9
   

my child is going to the wrong church

 
 
pharawy
 
Reply Sun 9 Jun, 2013 09:50 pm
I have been living away from my child for more than a year due to work. Thankfully, my mother-in-law is helping my spouse to raise our three year old since they live in the same city. Overwhelming as it may be, my spouse needs some down time, so my mother-in-law helps out at that time. Unfortunately, that time has come to include her taking my child to a church that I do not approve of. My spouse is not very religious, and is ok with it. My spouse knows how I feel about it, but thinks a church is a church, so it should not matter. My spouse is comfortable going to either of the two churches. When I return to living with my family later this year, how do I have my child only go to the church that I prefer? Should I enforce that I am raising my child in my church, and that is final?
 
CoastalRat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 05:45 am
@pharawy,
Of course you should. Once you have returned, it will no longer be your mother-in-law's decision on how you raise your child, including where you take the child to church.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  5  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:27 am
@pharawy,
Quote:
Should I enforce that I am raising my child in my church, and that is final?


I don't really understand the question. You and your spouse have an equal say in how your child is raised. You don't have the final say without your spouse's input. It sounds like you need to work it out with him or her (you did a very good job at masking your genders in this story).

I don't know if your conflict is with your mother-in-law or with your spouse (or both). But if my spouse made "final" demands about how our child was to be raised, it would cause problems in the marriage.

The word "enforce", in the context of a marriage, is not a good sign.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:40 am
@pharawy,
pharawy wrote:
When I return to living with my family later this year, how do I have my child only go to the church that I prefer?


How?

You speak to your spouse about it. If there is an agreement that your church of preference is the one your child will attend, you can take the child to that church.



as maxdancona has noted, this approach

Quote:
Should I enforce that I am raising my child in my church, and that is final?


could be problematic
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 08:31 am
Ah, religion.

The glue that binds society.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:02 am
This thread seems to assume that one's preferred church is the better church? With such assumptions, and no explanations as to why one's church is the better church, I can only feel that the child in question will hopefully sort out religion at a later date.

The fact that a parent cannot be home to direct a child to a preferred church might be the downside of many a job situation. Regardless, maybe a consultation with a clergyman of one's own preferred church will afford an answer based on deeper thought?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:21 am
@pharawy,
I'm curious - what are the differences between the two churches? Is it significant or just a slight differences in philosphy? Unless it is really significantly different I wouldn't worry. As you said your husband doesn't really care (and assuming he doesn't) - when you get home you take the child to your preferred church.

And have the discussion with your husband to ensure he is ok with it as well - it is only fair.
CoastalRat
 
  3  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 11:07 am
@ehBeth,
As stated in the original post, the spouse is fine with either church. If that is truly the case, then the issue is with the mother-in-law taking the child to the church that for whatever reason the OP thinks is wrong. When the OP is once again in town, then he (or she) can take the child to the church of his/her choosing since the spouse obviously does not care either way. At that point the mother-in-law is out of the equation. Or at least she should be.

(This is a parenting issue, not a religious issue, in my humble opinion. We could just as easily be talking about what daycare the child should attend or what TV shows the child is allowed to watch.)
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  4  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 12:03 pm
@Lordyaswas,
You left out the letter l.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 08:49 pm
@pharawy,
Quote:
My spouse is comfortable going to either of the two churches. When I return to living with my family later this year, how do I have my child only go to the church that I prefer?

If your spouse is comfortable going to the church you prefer, why do you anticipate any problem taking your child only to that church once you return?

Are you afraid that your spouse will defer to his/her mother's preference in churches when you return?

Do you want your spouse to stop your mother-in-law from taking your child to that church now ? Is that the real issue--that your spouse is currently placing your mother-in-law's wishes above yours ? That your spouse is currently letting his/her mother take the child to a church he/she knows you don't approve of ? If that's the case, it's a marital issue, not a religious issue, that you have to settle between you and your spouse. It sounds as though you might feel betrayed by your spouse because he/she is allowing your mother-in-law to do something with your child that your spouse knows is definitely against your wishes.

If it bothers you that your child is being taken to that church now, you've got to address that with your spouse now. Just let your spouse know, clearly, how you feel about it and whether you'd rather that the child's church attendance with your mother-in-law was stopped now. Why wait until you get back home if you're upset about what's going on now? If it doesn't bother you that the child is attending that other church now, you can let the matter wait until you return home.

It's really not important that a 3 year old attend any church services--they really can't comprehend what's taking place. If it bothers you that your child is being taken to that church now, ask your spouse to make other arrangements for your child's care when your mother-in-law attends her church services. And, when you return home, you and your spouse can jointly decide which church you will attend, with your child, as a family.

