Advanced search

To be angry that MIL may have indoctrinated my child?

(511 Posts)
FruitCider Sat 13-Aug-16 19:51:18

I've been away for just under a week volunteering abroad and got home this morning. My mother in law (reverend) has been to stay with my partner whilst I went away. I'm completely atheist, partner is agnostic. MIL tried to give me a nativity set at Christmas for DD and a book full of bible stories, I declined and said I didn't want my daughter exposed to religion by people with a bias to a particular religion until she was 7/8.

I've come home today and my 3.5yo DD is continuously talking about Jesus, how God made the planet and told me I should thank god that my journey was safe. My partner says MIL had not mentioned religion when he was at home but he had to leave DD with MIL on Tuesday and Thursday whilst he went to work.

I'm absolutely RAGING! AIBU to be this angry? I literally want to banish MIL from my house and tell her she is not allowed contact with my DD for the foreseeable future.

Also is my DD likely to forget about God as she grows up if it's not mentioned again? Or is she now indoctrinated forever?

Sorry to those who may find this post offensive, I just wanted my DD to make her own mind up when she was old enough to understand that religion is a belief and there is no firm evidence for a God. She could have decided herself to be a Christian and I would have accepted that.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 13-Aug-16 19:54:08

What exactly did you expect using a reverend as child care

GinandJag Sat 13-Aug-16 19:55:18

I think your child is very blessed.

Queendowager Sat 13-Aug-16 19:55:33

Kids tend to be easy to convince, just tell her that God is only one possible option, their's the theory of evolution, other religions etc. It's unreasonable to think that she'll be utterly isolated from religion before she's 7/8 when she starts school lots of kids at 4/5 are aware of God and it's bound to come up at Christmas in her first year.

But you are not bu when it comes to MIL, she knows where you stand, she should have respected that, make clear that you're upset & that you can no longer trust her alone with DD

Crinkle77 Sat 13-Aug-16 19:55:44

I have the same opinion as you about religion but I think banning MIL from seeing her granddaughter is a bit much. Your husband needs to have a word with her though.

FruitCider Sat 13-Aug-16 19:55:59

I expected that my MIL would respect my wishes! I didn't use her as childcare - I had arranged for SIL to have my DD on those days but MIL insisted on coming Sian.

milpool Sat 13-Aug-16 19:57:08

YABU... She's 3.

Whatever she believes as a 3 year old she isn't going to believe for the rest of her life!

You're still her parent and her biggest influence hmm I'm also an atheist, so is my DH, but people in the family are religious and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Even if they did tell my DD a bunch of stuff I'm sure I could counteract it.

Floggingmolly Sat 13-Aug-16 19:57:43

You'd best homeschool till she's 7 or 8, then...

LaContessaDiPlump Sat 13-Aug-16 19:58:05

You think your DD will never hear God mentioned again after this?

Good luck with that confused and I say that as an atheist who'd HATE to be in your situation!

JaniceBattersby Sat 13-Aug-16 19:58:19

I am sure if you bring your child up to think for herself, and present her with a range of views, then she will grow up to have her own opinion on religion which may not match yours

Pearlman Sat 13-Aug-16 19:58:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Noonesfool Sat 13-Aug-16 19:58:40


Indoctrinated for ever?

Get a grip.

If you continue to be this neurotic about religion your child is likely to consider running off and joining a Christian cult as a way of rebeling.

Just say "yes darling that's what some people believe, mummy doesn't and daddy's on the fence"

Then talk about dinosaurs or whatever.

CaptainMarvelDanvers Sat 13-Aug-16 19:58:46

Raging? Really? I dislike organised religion too but I do think you are over-reacting.

Toffeelatteplease Sat 13-Aug-16 19:59:07

I'd let it go tbh. if she's not getting the religious approach the rest of the time it's unlikely to stick.

As for the book of bible stories, Christianity and bible stories have had a major impact on art literature and culture. There's lots if you don't have a basic understanding of religion you can't possibly understand. I may not belive in the bible but it's an interesting and incredibly influencial book of stories.

