Need advice for 13 yr. old daughter

Monica - posted on 10/04/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My daughter's sunday school class has about 8 teens (mostly girls only 2 boys) and none of them show any concern for things of God. My daughter is the complete opposite. These kids make little comments about her because they see she loves the Lord. I expected this type of treatment outside of sunday school but not in it! Today, my daughter got discouraged (was crying) and said she no longer wants to attend sunday school. She feels the kids are being a hinderance to her walk with God. Should we speak to her sunday school teacher or the pastor or both? Or should we just support her decision?

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Cassandra - posted on 10/16/2009

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I would talk with sunday school teacher and the pastor. Maybe there is another class she can go to.

I would also tell your daughter that her not wanting to go to sunday school might be satan tempting her. If she quits he wins. If she persevers then the Lord wins. Satan will use any means possible to keep us from hearing the truth. Also I would tell her that she should pray for her enemies.

Kristina - posted on 10/10/2009

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I would definitely talk to the sunday school teacher. It may be that the teacher doesn't even know what's happening. I would not force your daughter to go to sunday school though. That would leave a bad taste in her mouth...She needs your support, and I believe that if you can support her out side church, it will not hinder her Christian journey. If it's possible, maybe you can invite her to your sunday school class? Our church has many different sunday school classes to choose from, and maybe the other classes would offer her some solace?

Dina - posted on 10/10/2009

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how nice of you to have a daughter who really loves the Lord, as we know youngsters nowadays being busy with other things and the Lord to them is just a something that is ''NOT THAT IMPORTANT''. just encourage your daughter to just continue her walk with the Lord and sooner or later she will discover how lucky she is that she have known the Lord at the early stage of her life. "HAVING DISARMED PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS, HE MADE A PUBLIC SPECTACLE OF THEM, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM.'' (Col. 2:15) There are many things beyond our control, but we need not fear. We who have placed our trust in Jesus are on the winning side. God bless your daughter and your family Monica.

Heather - posted on 10/08/2009

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I would support her decision and talk with the Pastor. The sunday school class is important to the other kids. Maybe they will get it someday, but it sounds to me like she is ready for an adult class. Maybe she could even do both, if she feels she is ready to be a witness to the other kids and not really a peer.

Anne - posted on 10/08/2009

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Quoting Alison:

I believe that these issues should be addressed with leadership, The leadrs of the Sunday School also need to be able to maintain and excercise Godly discipline. It is after all a sunday SCHOOL.


The more I have thought about this question and after reading Alison's response I do have to agree with her. I know we do not want to turn away unchurched teens. However the Christian Walk Does take GODLY DISCIPLINE.  



We have an are Youth For Christ leader that goes to our Church. He works with most of our youth in the schools they go to. I was talking to one of the ladies that also works with both our youth at Church and at YFC and she has mentioned the no nonsense Godly Discipline that this leader expects. With Godly Respect he gets this behavior from even the most unruly youth. The Key is Godly Love and Respect With Healthy Godly Boundaries in place. His YFC group is one of the biggest in the state per capita..



Having said that I do also agree that teacher and Pastor should be spoken to. Sometimes it an unrealistic boundary present or no boundary present that is causing the most problems. Regardless I will continue to keep you and your daughter in my Prayers.

Alison - posted on 10/07/2009

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I believe that these issues should be addressed with leadership, The leadrs of the Sunday School also need to be able to maintain and excercise Godly discipline. It is after all a sunday SCHOOL.

Leslie - posted on 10/07/2009

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I would speak with both the pastor and sunday school teacher, but I would also talk with your daughter. While this can be very discouraging to her, she has a wonderful opportunity to witness to her peers. The best things about this is that she does not needs to say or do anything other than pray. Let her witness to them by how she handles the situation. While kids can be and are very cruel, when they do not get the reaction from one that they were hoping for they tend to stop because its no longer fun. Pray with your daughter about the situation, as well as for the kids who are involved.

Trina - posted on 10/07/2009

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I would try to talk to both the Sunday School teacher and the pastor, perhaps they can encourage an environment of Holiness. But, remember, often these kind of comments come from kids outside of adult earshot.

Is there any girl in her class or even from another church that you can encourage a relationship with. Sometimes even one other person can be a real encouragement in this situation. Is there a Bible Study that has students with her spiritual bent? We have even started teen Bible Studies in our home to encourage the philosophy the we wanted for our children.

Mary - posted on 10/07/2009

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I would try talking to both the pastor and teacher first to see if you can figure out why the teacher doesn't seem to be doing her job. And if that doesn't work I would support her decision of not going to the Sunday school. I would maybe make a family bible study time during her Sunday school time.

Brittany - posted on 10/06/2009

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I say support her decision. She's very mature for her age and is doing great works of God and walking well with God. If sunday school is preventing her from gettitng fed at church, then do what she feels is best. God is telling her what to do.

Monica - posted on 10/06/2009

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Everyone...thank you so much for your comments! They've helped out a lot! May God bless you all!

