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-   -   Extended family indoctrinating my children :( (http://www.mothering.com/forum/13-spirituality/1365106-extended-family-indoctrinating-my-children.html)

OceansEve 10-06-2012 06:31 AM

I thought discussing most of the large religions and telling her people can believe anything they want and the only thing that is wrong is telling people they have to believe a certain way would keep her from being tainted by my extended family :( I failed.

 

My mother knows we are not affiliated with any religion by choice. DH's mother should, but I'm sure with their family's history of avoidance she's pretending to not notice. They are both indoctrinating my 6 year old :( I do not want her to grow up thinking there is only one religion and one way to think. I am expecting my fourth (so I have appts and things where I have no choice) but have been using them as babysitters as little as possible, but it's still happening. With christmas right around the corner the shit is going to hit the fan this year if I try and preempt what is going on. I've been avoiding this for years and I'm terrified. This is the main reason I have hardly discussed my own spiritual views with my daughter because she is bound to share with everyone else. I'm not ready to be "outed", any chance I can make this problem just disappear? :p (j/k I know it's a miracle I've avoided it this long)

 

I'm not ready for this. My father (expreacher) will freak (my mother and sisters know and have been hiding it from him). DH's parents will freak. I'm afraid we will end up alienating ourselves from the entire family. I don't have a bunch of friends to fall back on. The nonchristian community around here is incredibly small.

 

How do I undo the damage that has been done without sounding antichristian? If DD1 grows up to feel that is her religion I don't want her to think I disapprove. What I disapprove of is her "believing" it because that's what her grandmothers have told her is true.


kblackstone444 10-06-2012 10:52 AM

Just explain to her that her Grandparents believe that this is true, you believe that something else is true, etc.


OceansEve 10-06-2012 12:32 PM

The only problem with that is she worships the ground DH's mother walks on :( She wants to be just like her.


anj_rn 10-07-2012 05:28 AM

yeah....I do not see anyway out of it without telling your family what you want her taught.  If they do not know your religious beliefs are different, it is normal for them to teach her what they believe to be the families beliefs.  You might want to start with a discussion of, "There are people in DD's life who have varying religious beliefs, at her age, I do not want her to be taught that one is right and everyone else is wrong.  It could cause problems, and she is really to young to understand the differences in religions and religious tolerance all at once."  We have had to have this convo mult. times with my ILs, because my mom & sis are Jewish.


Kaydove 10-08-2012 05:42 PM

I'm planning on telling my mom that its fine for her to teach bible stories but absolutely no heaven, hell, sin, and no death. None of the scary stuff. I'm going to explain that 3 and up nightmares and night terrors are common and I want to minimize a chance of DD developing them. No trying to get DD to "ask Jesus into my heart" either. My mom and her family are the only ones who are religious enough try to teach that. My dad isn't religious and my husbands family is super respectful.

kythe 10-13-2012 06:43 PM

My kids have grown up in a similar situation.  I haven't been to church voluntarily since before they were born, but my parents are staunch fundamentalist Christians.  I work weekends and for years my parents have watched my kids every other weekend, when their dad doesn't have them.  They take them to church during this time.  In all these years, I never figured out what religion I want to raise my kids in, but in a sense the decision has already been made. 

 

Despite years of church, neither claims to be Christian.  Since he was about 8 or so, my son has periodically made statements such as, "Grandma and Grandpa make me believe in God, even though I know there isn't one".  If I ask him how he "knows" that, he says, "I just do".  My 12 year old daughter seems agnostic. 

 

I figure they will make up their own minds as they grow, just as I did and as they already are.  If anything, there can be some advantages of being well-versed in the dominant religion of your country, even if you don't believe.

 

I just tell them that Grandma and Grandpa believe one thing, I believe another, their dad believes something else, etc...  Each of us has our own path to follow.

 

What your daughter is doing now at age 6 may not reflect how she will be as she grows older.



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