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WriteRex
12-01-2013, 09:34 PM
It's Lenten season. There's a fictional Catholic family. The Catholic parents forbid the children from spending more than an hour on the computer, unless it's for school, and the children are not given electronic devices (except a basic cell phone for emergencies and a calculator to do homework) until their confirmation. Can I do that?

cornflake
12-01-2013, 09:38 PM
It's Lenten season. There's a fictional Catholic family. The Catholic parents forbid the children from spending more than an hour on the computer, unless it's for school, and the children are not given electronic devices (except a basic cell phone for emergencies and a calculator to do homework) until their confirmation. Can I do that?

You CAN do whatever you want. I don't understand why you're doing that, however.

amergina
12-01-2013, 09:44 PM
Sure.

This seems to me to not be a portrayal of the average Catholic family (even of the weekly church-going variety) but a portrayal of a much more conservative Catholic family.

Belle_91
12-01-2013, 09:45 PM
You CAN do whatever you want. I don't understand why you're doing that, however.

Same. I was raised Catholic, and while I have heard of people giving up electronics for Lent, it's usually by choice.

When I've heard of people doing this, they usually give up things like facebook or twitter, not the computer all together. For a lot of people, the internet is sort of essential. For instance, a lot of people need to have access to their email. For students, it's crucial these days to have internet access to do school projects.

I would suggest having them have the kids give up facebook/twitter/whatever. Also, their parents would have to be REALLY strict to force their kids to do this. Giving up things for Lent is more of a choice. Also, most people just stick to giving up Coke or sweets.

The whole confirmation thing didn't make sense. Lent ends on Easter Sunday, not during confirmation. Also, you have your confirmation typically when you reach a certain age/grade (I had mine in the 8th grade so I was 14 or 15). For me, I went to a Catholic middle school, so it was just agreed upon that everyone in our parish/diocese that we would all be confirmed just a couple of weeks before graduation. It's different in other places, but from what I've seen, it's typically done before freshman year of high school.

Confirmation is typically done after Easter, but there is no set date on it. It's typically done whenever the bishop is available for that mass/ceremony.

Are the kids in your story all the same age, and are they all being confirmed at the same time? Their parents seem incredibly strict and I have known some REALLY strict Catholic parents in my life.

Vito
12-01-2013, 09:48 PM
It's Lenten season. There's a fictional Catholic family. The Catholic parents forbid the children from spending more than an hour on the computer, unless it's for school, and the children are not given electronic devices (except a basic cell phone for emergencies and a calculator to do homework) until their confirmation. Can I do that?


My cousin and her husband have imposed similar restrictions on their two teenage sons during Lent. They even limited the younger boy's time on Kindle, mainly as a Lenten sacrifice but also to gently discourage his bookworm-wallflower tendencies.

When I was a kid my mom restricted candy, cookies, and other sweet junk food during Lent. It was a big sacrifice for my two younger brothers, but not a big deal for me -- I preferred salty snacks, anyway. :tongue

ETA: My cousin (Catholic) and her husband (Methodist) are NOT extremely strict parents, if anyone is wondering. They simply prefer to encourage physical fitness, social activities, and academic achievement over video games and "fun" reading.

Belle_91
12-01-2013, 09:50 PM
I could see parents doing this, and I'm sure there are Catholic parents who do, but as ameriga said, they are not typical and would be seen as rather strict and/or very conservative.

shakeysix
12-01-2013, 09:53 PM
Yeah--that is pretty hard nosed. Lent was a choice in our family and we were fairly conservative. I once gave up reading fiction for Lent because it was the thing I liked to do best. My mom had a talk with me because she thought it would be too hard to do and besides reading was useful in helping me grow up. I was reading some pretty frivolous stuff then. Think that was during my Wodehouse years.

The confirmation thing doesn't ring true at all. It could be years to confirmation. The kids would be in a class--with several other kids. They make shields representing their beliefs and research their chosen saint's lives. Confirmation is a time for study and learning to be a responsible part of the community--not sacrifice and pointless self denial.

