My husband and I were raised with different religions. I grew up in a somewhat liberal Southern Baptist home and he grew up in a Mormon home. Neither one of us practice our parent's religions. We hold many Christian beliefs but do not believe the Bible to be completely literal or accurate.
When my mom starts in on teaching our kids (age 3 and 2) Bible stories, I intervene on the ones I find inappropriate (for example, I do not want my kids believing that whales can swallow people for days and then barf them back up if the person angers a god) and ask her to move on with a different story. She seems to mostly get it and reads the kids primarily secular stories. Handling her is fairly easy. She stops when I ask her.
The real problem is with my in laws, especially my mother in law. She has serious boundary issues, and not just with religion. For instance, when I was pregnant she built a nursery in her house and would sent me long emails about taking the baby overnight. That stopped when I told her sure she could have my newborn overnight, as soon as I could cut my boob off and pack it along. After my son was born she called him "her baby" and spent a lot of energy trying to undermine the parenting practices of my husband and I, even telling lies behind my back to get her way. She once threatened to call cps on us because we practice elimination communication. These are just highlights from 7 years of inappropriate behavior on her part. So to say that we have had an on going issue with her and boundaries is a bit of an understatement.
My mil is well aware that dh and I do not attend church, he is not an active member (I don't think she can bear to think of him as the exMormon he truly is) and that we do not teach our children religion. Yet she thinks it's perfectly fine for her to teach the kids Mormon stuff behind our backs. I discovered this when I arrived early to pick my son up and noticed a book in the den of children's stories from the BoM. This has continued and now we have twice had her presenting my three year old (who is nearly four and very aware of what he sees) with images of Jesus getting murdered on a cross. The first time, I snatched the book up and put it in my bag to "take home" aka throw away. The second time, my husband realized what was going on and told them "We don't teach that!" and asked them to respect the fact that our kids are young and should not be shown images of murder. He was very shaken up when he told me about it later.
I don't understand what the proper way of addressing this is. My mil is not mentally balanced. She is an extreme manipulator and histrionic. Anything negative said to her causes a sh*t storm of her own making. My husband doesn't want to make waves. His parents are very fickle and conditional in their affections. He imagines that they will help us financially sometime and so we shouldn't piss them off. I have absolutely had it with their antics and have subtly stopped all unattended visits with the kids. No more going over there for a couple hours while I do housework etc.
Some of the messages in the stories she has read to my kids are downright disturbing and not at all in line with the beliefs of dh and I.
How do you guys handle over bearing in laws proselytizing to little children??? It's so inappropriate to teach your religion to another persons children, I just don't even understand how to stop them without causing a huge fight. It makes me extremely angry and I find it to be so disrespectful. Dh is not going to handle this one, I have to do it.