To not want to see or speak to my Dad again?

(88 Posts)
WonderBarbara Fri 26-Jul-13 19:06:19

Once again, as per usual, a visit to my parents house has ended up in a huge row, my kids upset and me fuming beyond belief.
All had been going ok until lunchtime, when my complete insensitive cock of a dad, served up sausage and mash, to my Dcs, with complete knowledge that they do not eat pork, since DH is Muslim and we are bringing our children up (loosely) in the faith. Naturally this pissed me off, but I just took the sausages from their plate and calmly reminded my parents they don't eat pork. My Dad then started going on that there was nothing else and he wasn't going to cook them anything else. I said, that's absolutely fine, it won't do them any harm to have just mash and beans, they don't need meat. Dad went on that mash and beans wasn't a proper meal and they needed a meat. I told him that was rubbish, and they would be fine.
Cue then the age old arguement that practically ensues every time we go around (and the reason why we don't visit very often) right in front of the Dcs. Of course I can't write all down here, but to summarise, dad trumped his favourite line about how it's not fair that they can't eat pork because of DH, and it's not fair that we haven't let them choose for themselves, and that my dc are deprived of a normal life because I am letting DH rule over us and its not fair that "his side" always gets priority.
I told him that when the do are old enough to choses for themselves then that's fine, but for now out of respect to DH we are a pork free family and I would appreciate if he did not speak that way in front of the Dcs, while they were eating.
Dad then took some sausage and said to dd1 (7) "you want to try some don't you, you want to see whats it like?" To which dd replied no. He then started having a go at dd1 saying do you know why you can't eat it? You don't even understand why you can't eat normally do you? it's just sausage silly girl it won't kill you. Just taste it" and tried to force it to her mouth. She looked petrified.
At this point I lost it. i said to my mum are you gonna let him torment my daughter like that? As per usual my mum said she wasn't getting involved (she never does) and I told my Dad to get the hell away from my Dcs. He went on about the dc have to Learn when in Rome to live like the Romans and at our house they will eat what they are given. I told him that won't be a problem because we won't be back. We then left. When I got in the car, dd1 told me that when I was looking for ds's shoes, my Dad had given dd2(2) some of the sausage in her mouth.

I actually feel sick, i want to just burst into tears but I hate the DC seeing me upset. Me and Dad have never had a great relationship tbh since my teens. he has never really supported my marriage, always makes a huge effort with and clearly favours my Dsis's DH, and always makes snide comments about our parenting. He spent the first two years of DD1s life calling her by her middle name because he couldn't accept that we had given her an Arabic first name.

The only good thing I can say about him is that he is usually very good to my DCs, and he was good to us when we were young.

Anyway, I now have just been comforting DD1, who was went into her bedroom and cried as soon as we got in because "we are never going to see gran and grampy again", and she has asked me why we are always arguing, I don't know how to explain it to her.

I know it's probably extreme to ban the Dcs from seeing their grandparents, but I actually can't face speaking to my Dad again, until he gives a damn good apology, but I have never heard him apologise in his life.

So, for those of you who have had the perseverance to read to the end, AIBU?

Allthingspretty Fri 26-Jul-13 19:10:45

It just seems that your dad is struggling to understand that yoy have grown up and make your own decisions. YNBU to expect him to respect your choices OP.

petuniapickletits Fri 26-Jul-13 19:11:27

He forced pork into her mouth when you left the room?

yanbu- I'd be livid too.

DrSeuss Fri 26-Jul-13 19:13:57

I would limit contact. Tell them you will entertain them in your home, on your terms. You are not in the wrong, they are. Calmly hand them their bat and ball and invite them to take them home.

Twirlyhot Fri 26-Jul-13 19:16:34

He sounds like an arse. He chose to start this by deliberately cooking what he knew they couldn't eat, then wouldn't accept it when you removed the food and said they'd be fine with the rest and force fed your child something you specifically told him not to.

I wouldn't be seeing him for a long time.

harrietspy Fri 26-Jul-13 19:16:50


His behaviour is appalling. I don't blame you for not wanting to see him again. I echo what DrSeuss says - he can see the dc in your home, on your terms.

Firstly, YANBU at all! Read it, and let it sink in. YANBU!
In your shoes, I would refuse to take my DCs to my parents house and only allow them to visit at your house. (If you are happy with that arrangement)
Next i would ONLY serve vegetarian food when your DPs come, after "when you are in Rome...." wink

Just to repeat - YANBU!

There is no way I would take the children back there until he has apologised, and shown clearly that he respects you and your beliefs. His behaviour was abominable and abusive.

When I have guests in my house, my aim is to make them comfortable and to ensure they have a good time. My dmum has a tiny appetite, whilst we have quite big appetites. Under your dad's 'when in Rome' guidelines, I should stand over her and force feed her until she has eaten as much as we do - but that would be rude and unkind of me, so I restrain myself because I am not a knob.

