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Discussion Starter #1
So, I found out today that my dd1 (10 yo in two weeks) went to church with her bf's family on Sunday. They asked my dd's dad and he said yes, but it's not his decision to make (legally), it's mine. Anyway, I find the mere invitation to be offensive, since we're not religious and it's not their place to expose my dd to religion.<br><br>
Anyway, this was just the final debacle in a series of baaaaad decisions on their part. OK, the pc term would be "decisions that are really different from mine" including taking my dd on motorcycle rides, letting her sleep in their family bed (with dad there) and double-buckling in their car (I still have her in a booster in mine, since our legal weight limit is 60 lbs and she's not there yet). I've set limits on all of this stuff, buy only AFTER I found out and they continue to make these kinds of decisions. There are other examples of things they do, like leave their kids home unsupervised (9, 7 and 5 yo), but of course, they would NEVER leave dd there with their kids unsupervised. Stuff that makes me question their ability to make sound decisions.<br><br>
So, tonight I told my X that I didn't want dd going to their house anymore and I talked to the mom and she was SUPER defensive and very mean.<br><br>
Now, let me add that this girl (oldest of three girls) is my dd's one and only real friend. They've known each other for four years and they are tight. I'm not crazy about her, but my dd loves, loves, loves her. However, we recently moved and my dd is starting a new school, so they won't be in school together and, hopefully, dd will be making some new friends.<br><br>
I know I'm doing the right thing and I know that I'm entitled to make these decisions since I'm the parent, but I feel bad because the mom told me that she wouldn't let her dd come to my house anymore. Anyone BTDT?
 

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While not all my parenting ideas echo yours, on the religion issue I agree. I find it very offensive that certain religions try to convert, ESPECIALLY children / teens. It's just disrespectful to the other families beliefs & ideals.<br><br>
It is sad that your dd's friends family is so narrow minded, perhaps you can explain this to her, but at least pretend that your disapointed. And yes your dd will make new friends.<br><br>
Your X & his partner just have different parenting values, that doesn't make it right or wrong, of course the Mom was defensive, basically you would have been saying that she was a bad parent (even if not in so many words).<br><br>
Try to look at the different parenting styles as akin to your dd going to her bf's church. You can't push your values on your dh, that's the same as trying to convert him isn't it? If you look at it that way it may make things go easier My oldest has a different father then my other children & he & I have joint custody. It's not easy but it became easier when we stopped saying "my way is right, yours is wrong" Although some larger issues are worth the fight.
 

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You're more upset that your daughter went to church than being taken on motorcycle rides and sleeping in their bed and double-buckling?
 

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Huh. My daughter's been invited to join friends for services at any number of different denominations/faiths. It never occured to me to be offended. I personally feel it's a really good thing for kids to be exposed to many different ways of believing.<br><br>
And certainly not half as upsetting as some of the other issues you raised.
 

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My Hubby, my son and I are Protestant and my stepdaughter is Catholic. We have many friends of other faiths and, although we have not gone to any of their churchs, we have let our children participate in different Faith's activities. We have lots of Jewish friends and a few Muslim friends and even a Buddhist friend. We let them participate as they feel comfortable, but we make sure they know what <b>WE</b> believe in and that we do need to respect other faiths even if we don't agree with them. That doesn't mean they have to participate if they don't want to, and that doesn't mean they have to agree with other Faiths, but they can't tell someone that that person is wrong to believe in what they believe in. I guess what I'm saying is, just because your child is exposed to something other than your Faith, it doesn't mean it's gonna hurt them or turn them against your Faith. If you play your cards right, it could be a valuable learning experience for your child.
 

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Lots of big issues here, and I don't know where to begin.<br><br>
I know my atheist, heathen kids would absolutely freak out if they were told they could never again attend a Purim event.<br><br>
We've been to various relgions events and I think it's kinda cool.<br><br>
Doube buckling is life-threatening, however, and I would have put the kibosh on all of it as soon as I found out my 9 yr old was sleeping in bed with a man not her father.<br><br>
But well, that's just me.
 

