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#631 of 699 Old 01-09-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing all of that, Hyckue, and welcome!  I can relate fairly well to your 'mission trip' story...it is of course very easy to brainwash kids!  I saw Jesus Camp and related well...it was slightly more extreme than what I experienced maybe, but not by much.  I think unfortunately that people's brains are pretty malleable up through, what is it?  Age 21, or 25, is when our brains are considered to be 'fully developed.'  I remember being in college Christian groups, and they would say 'we need to 'get' people before they leave college, because statistically, after that age, they probably won't accept Christ.'  Gee, it's because their brains aren't even fully adult yet!  And everyone is slightly different.  Even though I grew up with all this bull**** pounded into my head, and plenty of mental/emotional abuse, and plenty of doubting and thinking along the way, I didn't fully get 'out' of it and admit I didn't believe any of it until I was 29.  There is a group out there something like "End Child Indoctrination" and I can see why they exist.  

 

I know you (Hyucke) said these groups 'do a lot of good' by converting people and whatnot...I have a hard time believing that, although I have that thought sometimes.  They can be good at helping people with drug addictions and whatnot, but I believe they just trade one addiction for another.  It's probably a better one...maybe.  There are all kinds of psychological reasons why it was *not* good for me to grow up that way, and it had detrimental and lasting affects, which I won't go into here of course, but let's just say I needed a lot of counseling for it.  

 

Really, any time someone talks using the same words that were used to abuse me as a child, I cringe.  "Jesus is Lord" and all that stuff.  And especially when it's my mom, who was the abuser.  So...hopefully that sheds some light on why it's offensive when she prays the way she does with us, and forcing it on us without even asking...totally inconsiderate, just as she was to me as a child.  And then forcing it on my child who is there too.  Grrrrr.  So, I will not tolerate it, esp. in my own home.


Hyuke you are a biologist?  That is what I am/was before I became a sahm.  Wildlife kinds of stuff.  I did pretty well in school, got an MS and all that.  And still my brain was sucked into that crap for such a long time!  I got all the way through a Biology degree at a public university and, this is embarrassing to admit, still believed in Creationism!  That's how bad it was!  It's Very. Powerful. Stuff. And I do not take it lightly.

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#632 of 699 Old 01-13-2011, 10:08 PM
 
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Firstly, just a quick clarification. I actually said "they think they are doing a lot of good by converting people", not that they actually ARE doing a lot of good. I'm only speaking to the intentions of organizations like this one, not the outcomes.


I am a biologist, and I think I always will be whether I'm working in that field or not. I did quite well in University, but decided not to do graduate studies. I've mostly done work as a field technician for wildlife and biodiversity stuff. Good fun!

Honestly, it sounds like you need to set firm boundaries with your mom. If I had to give you advice (and it sounds like you're asking), I would say that you should try to keep it friendly but ask her not to do that any more. Make it clear that it's really important to you. Don't leave any room for ambiguity. Then, if she disregards your wishes, you can tell her that she's not welcome at your table at mealtimes, because she refused to honor your wishes. But I'm not the best at reaching agreements with others, as I tend to expect to get my way and I can be a bit of a hardliner . . . nonetheless, if you consider this behavior abusive, simply do not accept it, whatever that takes. I hope someone else chimes in with some more advice, 'cause I'm not sure that's a good one to follow.

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#633 of 699 Old 01-16-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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Hey I'm an atheist mama! My husband is agnostic too. Living in Utah makes raising my daughter atheist is definitely interesting.


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#634 of 699 Old 02-23-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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Hi there? Can I join? I have been active on MDC for awhile but created a new account to get a more neutral user name, hence the "new member" status. My husband and I are both agnostic and are raising our 17 month old son to be a freethinker. We live in one of the most conservative towns in one of the most liberal states in the country :) We have a christian university about two blocks away so that makes for some interesting interactions. Glad to be here!


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#635 of 699 Old 02-23-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Hi Oregonianmama! Welcome.

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#636 of 699 Old 02-24-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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If anyone else has already said these sorts of things to their parents, I would love to see some of the wording! Also, please feel free to PM me if you want to have a more detailed discussion, I would love it!  


