Question: Father Andrey, please tell me how to save my child. My daughter is 11. She’s lost interest in God and doesn’t want to go to church. Instead, she spends her days glued to her smartphone, and she is furious if I attempt to take it away. When she was younger, I was teaching my daughter to love God. We went to church, confessed and took communion often. I have always sheltered her from evil. Now she watches films with foul and angry words and says that they’re “cool”. How can I save my daughter?
Answer: Small children bring small troubles. She’s 11 now. Imagine what will happen when she’s 16? You’ve got to help your daughter to become a Christian. All good encounters that you had in the past, all your prayers and communions, haven’t been lost, believe me. She’s in her transition to adulthood now. She isn’t a little girl anymore. Unfortunately, children are sometimes attracted to sins—various sins. They want to be an adult. They want to imitate the grown-ups, and sadly, they often choose to imitate bad adults. Therefore, you’ve got to muster your patience and humility. Talk with her wisely, with love and attention. Watch that bad film together and then explain to her that it isn’t as great as it seems. Watch a good film with her. Both you and your daughter will need your prayers and the effort that you must make to ensure that your daughter defeats all temptations of this world. God will never let you down.
Most children are susceptible to the smartphone addiction that you mention. Unfortunately, the filth that is so widespread nowadays sometimes sticks to their souls. That’s why we should fight for our kids. Summon your patience and humility, and learn to be a mother with faith. You can take a little child to the church by giving him or her a sweet or taking her in your lap. It is harder to get an eleven-year-old girl to be interested in the church, and it’s harder still with a sixteen-year-old girl. I believe that if you do your best to lead a Christian life, you’ll win.
Your feet won’t run to the church without your brain telling them to do so. Condoning yourself is bad. When one wants to eat, one goes to a grocery store, whether one likes it or not. You have to go to work, and you go to work because otherwise…