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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

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Choosing your Battles

12/03/2012 new

Yesterday, just before walking out the door to mass, my son walks upstairs in basketball shorts. This is Mn and it was in the low 40s. I asked him to change and at least put on a nice pair of jeans. The day before, we got into an argument because I was taking everyone out to lunch and shopping and he changed out of his jeans and put on a holey pair of Nike warmup pants. (I have told him those pants weren't appropriate for school and I wondered if he did it to get a rise out of me.) I did let him wear the holey pants to Panera, but drew the line at shorts to mass. All I ask is he dress clean and respectfully.

He reminded me of the NFL player that shot his girlfriend and then himself. He was pretry sure in the light of other problems, clothing is pretty much a low priority. He also was intent on the fact that at least he is going to mass and takes it literally when he hears "Come as you are." He is certain Jesus wouldn't care. Am I making a big deal out of nothing? He had some good points, but my feeling is out of respect, you dress up for mass as we are entering God's house. That and the fact that it lacks common sense to wear shorts in the winter.

I did pray about this as soon as we got to church and as usual, my answers come right away. This time it was no great enlightenment on my part, rather my son who leaned over and apologized for acting up.

I don't expect this to be the last time we butt heads on this issue. What are your thoughts? Where do you draw the line? All in all, he is a great kid at 14, listens and participates in the mass and prays at home. Long gone are the days that he'd insist on wearing a tie to church! He also has a girlfriend that said if he wears socks and sandals to school anymore, she can't go out with him. (I actually wanted to thank her for that one.)

Should I back off and let him wear what he wants when he wants?

12/03/2012 new

If he chooses to wear shorts in winter, make him walk home! laughing Or at least push him into a snowbank or throw snowballs at his bare legs!

I have no kids, so my advice may be insignificant, but I think choosing your battles is right. Wearing holey sweats to the store - probably not a big deal - yeah it's not ideal, but you could play up the angle of what would his girlfriend (or other girls) thinks of that. Wearing shorts to mass in winter, a bigger deal, remind him of the safety angle, make him pack pants and other winter gear in case of a car breakdown (or take some hot pink sweats to offer him if he gets cold laughing) It sounds like you're doing a pretty good job raising him if he is going to church, participating, and apologized for acting up.

12/03/2012 new
Sending my prayers, choose your battles and get advice from your Priest and or Youth director...I know how difficult boys can be.
12/03/2012 new

(Quote) Peter-189584 said: If he chooses to wear shorts in winter, make him walk home! Or at least push him into a snowbank ...
(Quote) Peter-189584 said:

If he chooses to wear shorts in winter, make him walk home! Or at least push him into a snowbank or throw snowballs at his bare legs!

I have no kids, so my advice may be insignificant, but I think choosing your battles is right. Wearing holey sweats to the store - probably not a big deal - yeah it's not ideal, but you could play up the angle of what would his girlfriend (or other girls) thinks of that. Wearing shorts to mass in winter, a bigger deal, remind him of the safety angle, make him pack pants and other winter gear in case of a car breakdown (or take some hot pink sweats to offer him if he gets cold ) It sounds like you're doing a pretty good job raising him if he is going to church, participating, and apologized for acting up.

--hide--


Thanks, Patrick. I like your idea of bringing along the hot pink sweats! He even has a tie that would match:)

12/03/2012 new

(Quote) Brenda-74660 said: Sending my prayers, choose your battles and get advice from your Priest and or Youth director...I know h...
(Quote) Brenda-74660 said: Sending my prayers, choose your battles and get advice from your Priest and or Youth director...I know how difficult boys can be.
--hide--


I would love for him to be involved with the youth group because the director is someone he could admire. The problem is he won't because since we merged parishes, most of the kids are sports rivals. He signed up to usher beginning next year and has already told me he needs dress shoes and dress shirts. (I hope Santa is listening;) Maybe that involvement will refine his attitude a bit.

12/03/2012 new
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said: I would love for him to be involved with the youth group because the director is someone he could admir...
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said:



I would love for him to be involved with the youth group because the director is someone he could admire. The problem is he won't because since we merged parishes, most of the kids are sports rivals. He signed up to usher beginning next year and has already told me he needs dress shoes and dress shirts. (I hope Santa is listening;) Maybe that involvement will refine his attitude a bit.

