Flighty Fashionista is a 14 year old who was confirmed last year. During Confirmation Prep, she showed an unhealthy interest in the occult -- I had her read the Gospel of Luke and her favourite scripture was the Temptation of Jesus, not because of what Jesus did, but the way the Devil behaved, she was filled with all kind of questions about how and why. Last night she came to me asking me about Ouiji boards, were there ghosts in the church, did I know any spells, and so on.
She is the daughter of a long standing family in the church and I'm pretty sure her grandparents and parents would be appalled. How should I proceed?
Muthah+ rings in:
I used to teach this age group before I was ordained and I loved them even if they drove me up the wall. Your fashionista may be doing something to get your goat or her parent's goat. Or she may be fooling around with other kids who have some weird ideas. But whatever you do, do not dismiss her.
Offer to take her out for a soda or a lunch on a Saturday. Let her pick the place where she is comfortable with you other than your office. Get her to ask her questions and take them seriously. Ask her how she understands how charms and spells work and then ask her how God works. Be prepared to share with her the difference between mystery and magic. I would imagine that she is having a hard time understanding the difference between hope and fantasy. It is a very common issue with teens her age. Then share with her some of your own story--she needs to know how God really works in people's lives.
She is really a post-modern child. She has a foot in fantasy and magic as pre-modern people do, and the experience of modernist science, but is overwhelmed with the technological instantaneousness of the post-modern age. No wonder our kids are sometimes confused. The more that you can be REAL with her, she will get out of her magical world and meet you straight on. Enjoy the relationship!
Thank you, Muthah+, for sharing your wisdom!
What about the rest of you? Have you had experience with teenagers interested in magic, Satan, and/or the occult? How did you handle it? Please share your thoughts, advice, and experiences in the comments section.
As always, if you have a question you'd like the matriarchs to discuss, please send us an email at askthematriarch[at]gmail[dot]com. Our queue is quite short right now, so we should be able to get to your question soon!