Hi Kristin,

 

I went through this exact same dilemma with my mil (very fundamental Christian) this Christmas, with her giving dd religious books.  My dh is Christian, so we are an interfaith couple... he talked with his mom later about the books, saying basically that since he and I don't agree on religious matters that we'd appreciate it if she wouldn't give us any more religious gifts that could be contentious.  The next time she came to visit, she brought some books to read to dd.  She took me aside, gave me two of the books and told me that they may be questionable... and asked if I'd like to read them before she let dd see them.  So she left the books with me and I followed up with an email to her a couple days later.  I had just read Dale McGowan's blog about how to approach family about religious differences, and this is how I replied: 

 

"I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity to review the two books you brought last weekend.  It means so much to me (and dh) to find a common ground with our faiths and to create the best possible family situation to raise dd... of course, it can be a lot of work to maintain that delicate balance.  We looked through both books and the Count Your Blessings one is just fine, and we've been reading it to dd... she's still too young for the Creation book though.  We want to wait till she's a little older before presenting religious stories or scriptures, and then it will be in a "some people believe..." way that is offered as belief and not fact.  I know your faith is very important to you, and I see that you truly live your faith... so we hope when dd's a little older, you will share what you believe with her!"

 

Of course we will set some clear guidelines when it comes time for her to share her beliefs, but for now, this email was very well received by my MIL... a huge surprise and relief.  Here's the link to Dale's blog if you're interested: http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/?p=3430

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#637 of 699 Old 03-17-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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Hi Kristin,

 

 

Of course we will set some clear guidelines when it comes time for her to share her beliefs, but for now, this email was very well received by my MIL... a huge surprise and relief.  Here's the link to Dale's blog if you're interested: http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/?p=3430


That is a good site!
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#638 of 699 Old 03-22-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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Hi everyone! I think I may have introduced myself here a few months ago. I would describe myself as agnostic while DF is unsure. He was raised catholic but is hesitant to call himself christian. He has high respect for his parent's beliefs whom are catholic. They don't attend church but are religious. Usually at dinner they pray and do the sign of the cross (respectively) and DF will do it with them but never at our home. 

I am concerned that when my son gets a little older that he is going to ask "why is grandma, grandpa, and dad doing that mommy?". I am unsure of what I will say to him and nervous that he will want to do it with them. Of course, this will make me feel uncomfortable. Has anyone handled a similar situation?

 

Also- DF has always said that if Leo is interested in going to church that he will take him. I understand where he is coming from but I am honestly not at all comfortable in taking him to church and really don't want him going at all even if Im not there. Leo is going to look up to his dad and if he sees him doing the prayer at the dinner table, of course he will want to partake in it! I am not sure if I am being unreasonable but it upsets me so much thinking about it. 


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#639 of 699 Old 03-22-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Also- DF has always said that if Leo is interested in going to church that he will take him. I understand where he is coming from but I am honestly not at all comfortable in taking him to church and really don't want him going at all even if Im not there. Leo is going to look up to his dad and if he sees him doing the prayer at the dinner table, of course he will want to partake in it! I am not sure if I am being unreasonable but it upsets me so much thinking about it. We got in an argument about it right before my bag of waters started leaking (which I'm almost positive brought it on). Then there is always the paranoia that his parents are going to push their beliefs on him....


Sweetie, a lot of these things should have been hashed out pre-kid. That said, you need to schedule some grown up time to talk to your dh about your feelings. This is really a topic not to be wishy washy about. How can he teach your son to be a believer if you are not one? The things about church that folks crave are the fellowship and the ritual/tradition of it all. Create some traditions in your new family that have nothing to do with the church. Things your child/children will look forward to each year.
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#640 of 699 Old 03-23-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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I am concerned that when my son gets a little older that he is going to ask "why is grandma, grandpa, and dad doing that mommy?". I am unsure of what I will say to him and nervous that he will want to do it with them. Of course, this will make me feel uncomfortable. Has anyone handled a similar situation?

 

Absolutely. My husband is Mormon and I am not. I was up until a few months into my pregnancy with my first child, but I'm not now. All of his extended family is and the vast majority of mine.
 They see daddy/grandma/grandpa/cousins/aunts/uncles praying all the time. They hear them talking about 'the church'. They are exposed to those beliefs that are so strong they are a part of who those people are. They ask questions.

