Should I disclose that I am atheist to my family?

Hello, I am 16, doing IBDP and a very stressed teenager. I belong to a Hindu family and my family strongly supports religion and existence of god. But seems like I don’t believe in god. It’s been 3-4 years since I have become atheist.

I have kept it a secret to my family and everyone else.

But now my studies are tougher, I don’t have time and my parents want me to be more religious in terms of going regularly to temple, praying to god. I do some of it and skip the rest, like I go down outside my home but just take a walk and come back home, don’t really go to to temple.

But now it’s very tough, I don’t have time for all that, I don’t like going to temple and pretend that I am praying. I am so desperate to reveal this secret to my parents, but I am scared about the after-effects.
My parents love me a lot and I love them.

I don’t want them to stop loving me or disliking me because of my beliefs. They might be heart-broken to know this. So I want to know what should I do?

Tell them, or live my life always bearing this burden or a secret in me?

I definitely want to tell them as it is intolerable now.. but I don’t want to disturb them.
So please give me a good or a proper way to approach them and tell them about my views though which they completely understand me, they are not “that” disturbed. Please someone help me.

Posted: September 29th 2011

Dave Hitt www

My answer would be different if you said you were 21.

You know your parents better than any of us could. What do you think their reaction would be? You’re probably right.

In most cases, the best action for young people in your position is to be quiet and keep faking it until you’re ready to support yourself.

You won’t have to live a lie for your whole life, just until you’re on your own. Put off your decision to tell them until then.

You have no control over their reactions. It’s entirely on them. It may cost you their affection, but that will be their decision, not yours.

Posted: October 24th 2011

See all questions answered by Dave Hitt


A good bit of advice here is “imagine the worst possible outcome that could happen from telling your parents”, and then decide whether you are okay with that.

I don’t know how Hindu families tend to be, but there are cases where devout christians have kicked their atheist children out of their houses.

Posted: October 2nd 2011

See all questions answered by Eric_PK

SmartLX www

If it’s truly intolerable, then it’s intolerable and you need to tell them before you have a breakdown or fail in your studies. If on the other hand it’s ultimately tolerable to some extent, you might want to wait until after your IBDP when you can afford a bit of disruption.

The fact that you find it intolerable may actually be helpful if you talk to your parents about this. Assuming that they want you to do well in your studies, they might well back off when they hear that worship is interfering with them. Another good point is that forcing you to worship more isn’t going to increase your faith, and insincere worship won’t win you points with the gods.

Posted: October 1st 2011

See all questions answered by SmartLX


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