Thursday, June 23, 2016

An Open Letter To Christian Parents Of A Pagan Child

Dear Christian Parents,

Out of my own personal experience of being a Pagan child to Christian parents, I have submerged much pain over the last few years of being out in the open with my beliefs. As my own heart continues to break, I want to address this issue...not only with the Pagan child themselves, but also with their Christian parents. If you are a Christian parent of a child who has recently come out of the "Broom Closet" (becoming Pagan), as some of us call it, please consider this open letter I wish to write to you..

Often times, when a teenager genuinely feels a calling to follow any Pagan tradition, they are at first filled with profound joy and peace. This is a time in life where your child will start to build their future identity for their adult self. We all begin to find ourselves and ask questions for ourselves about our own personal values, beliefs, and what we want for ourselves going into adulthood. I am sure you know this. You were once a teenager yourself. You, with your very own eyes, have seen how hard the teenage years can be. At this time, it is natural for us to start identifying ourselves. But, what happens when your child tells you that they have strayed from the Christian values you wanted them to believe? This I can answer; you may be feeling devastated, worried, and outright confused. Having been in this situation myself in the perspective of the Pagan child, please allow me to explain how your child may be feeling if you have expressed no desire to become educated in what they believe or to accept their choice: 

Your child is feeling broken. If they are absolutely genuine with their beliefs (as in, it truly isn't a phase passing by), they are feeling just as devastated as you are. They feel as if you no longer love them. They feel as if their own mother and father have disowned them emotionally. If you as the parent have made rude remarks about this situation (whether intentionally or not), your child is bleeding on the inside. They came to you with this news because they have trusted you. They wanted to have an open and honest relationship with you. If you have made remarks that turn down their feelings, they indeed will shut you out for future situations. That trusting bond is starting to feel lost to them. Yes, your child still loves you, but they may be feeling unsure of where to turn with their spiritual identity next. I completely understand that you as the parent has every right to develop an opinion on your child's newfound beliefs. We are all entitled to our own opinions. I am not saying that you have to be thrilled your child is a Pagan, but PLEASE...even if you don't feel as happy about their choice as they do, please show them unconditional love, rather than brewing a storm within the household over something their mind can only choose. 

If you lack knowledge in what a Pagan, Witch, or Wiccan truly does, please take some time to do some research if you are concerned about your child running into potential danger. If you are worried that your child (if underage) will try to meet older Pagans for advice online, I can reassure you that THAT is definitely a risky situation. I will never tell you to not be concerned for your child's safety in regards to this decision they've made. Every faith has predators within it, lurking through the dark waters of cybersapce in hopes to find a vulnerable victim. I've unfortunately seen this side of this faith myself, but with loving parents, you can protect your child while they still have their views. There are still many Pagan adults out there that will not allow minors into attending their religious meetings or ceremonies. When it comes to if you're open to let your child engage with other Pagans, whether that be in person or online, that is fully to consider under your own roof and discretion.

I want to advise you that using harsh language, verbally abusive tactics, and cruel words to describe how you feel about your child's new beliefs will deeply damage your relationship with them altogether. Remember, this is your child. Your child is not just a Pagan. Your child is also a human being that needs compassion and understanding. Even if you can't ever accept the fact your child is a Pagan, please tell your child that you DO love and accept them as a person. Always remind them that you do love them. When we get our beliefs rejected (especially by our families), it tears a huge hole into our hearts. We begin to lose healthy self esteem and confidence. We can often feel condemned to not receive our parents' love  because we feel unaccepted as a whole.

You do not have to like your child's choice. Please just try to listen to them calmly and try to become educated and move beyond the typical misconceptions. If you can disapprove in a respectful manner, your child will one day still appreciate you for respecting them.

Spread even more love to your Pagan child, not hate...

With Love,