 

Don't be unsure of what you will say to him. You have a really good opportunity right now to *plan* what you will say. The fact of the matter is, though those beliefs aren't *your* beliefs, spiritual belief is part of the human condition for the vast majority of humans throughout history. In recent history (the last few thousand years), those spiritual beliefs have been expressed through religion. You have your own little case study in your extended family. :) What *I* say varies according to the depth of the answer desired (really pay attention to the question and what the child is asking - sometimes they're asking simple, simple questions, sometimes they want more in-depth stuff) - oh, the things I could tell my kids about women and polygamy and racism in the LDS church ... but at 7 and 4, they just aren't interested in that. Explain the belief matter-of-factly. If it is appropriate to the conversation, drop in *your* beliefs, even if it's a simple "I don't believe that." You have such a good opportunity to teach him tolerance for those whose beliefs are different than his.

 

Don't be nervous that he'll want to do it with them. Of course he will. He's a little human and little humans emulate big humans. It's how they learn. My girls love folding their arms and praying when we visit family. They don't do it here at home, though the older one will occasionally make a big production out of praying before dinner. It's funny and cute. If she wants to do it when it's just me and asks me to pray or asks why I'm not folding my arms, I say "Because I don't have those beliefs so it would be disrespectful of me to join in. I will sit here quietly while you do it, though."

 

I think you should work on why it will make you uncomfortable for him to ask you a question about religion and family - would it make you uncomfortable if he asked you questions about Islam or Buddhism or Mormonism or Scientology? Stick Catholicism in with all those other belief systems and answer his questions. He will sense your uncomfortableness and (probably unconciously) let that play into his relationship with the family members, which isn't fair to them or him.

 

One thing I will say is that while I let family answer her (my oldest daughter is the only one remotely interested in it) questions, I draw the line quite firmly at them introducing ideas like "You need Jesus to forgive you for sins" (have I mentioned that one of my favorite things about raising a child without religion is that 'sin' is not part of her vocabulary - by the time I was 7, I couldn't wait for the next year when I got baptized at 8 and got forgiven for all my 'sins' - good lord, what kind of 'sins' can a 7 year old need to be forgiven for?), "Jesus is sad that you don't go to church." or "God loves you so much when you are a good little girl." Of course, I draw the line firmly at anybody using 'good little girl' statements anyway ... I would suggest that you get the in-laws used to the fact that while answering questions is ok, proselytizing is not.

 


 

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Also- DF has always said that if Leo is interested in going to church that he will take him. I understand where he is coming from but I am honestly not at all comfortable in taking him to church and really don't want him going at all even if Im not there.

I not only think you should let him take him, I think that if you want to answer his questions right when they come up (because at a young age, he'll forget he had them by the time he gets home), you should go with them. Tell his father that you want to give him the chance to concentrate on the service and you will watch your child. I took this tack with my kids and it has worked out wonderfully. In fact, I've taken them a few times when their father didn't want to go, but they did. Now that they're older and it's about sitting still for THREE HOURS, they have no interest in going. It can't be much different for a little one in your church, can it?
 


 

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Leo is going to look up to his dad and if he sees him doing the prayer at the dinner table, of course he will want to partake in it! I am not sure if I am being unreasonable but it upsets me so much thinking about it.
 


Of course he will! I think you should let him. Sit there quietly but don't fold your arms or bow your head. Just respect your partner's belief. When the question comes up, as it inevitable will, answer it right there. I'll tell you this - it will probably make your partner more uncomfortable to hear you explain your lack of belief than it will make you to see your child praying. It does look rather silly, even when you couch it in the most respectful way possible.

 

Are you being unreasonable? Maybe. I would say yes. But .. but but BUT ... it is what is. You are where you are right now. When I left 'the church', I went through blinding anger, moderate anger, serious unreasonableness, crazy frustration ... all those stages - just thinking about the baby blessing (where the humans with penises get to stand in a circle and bless the child while all of those with uteruses - including the one who *birthed* the baby - have to sit sedately and bow their heads) would upset me so much that I became incoherent. The best thing for your child, though, is for you to work through this and get to a better place to be answering his questions from.

 



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Sweetie, a lot of these things should have been hashed out pre-kid. That said, you need to schedule some grown up time to talk to your dh about your feelings. This is really a topic not to be wishy washy about. How can he teach your son to be a believer if you are not one?

My husband and I were completely on the same page pre-kid. I went off script when I got pregnant and a few months into it realized that I couldn't raise a child in 'the church'. This has had to be hashed out over the first few years of my oldest child's life - and will probably still need some hashing out as our kids grow.

