When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
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22-09-2014, 09:02 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
It's there loss. Don't take that crap.

A wise person makes their own decisions; an ignorant one follows public opinion.
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22-09-2014, 09:24 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
I'm wondering the same thing here. My dad is a preacher and I gotta admit that between the two of them my mom is the hyper-religious one. I haven't come out to them yet and I'm dreading the day that it becomes an issue due to my children not being fed religion. My kids are very young.

I'm fortunate that my parents live a couple of hours away so our visits are not so frequent, however it also means that they are usually centered around a holiday which is religious in nature. We tend to have to go to attend church as they also tend to happen over a weekend.

I'm not concerned about my children experiencing religion, there's not going to be any escaping that where we live as they grow up. My only concern is making sure that they are comfortable with coming to me with any questions they may have. I'm going to be as honest as I can while trying my best to answer in a way that is appropriate for whatever level of understanding they may have at the time.

I guess that I'm more afraid of having to be honest with my parents than with my children. I have an open future with my kids. I hope I do with my parents too, but if the past is any guide I'm guarded against too much optimism for that.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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22-09-2014, 09:36 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
The bottom line is who is the parent here. Grandparents can be wonderful in a child's life but that doesn't mean everything has to be tolerated.

What if your parents were very outspoken in their bigotry against other races or were spewing anti gay sentiments? You would step in and talk with them and let them know that isn't what you want your children exposed to or you would limit the child(ren)'s exposure to those grandparents.

As a grown up and a parent in your own right - it's up to you to do what you feel is best for your child(ren).

My 2 cents.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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22-09-2014, 09:52 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
(22-09-2014 09:24 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  I'm wondering the same thing here. My dad is a preacher and I gotta admit that between the two of them my mom is the hyper-religious one. I haven't come out to them yet and I'm dreading the day that it becomes an issue due to my children not being fed religion. My kids are very young.

I'm fortunate that my parents live a couple of hours away so our visits are not so frequent, however it also means that they are usually centered around a holiday which is religious in nature. We tend to have to go to attend church as they also tend to happen over a weekend.

I'm not concerned about my children experiencing religion, there's not going to be any escaping that where we live as they grow up. My only concern is making sure that they are comfortable with coming to me with any questions they may have. I'm going to be as honest as I can while trying my best to answer in a way that is appropriate for whatever level of understanding they may have at the time.

I guess that I'm more afraid of having to be honest with my parents than with my children. I have an open future with my kids. I hope I do with my parents too, but if the past is any guide I'm guarded against too much optimism for that.

If you out yourself to your kids, expect them to out you to everyone else.

Better to have that conversation before your kids pick the timing for you, because they never pick the right moment. Lol.

I am atheist, my husband is a believer, my kids are agnostic. We moved to a new neighborhood this summer, every couple days my youngest daughter (age 9) tells me the religious status of another kid, apparently she is polling the kids she meets. Lol.


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22-09-2014, 10:16 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
(22-09-2014 09:52 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(22-09-2014 09:24 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  I'm wondering the same thing here. My dad is a preacher and I gotta admit that between the two of them my mom is the hyper-religious one. I haven't come out to them yet and I'm dreading the day that it becomes an issue due to my children not being fed religion. My kids are very young.

I'm fortunate that my parents live a couple of hours away so our visits are not so frequent, however it also means that they are usually centered around a holiday which is religious in nature. We tend to have to go to attend church as they also tend to happen over a weekend.

I'm not concerned about my children experiencing religion, there's not going to be any escaping that where we live as they grow up. My only concern is making sure that they are comfortable with coming to me with any questions they may have. I'm going to be as honest as I can while trying my best to answer in a way that is appropriate for whatever level of understanding they may have at the time.

I guess that I'm more afraid of having to be honest with my parents than with my children. I have an open future with my kids. I hope I do with my parents too, but if the past is any guide I'm guarded against too much optimism for that.

If you out yourself to your kids, expect them to out you to everyone else.

Better to have that conversation before your kids pick the timing for you, because they never pick the right moment. Lol.

I am atheist, my husband is a believer, my kids are agnostic. We moved to a new neighborhood this summer, every couple days my youngest daughter (age 9) tells me the religious status of another kid, apparently she is polling the kids she meets. Lol.

You're right, what can I say? I've never been one to be shy about my opinions, but religion and my parents are a different thing for me. Plus I have to admit that I think my folks get that we're not that into it, and religious talk is usually at a minimum when we visit. I suppose if they were were more in your face about it I'd be more inclined to out myself, but they're not so I'm letting it be for the moment.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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22-09-2014, 11:29 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
(22-09-2014 01:01 PM)LadyDay Wrote:  I'm definitely not going to let my family bully me into anything. Neither will my boyfriend. I'm sure my parents will push for baptism and christian childrens books and so on. But that won't happen and if they can't respect our rules they can't be trusted alone with their grand children. I will not allow my children to be scared by their religious beliefs. What I'm more unsure about how to deal with is f.ex. how to answer if my small child asks who my parents are talking to when they "chant" the prayer before dinner. How did your mum explain religious behaviour from your grandmother to you when you were a little tod? Did she explain it to you as something valid and to be shown respect? Or tell you that it was something silly some crazy people believed in and not to worry about it? On one hand I want my future children to treat my parents with respect of course, on the other hand toddlers are vulnerable to magical thinking and I really don't want my children brainwashed. I wish I could ensure they wouldn't have to deal with their grandparents believing their parents are going to Hell until they were, like, 10 years old or something. Until they've had a chance to learn how to think for themselves.
Hmmm, well, I'm sure it's going to be fine, as long as they respect that we don't want our children exposed to the propaganda thats meant for children. And they're going to have to respect that. The second my little one comes home scared that mommy and daddy are going to hell, that's the end of unsupervised time with the grandchildren. Heck, i'm 27 and still dealing with the after-effects of being brought up religious. Can't have my little children being taught fear like that.

