Need advice Prodigal Daughter


#1

Our DD turned 18 in May. Was Home schooled, good kid, not much trouble, active pro life, very vocal against Culture of death. Never dated… was thinking of being a missionary. Everyone she knew is shocked. And she has dumped all her Friends esp the Catholic ones. Never dated. Though we did not disallow it after she turned 17.

She had been working since Dec saving money for car and college. Got an Apt… moved into it. Cut off communication with mom and dad immediately. Moved in with 25 yr old man a few days later… Told mom and Dad that " we have been shoving religion down her throat. " and that if we talked to her about her life or GOD she would hang up. Also said we are to restrictive and we better not restrict our other children ( ages 9 and under) like we did her ( this means no r rated movies or S@xually charged music, or cell phone)

months go by limited short contact. Now has cut off all contact with us the parents. Moved to a unknown location.

I could go into more detail but it not necessary.

Mom and Dad… we were trying to approach the issue like the Father in the prodigal son parable.

BUT … enter the Grandparents. She talks to them, they take her and her boyfriend ( shackin up) to dinner once a month. She calls and asks them for money when she runs out…They give her stuff. they intend to sell her a car soon.

We have asked them to stop as we see it as supporting their bad behavior. GrandP’s know she is not attending Mass anymore etc.

Two different priests told us that we have to let her go her own way, but we still have small children to protect from the scandal and the BF should not be around the children etc. In short if she can’t behave then she should not be around the children ( the priests got full detail) We went to our parish priest and then to another mutally respected priest so we could try to get the GP’s on the same page. That priest agreed with the first priest.

We are not SHUNNING… you can not shun someone who has already shunned or shut you out of their life. But our lifestyles are so different now. We love her… we would help her return. We are just so frightened for her soul. I would talk to her if she called. I would make small talk and remind her that GOD and us love her. there is not animosity on our side of it.

So the Grandp’s, what I thought were Conservative Roman Catholics ( they wont “go” to a lay minister, they wont hardly speak to homosexual members of our family) now have gotten a priest of their own to tell them " that Granddaughter’s sex life is none of their business" and that they can take them out and stuff.

This is causing great conflict. M y parents accuse us of shunning… but were not. they see her as a victim here… and tell us we are being unforgiving etc. See above… no animosity here.

Our phone number has not changed, our address has not changed. I have called her several times and told her if she needed help to call. That we loved her. Most of the time she will not return our calls.

First, if this priest is right…that it is none of our business… why did our priest call it Scandal? Also… if it is not our B… then why would homosexuals openly practicing be our business? Why would we get upset if PP wants to teach $ex ed ?

The RCCathchism says not to encourage sin? so

I mean If i look hard enough I can find a Priest to tell me Birth control is up to my conscious. Did they just pick a winner?

So how do we honor our parents and disagree so strongly?
any advice would be good
Steph

** I mentioned lay ministers above. I personally do not think they are a " bad " thing. I was just tryng to point out that the GP behavior is ususally very … strict. I dont always agree with my parents… but this particular disagreement is so severe.


#2

One of the most difficult lessons I had to learn as a young woman was that if I insisted on my ‘right’ to live the way I saw fit then I had to be big enough to accept the rights of others to do the same thing. This meant that I had to be willing to accept that my mother did not approve of my lifestyle, would not support it financially and would not pretend to like what she knew was sinful and killing me.

HOWEVER, whenever I reached out to HER she was loving and caring…she never pretended to be what she wasn’t and anytime I accused her of ‘judging me’ she would gently and firmly remind me that I was a grown woman and could do what I wanted - and so was she and so do not judge HER.

You have the right to live and raise your children the way you wish…so do your parents…so does your adult daughter. If they demand that you be and act a certain way you can ask them, gently and with love, if they will be willing to allow you to make the same demands.

I am going to pray for your daughter…she has a bumpy road ahead…with God’s Will and with your loving prayers she will come home. I did.


#3

I am really sorry for this situation.

One thing that seems to be a common thread through out all of this is control. You seem to be grieving that you have no control over your daughter, no control over her grandparents, and no control over the advice that is given to you by priests.

