Dworin, 38, a mother of three and a former parenting magazine editor, blogs about the quirky journey of her Lutheran family: Dan, 39; Janine, 11; Ben, 8; Jillian, 5; and Louis, a circus-sized poodle, at www.thelutheran.org/blog/parenting.
Q: On most Saturday nights, my teen daughter has friends at our house for sleepovers. It's fine with me on one condition: we all go to church on Sunday mornings-guests included. My daughter says it's not right to "force religion" on her friends. Am I being fair?
A: So long as your daughter gives her friends and their parents a heads-up about your rule, there's nothing unfair about it. In fact, your daughter's friends might even be curious about what your family's faith is all about.
When teen guests crash at your place, it becomes a signal that they're receptive to learning more.
Encourage your daughter to see these occasions as opportunities to add new dimensions to her friendships.
Take time to give your guests a tour of the church and make introductions along the way.
Be open to questions about your family's faith and respond with authentic answers — even if a simple "I'm not sure" is the best you can do.
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