BendyBusBuggy Fri 26-Jul-13 19:18:42

He has to respect your choices, they are your children not his. How does your DH deal with this? It must be very hard for him

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 26-Jul-13 19:25:09

Yanbu your dad has behaved very badly and you mother has colluded with him.

MagicHouse Fri 26-Jul-13 19:25:20

I think it's really difficult, because your children obviously want to see you parents. But ultimately he is blatantly showing you and your dh no respect whatsoever, in front of your children. The way he is talking about your dh's/ your family's culture is offensive and the way he treated your children with the meal was unacceptable. So I would be waiting for that apology too. I would play it down with your children and say that he was rude at the mealtime, so you're not seeing him for a while.
Have you ever sat down and talked this through with your dad? Has he heard it from you clearly that you want him to stop disrespecting the muslim faith in front of your children, and that if he has anything to say they should never be brought into it, especially in the disgusting way he did it, over the meal time?

RussianBlu Fri 26-Jul-13 19:26:36

Your dad cant bear that fact that you aren't doing things his way, the English way, the right way. You've gone all foreign on him and now your children are being brought up like foreigners instead of like they should be, the English way. I'm sad for you. Some people cant accept that we don't all live the same way. I would also be tempted to limit contact, at least for some time due to all the stress being caused. Such a shame.

AnneNonimous Fri 26-Jul-13 19:27:15

YANBU at all.

That is an awful way to behave towards anybody let alone a child. Was he unhappy about you marrying a Muslim?

I'd say (if you want to maintain contact at all) definitely only see him at yours and on your terms if he can behave.

Hope your dc are ok

NatashaBee Fri 26-Jul-13 19:28:16

YANBU. I wouldn't be going anywhere near them until he'd apologized. If your children are really upset about no contact then I guess I would let them phone or Skype, with a pre-warning to your dad that if he discusses anything inappropriate the call will end.

Hissy Fri 26-Jul-13 19:36:25

I'd not see him again.

Don't see him until he apologises.

My crappy parents respected the fact that DS and I didn't eat pork for thé same reason. Beef sausages are tastier tbh, and my mum used to buy them.

This is about your DF, his bigotry and lack of respect, contempt actually, for you.

Don't expose those you love to him. Not until he learns to treat you properly.

His choice.

yegodsandlittlefishes Fri 26-Jul-13 19:55:06

YANBU, he is totally out of order in general terms regarding his attitude to Muslim people, but to treat you like that too, to disregard your life choices, and to set up and plan a situation like that is disgusting, You are rightfully angry.

It's ironic that your dad accuses you of 'letting DH rule over' you and then he goes on to try to force feed your DC, he can't see that one is right (your own choice) and one is wrong (his forcing his will on someone else). Perhaps your Mum can help him see things differently.

I doubt if you would get an apology out of him, but I would not meet up for a meal time at their's again.

Speaking from experience though, no matter how you try to cut a parent out of your life, they are still in your head, and your children grow up wondering 'why'....So I'd back off from seeing them for a few weeks, but think about meeting up on neutral territory, where food isn't involved. Maybe a walk or trip to a big park or a traditional English pastime that grandparents enjoy with their grandchildren - feeding the ducks?

Then later on, if you are able to, invite them around (after Eid, obviously) and have the sort of heated up, ready-made 'English' food that you all can eat in common, to demonstrate that he doesn't have to go out of his way at mealtimes and there was no need to make a family occasion into such a conflict.

MammaTJ Fri 26-Jul-13 20:00:55

YANBU!! I would go mad. It is worse than 'Hamwidgegate'.

I do not have any things I don't allow my DC to eat but I am damn sure if anyone was visiting I would stick to their rules. Vegetarians get meat free, people who do not eat pork do not get pork!

As for your DC not having the choice, well, them's the breaks. Children do have to follow their parents rules until they gain autonomy. When they are out and about with friends as teens they may or may not make different decisions. That is their choice. It is not for your Dad to force his decisions on them. Him forcing them to eat pork (or trying to) is worse than you not allowing it.

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Fri 26-Jul-13 20:05:16

Im horrified for you. How awful. You are 10000000% NBU!

SirBoobAlot Fri 26-Jul-13 20:05:30

Jesus what a complete prick angry

No, YANBU. AT all.

Trifle Fri 26-Jul-13 20:07:55

But they're not your beliefs though are they.

If your husband was a vegetarian would you all refuse to eat meat 'out of respect'.

You say you are bringing them up 'loosely' in the Muslim faith. It must be extremely confusing for everyone if you say allow them haribo sweets but not pork sausages. Do you/will they wear a burka, read the koran, be withdrawn from nativity plays etc or is that acceptable under you being 'loosely' Muslim.