[deleted account]

Ask the teacher and your daughter if you can attend Sunday School with her one week. The kids will probably be on their best behavior with you in the room but at least you can get an idea of how the teacher structures the lessons and what she might do about any discipline. Maybe this is an opportunity for you and your church to help improve and strengthen the program. I do think there are some instances when it is justified to leave a church or a youth group but I don't think that should be the first step. In Matthew the Lord teaches us that if you have a problem with your brother you should first go and talk to them alone and then with a friend and then with the whole congregation and if then that person will still not admit their wrong then they should be excommunicated so I think following the Lord's process would be the best.

Jennifer - posted on 10/06/2009

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I just want to say that I personally feel for your daughter! When I was 15 my youth group went through a change in youth ministers and the new minister was not really a good choice (proven in the long run unfortionately), I felt I was surrounded by fellow youth who I knew as totally differant people at my school then how they acted at church and now the youth minister was basically encouraging thier antics! I was a fairly young Christian and very on fire, already serving in children'sministry and going on mission trips. I too reached the point were I just said I would not go any more!!!
Now nearly twenty years later I am very thankful that I was "allowed" to attend the collage a nd career class instead. I knew many of these students due to my mission work and involvement in other areas of serving and the man who led the group I found out later stood up for me to the pastor and other church elders who were against me attending. My junior and senior year of highschool were a trial because I did not have youth my age for support but I made it through strong because I did have people who supported me in my walk with Christ. I have a brother just one year behind me in school who also "quit" the youth group but did not seek another "family" and he has fallen away. Youth, especially today struggle with SO much! I pray that your daughter will find her "Christian family" soon!

Becki - posted on 10/06/2009

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Please go speak to you pastor, children can be cruel when they don't understand or hear the lord call them. your child is in my prayers and the lord with guide both you and her, where he wants you to be.

Sharon - posted on 10/05/2009

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I would speak to her Sunday School teacher and the Pastor (Youth Pastor if you have one). Everyone who goes to church is not necessarily a Christian yet. My pastor was preaching last Sunday on Matthew 5:13. Encourage her to continue to be salt to these kids and to pray for them and herself that God would give wisdom to her. You guys need to continue to love on those kids even if they reject it. God will help her and give her strength. It might not be easy, but if one kid gets saved because of her perseverance, it will be worth the effort. I have been a youth sponsor for over 20 years and I can tell you that even if those kids don't have a positive response now, they will still remember your daughter's witness years from now. Remember, "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me... And BE STRONG in the Lord".

Anne - posted on 10/05/2009

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Hi Monica, Our daughters are now adults, but our oldest, although she was not all that spiritually mature, faced the "odd man out" sort of thing your daughter is going through right now. Thankfully now as a 25 year old young women she Loves The Lord and is living for HIm. Our youngest was mouthy enough to stick up for herself.

Now back to your daughters very real problem. In our church Prayer is the first line of defense. We have a group of people that Pray for our youth daily. Some of us still have children in youth, some of us have grown children yet have continued to have a heart for youth. I do agree that some of the problems your daughter is facing is age related. Teen girls see things more seriously than adults do. However to THAT TEEN IT IS A MAJOR PROBLEM AND SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED. I also think going to the Pastor could be a good thing. What ever you do discuss it with your daughter. Although we should never let our children be bullied, we as Parents do have to be careful that we do not make things worse for our children. This can be a VERY FINE LINE.

If your church does not have a Prayer circle or group of people that are Praying for your youth you might want to look into these. Either as a group or with each person taking the name of one of your youth.
If you would like to talk more about how we have done this just send me a message.

Another thing that worked well for my own youth group as a teen was to take a name of one of their group to Pray for for a given amount of time. I have also used this when I taught SS with 5th and 6th graders.
I too will be Praying for you and your daughter.


"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything
that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or
more are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them." -- Matthew 18: 19-20
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Victoria - posted on 10/05/2009

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I have to say that your daughter was on my heart last night. As a Minister and a Pastors wife, I do encourage you go speak with your Pastor, or have her speak to them. If she is really that committed to her relationship with God, the Pastor will see it. I think I would support her decision, the scripture in

1Ti 4:12 Don‘t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Your daughter is young, but she's not a child anymore, she's a youth. Life might be full of challenges, but if there is a calling on your daughters life God might just be pulling her out, so that He can feed her. Just because she's thirteen, it doesn't mean He hasn't witnessed something to her. I wouldn't baby her & tell her she has to go, the enemy will really be able to use that. It's not a bad thing she's asking, to be around maturer believers. I've taught in our children's, youth, young adult & adult services. I've heard how God can use all three of these levels. I heard prayers from a 7 year old that would challenge most Senior pastors & messages spoken by 12 year old's that most pastors of any level wouldn't be able to speak. So I know that at 13 years old she may very well be ready to move up to the next level. Again, it's not so much about physical age, it's about maturity in Christ. She is still in my prayers.

