difficult child just keeps on mocking our values

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by susiestar, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    He has made religious choices that are different from what the rest of the family follows. He feels anything Christian, Buddhist, or just not his particular brand of "Wicca" is not of any value. He mocks the family traditions, and is really trying to get husband and I to tell his grandpa to let him have his own beliefs and that the rest of us should follow his beliefs because he is just so special.

    He can have his own beliefs. We really don't care, it is his behavior we care about. It is just NOT acceptable to make fun of anyone else's religion. Or try to "convert" his siblings to his brand of "Wicca". They are the rudest in rejecting him, just totally walking away. Jess is very angry, she sees this as just another way to tell the rest of us we are not any good.

    The "brand of 'Wicca'" phrase is used because he is NOT following ANY established version of Wicca. Not that ANY of us can find (and we are pretty dang good researchers!). He takes bits and pieces of what he wants and ignores anything inconvenient.

    Today he came over with my parents because he wanted to celebrate "Yule" as it fits with his beliefs more than Christmas. He may not get much for Christmas simply because the way he lorded it over us all.

    Any suggestions to help us with this? My father is about to go ballistic because the religion thing. NOT that my father is any certain religion, just that the total disrespect for any other religion is tooooo much.

    We did decline to give him his presents today. He acted like a martyr. Big sighs. Forlorn looks and sad whispers about not being respected because we are all "blindly following the myth of a false God". Yeah. that went over like a lead balloon.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  2. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I remember when our difficult child had opposing religious views from the rest of the family. I was not a happy camper. Everyone IS entitled to their own beliefs. As parents, we'd prefer that our children follow our beliefs. My youngest doesn't follow our religion. That makes me sad, but she isn't malicious about it and doesn't throw it in our face. I can respect that. My difficult child and it sounds like yours is following a different religion just to be obstinate. I don't know anything about Wicca and celebrating "Yule", but when you do celebrate "Yule", does the religion believe in exchanging gifts or some other practice? If celebrating "Yule doesn't include exchanging gifts, maybe you ought not to go against his religious preferences and not provide gifts for him. After all, you wouldn't want to impinge on his religious freedom.......... would you? Remember, this too shall pass.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Do you have any clue as to where he's getting his ideas from?

    Otherwise, I'd be suspicious of grandeous (sp) thinking going on here. Has that ever been a problem before?

    If it's not just skewed thinking, my advice is to just tell everyone to ignore his ramblings. Odds are it's a phase, or a ploy to get everyone all worked up, in either case if ignored it might disappear quicker.

    It's a bit odd that his beliefs seem to have no base that you can find. No chance he could've come in contact with some cult is there?

  4. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I just did a quick look at the Wiccan religion. I found this... This Principle of Paganism which many Pagans follow is 'An it harm none, do what you will'. Much of Pagan ethics is about harmony and balance. In each action which we perform, there will be both a positive and a negative reaction; something will benefit and something will lose. We must ask ourselves, 'What impact will my actions have on others? Will they cause hurt or harm? Can I do this, say this without damage to other human beings, other species, the planet itself?' This is the way of least harm. We must make decisions and live our lives in the way which causes least damage.

    All of the different religions are not bad. I am not Wiccan, but found the above paragraph to be a very positive statement. Maybe your son needs to study his own religion a bit further.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I love studying religion. Human beliefs have always fascinated me. This may come from the Catholic/Jewish heritage or my own innate curiosity. Either way, I've studied what I could when I could.

    It sounds like your son is making a mockery of a religion, which is always wrong. Wiccan at its best is all about harmony, life being a full circle, a deep love of nature. As you said, it sounds like he is taking bits and pieces from various places and probably combining Wicca with Paganism and some Black Arts (all of which have some differences as well as similiarities). Hopefully, he will outgrow this since it does sound like he is doing it to be obnoxious.

    One thought -- maybe you can find someone who practices Wicca and have him meet with them. It might at least teach him the beauty of the religion and the wrongness of his actions. Other than that, I suggest everyone just do their best to ignore him.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If Christmas doesn't fit his beliefs, then he shouldn't be celebrating it - that includes receiving gifts. So, that shoots the acting like a martyr out the window.

    I would tell him if he's not going to accept your religious beliefs as yours, then he is no longer welcome to celebrate with you. He doesn't have to accept them as his own, but if he can't respect your beliefs - and can only mock them - then he should have no part in the festivities. Mocking one's beliefs, values and traditions while still expecting to take part in their celebration is hypocrisy.

    And, as MB suggested, find someone who practices Wicca to enlighten him.
  7. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Interesting, I can't add much to what the others have said but sending you some hugs. This can be a hard thing to bear. Hope it is just a passing phase.