I'm not surprised your dad is confused and from the sound of it your mum doesn't particularly support your decision either.

FacebookWanker Fri 26-Jul-13 20:10:43

I don't think it matters how confused your dad is/isn't. He just needs to respect your wishes.

inkonapin Fri 26-Jul-13 20:21:56

Not every Muslim wears a burka, you know, Trifle confused and where do Haribo sweets come into it? Is saying "we don't eat pork" really so confusing?

Neitheronethingortheother Fri 26-Jul-13 20:23:36

Wow that is terrible. Myself and dh converted to a very different faith to the one we were raised in and all my family accept that we don't drink tea or coffee and would never offer never mind force it on them. I think what your dad did was shocking. He obviously thinks his way is the only way. What does your dh think? Does your dad have any reason to be anti your religion or anti your dh or is it just ignorance and prejudice?

DanceLikeJohnTravoltaNow Fri 26-Jul-13 20:26:54

It sounds like your dad wants you to dance to his tune instead of your husband 'ruling over you' as he says, but he doesn't see how hypocritical he's being.

YANBU to cool off your visits for a while and see if he apologises.

ANormalOne Fri 26-Jul-13 20:29:53

Trifle I'm pretty sure OP didn't post this so you could have a go about her and her husband's choices on how to raise their children, it's not about that.

It doesn't matter if she raised them to be vegetarian, pescetarian or rastafarian, he should respect her choices, regardless of whether he agrees with them or not.

MumnGran Fri 26-Jul-13 20:40:50

What a lousy day for you OP
It's hard when family make life so difficult, and use children as vehicles for their issues.

I can understand that you don't want to see him, and I suspect that a break would be a very smart move for a while.
That said - I think you rather neatly put your solution in place already, and drew a firm line in the sand, when you responded to your father's "when in my house" comments by saying that you would not be back! You should stick to that.

This doesn't mean no contact. It means if they want to see you, then they visit you at your home. Your house - your rules.
If he crosses THAT line too....well then you can face whether you actually want someone who is totally uncaring of your feelings, to remain in your life.

I hope your DH is supportive.

raisah Fri 26-Jul-13 20:41:41

There was a thread on here a while ago about the health risk associated with pork. Can you explain to him why muslims do not eat pork? That there is a higher risk of thread worms etc and that the Jewish community don't eat it for the same reason. Pigs are not selective eaters and have in the past been fed rubbish which is why it's not regarded as a clean animal to eat.

I think the pork issue is a small part of a bigger issue of him not accepting you being married to a muslim. In this political climate, it's not easy being a muslim and it can't be easy for you choosing to be married to
one. Unfortunately his bigotry is clouding his judgement and he is becoming physically abusive by trying to force a pork sausage in your dc mouth. Appeal to his status as a father, ask him what he would have done if someone forced you ( as a child) to eat something. He is being vile and risks alienating hia daughter over a pork sausage, ask him if that is what he wants.

Pozzled Fri 26-Jul-13 20:44:55

I would do as others have suggested- don't see your parents at all for a while, and when you are ready to see them again, make sure it is on your terms. Invite them to your home or meet on neutral ground where food is not an issue.

IMO it doesn't matter what the food is or why you don't want your DCs to have it. If you didn't want to give them chocolate and your dad acted in the same way- questioning your decisions in front of the DCs, upsetting them and going behind your back to give a 2 year-old something they weren't allowed- it would be just as bad.

motherinferior Fri 26-Jul-13 20:45:56

He's a racist bigot. YANBU.

AnnabelleLee Fri 26-Jul-13 20:46:23

Its not actually that confusing is it? "we don't eat pork" how confused can you be? hmm

WonderBarbara Fri 26-Jul-13 22:59:07

Hello again,

feeling a lot better after reading your posts, thanks. Poor DH, he came in from work, asked "How did it go today?" and that was it, I let it all out. He is wonderful, he knows my Dad isn't a fan of him at all but he still got me to see some reason and sense, as did you all on here. We have been thinking this eve, that it would be best to take a break from my parents for the summer, and then for DH and me to talk to my parents, without the DCs present, as there are some things I really need to get off my chest, about how I feel he completely disrespects and criticises, me, DH and our choices and how it is negatively affecting our children and I really to say something to my Mum as well about how she never sticks up for me. No more pad footing around this time. If we are able to have that discussion civilly without blowing over again, then we are going to only have them at our house, where there is nothing Dad can give them that they can't eat, and no alcohol to make my dad even more of a bigoted bullying arsehole than he already is If he can't agree to ever respect our way of life...well, we haven't decided that yet

Trifle, when I say we are loosely bringing the children up Muslim, I mean do not wear a burkha, we do not tell the children to pray, but do not stop them if they see DH praying and want to pray too, and we do not attend mosque as a family (DH goes sometimes, and we have decided that when children are older he will invite them along, for them to accept or decline as they wish), pork and alcohol are a no-no and I cover my legs when we go out, but I have chosen to do that, DH did not force anything upon me. I didn't mean to incite confusion, its just how I explain how we do things. I know we are not very religious, but we want the dc to be able to choose for themselves when they are older.

