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MIL forcing religion down my DD throat

(25 Posts)
Pumpernickel10 Fri 10-Jun-11 12:30:10

Hi all
I'm not happy but AIBU to think that my MIL should not try and push religion onto my DD who's 10. We are not religious even though DH is catholic. DD as not been christened now MIL is insisting DD be catholic calling us wrong for not doing this but she's our daughter and we choose what we think is best for our daughter not MIL. I did call MIL a hypocritical so and so as she doesn't even go to church. Anyone else had this from their in laws? I'm that angry I don't even want to speak to MIL right now.

AtYourCervix Fri 10-Jun-11 12:31:43

so don't.

crazycanuck Fri 10-Jun-11 12:32:13

YANBU, that would really get my goat too. Is she saying things to your DD or is it just to you at the moment?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Jun-11 12:36:04


My parents are/were lifelong christians but when they realised I wasn't any more, they pretty much butted out.

If your MIL thinks you should get DD christened just because it'd be 'wrong' not to - ie go through a rite but not then follow through the promises - then it is nothing more than superstition.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 10-Jun-11 12:36:11

YANBU... but you and your DH need to present a united front to his mother and tell her to butt out. My mother is religious and I'm not. She sometimes tries to get me to change my mind about it all and thinks that 'it's a shame' that I'm an atheist. This in spite of the fact that religion has brought her nothing but misery her whole life. But even she would know better than to call me 'wrong'.

Pumpernickel10 Fri 10-Jun-11 12:38:16

She as said things to DD in the past I've asked her to drop it, it will be DD choice when she's older if she wants to be christened the same as what my mom did with me. Then she as insisted to DH that DD must go to church abs get christened and asking DD if she would like it. Put it like this MIL is the sort of women that said to her own son if he lived with someone before marriage she would disown him. We actually lived in sin for many years.

AMumInScotland Fri 10-Jun-11 12:43:05

What does your daughter feel about it? By 10, surely she can tell you if MIL is making her uncomfortable with all this, or if she's fine to just roll her eyes and think "Granny's on her high horse again".

I'd agree your MIL shouldn't go on about something where you have made a choice, but it's not as if your daughter is 5 still and will be confused about it. If you say "we believe x, granny believes y. Don't let it get to you" that would seem to cover it?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 10-Jun-11 12:45:52

You lived n Sin City? Lucky you, you must have had some fun times.

Playdohinthewashingmachine Fri 10-Jun-11 12:48:48

Absolutely. Let your daughter know that it is ok to say "actually Granny I believe something different to you, so lets talk about something else".

Obviously if your dd agrees with Granny then you're going to have to butt out and let them talk about it ...

But given your daughter's age, it might be better to teach your dd how to handle it, rather than barging in and insisting your MIL not talk about religion. If your dd hates it and Granny won't stop, your dd will soon ask not to have to go and visit.

Playdohinthewashingmachine Fri 10-Jun-11 12:49:29

"absolutely" was to MumInScotland

StroppyDad Fri 10-Jun-11 12:52:50

YANBU. My MiL does this from time to time to our two DDs.

I wouldn't mind, but she doesn't go to church herself - she just thinks everyone else should.

Last time she stayed over at a weekend, I suggested we all go to church (although not religious, we know a number of churchgoers and the vicar so it wouldn't look odd). She made a load of excuses. Her proselytising has receded a bit since.

TheFeministsWife Fri 10-Jun-11 12:58:08

YANBU! My nan was like and forced me and my sister to be Catholics, my mum was very meek back then. I hated it (and still do) by the time I was old enough not to go to church I didn't and I refused to be confirmed.

Neither DH or I believe in God so neither of our dds are christened. DD1 asked me the other day why she wasn't christened like some of her friends, I replied because me and DH didn't believe in God or go to church we didn't have her christened. She said that she believed in god, so I told her that was fine and she could be christened when she was older if she still believed then. She was quite happy about that.

I truly believe in not forcing religion on to kids and letting them choose themselves when they are old enough to armed with all the facts.

zipzap Fri 10-Jun-11 12:59:01

Dh was brought up catholic (has aunts and uncles who are nuns/monks and parents were pretty serious about it but he's not) whereas I was brought up c of e - culturally rather than religiously though. We did get married in our local c of e church and his mum was a bit freaked out to see the female vicar she never actively said anything about it.

Luckily hmm she is now having her own crisis of faith due to the outrageous way the pope has handled the child sex abuse scandals so hasn't pushed the 'their dad is catholic therefore they are catholic' line which o was worried about. we got ds1 baptised where we got married but haven't got ds2 done yet because we've moved and don't like the church where we are now.

can you give your dd some ammunition to use when her gram tries to do a religious number on her? It can't always be easy standing up to someone you love that's in a position of authority but if she has some good phrases and support from you it would make it easier for her.

Can you also pre-empt her by saying that your dd is atheist or c of e by default or whatever and that it is not her position to interfere.

Good luck. Can't be easy!

Adversecamber Fri 10-Jun-11 13:01:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

giveitago Fri 10-Jun-11 13:12:17

Pump - with you. My mil is religious (catholic) and I'm from and mixed religious background (christian and other but not catholic) so I've form on bringing up kids in mixed backgrounds.

DH agreed with me initially that any kid of ours wouldn't be baptised unless they wanted to be. Ho bloody hum - as soon as dsborn that's changed. I've resisted for 5 years but I'm considered the devil for it.

Mil just cries - and dh is now on her side. In fact he's not pushing for a baptism but acts like a big victim for the fact that dh is not baptised. I'd be more convinced if dh actually fucking went to church but he doesn't. it's just cultural.