  8. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    Yule is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. It's celebrated at the return of the sun, and is a time of seeking closure and renewal. In some traditions it's hailed as the birth of the male diety, represented by the sun. Many pagan families nowdays celebrate Yule as an alternative to Christmas, but it's definitely not about presents! It's a time to make amends, ask forgiveness, make goals and plans, to lay things to rest and start anew.

    I'm not Wiccan, but one of my best friends is and we've attended several rituals over the years.
  9. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    My daughter went through this. She decided that she was an atheist - while she was raised on Christian values and ethics. Then she decided she wanted to study satanism. I drew the line and said "No satanic literature in our home thank you very much". I told her she would have to study it at the public library or coffee house.

    Long story short - I do believe it was a phase. As was her 'goth' dress and dark music.

    I tried to maintain open conversations. I tried hard to love her in spite of the theological divide - I tried hard to not overtly disapprove.

    Bottom line - it was a phase. She was trying to differentiate herself from her family. This is a very normal adolescent behavior. Albeit hard to watch, but normal none the less.

    Fast forward three years. She once again embraces her Christian heritage - more tightly now because she has made it her own and not just her families.

    Hang in there. Insist that he remain respectful. The best way to do that is to model respect to him.
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Sure seems like grandiose thinking but for some reason some of our difficult child teens use religion like a weapon to rebel.
    It's a mixture of normal teen rebellion and stupidity mixed with difficult child brand of disordered thinking.
    I don't know anyone who has gotten their teen to back off with this behavior. They either grow out of it, get bored with it or go into a full fledged meltdown over it.

    I understand the whole thing of allowing them to find their own way with religion but this isn't really about faith, church or values. It's about rejecting the world, family and society that doesn't accept him as he is.

    I go through this with my difficult child although he doesn't use religion as his battering ram. In his head it is "why should I conform?" As he has aged he is getting that if he doesn't pull in the grandiose thinking he will be alone, unemployed and generally a king in his own mind but very lonely and miserable.

    It's scary when they are so arrogant as to think they are superior in every way but have no action or proof of this.
  11. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I know several different, well, "flavors" of Wiccan followers. It is possible to follow Wiccan teachings AND also be Christian. Most of those I know that identify themselves as Wiccan follow an "all inclusive" type of belief, and none of them are judgemental towards other beliefs. Many are quite spiritual.

    One suggestion - is he practicing "on his own" or does he have others he talks with on beliefs? If he's on his own, he may benefit from attending some Unitarian Univeralist services. Most Unitarian Univeralist churches are "all inclusive" and would welcome someone following Wiccan beliefs. But there are also Christian, agnostic, etc. also in attendance.

    If he REALLY is looking for a belief system (as opposed to just wanting to believe in something in opposition to your family beliefs) this may help him clarify his thinking.
  12. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Susiestar: I don't have any wise words just want to send ((((hugs))))!! If this is a phase, I hope it passes quickly!
  13. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Susie!

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. BUT: the mockery of your religion should not be tolerated. It is synonymous with any type of stereotyping and hatred that goes along.

    This is in no way meant to discredit the Wiccan practices. There are many people out there who live within the beliefs, practices and ideals that make for a beautiful life. THE FOLLOWING IS ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF STOPPING THE SON FROM MOCKING OTHERS RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS:

    Put on a halloween witches hat the next time he mocks your faith. When he reacts, make sure that you spell out that the way he feels at that very second is the way he makes you feel when he's discourteous about your religion. The point is not to mock his beliefs, it's to let him know that although you don't necessarily agree, it's not right to taunt others in lifes choices.

    You need to also make it clear that he'll never keep a job or maintain relationships if it comes down to "my way or the highway" enforcement of his beliefs.

    I wouldn't get him anything for Christmas either. It's about the fact that this holiday is faith based. If you don't have the faith then he shouldn't reep the benefits (gifts) without the beliefs.

    Just an idea!

  14. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    OMG, Susie. Forgive me, but I'm so laughing here. I too am blessed with a kid who is developing his own "Wicca" religion. I have access to some of his email accts and I gotta tell you... well, I probably don't have to tell you, LOL. Like you, we don't fight it but we also do not allow it in the house nor do we allow him to spread his "word" to the siblings. We tried at first to learn about it so we could at least hold a conversation with him about it, but he is just so out there now that I've shut him down.

    I agree that it's a combination of typical teen thinking and disordered difficult child thinking. thank you finally explained to us a couple of months ago that his fascination with it is because he just knows that once he's able to purchase the needed items to start performing spells, he will be able to "fix" the world. Talk about grandiose thinking - we pointed out that if all it took were spells, the world would have been "fixed" a long long time ago. In his mind, *he* is the one and only one who can do it.

    in my humble opinion - Christmas is the holiday that is celebrated in your home, period. If he wants to celebrate Yule, have at it but it will be a celebration of one. I mean, if he converted to Judaism, he certainly couldn't expect the family to celebrate Hanukkah, right? Well, ok, he might expect it but it wouldn't be realistic. Your home, your holidays. End of discussion. If he feels "disrespected" he can feel free to skip your family's celebrations.