Rita - posted on 10/05/2009

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Being a pastors wife and very much interested in making sure that all the children are ministered to and that the Word of God is put first in the class room I would say go to the head of Children's ministries first and explain your concerns. Then incourage your daughter to continue to go to class. You must explain to her that life is full of challanges as a Christian, but that God never leaves us, but will always be with us and protect us. Challanges help to make us strong in the Lord if we handel them with the wisdom of God. I'm sure you have already prayed with her, make this a daily practice. I pray your daughter will grow from this situation and it will help make her a strong women of God.

Melinda - posted on 10/04/2009

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Hi Monica - I'm sorry to hear your daughter is having such a difficult time. It can be so hard to stand firm in your relationship with Christ when so many peers are discouraging you from it. I went through this as well...when I was 14, I was in public school and one of the only 'believers' in my class - some classmates claimed to be "christians" but let's just say that didn't pursue God's will. So, to keep strong in my faith, I prayed and I began reading some books that became my lifeline. They were written by Robin Jones Gunn : 'The Christy Miller series' is the first and one of her best series! It takes a group of God-loving teens and follows them through high school and, in a separate series, through college. It was so encouraging to read about these teens - I realize that they aren't "real" - per se but they were so relate-able that they really did feel like true people. When you're reading about them, it makes you think of someone you know personally and I guarantee that your daughter has already encountered at least half of the issues that present themselves in this series and will probably face all of them before graduating. I highly recommend getting her at least the first book to try. I wouldn't be where I am with the Lord today if it had not been for this series, these characters...they inspired me to seek God's best, to follow in His will, to stand firm and true. Good luck, you'll be in my prayers! :)

[deleted account]

I think talking to the Pastor is a good idea. The last church I attended the teens were very bad about cutting up during service and it was very distracting. I spoke with the Pastor more than once, but nothing ever changed. Sadly, some teens show up to church just to visit with their friends. I would hope that most Pastors would address any issue of that nature though and not allow it to take place. When I was a teen the church my family attended had an okay size youth group. Sunday school never had any problems, but when some started causing issues in the main service we were restricted to having to sit in the first five rows, unless we sat with our parents. I would think that in such a small Sunday School class the adult teaching would notice what goes on. If that person notices it and does not say anything, it is kind of sad. Speak with your Pastor, because you don't want these teens to have even more of an impact on your daughter.

Twanda - posted on 10/04/2009

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I would not say support the decision.. I would encourage her to love the lord no matter who makes fun of her because the Scripture says out of the mouth of babes comes perfect praise. If god be for you who can be against you I would talk to the Sunday school teacher 1st if she cant get the kids under control then I would talk to the pastor

[deleted account]

Hi Monica,

My husband is a youth pastor, and we have a 16 year old son & 19 year old daughter.

Sad to say most of the youth we work with have different "personnas" in a group than they do in private.

Almost every teen we work with is obnoxious in varying degrees in a large group and quieter and more serious in private or in a group of 3.



No matter how hard we try to focus them on God's Word and Will for their lives, most of the time they just don't get it or focus on it. And we try!!!I



I am not sure what is different about church youth programs, but they are different.

I've been working with teens and kids for 11 years as a 4-H volunteer and we do not have nearly the same kind or number of problems with our 4-H teens. Much of that is due to strict policies set in place on the state and national level. So I don't think this is an across the board problem with all teens. But since the purpose of church youth programs is to get the teens in the door, teach them and keep them coming back, much is often tolerated in order to have the opportunity to share the gospel with teens on an ongoing basis.





I think that there are some churches with larger youth ministries where you find (just like in a very large high school) that there are more serious teens, just because of the numbers. In a smaller church, she might be the only serious one. In a mega church there might be 20 like her.

My personal opinion is that if it's my daughter I would look for a church with a vibrant, active youth ministry, grounded in the Bible. The teen years are an important time of growth and spiritual growth is the most important.



I would also suggest that she attend a Youth Camp like the "Go Tell" Camps.

My husband and son went last June (none of the other teens at church wanted to go- too many rules for their tastes.) and had a wonderful experience at the "Go Tell" camp that was held at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

There was great teaching, great inspiration, great music (10th Avenue North! And they did activities with the kids all week like playing basketball or swimming with them!)

http://www.gotellministries.com/camps/in...



I hope this helps a little. 13 is hard enough and everyone should feel welcomed, encouraged, and part of the family at church and sunday school.

God bless!!!

Victoria - posted on 10/04/2009

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Speak to the Pastor. But at thirteen, she should be quite able of understanding what the Lord is speaking in the adult body service. In our church our youth (ages 12-18) have a youth night on Fridays, but Wednesday & Sunday they are in with the adult body of the church. If the class that your daughter is in, is at a lower level than her, maybe God is calling her out. It's possible she's passed the elementary teachings & is ready to move on to a higher teaching, keeping her back could be damaging, as we say in our church, the age group is just a guideline, it's more to do with the maturity of the individual believer. I would still talk with your Pastor though.



Your daughter is in my prayers, I praise the Lord that our young people are having such beautiful hearts towards God & his Word.

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