SmallBee Sat 13-Aug-16 19:59:48

YANBU because regardless of what it was you asked of your MIL, she has ignored your explicit wishes and gone against them.

I don't know whether DD will forget or not but it won't be instant. In the meantime would you consider exposing DD to the alternative religions so she can understand there are more options than nothing or Christianity?
Either that or just distract her some other way until she loses interest.

With regards to your MIL, how do you get on with her usually? Is there any chance you could sit down with your DH and her and have a rational conversation about why she has done this and how it makes you feel?

pieceofpurplesky Sat 13-Aug-16 19:59:49

Your pfb DD will be exposed to this at school whether at a C of E or not. Much better that you teach her now that her granny believes one thing and you believe another and that granny is telling her a story.

I think your reaction is extreme. You DD is lucky to have a granny that cares for her and is around. What does your Dh say - as after all it is his mother and he has a say in raising your DS too

ChicagoDolls Sat 13-Aug-16 20:00:22

I think you're being a bit narrow minded. Can you not use this as a learning opportunity about religion etc

SandyPantz Sat 13-Aug-16 20:00:47

I am strongly athiest and YABRidiculous if you plan to isolate your kids from religious opinion until 7/8

I mean how does that even work?

One of my DDs is best friends with a baptist, their family is heavily involved in the church at talk about it a lot. Her friend talks about god a lot. Her friend doesn't believe in evolution. It's fine, DD knows that different people believe different things

Other DD has been friends with a muslim girl since reception, her (lovely) family reference their religion a lot in their every day speech.

Are you planning to home school or are you somehow going to make sure they only make friends with other athiests in Reception?

ProcrastinatorGeneral Sat 13-Aug-16 20:01:06

To be fair, I'd be pretty pissed off if a family member decided they knew better, and went against my wishes.

The mother in law needs to butt the fuck out, and get called on her dickishness.

Whatsername17 Sat 13-Aug-16 20:01:42

You can undermine all of that by explaining to your dd that the story of Jesus is something grandma believes but that you and daddy do not. Then talk about several other religions. Thrn have a firm word with your mil. It's not fair or appropriate and if you had a different faith, rather than being an atheist I think other people might have been more shocked. My dd asked why she didn't have a christening and I explained exactly why. Mil was horrified because she felt that by not christening dd she was 'unsafe'. Dd now tells her that she believes in nature and being a good girl and that her mummy and daddy keep her safe.

Littlepeople12345 Sat 13-Aug-16 20:01:57

Yabu she's 3, she'll learn about it at school anyway.

chough Sat 13-Aug-16 20:02:04

Agree with Queendowager, about explaining that this is something that some people believe, and not fact.
My adult DS is an atheist, as am I, and was not indoctrinated at school, even though he regularly attended a lunchtime "religious" group.
He now admits that he only went because they had nice biscuits.

Arfarfanarf Sat 13-Aug-16 20:02:18

Just give her information.
Grandma believes this. I believe this. Dad thinks this. Other people this this this and this. Everyone has different ideas but nobody knows for sure.
Maintain this as she gets older and tell her that she is free to make her own mind up.

JinkxMonsoon Sat 13-Aug-16 20:02:28

I understand OP.

I despise religion and so far my nearly five year old has no concept of religion or God or what churches are for. But I daresay this is just the beginning of the sort of stuff your DD will be exposed to as she gets older. I don't know what the solution is to be honest.

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 13-Aug-16 20:02:41

You don't engineer a good sceptical way of thinking about religion by denying them knowledge and not mentioning. You certainly don't do it when her grandmother is a reverend and will be talking about her god even if she wasn't trying to indoctrinate anyone.

"Some people believe ..." and the basic contractions in lots of people believing different things will leave most children as lifelong agnostics. Denying them any access might leave them agnostic for a bit, but wide open to later convincing.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now