While researching for a paper I'm writing, I found this interesting information thought you'd enjoy. It seems that clergy kids across denominational and even cultural lines experience pretty much the same things. And there are benefits as well as difficulties. Here is a brief summary, which is taken from interviews of adult children of clergy about growing up:
For clergy kids:
- Their parent was looked upon as a ‘person of God.’
- They have to cope with possible discrepancies between ‘front-stage’ and ‘back-stage’ behavior of their parents.
- They are public property, whether they like it or not; they are watched (or at least they have that impression) and they have to set an example for other kids. This feeling can lead either to rebellion or over-adjustment.
- As an unpaid extension piece of the ministry, they have to bear responsibility at a very young age.
- In many cases the family belongs to the local (intellectual and cultural) elite.
- Social, religious, moral, and cultural capital is abundant in the parsonage and is generously transmitted to them.
- Moving to another place every now and then forced clergy children to conquer their place under the sun again among peers.
- Developing an identity of their own is often a difficult and sometimes a very painful process. In their own view they remain the minister’s son or daughter too long.
- In spite of or thanks to their youth and education most clergy children do quite well as adults.
What is your experience or the experience of your children?