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Parents! How do you deal with grandparents who try to influence your children with religion?

Fresh on the heels of Christmas I'm asking you how you personally settle differences within your family regarding what you do or do not teach your children where religion and spirituality are concerned. This is not a right or wrong kind of question and please save any advice for me or others who answer. I'm asking for your subjective experience, not help.

macrobius 6 Dec 26

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It was never an issue. He was taught that religion is an opinion and to form his own. To this day I honestly don't know what my son's actual religious beliefs are. He would most likely refer to himself as Christian but he doesn't attend church ever.


Most things children experience is brought out into the open. If you have allowed them to freely express themselves, they will reveal things that grandparents and even strangers say or do to them. At least most of the time. That is when to confidently explain your position and even find out what the child thinks? We never want a child to feel powerless, even if we want to stir them in another direction. Grandparents ...even the ignorant and the religious ones, love their grandchildren. And it is work, staying vigilant under these circumstances, but it is less stressful than being in a 'battle,' to correct the grandparents, if you keep any kind of relationship with them. However, if there is physical or verbal abuse, that requires another set of rules (not covered here). Children do seem to (on the whole), know what is good and what is not good. And, it has been my experience, if you have provided children a loving and secure place to grow in...even the errored ways of a grandparent, does little damadge. Children can be taught to trust their feelings about what is 'bad' or what is untrue and avoid them or to tell someone. Children are resilient, but less stress does allow them to grow (brain and nervous system) without so much anxiety (about relationships)! And, my last thought would be to try and schedule fun things when visiting with grandparents, not much harm can attach itself to any of us, when we are having fun!


We put my mother in a nursing home, let her annoy the staff and other residents.


I recently shared an experience I had with my great-nephew, who is 9. I'm an atheist, his parents know that. They're also fairly agnostic. However, they are allowing him to believe in the christian god, and he's in Scouts, so they push that dogma as well. I tread a very fine line with this. I am with him every day after school until they get home. He made a disparaging remark about people who don't follow the 10 Commandments, and I CAREFULLY explained that not everyone believes the same way. It doesn't make them bad or wrong to hold different beliefs, just different. When he gets older, and when he asks me, I'll tell him my positions on all of it. Until then, I defer to his parents to choose how they raise him, and his siblings. Not my kid, not my call. Although, I can show him that the wider world contains more than just what he "knows" from his limited vantage point. I realize that the point of your question is the opposite of what I described, but that pendulum swings both ways. If your parents are ignoring what you want your children to know, and not know, they are disrespecting you, as their child and as a parent. You have the right to speak to them about it and make your position clear. Sometimes a hard line must be taken if you're serious about what people and ideas you're willing to allow to influence your children. Many believers force the issue with their adult children and have no respect for boundaries.


I began to butt heads with the 'rents when I refused baptism of my son. Now I'm shunned by these abusive manipulators and I'm free to craft meaningful, judgement free relationships.

So, the moral of my story:
Intellectual freedom from dogma and an abusive religion lead me to emotional emancipation from family dogma and abuse.


I don't take the kids over as much tbh but when I do I don't argue or try to prevent my mom from talking religion. We live in the south the kids will be exposed to it. in fact when they are older I plan to teach them about other religions I feel like it's important to understand different views and beliefs.


I don't think you can ever go wrong by teaching your children tolerance. It doesn't mean they have to participate in anything that might be objectionable, but they should understand completely that most others don't have the same opinion of the afterlife as they may have. Tolerance is always the best way to go, we can all survive in this world without disrespecting each other. Teach your children that your beliefs are not as popular as others. Prepare them to stand steady on their beliefs but be tolerant of others. You're never going to get the world to agree with you about religion, and we all still have to live together!


I raised all my kids as critical thinkers but also to be respectful of others beliefs. My son’s Grandpa on my ex’s side was a devout Catholic who loved to talk Jesus with my son. I explained his Poppy’s belief system and why I didn’t subscribe to it. Constant communication after each visit with his Poppy was key.


I have no small children. My granddaughter is Catholic. I don't say anything to her. I don't know how to tell you this in an easy way so, I would let it go. Kids have enough problems then to get beat up at school for not beleaving. It's a harsh world out there for kids. A bully around every corner just waiting to find a reason to pick on a child. If you have a teenager then thats different. Teach them to listen and say ok and then walk away and let it go.


I stone them.

godef Level 7 Dec 26, 2017

Ha Ha ! Good one


Considering my grown daughters only have one 90 yr old grandmother its not really an issue-she lives in Florida and they keep their wicca beliefs and atheism to themselves.


All my family is religious, I have simply taught my kids to tune it out when with them and I make sure we are having solid discussions at home about why religion doesn't make any sense.


Exactly as my mother did with an aunt -the only believer in the family. She was told to mind her own business or to get the he...l out of our lives. BTW, she was told "this sentence" the first time she attempted to convert us.


They know better than to attempt to indoctrinate my five-year-old son in front of me. When he's old enough, he can decide for himself.


they never have and never would

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