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I don't think a simple invitation to join them in a place of worship is offensive. It's not that hard to say no, nicely.<br><br>
It's your decision to not let your dd play at her friends house but you can also do that in a tactful way. It's not surprising that the mom would become defensive if you said you wouldn't allow your child at their house anymore. Instead of outright telling her that, I would have chosen to deal with the situation as it came up. When she asked to go I'd say no, not today but your friend can come here.
 

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The safety issues would bother me a lot and be a problem for sure, but I have trouble thinking I'd be upset about church. I attended plenty of various services as a kid, with my friends families. It had nearly nothing to do with converting me, and everything to do with including me in their family life. Basically, if they were going to add a child for a night or weekend or something, they were not going to refrain from their regular activities just because I didn't happen to be a member of their congregation.<br><br>
I know I wouldn't go out of my way to attend a service for a visiting child, so I can't think why another family should skip it.<br><br>
I guess the thing is I can definitely see from other issues why you wouldn't be comfortable leaving your child unattended with them, but have trouble understanding the idea that a religious service was so offensive it was the deciding factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all your replies. I didn't intend for this to become a discussion about letting our children attend church with others, but I appreciate that input too.<br><br><i>but have trouble understanding the idea that a religious service was so offensive it was the deciding factor.</i> Mostly because I'm an atheist and if my dd does attend religious services (which is fine when she's older and can understand what's being said) it will be with ME. My parenting plan states that I have these rights and I'm angry because they knew that. I can't imagine inviting someone else's child to church when people are (rightfully) sensitive about this issue.<br><br>
The other stuff has led to discussions over the years and lots of boundary setting, but I've just become tired of addressing things AFTER they happen. I feel that this recent event is just another example of them not thinking before acting.
 

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Yeah, it definitely sounds like boundaries are being crossed that really, seem so obvious they shouldn't *need* to be cleared.<br><br>
I was cut off from certain children and families when I was younger for other reasons and if it helps you to know, I don't resent that now at all. Hopefully the new school will help your daughter make new friends <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Moving away will make it much easier to distance yourselves anyway.
 

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I think you should be careful, because these people don't seem to feel the need to be respectful to your parenting decisions. The family bed thing and double buckling would bug me, but not the church thing, but I am divorced and think while you can set limits you should, once your child is a teen and your ex and this family are in cahoots, they could be letting your dd boyfriend and her cosleep at their house etc.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ktmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8905971"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><i>but have trouble understanding the idea that a religious service was so offensive it was the deciding factor.</i> Mostly because I'm an atheist and if my dd does attend religious services (which is fine when she's older and can understand what's being said) it will be with ME. My parenting plan states that I have these rights and I'm angry because they knew that. I can't imagine inviting someone else's child to church when people are (rightfully) sensitive about this issue.</div>
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Do I have it right that your DD in question is 10? At that age, I would leave the decision whether to attend a religious service up to her, a 10 year old should be able to understand what's being said.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My parenting plan states that I have these rights and I'm angry because they knew that.</td>
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What is your parenting plan? I don't mean what does it include. I mean is this something you have written down or something you give to anyone that comes in contact with your child? Just trying to understand.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>choli</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8906536"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do I have it right that your DD in question is 10? At that age, I would leave the decision whether to attend a religious service up to her, a 10 year old should be able to understand what's being said.</div>
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good point. This is the preteen and teen forum, so I'd expect any kid we are discussing here to be able to understand barring some sort of medical issue ect.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Arduinna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8905031"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's your decision to not let your dd play at her friends house but you can also do that in a tactful way. It's not surprising that the mom would become defensive if you said you wouldn't allow your child at their house anymore. Instead of outright telling her that, I would have chosen to deal with the situation as it came up. When she asked to go I'd say no, not today but your friend can come here.</div>
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We took this approach w/ DS1's best friend. BF's father is never allowed to have my son unsupervised after he took the two then 8 yo boys to the beach and left them at the water while he stayed in the parking lot and got drunk. Anywho, when an invite comes up I just ask the boy "who is taking you?" and if its the gma, ok...if its the dad then "no, sorry, we are busy today." I also value the friendship DS and the boy have and allow him to come over here quite often.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ktmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8905971"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My parenting plan states that I have these rights</div>
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I'd be interested in EXACTLY what your parenting plan states. It is quite unusual for a court to involve itself in ANY way in either parents' religious choices. And most do not go along with allowing one parent to control the other parent's choices during their parenting time.
 