As for my marriage, no, dad has never supported it, we waited a year and a half after getting engaged to even plan the wedding because Dad didn't agree to it but DH was such a gentleman he didn't want to go ahead without Dad's blessing. In the end he did accept it, he gave me away, but he refused to give a speech, so my brother gave one instead. Funny enough until I was about 13, I was a daddy's girl, and no, if anyone had ever force-fed me something I didn't want as a child he would have flipped, so yes, he is a big fat hypocrite.

Anyhow, its been a killer of a day, so good night all, and thanks again for assuring me that I was not BU.

GingerBlondecat Sat 27-Jul-13 02:28:03

((((((((((((((((Soft warm Hugs)))))))))))))) OP and family.

It is hard when your family do not accept your new life and Love.

EatYourCrusts Sat 27-Jul-13 03:22:11

It sounds awful. sad

Do you think he could have possibly genuinely forgot then felt like you thought he had done it on purpose and so he went on the attack? That's still totally wrong of him but maybe easier to understand than him engineering the huge row.

I think you were right to leave and stick up for yourself, but my brother's DC will never see my parents again, after an argument that was their fault I agree. I don't think DB was wrong, but his girls always ask me about my parents and I know they are sad and miss them in their lives. So having that as my background I feel in my heart that making an effort would be best, on your terms, even though my head says that perhaps your dad has already gone too far.

Sorry for the essay!

So sorry your Dad is being disrespectful of the choices you and your Dh have made for your family. It's not like you are asking him to follow these dietary restrictions, you just need him to not give the kids anything that isn't allowed. Your choice.
Your Dh sounds lovely, waiting to marry and being by your side to try and resolve this with your parents.
The way your Mum doesn't say anything or stick up for you and the kids, sounds like he's a bully, she's used to just falling in line.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Jul-13 07:22:21

i said to my mum are you gonna let him torment my daughter like that?

Why would you do that? defer to your mother about your own child? that is the one line that stood out for me in this. You still see yourself as a child rather than a grown woman., which is probably because your father is a bit full on.

We can only give advice based on our own personalities, you seem a bit demure and compliant, where as I would have taken the sausage and shoved it up your fathers rectum.

Wow, YANBU at all. What awful behaviour from your dad.

Moetlovermuvver Sat 27-Jul-13 08:03:04

inkonapin Haribo sweets are made with gelatin and most gelatin is derived from pork. They do do a couple of sweets that don't have gelatin but they are not easy to find as most supermarkets don't stock them (round my way anyway). Hth.

RoxyFox211 Sat 27-Jul-13 08:19:53

Yanbu. He was plainly trying to start a fight but serving up something he knows you/they can't eat. He needs to suck it up, it's not up to him how you live, what you eat and the names of your children. I hope he comes to apologise because it would be tragic to not see him again, however I don't see how you can be in contact if he's going to be like that.

Numptywallice Sat 27-Jul-13 09:40:20

That's horrible. I would never see him again and explain To kids that its down to a lack of respect. My mum would be welcome in my home but then it's down to her to make effort. My friend is bring up her children in the same way so you are not alone. The way she explains it is when the kids are older they have a right to choose either way. When they come to my house i respect this and make sure I serve food with no pork in. It's really not a problem to cook for them!!

SamHamwidge Sat 27-Jul-13 09:46:50

Fuming on your behalf! I think you were pretty restrained.

If you do keep in contact don't give him any opportunity to impose his beliefs. I.e. Bring own food, don't visit at mealtime etc.

Hissy Sat 27-Jul-13 09:54:55

Gelatin is halal. Pork is not.
Grapes are halal, wine is haram, vinegar is halal.

Many Muslims get hung up on the source, but when something changes it's form, it's 'safe'

There are some that insist on gelatina being haram, but seriously, they are wrong.

The whole pork avoidance thing comes from hygiene, tapeworm and the fact that it's hard to keep fresh in a hot country (where islam came from) Jews don't do Seafood either, for similar reasons.

DS and I are now on our own, we eat what we like. I had the chat with him about pork, and said that the decision to eat it or not was up to him.

Prior to this, DS was also brought up loosely within Islamic boundaries. And yes, mostly out of respect for his father.

