to be a bit miffed about my friends comments?

(121 Posts)
Jaypreen Tue 20-Apr-21 17:16:48

Hi all. My 6 year old daughter's friend's mum and I are fairly good friends. We're both single mum's and we enjoy a good old chinwag with each other when the girls are together. She's nice, funny and friendly we share a few similar interests and are from fairly similar backgrounds - her and I. Today though she said something that I found a bit disturbing. Our two girls go to a catholic primary school where they get a bit of religious teaching. Nothing that could be considered fire and brimstone lectures or anything like that. It's very light, in that they do a short prayer three times a day learn about Jesus a bit, that sort of thing. My friend said in a rather mocking tone that her DD keeps coming home "with all this stuff about god and jesus" and "she keeps trying to convince me that god exists" and that "she gets all het up when I tell her I don't believe in god ". She told her [and these were her actual words] : " Look if you want me to believe in god then prove that god exists"! Her dd was disturbed according to my friend and she told her father all about it. He as a rather devout catholic was furious at her telling her this. My friend was actually rather proud of herself for being in her mind, the voice of critical thinking - or something like that. I tried not to react at all, but I have to confess - I was a bit disturbed and I'm not great at hiding my feelings.

I'm of Italian descent was brought up a rather strictly and I do believe in god. But I'm perfectly accepting and understanding of anyone who doesn't. I don't feel the need to convince anyone of what I believe and I'm not at all upset, shocked or perturbed that my friend doesn't believe, or is so anti. But I thought this was a very insensitive way to talk to this little girl, who through no fault of her own has found herself at a catholic school getting a 'Catholic education'. Surely there are better ways to break this information to her rather than being so blunt? How on earth can a child of six prove to her that god exists for goodness sake? Anyhow, the more I think of it, the more disturbed I am.

What do you think? Am I over reacting? x

OP’s posts: |
LST Tue 20-Apr-21 17:24:16

I went to a Catholic primary and high school which is why I didn't send my dcs to one. Their school now is none religious and as they are young, like I do with santa, if asked I would say that yes there is a god and heaven etc. So I agree, your friend handled it really badly. Especially with the 'prove it to me' point.

stackemhigh Tue 20-Apr-21 17:31:59

I agree she handled it badly. It seems to be expected that religious people should be respectful of atheists but that atheists can mock religious people as much as they like.

Besom Tue 20-Apr-21 17:35:40

I do think it's a bit weird that you would send your child to a religious school and then be surprised if they come home talking about it. She should have considered how she would discuss her own views without confusing the child.

accentdusoleil Tue 20-Apr-21 17:37:44

Odd that she is so anti religion but had a child with a devout catholic and also sends her child to a catholic school.

I would avoid the subject of religion with her if you can

FenwickRose Tue 20-Apr-21 17:40:04

Your friend is being very unreasonable. Why send your child to a Catholic school if you don't even believe in God? I bet the school wouldn't be too happy to know what she said.

JustGiveMeGin Tue 20-Apr-21 17:40:39

My children went to a Catholic school for a while before I moved them (not related to the Catholicism). I just used to nod along and um/ahhh at talk about God with a view to letting them make their own mind up.
In my opinion you can't send children to a religious school and not expect them to talk about it.

Cam2020 Tue 20-Apr-21 17:41:05

She was rude and what she, said was no very fair to ger daughter. Sounds like it might have been more about getting a reaction from and annoying her ex?

coffeecup88 Tue 20-Apr-21 17:41:23

Ugh. She sounds awful.
Are the friend and her DD dad together? If so he's the best person to raise it. I'd just stay out of it.

FOJN Tue 20-Apr-21 17:42:04

Perhaps it might have been more helpful to have offered suggestions about how she might teach her daughter to be open minded and respectful of others. Is it possible that your friends reaction has something to do with her child's father being rather devout?

Jaypreen Tue 20-Apr-21 17:45:06

FenwickRose

Your friend is being very unreasonable. Why send your child to a Catholic school if you don't even believe in God? I bet the school wouldn't be too happy to know what she said.

Yes exactly. The school was her first choice as well. I've no problem with her or anyone mocking Catholicism or being as militant with their atheism as they wish. But to talk to a six year old, who has just had this particular world opened up to her, in the way she did, is, I think - inexcusable. I think it may have actually changed the way i see her now.