Well, I was brought up to believe in that stuff... My mum had been terrified as a child by what the JWs taught, and so she kept a lot of it hidden from me... At the same time she felt she had to at least appear to be bringing me up in the faith, and so I got a very diluted version of it, with all the stuff about God killing everyone at Armageddon removed...

She made it very clear to me from a young age, that I shouldn't be afraid of questioning things, and that I was under no pressure to believe anything in the Bible at all...

Its only since I began to openly question the Bible (since about 18 or 19), and discussed it with her at length that she opened up about the organization, and how much she hated it, yet feared the consequences of questioning it... I was actually very surprised at how much had been hidden from me, and I was very grateful for it... I'd been oblivious the massive shit storm her family had kicked up when it turned out she was marrying an atheist. They'd tried very hard to split them up.

My grandmother is completely oblivious to all of this, she doesn't know I'm an atheist, or that my mum's at least questioning the whole thing. She's done everything in her power over the years to intrude into our lives. She very strongly, and vocally disapproves of my lifestyle, and my appearance... A beer drinking, hell raising, otherwise jobless guitarist isn't exactly in her good books.

I think she disapproves of my existence too, but she'd never say it.

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23-09-2014, 04:13 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
(22-09-2014 12:11 PM)LadyDay Wrote:  How do those of you who have children deal with your religious parents?
In some years when my boyfriend and I have children, we naturally want to raise them to think freely. We want to teach them how to think, not what to think. My worry is that my parents and my sisters are extremely religious and I fear they will go into "must save the grandchildren mode". Of course we will be very clear with my family, that we don't want our children preached to. We don't want our children to be scared that their parents might be tortured in Hell forever and we don't want thei trusted grandparents attempting indoctrination. My family is going to have to be respectful of that if they want their grandchildren aound, we won't accept them scaring our children. Children listen to their grandparents.
However, we obviously can't tell my family not to pray before dinner when our future kids are visiting. But how do you talk to your young children about that? On one hand, I don't want to give my children the impression that I think it's perfectly sensible and valid to believe that there's a magic man in the sky who hears them pray. On the other hand I also don't really want to tell them that their grandparents and aunts believe silly things that mommy and daddy find kinda ridiculous. I obviously want them to respekt their grandparents. Children are just so vulnerable and tend to believe what their grandparents tell them, they need a certain age before they can distinguish between reality and fantasy, especially when something is presented as reality by people they trust. But that religion caused me a lot of hurt and fear and I don't want my children to get hurt or scared or confused. I don't want them to to worry about Hell! I'd prefer if they didn't have to deal with the concept of religion, at least amongst the people closet to them, until they were at least kindergarden age or early school age.
How did you guys handle your childrens religious grandparents?

Ok so I'm married with 2 kids and my wife's family is very religious. My wife is on the fence but aside from what you'd expect I never push anything on her but of course things happen that have to be discussed. Like for example when my son was just 4 yrs old (2 yrs ago) my mother in law asked my son to come to her during our Xmas activity of opening awesome gifts. Oddly she was standing in the middle of the room with no one else near her and asked him to walk up to her. When he was only inches from her face she kneeled and put her hands around his face then asked "Do you know what Christmas is?" "Christmas is the birth of our lord Jesus Christ and savior." This despite my wife having explained numerous times that we are not going to push religion onto our children and we expect them to do the same. I know most here reading this would have probably replied "No Xmas is about kids getting to open bad ass gifts grandma!" but I really didn't want to rock the cradle with that much force so instead I waited for us to leave.

After we left later on that day I made it a point to talk to my son about the hundreds of different religions including his grandma's Christian religion and the many followers that have been convinced without any evidence at all that these spirits exist. I then referred back to a logical discussion we had just months before regarding ghosts and of course that ghosts aren't real by explaining that in order to believe in any religion you have to believe in ghosts. He asked me why grandma believed in ghosts and I said that she was raised as a young child to believe in ghosts. So in the end was it necessary for my son at such a young age to deal with all this dogma and back/forth? Yes actually it was but I did not make it so. If you don't say anything in response then your child is being indoctrinated before your eyes.

In the end I can only hope your parents will be more respectful than what we are dealing with if for any other reason than to not put your children through unnecessary confusion. But if you are not so lucky I recommend for the sake of your children to just turn the tables on the ghost believing opinionated followers and hang them out as they truly are and how they truly sound. Just remember, you did not do this to them.
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24-09-2014, 03:27 AM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
Thanks for the encouragement and advice guys. It's good to know those of you with children have generally figured it out without your kids getting all confused or scarred. I'm sure I'll manage to introduce the concept of religion to them in a good way and draw the line with my parents. Fortunately my parents are generally reasonable people, except for the religious thing. I don't think they'll try to sneak-baptise my offspring or something like that.

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
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24-09-2014, 07:00 PM
RE: When you have children, how do you deal with their hyper religious grandparents?
(22-09-2014 01:29 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  Having a code word with your mate for "its time to get the fuck out of here" is a great thing and not to be overlooked.

You and the father need to plan ahead. It is almost guaranteed that will be a confrontation at some point and probably more than one . Be united! or they will practice 'Divide and Conquer'
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