It doesn't do a child any harm at all to understand cultural/religious differences, so let's not be slating a family's totally rational choices? Not like the DC are being deprived, are they? Far from it! They get 2 lots of celebrations! Just without the sausages and alcohol! :D

thispunderfullife Sat 27-Jul-13 09:56:42

I really feel for you. I went through similar with my mum, who pushed it so far that I refused to see or speak to her, and I was as good as my word for 6 months. She wouldn't apologised but I let that go, she never has, but she got time to think about why I wouldn't see her and she was devastated not to see me dh and dgs. She has respected my life choices since. Good luck I know it's hurts but try try try to remember it's all about his issues and insecurities, it's not your fault. You sound sorted op... Don't let him drag you down. [Flowers]

motherinferior Sat 27-Jul-13 09:58:56

It isn't just haram because of cleanliness - it's also because pigs have cloven hooves but don't chew the cud; similarly shellfish have scales but no fins.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Sat 27-Jul-13 10:10:47

but if you bring them up very loosely as you describe why can't they have pork only at granny's house? why is only pork such a total black and white issue for you?

StillSeekingSpike Sat 27-Jul-13 10:26:10

Because that's the line you have to draw. I find it ironic that some people wouldn't let their children be fed Fruit Shoots and KFC at grandparents but don't see that parents also have the right to bring their children up in an ethical way.

motherinferior Sat 27-Jul-13 10:26:55

Because pork is dirty to Muslims and Jews. It is absolutely not something you eat. Lots of people I know who were brought up in a quite loosely observant household don't eat it.

thebody Sat 27-Jul-13 10:36:06

it sounds like he controlles your mom and I'd angry that he has lost control of you.

tellingly you say he was a good dad while you were kids?

that's classic behaviour as kids are easily controlled and often idolise dads like this who in turn lap up the adoration.

it's when you get older and start gaining your own control that men like your dad can't stand.

I agree with posters saying see him on your territory.

btw he won't accept your views or agree he has been wrong and unfortunately as your dh is lovely he will regard him as weak and easily bullied.

good luck op.

burberryqueen Sat 27-Jul-13 10:40:11

trifle the vast majority of Muslim women do not wear a burka.
that is just ignorant.

jammiedonut Sat 27-Jul-13 11:01:27

Iwillsleepagain I think the issue is that the ops parents are not respectful of her wishes at all, as well as the wider religious/ cultural implications. If you were to make a choice regarding your child's diet I'm sure you would be upset if your parents blatantly disregarded this and tried to FORCE FEED your child, then tell you thats the way things are done!

KoalaFace Sat 27-Jul-13 11:25:27

shock at the comments about burkhas and "just let them eat pork at grandparent's house". So ignorant and disrespectful.

Nothing to add that hasn't already been said OP I just wanted to say that it sounds like you are being considerate of your DH and for whatever choices your DC make in the future. Sounds reasonable and intelligent.

Your DP's can accept how you live your lives or they can choose not to be part of it. And having them visit you sounds sensible.

inkonapin Sat 27-Jul-13 12:24:35

Yes, thank you, Moet, I'm familiar with gelatin. I didn't see anything in the OP mentioning the children being allowed to eat Haribo or not, which is why I questioned Trifle's bringing it up.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Sat 27-Jul-13 12:30:32

i probably can't really understand as I am not religous. I would draw a line only where health is concerned (i.e allergies). It seemed just odd to me that the op is quiet relaxed on prayers for example but chooses a strict line where a piece of meat is concerned.
I think the dad is frustrated about 'loosing' his daughter to a culture/habits he is not very familiar with. I kindof understand that this may not be easy on him. (have mixt nationality marriage myself). This obviously does not mean force feeding or shouting or anything else in this manner is ok. Goes without saying really. Granma probably thinks the same as her husband but leaves the shouting to him.

I think you need to find a middle ground here and avoid accusations both ways. This is a lot about hidden feelings and frustrations of op's dad.

Good luck

I now put my tin hat on and dive for cover.grin

Mumsyblouse Sat 27-Jul-13 12:44:11

I don't think you have to find a middle ground whatsoever- you as a family don't eat pork (just as a family might be vegetarian/vegan) and you don't expect to be served it and then harangued when you don't want to eat it or let your children eat it. How incredibly disrespectful, and it's not forgetfulness as someone else suggested, we have some of our children's friends who don't eat pork and it's extremely easy for us to remember this and respectfully not serve it to them or tempt them to do so.

I don't think the OP's dad's frustrations and feelings are hidden whatsoever- he doesn't like the OP's husband or his religion. However, when our children grow up we have to accept their choices, indeed support them unless they are actively harmful, including supporting their marriages if they are cross-cultural. I have at least one close friend who has married a Muslim and her family are extremely supportive and very close to their grandchildren, because in the long term they can see that not eating pork is neither here not there in the grand scheme of things but having loving ongoing relationships with their grandchildren is the priority.