 

He can teach *his* son to be a believer if she's not, just as she can teach *her* son to be an unbeliever if he's not. This child is from both parents. That's why I agree that the parents need some serious talks to figure out how they're going to do it - how to not be wishy-washy.

 

What we've come to an agreement about is that each of us answer our children's questions as best we can without disparaging the other parent's beliefs. That's the biggest thing we agreed on. Mormon kids are taught to despise those who don't believe - especially those who had the opportunity to believe (like me) and turned it down - and it doesn't matter if that unbeliever is a parent or a sibling. I was not ok with that - that was my hill to die on. Luckily, he didn't want it either. However, he wanted to be sure that she wouldn't feel the same way about him for his belief. So we've both worked at being respectful of the other.

 

There have been times that one of his beliefs is so crazy (as most Mormon beliefs are) that I'll give her the basics and then say "You're going to have to ask him about that. I just can't wrap my head around it." Or "You're going to have to ask him. I disagree very strongly with that." There are also times as she gets older when I'll be able to be more clear about my irritation/frustration/anger about *the church* without having it affect how I or she feels about *him*, but at such a young age, that's not an option.

 

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The things about church that folks crave are the fellowship and the ritual/tradition of it all. Create some traditions in your new family that have nothing to do with the church. Things your child/children will look forward to each year.



This is so, *so* true. What are you going to do if your child is naturally spiritual, as my oldest is? You've got to have a plan in place for him so that he doesn't turn to religion - and Catholicism as the most accessible religion - to answer that need in him.

 

For my daughter, I encourage fairies, Mother Nature, the earth, the moon, seasonal rituals - lots of things that I'm not terribly comfortable with myself (because of a lifetime of being told 'pagan' things are evil) to answer this need for her. So far it's working.

 

Build up a community so that he doesn't need to look to church for that.


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#641 of 699 Old 03-23-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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Niamh: Thank you so much for taking the time to read my concerns and I really appreciate your honesty.

I mentioned I would feel uncomfortable If my son asks "why are they praying?". I was meaning I would feel uncomfortable explaining it in front of my inlaws. You are right though, it will make me look silly and that was where my nervousness was coming from. We have decided to let our son know that if he wants to pray with them that he can. 

I think my issue with him going to church and praying is I don't want him doing something he isn't able to fully understand and there is only so much his mind will be able to comprehend when he is a child. I just want him to make an educated decision. 

It is not that I want to ban him from church because I think that he should have the opportunity to go and I don't want to take that away from him. I think I am just trying to protect him. I was forced to go to church because my step dad wanted my sister and I baptized. I didn't understand why I was there and felt a lot of judgment. I have always felt very uncomfortable in church (not just my step-father's) and I don't want him to ever feel that way or feel judged. I think I need to focus on letting go of some of my insecurities...

 

We really want to teach Leo about all religions as they are all interesting to us as well as emphasizing  nature. I like your idea of building up a community for him which is something we will focus on.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me. In my post I was being really honest and openly admitting my fears, but I am just trying to realize that Leo is going to be his only little person and I have the opportunity to guide and share my own unique perspective with him 


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#642 of 699 Old 03-23-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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Sweetie, a lot of these things should have been hashed out pre-kid. That said, you need to schedule some grown up time to talk to your dh about your feelings. This is really a topic not to be wishy washy about. How can he teach your son to be a believer if you are not one? The things about church that folks crave are the fellowship and the ritual/tradition of it all. Create some traditions in your new family that have nothing to do with the church. Things your child/children will look forward to each year.


We have talked about it, and will probably be talking more about it as the issue comes up. We are going to start focusing on new traditions so that we can establish some rituals with him. I like the idea of saying a prayer at the table after we have a nice home cooked meal together and thanking the earth for the food it has given us. I found some interesting ones, at offbeatmama.com if anybody is interested. 

"How I say grace without brining capital R Religion into it" http://offbeatmama.com/2010/11/secular-grace


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#643 of 699 Old 03-23-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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We didn't have a grace ritual other than looking at each other and being glad we had make it through another day of school/work, etc.

