. You gotto find yourself some allies girl! If you see something that’s wrong, if you have an idea or you want to change something to the better, go talk to a teacher, go talk to the one who’s responsible in your community. Make youself vocal and step up to the plate!
Have your parents become your greatest and closest allies! Tell your mother why you wanna wear a skirt and why it’s important to you. See, first people must understand your reasoning before they can support your actions. There ain’t no other solution for ya, you will have to contribute a little something to receive some support in return :wink: Let them know what you want girl! You are strong! I can see that! Make it a strong and close relationship to your mother. You can make it.

She just afraid that she’s losing you if you don’t talk. Now what does that mean? It means that you need understanding to build and keep closeness to someone. If you don’t understand someone Maria how are you going to feel connected to that person? There’ll always be people who love you, and these people will be nagging you:

“What the heck is wrong with you, girl?”

Appreciate those questions, cause these are the people you wanna keep, cause these are the people who truly care about you. These are the people who want to support you. Make them your allies!

Now, how do you translate all this and use it? Next time, before you go to Church, tell your Mom:

“Hey Mom, if I don’t feel like talking much after church…it’s sometimes that humbling that I just wanna be left for a minute” Maria that’s the least you can do, can’t you? How do you expect others to support your actions when they don’t even know what’s going on with you?

Make yourself vocal.

Btw your username is my mothers first and second name :slight_smile:


#12

I have to laugh. I’ve did this to my daughter. Just turn to her and say, “Mom, I love you.” and put a grin on your face. See what she says. You can always add in…I think you’re losing it.:smiley:


#13

Thank you everybody so much. I finally have time to answer back! :)

Bnbkaine: Thank you. Your answer was very insightful on the end of just excepting life as it is and taking it with stride. I have been trying to familiarize myself with the practice of 'offering it up.' And that book does sound interesting. I might just find it and read it! :p

Arlene: I'm 14, and the youngest of 2. My older brother jut started college, and so now I'm the only one who doesn't work and go to school. I'm usually home a lot because of that. I really will try and find more common things to do with my mom, but sometimes she is the one who will just throw her hands up and walk away, because I frustrate her sometimes. We're alike in many ways, and such polar opposites in others! Yikes! Thank you for giving me a parental point of view. It does help.

William Pitts: Thank you for the statement from the Catechism. Sometimes it's hard trying to judge what my mom is thinking. I think I'll try to make that more of a conscious effort. Thank you so much for your prayers and your time.

GraceDK: I honestly pray that I'm not falling into pride. It is something that through praying for humility and obedience I started to move past. I'll try and talk to her more, and maybe I do need to open up more. I admit that this past year or so, I have become more quiet. And I guess you guys all need a bit more information on the skirts: I wear skirts because I try my best to hold true to the Marylike Modesty. I try my best to follow Our Lady of Fatima when she said that in the future, many fashions will offend the Lord. I don't want to offend Him in this simple way, so I wear knee length or longer skirts. The comment was made when I was planning on wearing a skirt to Disneyland for a Youth Group trip.
And back to what you were saying, I don't act as if I'm 'too good to answer your questions.' I normally don't want to because it will sometimes cause more problems than solve things. My mom and I would both be upset because of something one of us said, or anything like that. I think you might have misunderstood where I am coming from, and that's ok. I understand how it might have come off differently. Thank you regardless for your comments.

Puzzleannie: Wow, thank you for your answer. It really helped answer my question. You showed me to obedience, and how to just talk to my mom. You gave me a way. Thank you. Thanks.

TheRealJuliane: Thank you for another parental perspective. You really I think helped point out what I need to see in my mom. It's so heard to see something you aren't looking for! And yes, when I talk about change, I'm talking about the Church. I agree full heartedly with the Archbishops and our Holy Father when they say that a deterioration of the Mass and a watered-down teaching of the Faith will lead people away. I want to help with that, but there's not much to do! I love your idea about working through my mom...Now it's just getting her to go along! :p Thank you, so much!

504Katrin: Thank you again for your words. People like those are the ones that I want to keep in my life, that's for sure. I guess in some ways, I have 'lost my voice.' I need to find it again! (And, my birth name actually isn't Maria, it's a nickname. It has a lot of meaning for me. It reminds me to be forgiving and honest, like St. Maria Goretti. :p)

Thank you all so much for your time and consideration. I honestly do appreciate it. Right now, I just need to find a right time to talk to her, but the advice already given is plenty. Thank you!
~Maria


#14

Hang in there Maria! You sound very sensible. You’ve already received some very good advice. Be patient and kind and keep praying.

It can be hard for parents who grew up throwing off traditions that they saw as unnecessary to see the next generation embracing those same traditions. Be respectful and remember that before too long you’ll be of on your own and these sort of situations will likely be much less common.

Prayers!

(Oh! I do have a skirt related story. My mom actually offered to take me shopping to buy pants if I would just wear them … I think she’s getting used to the skirts now… And I’m 28!).


#15

If I am correct in assuming that you are a teenager, I think this issue is most likely a very common one. I know I certainly went through some rough patches with my mom as a teenager, because I had very similar feelings that she did not understand me, and so I would not bother even trying to talk to her.

It sounds like your mom is attempting to have a closer relationship with you, not trying to criticize you or your beliefs, though it may end up coming off that way. Maybe she asks you questions when she feels like you are being distant, and then you're brushing her off or not answering because you think she doesn't understand makes her more desperate to talk to you, which in turn to you feels like she's being needy and annoying. It's kind of a vicious cycle, but I really don't think it's too uncommon. Try reaching out to your mom and talking to her a little more. If she says something that you feel is disrespectful to your beliefs, let her know why it hurts your feelings, and try explaining the reasoning behind your beliefs.

As to feeling like you can't have an impact because you're young, don't let it get you down! Most likely, just by being a good person, you are helping everyone that you come in contact with just by being kind to them. I know a lot of volunteer organizations may have restrictions on age. Don't be afraid to keep looking and think outside the box. Maybe a local Catholic school has a tutoring or mentoring program that connects teenage students with younger or underprivileged students or those struggling in school. Also consider donating old clothes or unwanted items to a charitable organization, or starting a recycling campaign at your school. These may all seem like small things, but they add up!

Just keep the faith, and you'll get through it. It sounds like you are a wonderful young woman with the potential to do great things! You still have time to change the world, and it sounds like you're already off to a good start!

Good luck!:thumbsup:


#16

I haven't had a chance to read all the replies, but I think perhaps telling her how you feel may help

For example, if she says something like 'You won't be crucified for not wearing a skirt' tell her either right then and there (or if you are mad take time to cool down) 'Mom, wearing skirts is important to me and when you make those comments I feel you are mocking me. That is why I don't like to talk to you. I never know when you will make fun of me'

Now, don't expect her to immediately understand. But the truth is, eventually, she should be able to understand that. And, if she continues to make hurtful comments, there is nothing wrong with you giving short answers. You have a right to your boundaries and to not divulge information that someone will use to hurt you. Just make sure you handle this in a humble way. Don't let it turn into a power struggle

CM


closed #17

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