The Op's dad is angry as he has lost control, similar to when people used to never speak to their children again if they were Protestant and married a Catholic, it's all about bigoted small-minded prejudice and preferring to prioritize that over the happiness of your own children.

I think your plan sounds excellent, you and your husband are the family unit, you need to come together to calmly defend your own family and if they want to join in and take part, lovely, if they can't accept you and him together or your children, that's their choice. Only meet on neutral territory or your own house.

Hissy Sat 27-Jul-13 12:44:26

Let's remove the religious/cultural aspect.

What if the OP and her family were vegetarians?

It's a choice they have made which is valid, and what they believe in. It won't hurt a living soul (literally).

That man has no more right to shove a sausage in thé young child's mouth then, than if it were due to a religious choice.

I'd stop going over there, certainly NEVER leave the children unattended there, and only allow the parents to visit at MY house.

I might even consider pretending to have gone completely VEGAN and insist on cooking the same for everyone!

Bigots and bullies get my vegetarian mock-goat!

Can we also agree to NOT demonising an animal? Pigs are pigs and are important in the greater scheme of things. Pork is pork, some people DO eat it, some don't. It's not to be reviled, or feared, it's just an animal.

Some cultures eat rats. I'd choose pork over a rodent any day of the week.

As far as the consumption of pork goes in islam, the general 'rule' is not to eat it, BUT if there is noting else, nothing at all, there IS an allowance to eat it. Just as fasting is not necessary if you're travelling between cities, or over 50km.

Alcohol however is always off the list.

Apparently wink but that's another thread.

Live and let live, respect the choices of others as long as no harm is being done.

YANBU OP, your dad is awful. Really. I suggest you take a break from him, and restate your boundaries.

cjel Sat 27-Jul-13 15:07:57

YADNBU. YOur father is so out of order its ridiculous. Whatever your choices for your dcs they are yours and he has to bite his tongue.

We had situation in my family where a muslim married in and refused to allow the other 14 of us have sausage with our christmas lunch at our house because it was against his religion. The only problem we had was we knew he got a christian girl pregnant out of marriage, took drugs, drank and cheated on her, We still held our tongues and went without sausages at our christian celebrationsmile

RussianBlu Sat 27-Jul-13 15:54:29

Hissy, gelatin is only halal if it comes from vegetables/is synthetic or is from the halal meat. So the type of gelatine you find in the non halal haribos is not halal! However you can buy halal haribos!

NoComet Sat 27-Jul-13 16:15:49

You're 'D'F can disapprove as much as he likes, but it is not a fight to have in front of, or involving your DCs.

You do not serve food to children they are not allowed at home. Whether the reason is religious, moral or a pathological fear of BSE.

If a child of around 11 or older chooses to disregard the rules at home, that's different and I wouldn't say anything, but I wouldn't encourage them.

The DDs Christian friends must have gathered I think religion is a pile of rubbish, but I was careful what I said when they were small.

Euphemia Sat 27-Jul-13 17:44:50

Your challenge to your mum stood out to me too.

She doesn't control her husband's behaviour; he chooses how to behave and it's not your mother's place to tell him how to behave, or your place to tell her what to do.

Likewise, it's not your dad's place to tell your children what to eat, or worse, force food on them.

You are the adult now, the parent. You say what does and doesn't happen as far as your DCs are concerned. In your shoes, I would never visit my parents' house again. If I wanted my DCs to see them, it would be at my house, with my rules in place.

MikeOxard Sat 27-Jul-13 19:20:22

Your dad behaved terribly and has an unacceptable attitude to you, your parenting and your children. Tbh if my dad treated me this way I would cut him out completely. I'm impressed that you're intending to give him another chance to explain himself and try again, but I hope you're not being too optimistic, given that this is not an isolated incident.

Hissy Sat 27-Jul-13 20:01:10

When something haram changes to a different form (including pig to gelatin) it becomes halal already.

It's in thé Koran. I lived in a predominantly Muslim country for a number of years. This subject was discussed as well as the time it takes to cook with alcohol for it to be absorbed and without great length. The subject of gelatin remains controversial, but mostly through lack of research/understanding/panic. Bottom line, as it's form has changed it really isn't forbidden anymore.

There are non meat versions of gelatin available.

Hissy Sat 27-Jul-13 20:02:46

And this is a non-issue as far as the thread is concerned.

The F is rude, racist and disrespectful to his own family.

MammaTJ Sat 27-Jul-13 20:17:00

Hissy, that makes sense. I believe these laws were laid down to protect from food poisoning. The cooking conditions in the days this began weren't exactly fan oven with reliable temperature. If you look at the Muslim and Jewish food laws, there are a few things that could cause food poisoning if not cooked properly, pork being one of them.

I have a friend who is married to a muslim and they bring up their child accordning to muslim food laws, not sure how strict they are about everything else. I would absolutely support that, should they visit me.

