My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
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09-06-2016, 09:56 AM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
^agree totally with Heatheness. Man up!
My original post stands though. I have sympathy for anyone who has outlived their child. I'd give them a chance to get on the right foot with your daughter. By explaining the why honestly, they might have a chance at it. heavy on the "might".
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09-06-2016, 10:04 AM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
(09-06-2016 09:41 AM)Ash Wrote:  I'm starting to think I should have told them "Well, she didn't get all A's this year, so I'm not sure she really deserves to get to go do something fun like vacation bible school. Sorry, but I've gotta punish her by not letting her go."

This gives them an "out" to push her even more. They'll not only push for bible school, but harp about her grades so she can go.
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09-06-2016, 10:11 AM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
(09-06-2016 08:26 AM)Ash Wrote:  Yesterday, my oldest daughter's grandparents (on her mother's side obviously) said that they wanted her to come and stay with them for a week and go to vacation bible school. They didn't ask last year (which was the first year I even knew she existed), but they're asking this year.

Right off the bat I'm against it for a couple of reasons: #1. I think there's better things to learn about than "Jesus". Seems like a total waste of time. and #2. I don't want to lose time with my daughter. I mean I just found out about her last year, and she's already 11, almost 12.

I told them that I'd have to talk to my wife about it. (They don't know we're atheists. It's never really come up. I don't think they'd fight me for custody, but I'm a little worried they could if they found out we're atheists given their Christianity.)

I asked my daughter if she wanted to go. I mean ultimately I wanted the decision to be up to her. My wife agreed. I mean as much as I didn't want her to go, if she wanted to go I wasn't going to stop her. She said she didn't want to go. As far as I can tell, she doesn't believe in God anymore. Of course I don't tell her grandparents this. They'd probably just see it as her being angry at god because her mom died. Anyway, I call them back to tell them that she said she doesn't want to go, but that we'd try to find a good time for her to spend with them (As my wife said, NOT during that week, because they'd probably send her against her will). They didn't want to accept that, so they asked to speak to her. She told them that she didn't want to go. They tried to bribe her. She still didn't want to go.

Then they call me back this morning, telling me that I need to send her because it's important for her to get saved, and know Jesus. "Sometimes parents have to make kids do things they don't want to in order to save them." Apparently her mother sent her to this vacation bible school (my daughter says it was only because it's free daycare and her parents wouldn't stop pestering her about it).

I'm not sure how--or even if I can--to get them to stop pushing this. My daughter doesn't want to go. Honestly I don't think she should go. Especially not against her will. They don't seem to be taking no for an answer. This hasn't been a problem before. They're really set on this. (They're very religious people. They even bought her this hideous bible for girls that makes me want to puke. You should see it, it's awful. I mean you'd think at least they'd take out all the rampant sexism, but nope.) They're nice people outside their faith, but they consider it VERY important. I told them that I wasn't going to send her if she didn't want to go, and that ultimately it's up to her. Then they bribed me! They have this idea in their head, and I don't think they're going to drop it. They keep bringing up how I didn't let her go to Christmas Mass with them. Right now I've got my phone off, hoping they'll get the message. I'm not sure they will though.

Since you smartly left it to your daughter to decide and she said no, then it's no.

How you handle it is up to you.

When my kids were little, while we might attend mass once in a while, my grandmother (a Lutheran) insisted that I bring my older son to her church for their new vbs. (They were trying to get more younger members). I just flatly said no.

She said it should be up to him, so I asked him. He said no, he wasn't interested.

She then said I should force him to go for his future. I recall I said something snarky about VBS being required on a college application.

She said she was worried about his soul.

Now,it's worth noting that she worried about her slice of heaven too. She believed that if she failed to raise Christians that she would be judged for not doing more.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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09-06-2016, 10:14 AM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
I agree 100% with Heatheness, if you gave your daughter the power to decide, you need to back her up. It is a great lesson for her that will teach her to be strong and stand up for her rights. Caving in to the grandparents completely sends the wrong message. Stand strong. No is no, period.

Provably in the back of your mind (or maybe right upfront) you are worried about them seeking custody if they find out you are atheists. Maybe talking to a lawyer about your rights and how feasible their custody battle would be would ease the worry about this happening. Best of luck and keep us posted.
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09-06-2016, 10:17 AM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
I remember when a young teen seeing a Vacation Bible School sign and being appalled at the thought.
"Who would want to waste vacation time doing that?" I thought.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-06-2016, 11:03 AM (This post was last modified: 09-06-2016 11:06 AM by Ash.)
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
(09-06-2016 10:14 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  Provably in the back of your mind (or maybe right upfront) you are worried about them seeking custody if they find out you are atheists. Maybe talking to a lawyer about your rights and how feasible their custody battle would be would ease the worry about this happening. Best of luck and keep us posted.

That's precisely what I'm worried about. They could easily threaten to fight for custody of her if they think she's not being raised the way they think she should. According to friends of her mother's, they did it with her. Of course she had much worse going on than being an atheist parent. I've read plenty of stories though of parents losing custody because they didn't believe in god. I'm sure it'd be a lengthy and costly process though. One i'd rather avoid altogether. Which is why I've tried being accommodating and patient with them. I'd also like to avoid dragging my daughter's mother's name through the mud, because if it came down to it I'm not sure I could say I wouldn't do it if I thought it was necessary to retain custody of my daughter. I'd rather avoid a fight, because I don't want my daughter to have to hear her father's lawyer talk bad about her mother and/or grandparents. That's not something she should have to go through. I mean they haven't yet, but they certainly could. And that's why I'm being polite instead of just telling them "I said no, deal with it."

I also don't think that at their age, they're capable of taking care of a 12 year old. I don't think they think they are either--but that doesn't mean they wouldn't try in order to get their way. And with the right judge, I could see them getting custody.

Some people don't know how to take no for an answer. They should have gotten the message when my daughter told them no for herself. Even after their bribe. (My daughter is not difficult to bribe either, though I've done my best not to).
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09-06-2016, 11:48 AM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
I'm assuming you have custody.

If so it's simple. Pull a Nancy Reagan and just say no.

No.

No way. It's not even under consideration.

No.





No.
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09-06-2016, 12:05 PM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
I should have read the thread more carefully before posting. Are you in rural Alabama or somewhere really oppressive? It's pretty hard to imagine a girl being reassigned custody at this point. I think you should make an initial consultation with a family law attorney just be at the ready. And say hell no.
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09-06-2016, 12:07 PM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
I know it seems a reasonable fear, but no judge anywhere would place a 12 year old against her will. Keep that in mind.
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09-06-2016, 12:13 PM
RE: My daughter's grandparents want to send her to vacation bible school
Your atheism doesn't come into it, your daughter has made her choice. Tell them that their daughter did a great job raising your daughter and instilled her with the confidence and maturity to make these decisions herself.

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