If you want any peace in your own lives and if you want any hope for an improved relationship with your daughter, you are going to need to surrender control. You are going to have to turn it all over to God and trust that he will show her the way, even if it is by learning from her mistakes. This isn’t going to happen on your timetable, it is going to happen on his. Be patient and be willing to support your daughter when she does come back to you.

The fact that your daughter rushed out, and is now living with a 25 year old man and has completely cut contact with her parents leads me to suspect that she could very well be in a realtionship that is based upon control. She has gone from your home which she says was controlling and restrictive, to the new boyfriend who could be controlling and even abusive. I know this from personal experience. I did practically the same thing a week after I graduated from high school. I knew the next morning it was a bad mistake, but I stubbornly stayed the course for nearly twenty years. I wish I would have opened up to my parents right away, but I just couldn’t do it. Somehow you need to get the message through to your daughter that you love her and want was is best for her, that if she ever needs you, you will be there for her. Maybe after taking an emotional break, you can talk this over with her grandparents and they can communicate this for you.

Your family is in my prayers.


#4

My quick advice to you is not to let your daughter or parents hold your family hostage. You said you have other children…and a husband…then live your life one day at a time. Stay steadfast in God and He will lead you and your family to daily peace. For the sake of your family ( the greater good at this moment ) DON’T let your family be held hostage and DO allow God to be in control of your personal daily life.
I’l pray for you.


#5

. You are going to have to turn it all over to God and trust that he will show her the way, even if it is by learning from her mistakes. This isn’t going to happen on your timetable, it is going to happen on his. Be patient and be willing to support your daughter when she does come back to you.

EXCELLENT advice–as hard as it is to accept. You can take some comfort in the knowledge that you laid a solid moral foundation for your daughter and she KNOWS that her lifestyle is more than just an irritant to you–it is wrong and destructive to her soul as well as to her relationships with the most important people in her life. Most of us have gone through some rebellious period in young adulthood. For some it is merely a stumble alaong a fairly straight path–for others it takes falling off a cliff before we come to our senses. Keep reaching out to your daughter with kindness and warmth–eventually she will retreat from her bad choices and return to the values she is comfortable with and very likey seek and be very grateful for your forgiveness and love.


#6

So far, you’ve gotten excellent advice.

I’ll only add that, as a once homeschooling parent, I never realized that even the best home education and upbringing cannot get in the way of Free Will. See, there is a myth about the home educated child, that not only will he or she be accepted by every college on the planet, but he or she will be morally perfect, as the child has not been exposed to the usual peer socialization, being socialized in the home environment, then in a variety of settings with a variety of people. And by and large, it’s true, they are better socialized, and they do have a better work ethic, and they do follow along of their own accord. But not always.

I know. I have a daughter who has made very poor choices, as well as a son who has an organic mental illness. They both read at the post-12th grade level. Daughter has a bachelors degree. Daughter can hold down a successful job, if she wants. But even with all the love and care and home ed, they still made some really boneheaded decisions that cost them big time.

So did I when I was their age. I was a lunkhead on a lot of counts. I made those choices. I had to live with the results.

You cannot get in the way of your daughter’s Free Will. If she is bound and determined to live with this guy, you have to let her live with the consequences until she is ready to change. You will hurt, you will suffer, you will feel anguish like you never felt, but it’s her choice. Nothing you can do. If ever there was a time to “offer it up” this is it.

Your parents want a relationship with their granddaughter. They are adults. Maybe they see this as a way of helping. In any event, it is their Free Will. You do not have to go to their monthly dinners with the BF. If they choose to help her, that is their choice. Later on, as somebody said, maybe they can help with communication. But they are your parents, grown-ups with a Free Will. You can’t tell them what to do and how to do it.

I would not let myself be forced to compromise into a situation if I really believed it was wrong. But there are some things we as humans can’t control. This is one of them. Give it to God. He does listen.