Jan49 Sat 27-Jul-13 21:58:01

I think it would be a good idea to talk to your parents about it and make it clear that if they want you to continue to go to their house, they must never again attempt to force pork on your dc and any argument about it in front of the dc is inappropriate. If they can't agree to that, then avoid seeing them at your house. I'm vegetarian and have brought my ds up vegetarian and would be shocked if someone tried to force him to eat meat. Make it clear to your df that not eating pork as a family is your choice and your h's and by trying to force pork on your dc your df was trying to make it his choice when it should be the parents' choice. But I don't think I'd trust your dad now anyway - he could serve up a stew and hide pork in it and pretend it's not there.

As someone else mentioned, your comment to your dm about "are you gonna let him torment your granddaughter" was odd. You are the parent and you were present so I would expect you to prevent him forcing pork on your dc, not your dm. Obviously it would help if your dm took your side in general on the issue though. I also wondered how it got to the point of your df serving up a meal with you not knowing what he was cooking. I'd expect to know what he was cooking for my dc, particularly when you know your diet is different from theirs.

As you say your df never apologises, I don't think you've much chance of getting an apology, but you can insist that either he respects your dietary choice when you visit or you will not visit.

BlueOrange Sat 27-Jul-13 23:54:28

Op, you are doing a wonderful thing by attempting to keep lines of communication open still despite such an awful situation. Indeed, is also a requirement in islam to maintain ties of kinship.

Complete side-track here - i do agree with hissy regarding gelatine, but still cannot help eating only halal haribos!!! grin. In fact, i am eating halal haribo teddies as i type! And yummy they are too! grin

Xiaoxiong Sat 27-Jul-13 23:59:34

I interpreted OP's appeal to her mother more as an attempt to see whose side her mother would take, basically asking her mum "do you really agree with him on this". And probably it was asked with OP already knowing the answer - that her mum would continue to enable her dad's bad behaviour by "not getting involved".

I too would not be visiting anytime soon. Agree with those saying that OP's F wouldn't feed spare ribs to a vegetarian and her kids on the basis of "when in Rome" etc.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 28-Jul-13 00:04:52

I think not seeing or speaking to him again might be a bit extreme.

His behaviour was absolutely not acceptable don't get me wrong.

I would try and speak to him when you are feeling less (justifiably) angry. Explain to him that this is how you are raising your children and if he reacts badly or pretends to accept then later acts in a similar way, cut off contact.

Perhaps also speak with him about his lack of acceptance re you DH at the same. Calmly and patiently. Again if he reacts badly, cut him loose. Your DH sounds like a top bloke who doesn't deserve to not be accepted.

chocoholic05 Sun 28-Jul-13 07:58:53

A lot of Muslim children go to my dc school. They take part in the school nativity and go to the church services at easter and Christmas. They never eat haribos or similar gelatine sweets. In fact my dc often get sweets passed to them that their dc have been given and they can't have!

OP, I just wanted to say that in some ways I am jealous envy, your DH sounds an absolute gem and you are very lucky that he is so understanding and tolerant of your DF.

cardamomginger Sun 28-Jul-13 08:11:43

YANBU YANBU YANBU. And SO impressed with your last post - DH sounds extremely level headed and tolerant and I think together you are handling this very well. Just so sorry that your DF is such an arse.

lemonluscious Sun 28-Jul-13 08:27:32

I think that your DF should have come around to the fact that your DH is a nice guy and that his religion and culture is irrelevant TBH and be glad that his DD has found someone nice. However on the other hand I think that you ABU too. Perhaps your father has found it very difficult to watch you turn your back on your own culture and embrace another, very different one? Perhaps there is some middle ground that you can both find. For starters if I were you I wouldn't be feeding my children at their house. I think it is quite off to be expect to be fed then find fault with whats on offer. If I were you I would avoid situations where you both are going to come to blows for example feed them before you go.

claig Sun 28-Jul-13 08:41:15

lemon is right, it is a cultural thing. He wants the children brought up like he was, in his culture. He feels as if his culture has lost and the children follow a different culture. He thinks he can stop it, but of course he can't.

One of these days, he will eventually probably come to accept that the kids are brought up with different beliefs, but it will probably take him some time.

It's the old saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"

claig Sun 28-Jul-13 08:43:48

"Agree with those saying that OP's F wouldn't feed spare ribs to a vegetarian and her kids on the basis of "when in Rome" etc."

I think he would, because it is about following how he himself was brought up.

claig Sun 28-Jul-13 08:53:56

The same thing probably happens the other way around too, where some muslim parents would not probably want their grandchildren to eat pork.