    I know it's hard but I'd completely ignore the mockery. As far as you telling Grandpa (LOL, yeah, right) to let him have his own values - he lives with Grandpa. That's between them.

    I sincerely hope it's just a phase, though it's been a doggone long one around here. The basic philosphy of Wicca I have no problem with. I *do* have a serious problem with my son's interpretation and "practice" of it because his interpretation has no basis in reality (which he has a tenuous hold on to begin with) and it just further sets him apart as one odd kid. For some reason, the ostracism that he gets from peers just further reinforces how right he is. Sigh.

    Hang in there, and have a very Merry Christmas!!
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I'd be tempted to give him no Christmas gifts (since he's so disrespectful to those that are celebrating), then offer to give him your tree once the ornaments are removed so he can dry & season it for his yule log next year. :devil:
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I really have no quarrel with any of the Wiccan faiths I have encountered. When he first started this we did our best to learn about it. BUT he only wants to pick and choose the bits and pieces HE wants, not any real effort at a belief system.

    He brought over "Yule" gifts for us yesterday. I thought my dad was going to have a cow at one point when difficult child put on his martyred "No one accepts me" drill. I simply said that since he isn't really practicing any religion, we didn't feel the need to try to understand. And then changed the subject.

    The biggest problem is that in almost every conversation he has to make a jab at ALL religions as a whole, Christianity in specific, and then the poor me.

    I am going to give his presents to the Salvation Army. He doesn't believe, is going to be rude, and doesn't need them. Y'all are right.

    A while back we arranged for him to talk with a friend who has been a practicing Wiccan for years. He stormed out because the "Harm none" just "isn't right". Apparently because he is so perfectly wise he should be able to harm those who need it to set them on the "right path".

    I am not making this up. It is pretty funny if you don't have to live with it. I am certainly NOT going to step in between him and Gma and Gpa. He doesn't like my home, has rejected all parenting efforts made by husband and I.

    While I am quite sure it is grandiose thinking, I am also pretty sure no medication will change it. I just want to have some peace during the holidays.

    As to what will happen with my very Catholic in-laws tomorrow, I have NO clue. They are very very insulted by his "religion" and also see no way to help on this issue.

    I am glad I am staying home. I can't travel yet, so I will miss the fireworks. Thank Heavens.

    Hugs to all,

  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm another one that had a difficult child that used Wicca as a weapon. They do it to rebel and because they know it will upset you.

    She outgrew the Wicca faze and now is agnostic. I hope that she will come back to our faith someday but I don't make it an issue.

    easy child is also going through a questioning phase but has never been obnoxious about it.

    Both of them sure love Christmas though ~ for all of the wrong reasons.

    My favorite Wicca story is when difficult child announced at a church celebration of Octoberfest that she was a Wiccan. Without missing a beat, our youth minister said, "Well, stick around, difficult child, later we are going to all take off our clothes and dance around the bonfire naked to celebrate mother earth."

    I wish that you could have seen the look on my difficult child's face. She never brought it up at church again.

    :rofl: :rofl:

    As someone else said, this too will pass. I just used to wonder if I would survive until it did. by the way, has he hit the vegetarian stage yet? Oh, and I wouldn't expect him to want any presents that are part of a celebration that he doesn't believe in.

    Hang in there, susiestar.

  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Personally, since he doesn't believe in Christmas, I wouldn't insult his intelligence or lower him to your level by giving him any gifts at all. Hopefully GP gave him plenty for "Yule".
  19. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Okay, I'm going to be the odd man out (again). If you got him gifts because it is what is expected or the right thing to do, then don't give them to him. If you bought them for him because you wanted to and they gave you joy when you purchased them, give them to him. Not for him, but because they brought you joy and, hopefully, you will take pleasure from his enjoyment of the gifts. Obviously, if you think he'll take no pleasure, then take them to Salvation Army, take them to a church and ask them to give them to a teenager who can use them, take them back to the store and get you something nice. Whatever. So, do what gives you pleasure and leave his brattiness out of the equation.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I love the youth minister's response. When we asked if difficult child celebrated Yule by dancing naked all night around a Yule Log, he just stared at me.

    And yes, we are in the vegetarian stage. He did htat because Gpa is a TOTAL carnivore. And it got in Gpa's face. It is a nonissue, with the exception that he has to eat VEGGIES and some source of protein at every meal. He thought vegetarian could be all cookies and frosted flakes and goodies.

    I think he may get a nice vegetarian cookbook, but very little else. He has such a demanding way with presents, and is simply so obnoxious that we are doing presents with him separately from the other 2.

    I hope this too shall pass, but it may not. The obnoxiousness will probably bring up something else by next year.

    Hugs to all,