So, first of all, I need to state my fears about some major religions...in this case, Christianity, as my parents are born-again Christians. I grew up in the south and am describing my particular experiences here, and they may or may not be common or usual experiences in other Christian circles.
I have no problem with religions that don't hurt anyone (ie Buddhism)...however, I have a serious objection to lots of the basic tenets of the Christian religion and a lot of what is in the Bible. Many people's interpretation of the Bible is that people are no darn good, with wretched and rotten souls. In the Christian community I grew up in, for the most part, there was no respect for kids, no faith in them at all...just the assumption that they're naturally bad, would automatically choose the wrong path if given the choice, and need to be made to obey at whatever cost (ie physical violence, by using love and approval as a bargaining chip, and lots of controlling)...Aside from that, all of the guilt and shame. Superstition. Sexual repression. When I was growing up, my natural curiosity about bodies and sex got me labeled by my mother as depraved, and I know she still thinks I am 'addicted to sex.' (IE I actually like to have it sometimes whereas she generally doesn't.) Woman oppression in general. Homophobia. The belief that without God, there is no morality and you can't make good decisions or have good relationships, etc. Although I'm agnostic about God him/herself...I don't know what I believe...I DO know I don't ever want my daughter to be taught that she is bad...
And yet. I'm moving back to my hometown in 5 weeks. It is my only option for finishing my Associate's which should take me about two semesters, then I can transfer to a university with a good non-traditional student program, family housing, etc etc. My family loves me, but they also believe all of the same things they believed while raising me, and we will be living with them for the first 6-8 weeks we are there, and thereafter they will have my daughter 2 full days a week while I am in school. I have picked the lesser of two evils (not finishing school and achieving my dreams, going insane at a dead end job with no mental stimulation and absolutely no support or help as a 100% single mom OR my parents being with my daughter more often than I would like for less than a year.)
How can I gently, and non-offensively, ask my parents not to pray with my daughter, directly talk to her about heaven/hell/Jesus/getting saved, or read the Bible or Bible stories with her? I know they believe it is a scriptural mandate to share their faith, but I have told them before, Jesus never forced himself on anyone. He waited until people asked him. My parents are helping me so much and I am very grateful, but I still need to find a way to establish some boundaries with them.