--hide--


From experience I can tell you that when young men reach this age you can't force them to spend time with the youth groups. I spent quite a few hours on my knees in prayer for my son. I was blessed to have a Christian (although not Catholic) Band Director who was a good Male influence in my son's life. Even if your son chooses not to participate I would still talk to the Youth Director & Priest for ideas on how to help your son as he continues to grow into a young Man.....
12/03/2012 new

(Quote) Kathy-635104 said: Yesterday, just before walking out the door to mass, my son walks upstairs in basketball shorts. ...
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said:

Yesterday, just before walking out the door to mass, my son walks upstairs in basketball shorts. This is Mn and it was in the low 40s. I asked him to change and at least put on a nice pair of jeans. The day before, we got into an argument because I was taking everyone out to lunch and shopping and he changed out of his jeans and put on a holey pair of Nike warmup pants. (I have told him those pants weren't appropriate for school and I wondered if he did it to get a rise out of me.) I did let him wear the holey pants to Panera, but drew the line at shorts to mass. All I ask is he dress clean and respectfully.

He reminded me of the NFL player that shot his girlfriend and then himself. He was pretry sure in the light of other problems, clothing is pretty much a low priority. He also was intent on the fact that at least he is going to mass and takes it literally when he hears "Come as you are." He is certain Jesus wouldn't care. Am I making a big deal out of nothing? He had some good points, but my feeling is out of respect, you dress up for mass as we are entering God's house. That and the fact that it lacks common sense to wear shorts in the winter.

I did pray about this as soon as we got to church and as usual, my answers come right away. This time it was no great enlightenment on my part, rather my son who leaned over and apologized for acting up.

I don't expect this to be the last time we butt heads on this issue. What are your thoughts? Where do you draw the line? All in all, he is a great kid at 14, listens and participates in the mass and prays at home. Long gone are the days that he'd insist on wearing a tie to church! He also has a girlfriend that said if he wears socks and sandals to school anymore, she can't go out with him. (I actually wanted to thank her for that one.)

Should I back off and let him wear what he wants when he wants?

--hide--
What's most important in the grand scheme of things? That your son wears appropriate attire to Mass, or simply that he attends? There are 2 main schools of thought -- and both have merit.

#1. "Be glad I'm going to Mass. We're going to the Lord's home and He would want us to be comfortable."

#2. "We're going to the Lord's house -- we should wear our 'Sunday best' to show respect."

What comes to mind is the Bible story about the wedding feast when servants had to go into the streets to fill the guest tables at the banquet. One man came without proper attire and was cast out (Matthew's Gospel 22). On Sundays, the Eucharist is the banquet. Do we typically attend banquets in rags?

Then we have the culture of our times -- considerably less formal. It's not only the younger set, but people of all ages coming to Church dressed very casually, including ordinary jeans, and tee-shirts. We actually see very few men coming in suits and ties; or women in expensive dresses.

A thought comes to mind. In days of yesteryear, there was a competitive nature among some people to see who could outdo the others with their high style, expensive attire. Yes -- show-offs. The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, and it's "casual Sunday".

We ushers do keep an eye out for people who are sporting indecent tee-shirts or other apparel. Fortunately, such extremes are very, very rare. It's up to us to welcome people into the Lord's Home, and treat all people equally in spite of their manner of dress. Our former pastor was hardly the "anything goes" type in general, but he didn't get worked up about casual clothing. As he said many times, "Just be glad they're coming to Mass." Nowadays, a lot of young people would balk at attending if their parents forced them to dress better.

The comparison your son used isn't totally valid. For nearly everything, there can be an excuse that something else is or was more important. What would your son say if you didn't fix his dinner any longer because you had something "more important" to do? He probably wouldn't be too happy about it.

You can encourage him to dress better, stopping short of a major battle between the two of you. As long as his clothing isn't indecent, obscene, or immodest, he can go through this stage unscathed. Is he rebelling about other things as well? You can also remind him that when he is out job hunting or actually is working on a job, that many places have a dress code that must be adhered to. He'll have to get used to it eventually, depending upon what his chosen line of work will be.

A brief word about the shorts....We have at least 2 men in our parish who wear them year-round. Why? Because there internal thermostats don't function as they should. They wear light clothing, and even then, they are often perspiring, including during the winter. We've learned not to draw conclusions hastily. There might be a valid reason for their appearance.