Confirmation comes at different ages in different parishes. I was confirmed at 8. My girls at 13. My husband at 11. My niece was not confirmed at all and her mother is the strictest Catholic of all. The niece got into a fight with the Confirmation sponsor about some silly point of dogma--tattoos I think, so she opted out of the class. No one forced her to be confirmed--just head shakes and shrugs from the family. Sacraments are choices, not mandates. We still joke about our little heretic--s6

cornflake
12-01-2013, 09:56 PM
There's not even anything they're giving up - besides that it's not the kids' choice.

The OP says they can only use the computer for an hour a day, aside from schoolwork. That's not giving anything up. Hence I don't get kind of any of it - plus what Belle said about the confirmation.

Vito
12-01-2013, 10:04 PM
until their confirmation

As far as the confirmation thing goes: The parish I attended routinely confirmed 7th grade boys and girls each year during the 1970s. (Not sure how it worked before that decade, or since then). I can't recall any of my 7th grade catechism classmates' talking about restrictions imposed by their parents regarding confirmation, although I remember that the parish required weekly class attendance -- students who had too many absences weren't permitted to receive confirmation.

amergina
12-01-2013, 10:10 PM
Yeah, the confirmation age isn't a set thing at all. It *can* be a coming of age thing, but it doesn't have to be.

I was confirmed when I was a month old (i.e., when I was baptized), 'cause that's the Byzantine Catholic tradition (which is similar to the Eastern Orthodox).

Usually kids are encouraged to choose their own Lenten devotion.

WriteRex
12-01-2013, 10:13 PM
Thanks, everybody. I already know what confirmation means. It's just that I read a brief autobiographical account about someone on another forum who said that they gave away presents to their kids and bribed their kids to be confirmed in the church, and their kids wanted the presents during confirmation, so they falsely professed the beliefs to get the presents afterwards. I thought that was interesting why some people would do that but...

I think I'll just abandon the story and stick with something close to home. Many authors write stories that resemble their own lives or family backgrounds, anyway.

Myrealana
12-01-2013, 10:21 PM
Sounds an awful lot like the restrictions I've placed on my own children for electronic devices and screen time - and we're more of an agnostic family with occasional Methodist tendencies.

Vito
12-01-2013, 10:27 PM
I was confirmed when I was a month old (i.e., when I was baptized), 'cause that's the Byzantine Catholic tradition (which is similar to the Eastern Orthodox).



I wouldn't have put up with that, 'cause I would have missed out on all of the extremely cool confirmation gifts that I received! :tongue

shakeysix
12-01-2013, 10:47 PM
I'll never forget my 13 year old daughter's face when she opened a Confirmation gift from her step-grandmother and saw that it was a bottle of Holy Water! I'd have given anything for a snapshot of that moment! --s6

Vito
12-02-2013, 12:02 AM
I'll never forget my 13 year old daughter's face when she opened a Confirmation gift from her step-grandmother and saw that it was a bottle of Holy Water! I'd have given anything for a snapshot of that moment! --s6

Hey, shakey! For my confirmation I received a gift certificate, cash, and stamps for my stamp collection. But I would have gladly traded all of those things for a bottle of holy water. (Yeah right!) :ROFL:

amergina
12-02-2013, 12:12 AM
I wouldn't have put up with that, 'cause I would have missed out on all of the extremely cool confirmation gifts that I received! :tongue

Yeah, the whole Confirmation thing was odd, since I did CCD in the Roman church. So I did all the Confirmation prep and then sat in the pew and watched everyone else get Confirmed, since you can't get that Sacrament more than once.

I did get some gifts, though. :)

Vito
12-02-2013, 12:47 AM
I did get some gifts, though. :)

:Thumbs:

WriteRex
12-02-2013, 05:58 AM
People, I only mentioned the confirmation thing as an indication of the children's coming-of-age ceremony, sort of like a Jewish bar/bat mitzvah or the quinceanera in Hispanic culture. I did not intend to mean that the confirmation would take place during Lent. I think that's the source of the misunderstanding and a long trail of confused responses. Plus, I only mentioned Lenten season as an excuse/reason why the family would be fasting and would remember the symbolism of Jesus' suffering.