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I have actually recently found a label for my religion (druidism). I am 15 and I actually established my personal beliefs years ago. I feel like a disappointment to my parents already because I'm bisexual but I don't feel right hiding my life from them.

I believe in reincarnation and I love life and cherish it and seek to actually practice my religion without the worries of being caught. I even felt the need to send my necklace that I ordered online to my friends house.

So how do I explain this to her without upsetting her too much? And its not like druidism is bad....

PS I am not a parent but I need advice from parents. Thankyou.

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I found this on (neo-)druidism: a form of modern spirituality or religion that generally promotes harmony and worship of nature, and respect for all beings, including the environment. The core principle of Druidry is respect and veneration of nature, and as such it often involves participation in the environmental movement. (Also this.) –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jan 18 '13 at 9:53
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Hi Danielle and welcome to the site! It would be helpful to know a bit more about your mother, and how she views religion in general. Is she religious? Did she ever make attempts to involve you in her beliefs (i.e. take you with her to Church/Synagogue/Mosque/whatnot, or discuss religious matters with you)? More details will help us give you better advice. Thanks! –  Beofett Jan 18 '13 at 13:43
    
Leaving this as a comment as it doesn't really answer your question, but please consider that even though you may feel 'finished' and certain about your orientations, a lot of things can still happen which may change them in the next 15-or-so years... –  Benjol Jan 18 '13 at 15:01
    
About And its not like druidism is bad.... - That's what you (and some others, probably) believe. Note that, most Christians (given the post title) probably would consider it 'bad' (in that it's not Christianity) - even if it none of the tenets are considered a crime. I personally would be very surprised if someone decided to actually believe in a religion they considered wrong. Still, I pray you'll have a good (loving) discussion with your mother. –  Clockwork-Muse Jan 18 '13 at 19:15
    
It is really up to your parents. It's hard for us to say how to not upset your parents without understanding what your parents may or may not be upset with. –  DA01 Jan 20 '13 at 3:33

5 Answers 5

So how do I explain this to her without upsetting her too much?

This is related to saying something like...

I have something to tell you. Promise you won't get mad.

The answer is "you can't" because you aren't in control of if or how upset she gets.

All you can do is express that it's important that she respect your beliefs and that she and her opinions are important to you as well. . . and hope that she doesn't lose her mind.

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You are 15. You are allowed to ask your parents questions.

Ask your parents about their faith. How did they decide to become Christian? Or is it because they were born in a Christian family?

If they decided to become Christian, ask them how or why, the process. You already have an example that the parents can relate to.

If they were born in a Christian family, ask them how things would have gone if they were born in a family that followed another faith. Would they automatically have become a member of that faith?

Then ask them if they know of anybody who changed their mind about their faith, in the close family, distant family, family friends, acquaintance. Ask them how they feel about people changing their faith.

Leave it at that for now. You need to know how they would react if and when you react.

Do you support yourself financially? Do you live with your parents? Depending on your assessment of how they will react, you might want to wait till you reach a more independent stage in life if you are currently dependent on them.

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Just say you are a Druid. Say it seriously. Don't tell her like it is a big deal. Just say it matter-of-factly when she or some other person assumes wrongly. I know how it feels like when religion gets assumed as a family trait. If you explain your religion to anyone, don't say it like it is a big deal. Wikipedia page says your religion focuses on nature, so just say my religion involves respecting nature or something more; after all you know it more than I do.

If you want to be taken seriously, then you won't want to convert people or explain them unnecessarily.

If your mother still asks you to follow rituals of Christianity, let it not be a clash of egos or religions; she expected you to be this way. There are numerous innocuous rituals that are performed and that reflect our society more than any single religion. Keep it in mind. If there is something about Christianity that puts you off, you can already say not to be forced into it. There is good and bad. You can choose any part of any religion to follow since there is no particular guide to follow.

Keep in mind that religions don't make us; we make them. So you can be Christian and Druid at the same time. I am neither really and am agnostic. Yet it means that to have a Hindu mother in India means to visit temples when you are expected to. One has to pick their battles!

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So how do I explain this to her without upsetting her too much?

I would say "Mom, I'm not a Christian. I just wanted to be honest with you."

Will they still be upset? Maybe. But that's on them, not you. If this is something that will upset them, then it probably doesn't matter how you tell them.

