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Jennifer
Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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I am a 22 year old single mom who is currently way too watched

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I am a 22 year old single mom who is currently way too watched over. I have a father who is fanatically religious. I have gone to church for years, for most of I actually enjoyed it. However, I don't really feel too connected to my religion anymore, and this brings a problem because I go to church basically just to please my father. I also feel like I have to hide my real personality from him because I am not religious nor do I act like it. I feel like I can't really be myself around him and I am just sick of hiding, I feel at 22, this is a problem I really shouldn't have to be dealing with. Help!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using justanswer.com!

I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with this problem -- it must be very hard for you.

It's very normal for an individual's faith to evolve over time; particularly with age and following major life events (such as having a baby). You may even find that you feel more religious or attracted to another denomination at another stage in your life. I wonder if your dad could identify with this? Has he always been this devoted to his religion? At your age? It may be worth asking if he's ever felt the way you do now. An honest discussion about your feelings and how you don't want to pretend anymore will help him to understand where you're coming from. My guess is that he wouldn't want you to just go through the motions without wholehearted belief. Explain to him that this doesn't mean you're done with religion forever, it just means you need to be able to consider your beliefs in order to feel comfortable with the beliefs you hope to someday teach your baby. I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Actually before I was in high school, he wanted nothing to do with church or religion; until my parents divorced and then he became fanatically so. I just really don't want to disappoint either of my parents however; I really can't hide who I am anymore. I have to censor my facebook and things like that. just so my dad won't find out.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 6 years ago.
What you said about not wanting to disappoint him... Tell him that. As a parent myself, that would be the line that would make me want to listen and understand. I'm glad he's experienced different levels if faith -- that will help him to see where you're coming from. Explain to him that in order for religion to be meaningful to you at any degree, you'll need to come to those beliefs on your own.
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