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The stressful life of PKs (preachers’ kids_

The stressful life of PKs (preachers’ kids_

Life behind the stereotypes for children of clergy on Religion News Service:

… Beneath the stereotypes of preacher’s kids as either goody two-shoes or devilish hellions lies a tense and sometimes taxing reality, the children of clergy say. Studies show that many PK’s, as the lingo goes, struggle with issues of identity, privacy and morality. There’s even a support group, Preacher’s Kids International, dedicated to the “celebration and recovery of those who grew up in the parsonage.”

“A pastor’s family has to share him or her with church-members,” Hodges wrote in his hometown paper, The Salt Lake Tribune. When tragedy strikes, pastors are expected to counsel their congregation, even if it means missing their children’s basketball games and school plays. “My boys masked their disappointment, but being a child of a pastor myself, I understood how much it hurt them,” Hodges wrote.

The children of non-Christian clergy struggle with similar issues, writes Israel N. Levitz in “A Practical Guide to Rabbinic Counseling.”


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grace for all

I was a pastor for 25 years. I lived 2000 miles from most of my family. I was fortunate that my children had an extended family ready made who loved and supported them. As young adults in their mid to late 20’s they are all doing well..two medical doctors, a nurse practioner, and a lab rat. They all have great people skills because they were in a faith community on a day to day basis from the time they were born. I used to take them on visits to shut-ins because those folks never got to see children. One older women used to make me tea, have me hang out in the kitchen, and take my daughter to the living room to visit. She did let me say a prayer when it was time to leave. I thank the church everyday for helping form the wonderful people my children have become.

Tim Lusk

Tucson, AZ

Ann Fontaine

I read a study someplace that said more TEC clergy kids follow their parents footsteps to ordination than any other denomination.

Eric Bonetti

I have several friends who are PK’s, as well as a family member who qualifies. My heart goes out to PK’s–theirs is not an easy lot. Sometimes, issues revolve around the expectation that we load onto our clergy. Other times, the issues are more based on PKs’ self-perceptions; I don’t think any of us hold them to the standards that they believe we do. In still other cases, challenges are more about boundaries and protecting “insider information” — which is surely not an easy thing. Does anyone really think our clergy will never talk about work over the dinner table?

But no matter how you parse the issue, being a PK is never easy.

Eric Bonetti

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