Dear Pearls,
We homeschool our three children. Now that the oldest one has turned 13, we feel under some pressure for him to participate with the church youth and their weekend retreats. I don’t want him to feel left out, but I do feel strongly about his father and I still being the primary influence in his life. Thank you for helping us get this far.
Sue

Pearls Answer
Dear Sue,
We get thousands of letters from our readers and have counseled many. I have known very few parents who feel that their church’s youth group is beneficial. I have heard hundreds say, “The youth group or retreat is where we lost our children or where my daughter, who had never been kissed, got pregnant. It was the youth director that first introduced my son to porn, “etc.” In our counseling, many adults have told me that they lost their virginity on a church-sponsored event and even on the church property. I wish I could write a different story, but we base much of our knowledge on what our readers tell us.
You must create a social circle for your children. It may be limited to just one or two other families who share your world-view, for you can be sure that when a handful of teenagers get together, at least one of them is going to introduce corruption to the others. We never allowed our children to stay overnight with other kids. When they wanted to go down to the local church on Saturday night to skate, Mike went with them. We never allowed them to go to parties unless one of us was there. We created our own fun that was far more exciting than the church gatherings. They never felt they were missing anything