Your son will come to feel out of place if he dresses outside the norm.

"This, too, shall pass....."

12/03/2012 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: What's most important in the grand scheme of things? That your son wears appropriate attire to ...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

What's most important in the grand scheme of things? That your son wears appropriate attire to Mass, or simply that he attends? There are 2 main schools of thought -- and both have merit.

#1. "Be glad I'm going to Mass. We're going to the Lord's home and He would want us to be comfortable."

#2. "We're going to the Lord's house -- we should wear our 'Sunday best' to show respect."

What comes to mind is the Bible story about the wedding feast when servants had to go into the streets to fill the guest tables at the banquet. One man came without proper attire and was cast out (Matthew's Gospel 22). On Sundays, the Eucharist is the banquet. Do we typically attend banquets in rags?

Then we have the culture of our times -- considerably less formal. It's not only the younger set, but people of all ages coming to Church dressed very casually, including ordinary jeans, and tee-shirts. We actually see very few men coming in suits and ties; or women in expensive dresses.

A thought comes to mind. In days of yesteryear, there was a competitive nature among some people to see who could outdo the others with their high style, expensive attire. Yes -- show-offs. The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, and it's "casual Sunday".

We ushers do keep an eye out for people who are sporting indecent tee-shirts or other apparel. Fortunately, such extremes are very, very rare. It's up to us to welcome people into the Lord's Home, and treat all people equally in spite of their manner of dress. Our former pastor was hardly the "anything goes" type in general, but he didn't get worked up about casual clothing. As he said many times, "Just be glad they're coming to Mass." Nowadays, a lot of young people would balk at attending if their parents forced them to dress better.

The comparison your son used isn't totally valid. For nearly everything, there can be an excuse that something else is or was more important. What would your son say if you didn't fix his dinner any longer because you had something "more important" to do? He probably wouldn't be too happy about it.

You can encourage him to dress better, stopping short of a major battle between the two of you. As long as his clothing isn't indecent, obscene, or immodest, he can go through this stage unscathed. Is he rebelling about other things as well? You can also remind him that when he is out job hunting or actually is working on a job, that many places have a dress code that must be adhered to. He'll have to get used to it eventually, depending upon what his chosen line of work will be.

A brief word about the shorts....We have at least 2 men in our parish who wear them year-round. Why? Because there internal thermostats don't function as they should. They wear light clothing, and even then, they are often perspiring, including during the winter. We've learned not to draw conclusions hastily. There might be a valid reason for their appearance.

Your son will come to feel out of place if he dresses outside the norm.

"This, too, shall pass....."

--hide--


Thank you, Ray.
You gave me much to think about. We actually did talk about work attire and what is appropriate. He figured casual Fridays meant basketball shorts and t-shirts. I explained it's more like khakis and polos (the things he sees as dressy.) I guess this weekend surprised me as we haven't had battles before mass in a very long time. Even when he wanted to skip the week before so he could sleep at a friend's house..I told him he could sleep over but I would pick him up for mass and made sure he brought clothes with him. He did put in a plea to sleep in, but I consented to going to a later mass in the next town. He didn't balk at all.

He is often the only one in his circle of friends that goes to church. Their parents often comment on what a great kid he is and his friends have told me they wish they could go to church. I always offer to have them join us, so I don't want to give him reason to rebel. I just feel strongly about showing respect and want him to feel the same.

12/03/2012 new

(Quote) Brenda-74660 said: From experience I can tell you that when young men reach this age you can't force them to sp...
(Quote) Brenda-74660 said:

From experience I can tell you that when young men reach this age you can't force them to spend time with the youth groups. I spent quite a few hours on my knees in prayer for my son. I was blessed to have a Christian (although not Catholic) Band Director who was a good Male influence in my son's life. Even if your son chooses not to participate I would still talk to the Youth Director & Priest for ideas on how to help your son as he continues to grow into a young Man.....
--hide--


Having the youth director reach out to him is a great idea, Brenda. I enlisted Father's help a lot after Bob died, but it's been a while.

12/03/2012 new
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said: Having the youth director reach out to him is a great idea, Brenda. I enlisted Father's help a lot...
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said:



Having the youth director reach out to him is a great idea, Brenda. I enlisted Father's help a lot after Bob died, but it's been a while.

--hide--


Boys do miss having a Dad around..... sad hug
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