My mother wants to take my daughter to church every sunday. It makes her feel good and my daughter has fun in the Sunday School. But I feel like it's brainwashing child abuse. I also feel like if you are going to brainwash somebody that you would do it when they're very young, so am I allowing my daughter to be brainwashed by letting her go? I've stopped letting her go recently and it is upsetting my mother. But should I be forced to allow my daughter to do something just to make my mother feel more comfortable in her beliefs?
I agree with what most folks have said in this thread. You have implied your daughter is very young and her age would be a factor in that decision for me. My daughter is now 16. She was raised in an Atheist household, but I have always told her that she needs to do her own research on this and decide for herself what she believes. I want her to think critically. Sunday school-aged children are most definitely being brainwashed. I don't care about the moral lessons being taught. They come in the context of "God says you have to do this to be a good person so you'd better do it." And it is being presented by adults as fact. In this situation, children do not have the option to question or challenge. I hope this is helpful.
As a grandmother, the 1 thing I won't do is undermine the decisions made by my grandkids' parents (unlike my mother did to me). If mom & dad say no sweets, I make sure I understand what falls under the 'sweets' heading as in, "ok, no candy, pastry & such. What about natural sweets like fruit & smoothies"?
I always put the expected event past mom & dad first before I offer it to my grandkid. Its called respecting parental authority.
Even though I was agnostic at the time I made the mistake of letting my babysitter take my daughter to church. My thinking at the time was if it wasn't helpful it was at least harmless. I was wrong. It's not harmless, like the easter bunny that they outgrow, it fixes a picture of a being who is capable of knowing your every thought. And torturing people who doubt that in a fiery hell for all eternity. That's a lot to put on a small child. Any child for that matter.
In my opinion you are the parent so it should be up to you. I can offer my experience for what it's worth. I did nothing to stop my son from continuing to go to JW meetings and he hasn't spoken to me in nearly 20 years because of that decision on my part. I remarried with a Catholic lady and agreed to let her send our daughter to CCD but my daughter and I discussed what she was learning. She decided on her own to quit going and because it was her decision we had no problem with my wife. My wife has even become very secular. At the least I would certainly be discussing the things that are being discussed with my daughter and the problems with them. I assume you spend a lot more time with your daughter than you mother does and now is the time to teach your daughter how to think more than what to think. It's still, of course, your decision.
Young kids are not equipped to comprehend these big ideas.
My kid would mimic me and say he didn't believe in God. .. I told him that we could talk about belief vs nonbelief but he couldn't claim to not believe until he could tell me why in his own words.
Kept reminding him to focus on being a kid and let the big concepts come in their own time
My grandparents took me to church with them every Sunday from the time I was a toddler up through about age 12. It was a fundamentalist Christian church, so even pre-school Sunday school was fraught with fire and brimstone. Some of the stories were the stuff of nightmares for my little psyche, such as Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt for breaking a rule that wasn't even a wrongdoing. I think the whole experience did a number on my self esteem, even though my agnostic parents periodically reminded me that the stories were just stories and that I could believe or reject them as I wished. I was being told by the powers-that-be in church that even questioning anything I was told was a sin that could send me to hell. Maybe it depends on what flavor of religion your mother is inflicting on your child, but I would never subject my child to what I was put through. I know my indifferent parents had no idea what conflict it was creating inside my little head, and simply thought they were successfully bypassing a confrontation with my mother's parents by allowing them free reign over my theological upbringing. You owe it to your kid to protect her.
I have had a similar issue with my son. My wife is Christian so wanted to take our son to church. She took him to church and I tought him evolution as a species and the evolution of Christianity. He is now 11 and is now agnostic and leaning towards atheist. I use this tree a lot to show evolution of religion with a point of only one can be correct according to the majority of religions make sure you choose the right one.
Not knowing how old your daughter is and is of an age to make some of her own decisions, you are the parent and it’s your decision not grandparents. I never forbade my daughter from going to religious services with friends. Wanted her to be informed of others beliefs. We then had discussions about what she heard. She has made up her own mind.
Parenting is by definition nurturing and protecting. Your daughter has already been exposed to religious rituals. You didn't mention her age and the duration of those exposures. If she is past 'age of reason' and you have a close relationship with her, sensible discussions about such things can insulate her from indoctrination. In other words, they have their limited time with her and you have your greater time and closer relationship. Most religious notions and teachings can be neutralized by reasoning at home.
If the girl understands the way you see things and you can discuss it with her in free flowing exchanges of ideas, I can't see any harm in the 'fun' she has with grandma. She'll probably out-grow the church/religious aspect of it. Making it into a taboo if she enjoys it, depending on her age, might make it more attractive even if it is fantasy.
Very sound perspective from many. Definitely don’t allow your daughter to believe that: “if you do this , or don’t do that “ god will punish you, one of the worst things that can be put into anyone’s thoughts. I would probably ween her out of that , but also teach to respect others and their way ,but walk your own path.
I recommend your decision be based on what your gut is telling you. For me, I consented to my ex raising our kids in the Catholic Church since I knew the kids would ultimately decide for themselves at some point. Both of my (now adult) kids are not religious and do not feel they were led astray. I would only be concerned if your mother's Church were fanatically conservative evangelical. That is where I draw the line. While all Churches are distasteful to me, most other non-Bible-thumping ones are sufficiently benign that if your daughter enjoys Sunday School there will be no damage to her. She will see your refusal to attend and learn of your beliefs. At the same time, there will be no mysterious mystique associated with religion. No forbidden fruit.
You are right is brainwashing and you should protect your kid from it, it's your reresponsability . Offer other things to your mother, they can go the park every Saturday evening or something like that. And you also should ask your mother not to teach your kid her believes .
Nope. It's your child. Your mother should find another way to bond and spend time with her grandchild.
Don't you let her guilt you into brainwashing your own child.
You're doing absolutely nothing wrong in preventing your kid from being saddled with the mental strain and suffering that comes with religion.
Suggest alternative activities for your mother and child, but be wary. The religious have very little if any respect for other people's beliefs, lack thereof, or opinions. She may sneak that shit in.
The mental health, care, and welfare of your daughter completely eclipses your mother's hurt feelings. And your position as the actual parent should be respected and final. And yes, religion is brainwashing and is exposing your child to the cruelty of learning that her own mind and intellect is not to be trusted and that what is not true, is to be believed as truth. Horrible.
She is your child. You, not your mother, decides how to raise her. If you don't feel comfortable having your daughter go to church with your mom, then recommend other activities they can do together. When you feel like your daughter is old enough, she can decide if she wants to go to church.