It's not nice, but it is about culture and it is a pretty common human reaction to prefer that grandchildren be brought up in one's own culture with its customs and rules.

claig Sun 28-Jul-13 09:01:00

And there was nothing wrong in bringing your mother into it. You hoped that she would intervene and make him see sense. but she knows him well enough to know that he won't change his mind easily over this, since this is pretty core to his own beliefs and culture. She proabably knows that to confront him oenly about it will just escalate it and anger him even more. She probably does try to make him see sense ofline when he is in a calmer, more amenable mood.

Doingfine Sun 28-Jul-13 09:14:36

It's not about pork. The ops father is not showing respect. That must feel hurtful.

ilovesooty Sun 28-Jul-13 09:40:52

The OP did not expect to be fed then take issue with what was on offer. She was happy for her children to eat the offered meal minus sausage. All this stuff about her father's lost culture and finding middle ground is claptrap. His behaviour has been that of s disrespectful controlling bully and forcing the sausage on one of the children is so far out of order it's off the scale. I would say that refusing to visit them again is totally understandable and entertaining them at your house is the only way to ensure they respect your family's beliefs and boundaries.

Tubemole1 Sun 28-Jul-13 09:41:09

I am going to be controversial here and say in one way, children are entitled to discover their world on their terms and decide for themselves what lifestyle to lead. We are humanist, but if dd decides to be Muslim or Buddhist or whatever its her choice.

That said...

Force feeding? No. The old when in Rome argument? NO! Trampling all over a family's personal lifestyle choice? Nooooo. I agree with other posters OP, your old man thinks he's lost control and can't cope with your parenting style. If this is typical behaviour, don't go round there again. Say, Dad, if you want to see the kids, then come to my house.

PS sounds like he also needs educating about Islam. He seems frightened of it. Ridiculous.

motherinferior Sun 28-Jul-13 12:25:10

It is 2013. Mixed families are hardly unusual in the UK, dammit. These attitudes were understandable (if unacceptable) in the days when my parents and DP's parents met. These days half the kids in our road have mixed backgrounds. He really is vein appalling.

Sheshelob Sun 28-Jul-13 12:37:23

So let me get this straight. He accuses you of forcing your children into a way of life, then tries to physically force your child to eat a sausage?

It would be funny if it weren't so awful.

He sounds like an unpleasant narcissist. It isn't about a cultural clash - it is about him not getting his own way. There is no middle ground with people like this. He must win.

There is no point asking your mum to step in. She's too busy enabling his crappy behaviour.

I think you should be true to how you are feeling and cut ties. You will have lots of resistance to it, but if that is how you are feeling, go for it.

AnnabelleLee Sun 28-Jul-13 12:48:12

allowed to discover the world on their own terms? What rot, as parents we make the decisions about the terms, we tell them when to sleep, what to eat, what school to go to, WE define the parameters of their lives until they are old enough to do so for themselves.
Saying your child isn't allowed pork is no different than saying they can't eat coco pops for dinner every night.

Tubemole1 Sun 28-Jul-13 23:09:17

IMHO I cannot I doctrinate a religion into my child. Its for her to decide. I discipline her but only to ask, is her choice of action the right one if she thought it through? I support OP, so please don't call my approach to my child's moral wellbeing, "rot". angry

AnnabelleLee Sun 28-Jul-13 23:24:00

U-huh. Do you ask a two year old whether brushing their teeth is the right action and let her choose whether she does or not? Do you let a five year old choose to eat only chocolate? Do you let a 12 year old have boys to sleep in her room?
We all make decisions on behalf of our children, every single day. Pretending we don't is utter rot.

cjel Sun 28-Jul-13 23:33:17

annabelle, there is a style of parenting that does exactly that and they will not dictate anything to their children believing its not right for an adult to have that much control.

I have met a few of these children and its really hard to mix with them. eg at a toddlers they won't be asked not to hurt your child because they really think their child has the right to not be controlled, even above the right of your child to be safe and not hurt. They will home school although education is done if the child wants to! They tend not to have many friends!!

AnnabelleLee Sun 28-Jul-13 23:38:08

I know there is one where they pretend to do so, but I don't beleive they actually do it all the time, just on the bits that suit them. Toddlers can't really reason for themselves whether to play with knives or not, which is why we make that call for them!

cjel Sun 28-Jul-13 23:39:55

from what i've seen they really do.confused

pizzachickenhotforyou Mon 29-Jul-13 20:32:07


How horrible for your children to have their heritage disrespected by their own family.

Unfortunately they will most probably face ignorant comments etc about being Arabic / Muslim in their lifetime. From their own Grandfather at such a young age is really sad.

Good for you for sticking up for them.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 29-Jul-13 21:52:50

YANBU and I bet it is because he has a problem with Muslims. Too much Daily Mail, probably.

I wonder if he would have had such a problem if your DH was a practising Christian and wanted your children to not eat sweets for Lent? I bet he'd have gone along with that alright.

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