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to be a bit bewildered by MIL's choice of birthday gift for DS?

(70 Posts)
JoInScotland Sun 04-Nov-12 21:20:33

That's it really. Our son is 3 in January, and though my DP's Mum knows we are both atheist, she wants to give him a children's bible for his birthday. DP was a bit, "er.... okay". While we want him to be exposed to religion, we will be filing the book beside Mog and Hairy Maclary, et al.

She also gave DS a Noah's Ark, which I think he views as a floating version of his circus train with animals. Are these just standard children's toys, books? Or is there some sort of agenda? DS gets books all the time, I don't see that he will view the book any differently to any other story book.......

pictish Sun 04-Nov-12 21:22:38

None of my kid's have bibles. Dh's grandmother sent ds1 a children's illustrated type bible once, but it went to the charity shop.
I didn't worry about it and I advise you not to either.

Hesterton Sun 04-Nov-12 21:23:34

It's good to know the bible stories even if you aren't a believer. They are part of our cultural history, and are referred to in a great deal of poetry, literature and idiom.

Treat it as a book, tell your DC what it is and what some people believe perhaps?

SpectralMissSpooky Sun 04-Nov-12 21:24:12

Make sure you file it next to a nice big book of fairy talesgrin

CrapBag Sun 04-Nov-12 21:25:16

As a staunch athiest, DS can learn these things at school, like I did, but I wouldn't not have a bible at home and I would have pointed it out to your MIL. It does seem like an odd gift. I would appreciate a nice story book much more.

CrapBag Sun 04-Nov-12 21:25:55

I like Spectrals answer. grin

Themumsnot Sun 04-Nov-12 21:26:57

I love Noah's Ark toys though. My DDs had a lovely wooden one and i probably spent more time playing with it than they did. We also have various bibles floating about being an atheist household with religious grandparents on both sides, I think it is fairly standard for GPs to do this. Christianity is part of their cultural background and they should understand something about it even if they don't believe in it.

puffylovett Sun 04-Nov-12 21:27:36

He will go to church / hear the stories at primary school. My mum have ds1 a bible for his first Easter. I didn't mind and got a whole it was his favourite book. He still gets out there book advent calendar to read when he goes there. I think my parents feel they need to see to his religious education seeing as we don't!

ImperialFireworksInMyKnickers Sun 04-Nov-12 21:27:48

It is part of our shared cultural history, and it's nice that she checked with you first.

My Noah's Ark was a massive favourite, we've still got a few surviving wooden animals from it back at my DP's home, despite it being thoroughly played with by me and four younger siblings.

WhispersOfWickedness Sun 04-Nov-12 21:28:04

We're atheists and DS has got a Noah's ark, but that is probably largely because he's called Noah blush
No bibles yet, although I wouldn't object to him receiving one, it really doesn't make any difference to me, he will know what we believe but it's up to him whether he chooses to follow a religion or not.

PoppyWearer Sun 04-Nov-12 21:28:56

We're not religious but I really wanted and enjoyed my Children's Bible when I was small, the stories are great. It hasn't made me religious in any way. If your DCs start asking questions, you can provide rational explanations for most things in there (yes, really, I had a fab teacher at school who did just that).

4yo DD got a Toddler's Bible last year from a relative and a Noah's story book. She already had a Noah's ark. If you treat it as stories, it's not a big deal.

Viperidae Sun 04-Nov-12 21:30:53

I think it's nice to give them a range of things so that when they are older they already have the awareness of considering all sides of an issue. I don't believe in censoring things other than to protect our children and once your DS goes to school he will come across a range of views and beliefs anyway.

I would accept it with thanks and treat it as a story book which, if you don't believe in it, is all it is.

She may have an agenda but you don't have to acknowledge it. Your DS likes his ark/circus boat and will probably like his new story book too.

InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Sun 04-Nov-12 21:33:51

I'm atheist but my great grandma sent my son a bible along with a CD so he cane listen to hymns. It's a childrens bible.

She is 90 so its nice to have something from her to him

WinkyWinkola Sun 04-Nov-12 21:33:55

I'm not religious but I think it very important to learn about religion.

The bible is packed with great stories and many of the mores espoused in it are still relevant today and hopefully, always.

It's not a big deal - it's educational to learn about what other people think and the folklore around it. Keep the bible and the ark. No agenda. Let your kids make up their own mind by educating them.

puffylovett Sun 04-Nov-12 21:34:02

Drat - darn iPhone auto correct blush

Gave
Their
For a while

LightTheGooTouchpaper Sun 04-Nov-12 21:34:29

I agree that a bible is a useful thing in terms of learning traditional stories.

I agree with Viper's answer, just don't acknowledge her agenda.

Ilovecake1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:38:34

Every child should have a bible!! I am not overly religious but I think it's very important that children know their bible stories. My LO ask for a bible story several times a week as his bedtime reading!

cocolepew Sun 04-Nov-12 21:45:36

I'm going against the grain here, I wouldn't like it. Me and DH are atheists and MIL is very religious. We told her to stop buying religious boks for the DDs when they were small.
If you are an atheist you don't need to know your bible stories confused.

MickeyTheShortOne Sun 04-Nov-12 21:45:40

I'm not religious, and my parents weren't either, but I don't think its necessarily a bad thing having a bible in the house- I think it's fairly important that even if you yourself are not religious, you know a rough background about it so that when you come across people that are, you have the respect for their beliefs even if they are not your own. It also gives him the freedom to choose what he believes in.

And lets face it, he'll learn about it at school when he's older anyway.

steppemum Sun 04-Nov-12 21:46:51

we are christians, so my kids do have bible stories, but I think it is rather odd thing to give to a non christian family. I wouldn't dream of giving one to my neices and nephews.

The noah's ark I think is quite a classic toy, and I do think children should be familiar with noah's ark as a part of our literature and heritage. But again, given that your family are not christians, I would not buy you a noah's ark, as some people do find them too closely associated with religion.

I do think you need to be free to say no thank you if it bothers you.

MickeyTheShortOne Sun 04-Nov-12 21:47:15

Having said that, I don't know bible stories off the back of my hand. I could tell you who Adam and Eve were, and roughly give you the details of Jesus' birth, but thats about it! grin

Roseformeplease Sun 04-Nov-12 21:50:17

My son's favourite Bible story was the one where the man "Had nails bashed into him all over and blood everywhere". Not sure I would have had that kind of story for a 3 year old if I had thought about it much beforehand. At the time, I was too knackered to notice.

pumpkinsweetie Sun 04-Nov-12 21:51:25

I understand why people have their beliefs and religions, but i find it very odd that a bible is being gifted to a child whom cannot decide for himself yet.
I personally wouldn't like it myself and would descritely hide it away.

Everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs at an age where they can think for themselves, i believe gifting bibles, preaching and door to door leaflets are in a way 'brainwashing'.

ivykaty44 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:52:08

i got my dd's this book along with a childrens bible They have some great stories in, have been picked up and looked at a few times and we have read them together.
www.amazon.co.uk/dp/157912867X/ref=asc_df_157912867X10427264?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=157912867X along with this as well

Cahoots Sun 04-Nov-12 21:55:28

I am an atheist but I wouldn't have a problem with this epecially as your MIL asked. Our DCs were given St Christophers, even though they are 'meaningless' to us, they were given with love and we appriciated the thought behind them.
My DC's are all atheist but don't mind going along with things such as a quick church visit for my MIL'S sake.
I would accept the bible happily.

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