Good luck.

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While this answer might be valid for an adult who is not living in the same house as their parent, I don't feel it's especially helpful to a 15 year old. To say that their being upset is on them, not her ignores the fact that it will create tensions in their relationship and make it uncomfortable to share a home together. Especially since the OP appears to be working very hard to maintain a relationship with her parents. –  Meg Coates Jan 21 '13 at 15:34
    
Whether or not it creates tension does nothing to change the fact that the burden is on the parent here. Saying it as I suggest is about the least confrontational way to go about it. –  DA01 Jan 21 '13 at 17:36
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It is not unrealistic to hope the parent will be accepting of their childs path in life, regardless of their age. It is unfair, however, to expect the child to be more concerned about the parents 'feelings' than about his own feelings about his current life path. It's a 2 way street and if the child is trying to be an adult, then the parent should try as well. Bottom line: this suggestion is simply honest. its always the best approach. If they cant accept it (note I didnt say LIKE) then that is on the parent along with any long term effects that theyll both have to deal with. –  monsto Jan 23 '13 at 1:37
    
(contd) Realistically, tho, a 15 yr old isn't really equipped to deal with the repercussions which could feasibly be pretty drastic. Even life altering. –  monsto Jan 23 '13 at 1:40
    
@monsto: Which is my point: Most 15-year-olds are not emotionally equipped to deal with the repercussions. Yes, should the parent act like an adult and treat the situation accordingly? Yes. Are all adults capable of doing that? NO. I can tell you for a fact that my mother, even now, is not capable of doing that sometimes. Is that her problem? Yes. But, at age 32, I am emotionally better equipped to deal with that than I was at 15, and I have to ability to get up and leave whenever she begins acting like a 12-year-old. –  Meg Coates Jan 24 '13 at 16:27

Given the title of your post, I will assume that your mother is a Christian, but without knowing how religious your mother is (or even what particular denomination she participates in), gauging her response for those of us online is going to be difficult.

However you choose to tell your mom of your differing religious beliefs, I do think there are things you should probably prepare yourself for:

  1. Given your age, there is a strong possibility that your mom won't take you seriously. She might just consider it a phase you're going through. This will probably be very frustrating for you.
  2. She might be angry with you. I think this is less likely, but it's always in the realm of possibilities.
  3. If your mom does take you seriously, she is very likely to be upset. You have to remember, to a Christian, turning from God is a matter of your mortal soul. Some of this depends on which denomination your mom practices her Christianity through or even her own personal beliefs (which don't always agree with one's personal church).

If your mom is a practicing Christian, then she's probably attempted to raise you as a Christian as well. Religion and one's relationship with God (or whoever) is a personal thing. Most people I know went through a period in their lives where they were trying out different religions and different beliefs, usually between the ages of 15-20. Most of those people I know were Christian, and the vast majority ultimately returned to Christianity, though usually not the denomination in which they were raised. A few I know converted to different religions altogether. For some it was a true search, for others it was merely a form of rebellion.

Since it seems like you have gone to great lengths up to this point to conceal your exploration of other beliefs from your mom, simply announcing to her that you are rejecting Christianity might come as a bit of a shock to her, and might cause her reaction to be a bit more extreme. It might help if you start the ball rolling by telling her initially that you are exploring other religious ideas and beliefs outside of Christianity, and leave it at that. If she asks for specifics then you can give her specifics, but I would leave the first conversation as simply a way to let her know that you are looking. If, in a few years, you've decided that you are leaving Christianity behind altogether, then your exit from the church won't come as a big shock to her. She may not like it, but she won't be surprised by it either.

On the other hand, in a few years, you may circle back around to Christianity or find a denomination of Christianity that respects the Earth and its creations more than the denomination you've been raised in, and in which you feel more comfortable.

In the meantime, if she attends church on a regular basis then you may be required to go with her. This is between you and her, and the two of you will need to work that out together. I know many parents who live by the "As long as you live under my roof, you will attend church" rule. I know just as many who don't. I stopped attending church when I was 17 and my parents never said a thing about it.

Anyway, I hope some of this helps. It seems from your post that you want to be able to express yourself more freely religiously, but you don't want to sacrifice your relationship with your mom in order to do that. Introducing the idea slowly might put her more at ease.

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