FIL will not stop going on about our choice of school

(6 Posts)
3duracellbunnies Tue 09-Oct-12 12:53:56

DH is Catholic, I'm CofE, but we go as a family to the Catholic church. I think I am fairly supportive (e.g. It's me asking at church about first Holy Communion classes), whilst not wanting to convert myself. Dd1 is 7. She has told us that FIL is often telling her how sad he is that she doesn't go to an RC school and has now started questioning her about her preparations for FHC (which have started in his parish, ours don't start until Jan), but we feel that it should be our and her choice without him constantly questionning. She is actually really keen, but if she wasn't we wouldn't make her attend.

He doesn't say these things to us, probably because he knows that dh will tell him to keep his nose out, so rather he tries to undermine us to dd1. We have asked him not to but he says 'dd1 is my friend, why can't I talk to her about these things?'

If it matters to anyone, our dc attend a state school which has a strong commitment to the requirements for RE and daily worship, it is walking distance, a good school and dd has friends from different religions which seems to make her Catholic identity more meaningful for her. When applying we had no car, the RC school is about 1.5 miles as crow flies, but you can't walk that way and is about an hour each way by two busses(we have 3 children, ds was born 3 weeks after dd1 started school, he would have been spending 4 hrs on a bus a day). It is satisfactory and many parents at church (who live closer than we do) choose not to send their children there. We have told FIL all these points but he still corners dd when he gets a chance and says that she should be going to an RC school. We have absolutely no intention of moving the dc although if appropriate we would consider the RC secondary school, although not the best in the area, it's also not the worst, we will look at all the options and see which is the best all round choice for each child. How can we help dd1 (and the others no doubt as they get older) to manage these conversations?

springyhope Fri 19-Oct-12 00:50:34

How tiresome and inappropriate of your FIL. it is none of his business and he'll put her off entirely if he carries on. I can't see how you can stop him - he;s ignored all your attempts so far - though I'd be tempted to get heavy about it, or threaten to get heavy about it. ie legal. yy sounds extreme but this isn't on. It's a form of abuse (though I doubt he sees it like that). It's religious mania at best.

I know I sound like a nut but maybe you have to be a nut when you're faced with a nut.

explain to her that FIL probably means well [I hope] but has fixed ideas about religion but God isn't religious but loves her dearly and doesn't strain at gnats get het up about inconsequential things that have no bearing whatsoever on her relationship with him.

MaryBS Fri 19-Oct-12 07:56:31

Perhaps the clue is 'dd1 is my friend, why can't I talk to her about these things?'. Because she is 7, and your conversations with her are undermining her parents. There are lots of things you don't talk about with a 7yo.

I think you need to tackle him. Perhaps you can do it gently, reassuring him that she will be preparing for FHC, and give him some details on that. Make him feel included in her preparation maybe. But also point out he is being completely inappropriate, and you won't put up with it.

3bunnies Mon 29-Oct-12 20:32:38

Thank you, sorry it took so long to come back, it dropped out of i'm on. Dd is quite defensive of her school and doesn't want to move, we have reassured her that she isn't going to the RC school. She is quite mature, but doesn't need this pressure. We have told them to tell us if he questions them again. Dh hasn't directly challenged him yet, but I think we will if he goes on about it again.

You are right springyhope he does take a very 'strict' interpretation of the 'rules' for example was panicing as he doesn't have a lift to church on Thurs for a holy day of obligation, but the priest has told him it is ok as he did a mass at home today. Flames of hell diverted for another day. dh and I take a more faith based approach, ie less about following days, having a rule book and more about what we believe - we go to church but I personally don't think they will be checking the attendance register at the pearly gates! I think he genuinely believes that dh's and the dc's souls are his responsibility, but you are right it will drive her away. Thanks for your advice.

HeinousHecate Mon 29-Oct-12 20:42:09

if all else fails, you could always tell him that you don't appreciate him going directly to your daughter. That she is his granddaughter not his pal and if he can't respect your request to not discuss it with her, you are going to have to stop her from visiting unless you are there.

exoticfruits Mon 29-Oct-12 20:47:43

I would just ignore him. Don't get drawn into discussion - beyond a mild 'it suits us' and change the subject, repeat as necessary but don't change the wording- anything else gives him a way in to a discussion. Just tell DD that if grandad starts just say ' ask mummy and daddy'.

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