We did have a nighttime ritual where I would make a circle over their heads and say "magic circle safe and sound, till the morning sun comes round". They loved it!
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#644 of 699 Old 03-24-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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Reading through some of the recent posts, I feel quite lucky to have a husband who is on the same page as me with atheism and parents who accept me. I may or may not have mentioned before that my father was a priest and my mother was a nun, both Catholic (Italian and Irish, respectively).  My dad was on his way out anyway, and they met and decided to leave the church and marry.  I was baptized by a priest friend of my father at our house and went to church on holidays until I was about 7 years old and decided that it was ridiculous, but that was about the extent of my religion.  My dad is a retired sociology professor.  He is a very open minded man and got me interested in native american sprituality, thus openning me up at a young age to the fact that there were many options out there.  I always tended to look at religion academically, though.  I wrote a pretty in depth paper on shamanism in college and also took a philosphy of religion course. I have found that as I have grown older and as my kids get a little older, I've become stonger and more open about my atheist beliefs.  I, for one, was blown away in a very horrible way by Jesus Camp.  My husband laughed at the disgusted, disbelieving look on my face while we watched.  I am so glad that my parents didn't send my to ccd and make me go to church every week as a child.  I never even imagined that a parent would send a child to a camp like that, or that such a camp existed. 

One issue that I do have lately is that my husband wants to hold off on telling the boys anything at all about religion.  Im worried about what they may or may not be picking up it school and think that we ought to give them some basic understanding of what it is possible to beleive and what we do and do not believe.  I need to talk to my husband about this again and try and come up with the best way to go about giving them just enough info.  I could definitely see my kindergartner announcing to his class that his mom and dad don't believe in god and don't understand why people go to church..

On another note, anyone else participating in "A Week" on facebook.  I've been having some fun with it.

 


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#645 of 699 Old 04-13-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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Me again.  I've got a bit of a dilemma.  My family has been invited to a confirmation (or is it communion?) party for one of my second grader's friends.  I know his mom through school and we are on friendly terms.  She is nice.  He is a good kid.  Our boys aren't quite that good of friends any more, as they haven't been in the same class since kindergarten.  We went to his birthday party a few weeks ago and now we're invited to this. 

My main dilemma is that if we decide to go, what do I tell my boys?  I don't even know what confirmation is really.  I'm not sure what or how much to tell my boys.  The mom is a facebook friend.  So, she most likely noticed that I celebrated "A" week not long ago.  If she's looked at my information she would have seen the pages freedom from religion, americans for the separation of church and state, dna fish, etc.  Would it be offensive to tell her that we appreciate the invite, but since we're not a religious family and I don't want to hear too many questions from my 5 year old, we aren't going to be able to make it?  Or just make up an excuse- plans with my mom that I had forgotten about?  Just go and deal with the questions the best I can and hope my five year old doesn't blurt out anything embarassing to a bunch of religious people?  And if so, give the friend a card? Money?  I guess I need to do a little confirmation research...

 


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#646 of 699 Old 04-13-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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If the child is in 2nd grade, this would be for First Communion. Confirmation is later, like grade 5 (at least it was when I was growing up in the Catholic Church). Are you invited to the service at church? Or just the celebration after the ceremony? Or both. Why are you afraid of answering your child's questions?

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#647 of 699 Old 04-13-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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Thank you.  Communion it is.  I will look into that. 

My two boys are very different.  I can talk to my 8 year old (not just because of his age, but also his personality) and know that he will think about what I say and that he understands when it is and isn't appropriate to talk about things.  My 5 year old is completely different.  Whereas my 8 year old and I are reserved and introverted, he is friends with everyone, talks non-stop and is very sure of himself.  Even if he has false information, he feels the need to tell everyone and proclaim the truth in what he says.  Anything that I tell him will undoubtably be repeated to everyone that he talks to, perhaps as I tell it and perhaps distorted and modified. 

There seem to be a large number of religious people at their public school.  I get along with them just fine, but don't tend to talk religion (or politics) with most of them.  I don't hide that I'm an atheist, but I don't jump into religious discussions either.  I don't want there to be any issues with my kids or with my family because of the beliefs that my husband and I hold. 

Also, there is the issue of my husband and I not seeing eye to eye on what to tell the kids and when.  I know that they will be picking things up at school, if they aren't already, and would like them to have a bit of a foundation of our own beliefs.  My husband wants to wait until they ask questions and then probably be vague or redirect them.. I'm sure part of his reluctance is due to our 5 year old's personality.

 

And I'm pretty sure we're just invited to the celebration. 

 

 


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#648 of 699 Old 04-13-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post

 Why are you afraid of answering your child's questions?



I'm wondering the same thing as well.