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This brings up to me issues that occur as my dd,now 14 gets older. I have definitly had issues with parenting choices way different than me and it is a thin line for me how tolerant to be. The older she gets, the less I am there. This is till not the easiest transiton for me. Just this week, she has been with three different kids or groups of kids. I try to be open yet clear about my vlaues mostly from my actions and choices. I find in stayin very close to my daiughter,she ends up making choices,at times pretty close to mine. Sometimes not though. I choose my battles and try to build bridges. By doing this,my daughter has been exposed to so many differnt people, places,etc. than I ever was unitl I was well into my twernties.<br>
The big issue currently lies around the transion to academics/volleyball. This takes a lot of focus and discipline but also important to have some time to have fun and be a teen.<br>
I try to stay out of fear but keep my eyes open. Yes, there is a family that I will not let her be around much becasue of expereinces. I don't immediatly come to conclusions. I watch and observe. Mostly though I try to keep the focus on my very active daughter's needs. No one will care and parent her the way I do .<br>
I came close to putting a block on myh phone for this particular teen,but I have decided to just keep channeling my daughter's energy into positve ways and keeping the limits with this particular interaction-this girl will sometimes call 8 times a day. I turn the ringer off and limit my daughter to talking to her like 5 minutes and seeing her very cooasionaly and encouraging a variety of connections. Sallie
 

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WEll I think some of the other issues need to be resolved, IMHO you are way over overreacting on the church thing. When I was 10 we always went to church and when we had friends over we invited them to come along. Why would we want them to leave when we could spend more time with them? We were never trying to convert them.<br>
Not to sound harsh but it always bothers me when parents say they are going to control which religion (or lack of) their children are going to follow. Even as young as 10 but especially as she becomes a teen- isn't the choice hers? I can't see any logical reason why she could not go to church with a friend if she chooses (and without you.). JMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
To answer some questions here:<br><br>
My parenting plan states that I have "sole religious, educational and medical decision making".<br><br>
In terms of religion (again), I guess I do want to control it, to the extent that any good parent controls what their kids eat, watch on TV, etc...I just want to be involved. I pushed for the above rights for a reason. That being my dd's dad's extreme thoughts and actions and inability to make sound decisions.<br><br>
In the past I have always taken a more "monitoring" and "wait and see" position when it comes to this friendship. I have encouraged other friendships and close family relationships. Unfortunately, my dd's dad has not and has overly depended on this family for (free) childcare so he can work and have overnight dates during his parenting time. That is how she became so ingrained into this family and he has not responded positively to my previous concerns about their behavior and my requests for her to spend less time there.
 

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I personally think you are setting yourself up for a rebellion from your daughter.<br><br>
I'm about as atheist as you can get and my kids have been in and out of churches their whole lives. With their dad, grandparents, friends, etc. And though they flirted with belief as pre-teens, now as teens they all self-identify as atheist.<br><br>
kids HAVE to come to some of these conclusions themselves, without all their exposure being limited to "mom approved."<br><br>
What you've done, re: the religious issue isn't ANY different than what some fundie families do to limit their children's access to secular ideas.<br><br>
Now, the other stuff is whacked. No way would I be ok with my daughter spending the night in the bed of a grown man that is not her father. NO WAY.
 
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