#7

Pray for your daughter and her bf. Also pray for yourselves. B/c we don’t have all the details, I think the advice cannot be as helpful. I have NEVER met a priest who would say to completely cut a person out of your life b/c their situation may be causing scandal. Fr. Corapi said that when your friend (child, parent, loved one) is hurt in combat (sin), if you’re a good soldier, you NEVER abandon them. I agree. I had a child with a married man who I was living with and you know what, my priest knew of the entire situation and still baptized my daughter and was upset when a certain well-liked radio personality questioned my daughter’s aunt about “who would baptize that child”. By the way, my priest is very orthodox and has taught at one of the pontifical colleges.

Your daughter’s situation, while scandalous, is not so detrimental that you should not communicate with her. If you are truly concerned for her soul, recognize the reality that she is tuned out to your “words”. Show her your love and concern. Stop talking and start walking love.


#8

I think you also have to make a distinction between loving someone and condoning their behavior. You don’t have to support her decisions, but you have to be willing to let God be the one to chastise her, she belongs to Him and He will do what is necessary to bring her around.

As far as your parents, maybe you should see it as a blessing that ALL communication has not been severed. If she gets into real trouble, it will be easier for her to reach out for help if she has ongoing communication with the family in some way.

She is being immature in blaming you for everything, when in fact she is really angry with God for not allowing her to live her life in any way she pleases without consequence. In her heart, she knows she will not get away with this behavior, and it makes her mad. She is throwing a temper tantrum, and you are unfortunately taking the brunt of it. It hurts, but know it for what it is. Give it over to God, He knows what is best and in what timing things will be resolved. YOU TRUST AND PRAY!

As far as your other children are concerned, I believe the most important thing you can do is show them that your love for your daughter is unconditional and secure! You can explain to your children what wrong choices have been made and why they are wrong, and encourage them to pray also for their sister and her safe return to Christ. But I would be very careful and not show anything but a loving attitude concerning her around your other children. They need to know that your love for them is just as sure, no matter what life brings or mistakes are made, and how you handle this will affect them. This is not condoning her scandal, this is just extending loving mercy and forgiveness, which is what we all receive on a daily basis from Christ.

Pray for grace daily. This will be a difficult journey and only grace will get you through.

Peace and God Bless.


#9

Yes, this could have been me 10 years ago.
I have no doubt that a lot of your daughters anger is directed at herself because I think she is having an internal battle. I did.
Pray for her. Do not lose hope, this is what Satan wants you to do.
Take solace in the fact that many on this forum have been in your daughters shoes.
Offer up your pain for your daughter.
Off to adoration now, will pray for you all.


#10

I’m 23, and while my past situation was not exactly like your daughter’s, I can definitely relate to the rebellion and turning away from faith and family that your daughter is going through. I was there not long ago. But take comfort in this fact — your daughter knows what is right and what is wrong because you have done your duty as parents to teach her God’s laws and morals. I am sure she is going through an internal battle right now, as someone else said. I went through that same struggle when I was rebelling against God and my family. But one day, in the agony and distress I was going through BECAUSE of my rebellion (funny how the devil tricks us into thinking rebellion will set us free), I realized I could never escape God or the truth of his teachings and I could never be happy, at peace or experience real love unless I submitted to him lived the way He taught me to.

More than anything, take comfort in God. He hears your prayers and the prayers of all the people who have advised you thus far, and he is in control. He will answer. Trust that He has imprinted upon your daughter’s mind and heart what is morally right and wrong, and trust that He will bring her back to the truth.

Praying for you,
Kristie


#11

Both this, and many other posters have presented good loving advice. I could not add any.

I can reccomend a book “Why Christian Kids Rebel” by Tim Kimmel.


#12

Been through this too…we spent several painful years. With our daughter we made sure she understood that we would never condone wrongdoing…and that we loved her and would always love her.

When she started to turn things around in a positive direction we let her know we appreciated her efforts toward the good and we would be there to support her in any way we could.

That was about 8 years ago…she has really turned her life around. Keep praying…God will answer your prayers. Be devoted to our Blessed Mother…her Mother’s heart will help comfort yours.

I’ll pray for you all.


#13

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.