OP’s posts: |
Jaypreen Tue 20-Apr-21 17:47:48

FOJN

Perhaps it might have been more helpful to have offered suggestions about how she might teach her daughter to be open minded and respectful of others. Is it possible that your friends reaction has something to do with her child's father being rather devout?

Yes, that's a very good point FOJN. I suspect this is her playing out her animosity towards her ex, [who is somewhat devout] through her daughter. There is a lot of bad feeling between them.

OP’s posts: |
romdowa Tue 20-Apr-21 17:49:03

She handled it very badly. I mean 6 year olds basically think their teachers are amazing and know everything, which would include religion at their particular school. I had a catholic education and eventually realized that to me it made no sense and it wasnt my thing but nobody ever pushed my face in it , like your friend did with her child. She needs to respect that faith is a very individual thing , certainly in our schools there were children whose families were particularly devout but we never took any notice. Lots of people were so it wasnt strange to us. Your friend just needs to keep it buttoned and stop being so hostile towards her small child

Bluntness100 Tue 20-Apr-21 17:50:40

Meh, I think it’s good for the girl to get both sides of it. She can grow up and make her own decisions and not be indoctrinated that this is the truth and it can’t be questioned.

PhilCornwall1 Tue 20-Apr-21 18:12:58

Possibly didn't handle it well, but when both of mine asked me if I believed in god when they were not much older than your daughter, I told them that I didn't and never have. I think they were quite shocked, but I certainly wasn't going to lie to them.

happytoday73 Tue 20-Apr-21 18:29:40

Well she doesn't read her audience well does she! Holy C year will be interesting.
Why agree to send to Catholic school if going to have that reaction.. 6 is to young for a proper discussion.. I say this as a non believer who's children are Catholic & go to Catholic school.... I also just ignored or explained not everyone agreed.. At 10/11 we would have a sensible conversation about it... Also what was good and bad about organised religion and my beliefs.. But that they were fine to have own...

Butwasitherdriveway Tue 20-Apr-21 18:46:43

Disturbed 🙄🙄🙄

No, it's not great, but the whole thing is silly.

Penistoe Tue 20-Apr-21 18:47:33

By your own admission you were brought up Catholic. Which means your parents told you to believe god exists without letting you question it. I think yabu when really she is teaching her child to not be accepting of something without proof, or at least to question something without evidence.

She ibu to send her child to a religious school if she is so anti religion though.

PhillipPhillop Tue 20-Apr-21 18:48:26

stackemhigh

I agree she handled it badly. It seems to be expected that religious people should be respectful of atheists but that atheists can mock religious people as much as they like.


Interesting. I always think it's the other way round.

nevernotstruggling Tue 20-Apr-21 18:55:03

She's been a bit of a twat I agree but like pp said might be residual bad feeling between her and her ex showing through.

But on the subject militant atheists have offended me many times. Actual religious people rarely if at all. My dad and my exh are militant atheists. Urgh.

Tal45 Tue 20-Apr-21 19:17:02

It seems a pretty minor thing to me, certainly not something to end a friendship over - it doesn't even impact you. She probably sent her child there for the good reputation of the school not realising they'd be saying prayers three times a day (sounds very excessive to me) - I wouldn't be impressed either. I wouldn't want my child indoctrinated by their school and would be very clear to my child that I didn't believe and why. State schools should not be religious IMO, it's very, very wrong.

LesserBother Tue 20-Apr-21 19:19:49

As for don't send your child to a religious school if you don't believe. Some people don't have the choice, in the rural area I grew up all the primary schools were either CofE or Catholic

youshallnotpass9 Tue 20-Apr-21 19:22:36

I started teaching My DS about different religions at younger than that. I didn't say it like your friend has, but more something along the lines of people believe in different things for example x likes to see proof of something so doesn't think there is a God, whereas Y believes there is a God and believes this about God.

Its good to open up a conversation with small children, not only about things people believe but that they can make up their own mind at some stage

vincettenoir Tue 20-Apr-21 19:28:23

I wouldn’t judge her too harshly for being honest with her daughter about her own beliefs. I think it’s fair enough for her to facilitate a Catholic education without believing in God or pretending that she does, of that is what her and her ex agreed.

LeonardLikesThisPost Tue 20-Apr-21 19:33:41

It sounds like she's mocking and goading her six year old over something she's been taught at school, which is quite mean 😞

I don't believe in God but I've always taken the line with my kids that some people believe X, some believe Y, I don't, it's something you can decide for yourself when you're older.

Can't stand the sneery, mocking atheist-as-identity types, they can be utter twats.

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