 

At 5, the explanation you give your son about his friend's First Communion need not be complicated. Why not just tell your son that his friend's family enjoys going to XYZ church, and that the friend's Communion is a special part of his membership in the church. If your DS asks why he doesn't get to have a First Communion, you can tell him it's because you aren't members of that church.

 

As far as not being sure whether you should attend the celebration, you will have to follow your heart on that one. I personally feel going would be a nice gesture on your part, but you certainly are not obligated to do so. Personally, I feel that choosing to not celebrate a friend's special occasion just because they have spiritual or religious beliefs that are different from mine is somewhat close-minded, and I will attend unless I find out that the ceremony involves something I find morally or ethically objectionable (which has never happened to me). Even if you don't believe in God or enjoy church, you may find the celebration that follows the ceremony to be enjoyable. There will almost certainly be other kids at the celebration, and it might be fun for your son to get together with other kids from school at a party (I have been to First Communion celebrations, and the only God/Jesus talk I head was from the priest during the ceremony itself, not at the celebratory party that followed the ceremony).

 

If you choose not to go, I would NOT tell her that it's because you don't believe what she believes. Unless she's forcing her beliefs on you and hounding you about your atheism, IMO that would be a pretty rude thing to say to someone you consider a casual friend. A happy medium might be to send the child a card recognizing the occasion, so his mom knows that you care about her child's special day, along with your regrets you can't attend.

 

HTH. 

 


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#649 of 699 Old 04-13-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMaegie'sMama View Post



 



I'm wondering the same thing as well.

 

At 5, the explanation you give your son about his friend's First Communion need not be complicated. Why not just tell your son that his friend's family enjoys going to XYZ church, and that the friend's Communion is a special part of his membership in the church. If your DS asks why he doesn't get to have a First Communion, you can tell him it's because you aren't members of that church.

 

As far as not being sure whether you should attend the celebration, you will have to follow your heart on that one. I personally feel going would be a nice gesture on your part, but you certainly are not obligated to do so. Personally, I feel that choosing to not celebrate a friend's special occasion just because they have spiritual or religious beliefs that are different from mine is somewhat close-minded, and I will attend unless I find out that the ceremony involves something I find morally or ethically objectionable (which has never happened to me). Even if you don't believe in God or enjoy church, you may find the celebration that follows the ceremony to be enjoyable. There will almost certainly be other kids at the celebration, and it might be fun for your son to get together with other kids from school at a party (I have been to First Communion celebrations, and the only God/Jesus talk I head was from the priest during the ceremony itself, not at the celebratory party that followed the ceremony).

 

If you choose not to go, I would NOT tell her that it's because you don't believe what she believes. Unless she's forcing her beliefs on you and hounding you about your atheism, IMO that would be a pretty rude thing to say to someone you consider a casual friend. A happy medium might be to send the child a card recognizing the occasion, so his mom knows that you care about her child's special day, along with your regrets you can't attend.

 

HTH. 

 




Exactly what you said.  thumb.gif

 

 


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#650 of 699 Old 04-13-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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Marie,

 

You mean you haven't discussed religion at all? 

 

In our house we have discussed religion.  That some people believe and others do not.   We (my husband and I) do not believe.  However, if they would like to explore their feelings on it, I/we will help them.  We have neighbors that are Muslim.  My kids have asked why she (the Mom) covers her hair. 

 

I am getting a vibe that you are afraid to bring it up with your kids.  Like it would be opening a can of worms.  shrug.gif  Tell me if I am wrong.  I can take it.  duck.gif

 

 


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#651 of 699 Old 04-18-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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I couldn't help but feel a bit attacked by some of the posts, so had to take a few days to think and regroup (introvert, here).  I have talked to the boys (my daughter is only 2) about religion in vague terms.  Different people practice and believe different things and we chose not to be involved in religion at all.  Lots of your friends may go to church, but we don't.  That sort of thing.  I do plan to go to the communion party and deal with the possible embarassment to others that my middle child will bring.  Indeed, I was overreacting a bit.  Whatever comes of it will come and we will all survive.

It may be quite a while before he respects that it is not always appropriate to discuss certain things at certain times or with certain people.  I know my son quite well and know that general questions and answers lead to many more and much more specific questions and answers.  It is wonderful that he is so curious and I do want to encorage it, but forgive me if I don't quite feel comforable thinking of him talking to his friends at school about whatever he gets out of talks about vaginas, graveyards, religion and such.  I do still need to talk to my husband about his reluctance to have me say anything to the kids about anything that will possible be controversial. 