I've stood firm whilst actually telling my ds about jesus etc (and it's not my religion) and then when I'm not around I think that dh just goes on about it as I've a had few conversations with ds ie why does granny (my dm) worship more than one god - why doesn't she believe in jesus - she's wrong and she's go to hell and so will you mummy and why isn't dear grandad (my dad) a catholic - he's just a christian and that's wrong) - not a very positive form of faith learning eh?

I, of course, do talk to mil because I recognise that her version of her faith is from a country and era that loathes women and uses religion 'as the opiate of the masses'. It's not her fault. But I will fight to the end to see ds baptised only because he wants to do it and not because he thinks it's the only way of preventing him from 'going to hell' and also not because all other religions are wrong.

giveitago Fri 10-Jun-11 13:15:01

I'm wrong - Happy for ds to be baptised as long as he knows it's actually what it wants to do rather than because he's scared of the so called implications of not doing it and I first also want to see him understand that 90% of his family believe in about 3 other religions and just accept it. Like they accept him. But not like dh's famly accept us.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 10-Jun-11 13:18:21

Your daughter Is old enough to decide if she wants to have these conversations with her grandmother. Ask her how she feels. If she doesn't like it, isn't interested then tell your MIL so.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Jun-11 13:41:50

If I had any catholic relatives trying to lay down the law (or lore) I'd be strongly tempted to shove that thread about the Magdalene Laundries their way. And tell them IMO its 'wrong' to try to indoctrinate a child into a religion which supported such evil.

NotJustKangaskhan Fri 10-Jun-11 13:44:10

I've had the opposite. My husband and I are religious Noahides, my step-FIL is a vocal atheist who thinks himself clever to mock religion at every chance (seriously, every chance, even to a widow at her husband's funeral). He attempted to mock our religious practices to the children when they were little, obviously going well over their heads as pointed dig at us. It was something we clashed about for a while.

As it turns out, it wasn't about than just religious v atheist (these tifs rarely are). He felt left out - he values himself as knowledgeable, an educator, and really enjoyed making gifts for the kids. Our religion was something he wasn't knowledgeable on, couldn't tell the kids anything about it, and he didn't know anything of the holidays we celebrate, only knew about what we did not celebrate meant we didn't exchange gifts for those occasions. After a few years of clashing, it dawned on me to include him more, had the kids pick out a treat and send it to them for Purim and soon we had quite a few 'just because' gift occasions that made him happy and feel acknowledged in his skills.

Even if she doesn't go church, religion may be one thing that your MIL feel knowledgeable in and wants to pass on. Maybe try to find other ways to help your MIL feel included in your daughter's life - a hobby she can pass on or books they can read together.

iklboo Fri 10-Jun-11 13:46:02

MIL's friend had a rant at us not getting DS christened (we're not remotely religious). She kept on and on and then said 'when he dies, his soul will be in limbo for ever you know'.
I replied 'Good. He likes dancing' and walked off. She's not mentioned it since. I think she's given up -not that it's any of her fecking business anyway).

midori1999 Fri 10-Jun-11 13:52:49

I agree your DD is old enough to start deciding for herself. If her Grandmother talking about this doesn't upset her then it doesn't matter. It's not as if your MIL can decide to 'make' your DD Catholic without your consent and as she doesn't go to church anyway, she won't be taking your DD. However, if you object too much, your DD may be interested in what your MIL is saying, but not feel able to let you know that.

I say this as someone who is an atheist. I have a 10 yr old DS and he attends an after school club (not at the school though) where Christianity is heavily featured. He loves it and believes there is a God, Jesus etc, although has never mentioned going to church or being Christened or anything. He knows my own views and just says he believes something else. I disagree with him, but I actually feel very proud he could make up his own mind. If he wanted to go to church etc, I'd facilitate that.

giveitago Fri 10-Jun-11 14:04:29

Not just - it's not the opposite it's the same. The fact is that you dc has parents of the same faith. The op has is in a situation where the parents are of different beliefs but of the same mindset. You'd think that would help but it's the same position in that other people in the family think their singular views are far more important than that of the child's parent.

I believe it's healthy for a diverse range of opinions within a family but it's not so nice when one dominates or, in your case, sneers. Perhaps that's why were's now in a situation where we're such a fragmented society.

It's the exact reason why I'm very against my dh's family proclaiming their truth on dh - because it's sneering, racist, superior - and, frankly, wrong. Nowt wrong with the faith they procliam but a whole heap wrong in the way they force it down my ds's throat.

Iklboo - my mil was staying here for ages. One night a moth flew in and she pointed out it was a soul in pergatory (ie not baptised) and going on about my dbaby asleep in his cot. My way was to kill this moth with a newspaper and just told her - not in pergatory now love.

I'll take on people's views and respect them but when other people's views are forced down my throat to make me feel a)wrong b)bad c)inferior - I just then take the piss - and it's very easy.

wrongdecade Fri 10-Jun-11 14:07:03

Urgh sympathies OP

my DD is very religious and I worry about him enfocing Religion on DC , stand your ground. !

Andrewofgg Fri 10-Jun-11 15:08:46

Tell her to mind her own fucking business and never discuss it with your DD until she is quite a few years older - and even then not in your home.

Pumpernickel10 Fri 10-Jun-11 15:11:22

I am actually c of e and DH catholic,hes not been to church since he was 12.
We have already in the past told DD what shes chooses then we will support,its her decision,shes not remotely interested and does get fed up of nana going on about it. I have never really got on with MIL, FIL is fantastic though. I tolerate MIL but of late its getting tiresome,I am starting to see now why my SIL married to DH brother as nothing to do with her,she tried the same with her.

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