Religion creating awkward rifts between teens, parents today?

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(Photo by Oliver Ragfelt on Unsplash)

(STUDY FINDS) — Is religion creating an awkward tension between teens and parents? Free will is an essential aspect of many religions but try explaining that to mom and dad this holiday season. In a poll conducted by University of Michigan researchers, close to half (48%) of parents who plan to attend religious services this holiday season say they would insist their teen join — even if they would rather not.

Whether it’s midnight mass, synagogue, or another type of service, religious rituals are an integral part of the holidays for countless families. Interestingly, however, the new survey suggests many of the younger attendees at these events probably won’t be there by choice. While half of surveyed parents say they’re comfortable with children and teens having a say in whether or not they attend religious events, 44 percent add that, ultimately, kids shouldn’t get to pick until they turn 18.

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Another 38 percent would discuss the importance of the event with their skeptical teen but allow the adolescent to choose. Smaller percentages would support their teen’s choice not to attend (8%) or try bargaining (6%) with their teen to get them to attend.

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