 


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#652 of 699 Old 04-18-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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I apologize if anything I wrote in my previous post came off as a personal attack. That was not my intent. However, I do feel that you initially framed your concern as having a problem with the fact that you were invited to your friend's son's First Communion because you aren't religious. With your most recent post, I'm understanding that the primary reason you are reluctant to attend the event is because you are really worried that your son will say something others may find offensive or embarassing. Completely understandable.

 

I suggest letting your friend  know that while you plan you plan to attend the celebration, you may need to leave if your son becomes "overstimulated." I'm sure she will understand. You really don't need to mention that you don't share her religious convictions, because it's kind of immaterial in this case.

 

If you aren't attending the ceremony itself, but the celebration that follows, then your son might not notice the religious component. It's also a safe bet that if your friend invited you, then she also invited other non-Catholic guests. Probably there will be other attendees who have not attended a First Communion, along with kids who will be full of questions.  IMO, it's also not really fair to your child to refrain from attending fun events because you're worried that he might say something embarassing. Remember, you son isn't the only kid out there without a strong mind-to-mouth filter. And he can't learn to control his compulsion to speak inappropriately if he doesn't have an opportunity to practice. If you hear him say something inappropriate, remind him that a party is not an appropriate place to use that language. I am not above telling my kids that if I hear that kind of language one more time, we're leaving. winky.gif

 

All-in-all, it sounds like the real problem is your son's penchant for choosing inappropriate conversational topics in public, not your athesim.You may want to post to one of the parenting boards in this forum to get advice from other moms with children whose "appropriate for conversation" filter maybe have a few big gaps. lol.gif


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#653 of 699 Old 07-25-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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Yay! I'm an atheist mom! I'd be interested in ramping this tribe back up!

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#654 of 699 Old 09-01-2012, 07:17 AM
 
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Hi, I'm new here. I'm an atheist mom and married to a Catholic.

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#655 of 699 Old 09-01-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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Hi Sara. I am curious how you both make that work? I am single right now but I feel like a relationship (especially a marriage) could only work if he was agnostic too. Is he just Catholic by practice and culture but he doesn't literal believe in the teachings and philosophies? That seems like it would still be a real challenge. I'd love to hear more about this. Welcome, by the way. :)

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#656 of 699 Old 09-01-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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Hi Sara. I am curious how you both make that work? I am single right now but I feel like a relationship (especially a marriage) could only work if he was agnostic too. Is he just Catholic by practice and culture but he doesn't literal believe in the teachings and philosophies? That seems like it would still be a real challenge. I'd love to hear more about this. Welcome, by the way. :)

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#657 of 699 Old 09-01-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Thanks for the welcome Soltera. He still goes to church with his parents every Sunday. I think he believes in god, but not necessarily all the Catholic teachings. And religion is not a big thing in his life. I think he wants to honor his parents more than anything. We do the rituals. We had a Catholic wedding, shortest version possible. Our daughter was baptized. I don't mind those things, I just view them as more ways of getting together with family.

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#658 of 699 Old 09-18-2012, 10:10 AM
 
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Thanks for your response, Sara. It's sounds like you are both pretty flexible and able to compromise (if only most marriages were like that!). Now I have another curiosity. How does he feel about your being agnostic? 

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#659 of 699 Old 02-04-2013, 08:30 PM
 
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Been reading a bit here and there on this thread, it's a good one! We are both atheists (DH and I). Our son spend a fair amount of time with the grandparents who are Christian, he has gone to church with them a few times. It's cute because he likes to pray before meals (the holding hands part he is in to!) so when we do that at their house he likes it. We've also heard him randomly give thanks at that time to "monstaw truck"... hehehe.... Luckily the ILs don't pressure us at all. The community here is rather "spiritual" but not religious so thankfully it's not a weird issue when we meet people.

 

Anyhow... DH finally got to go to an atheist meeting in town a couple weeks ago and met some other parents of young children including a SAHD or two (DH is a SAHD), that was so good because it's been a struggle to find a place to fit in and meet people here. I STILL have not found a crunchy Mama meet-up, etc.
 


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#660 of 699 Old 04-19-2013, 09:48 PM
 
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I've recently "deconverted". I'm a bit sad to seethere isn't much activity here. I just wanted to say hi if anyone reads this.
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