So I was talking with my daughter the other day and she tells me that she doesn't want me to push my beliefs on her.
am agnostic. Which isn't a belief. It's a lack of belief. I can't
push a belief on her that I don't have. I take a more scientific
approach. There could be a god or a superior being that we might call a
god. There also could be a bigfoot and a Loch Ness monster. But prove
it. The one thing I know is the Bible is not the work of a superior
being. Hence, we can't take it as such. So it's got about as much
credibility as a John Grisham novel or Harry Potter.
I just don't
want her believing in superstitious nonsense, which she seems to want
to. When she's sick or in trouble I want her to see a doctor or seek
help and not rely on superstitions. Belief in something that's not real
isn't going to help her.
I guess all I can do is show her again and again where blind faith is a problem and rationalism is better.
Any advice for parents of teenagers?
Seems like what you state is in fact a believe. You can respect her wishes and explain to her that you are not "pushing" believes in her, but that if she feels like she can't handle a simple conversation about believes or non-believes, she's the one with the issue.
The key here is her accusing you of pushing something simply by expressing what you believe. The same right that she has to accuse you of pushing your believes is the same right that you have to have a simple conversation on the subject. Ask her how are you pushing your believes?
However, make sure that you in fact are not pushing your believes to her. For example, will it be possible to just make a statement about your believes without adding things like "showing her again and again where blind faith is a problem and rationalism is better"? That sounds like the intention of trying to modify behavior around her believes, and that may be what she sees as "pushing". Furthermore, context is important. Is that the only thing you talk about? How often do you bring the subject? Are you as interested in her behavior around other aspects of her life? Look at how you frame that interaction with her when it comes to religious believes as opposed to when you deal with other subjects.