This isn't about which church your child should attend, it's not even about religion at all, it's about how you feel about your spouse letting his/her mother do something with your child, or her trying to influence your child, in a way that you don't approve of-- it's a marital issue you've got to resolve with your spouse--and it's based on a conflict between you and your mother-in-law in this particular area right now. In the future, you and your mother-in-law may disagree on other matters involving your child, and you and your spouse will have to jointly decide how to handle those issues with her. When all is said and done, she's the grandma, not the parent, and the final say, on all matters, belongs to the parents.





OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:22 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Quote:
Should I enforce that I am raising my child in my church, and that is final?


I don't really understand the question. You and your spouse have an equal say in how your child is raised. You don't have the final say without your spouse's input. It sounds like you need to work it out with him or her (you did a very good job at masking your genders in this story).

I don't know if your conflict is with your mother-in-law or with your spouse (or both). But if my spouse made "final" demands about how our child was to be raised, it would cause problems in the marriage.

The word "enforce", in the context of a marriage, is not a good sign.
I seldom agree with Max, but now I do.

Ordinarily, I 'd say that the citizen himself shud decide,
but I must admit that 3 is a little young to do that.





David
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:08 am
@pharawy,
Maybe just keep him out of church and teach him yourself?
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:14 am
@pharawy,
pharawy wrote:
My spouse is comfortable going to either of the two churches. When I return to living with my family later this year, how do I have my child only go to the church that I prefer?

I infer from this that you are worried that someone in your family (but not your spouse) will object to your choice of church. If so, then I would say that your choices as parents easily override those of your family and you should enforce your choices.

If you are also implying that your family will kick you out (with no place to live) if you don't follow their wishes then you'll have a tough choice to make and you'll have to weigh the benefits versus the costs, and we can't help with that without more detail on the specific situation.
0 Replies
 
pharawy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 08:36 am
@maxdancona,
You make a good point. In marriage, both our opinions should be equal. I feel like my problem is with my mother-in-law as she seems to want more control and input than I believe she should.
0 Replies
 
pharawy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 08:40 am
@Linkat,
In the hand scheme, we all pray to the same God. But when one is raised in a certain church, they come to accept those customs and things to are different in presentation, overall dogma, and instruction can be very disheartening. And a discussion would be a wise move indeed.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 08:48 am
@pharawy,
When I was a child, my parents were in two very different churches (although they were both Christian one was very conservative and the other very liberal). My father made a concerted effort to not only give us the experience in each church, he also would, every couple of months or, take us to a completely different church.

The most awkward was when we went to a Catholic mass, which for someone who doesn't understand when to bow or to kneel or make hand gestures is pretty intimidating (but we muddled through).

But I appreciate this experience I had as a kid. Giving your kids only one experience, especially when it comes to worship, will limit them in their understanding of God.
pharawy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 08:48 am
@firefly,
I will need to have a discussion with my spouse and address my concerns with our child's grandmother and her actions. When relying on parents for assistance, it can be difficult to go against them as you worry you may no longer receive their help in the future because of a dispute. At times I do feel as if my spouse sides with my mother-in-law instead of me for that reason or as a passive way to not cause conflict between us. And not s religious issue, but a parenting issue.
pharawy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 08:51 am
@maxdancona,
Definitely an interesting approach, and something I think could only help my child. It just gets difficult being away and not being able to make those decisions.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 10:53 am
@pharawy,
Your main problem is that you aren't living with your spouse and child right now. And you and your spouse have to rely on your mother-in-law to provide assistance caring for your child, and she might treat the child differently than you would, not just in terms of which church she takes the child to, but in other ways as well.

If the only bone of contention between you and your mother-in-law right now is which church she takes the child to, it's not anything you really need to be concerned about at the moment. Your child is only 3 years old, and that child is not going to be significantly influenced by any church service, regardless of which church it's taking place in. When you return home, the matter of which church the child will continue to attend can be resolved between you and your spouse.

If your spouse is siding with your mother-in-law on this issue right now, as a way of avoiding conflict with her, because her help is needed, that may the best way of dealing with it. After you return home, the situation will change, as will your ability to exercise more authority and control over your child's life.

I have no doubt that you and your mother-in-law may have conflicts, of some sort, or butt heads over some other issue, relating to your child's care in the future. She's a part of the child's life and extended family, and she may have her own ideas and ways of caring for and treating your child, and these may differ from yours, or what you would prefer she do. These sorts of conflicts are almost inevitable in any family where a grandparent is a presence in the child's life, and there are better and worse ways of resolving them. The better ways involve rational discussion and negotiated agreements between the parents and grandparents, the worse ways I've seen have led to bitter family rifts and "enforcements" that included forbidding the grandparent(s) to have contact with the child.

So, this isn't just a parenting issue, it's a grand-parenting issue. And that's a matter that you and your spouse may have to address from time to time, but I don't think it's one you should be concerned with right now, over the issue of church attendance. Grandma isn't harming your 3 year old by taking the child to the "wrong" church. What the child is learning right now is simply that grandma goes to that church.

And, after you return home, I'm not sure you should give your child, either overtly or covertly, the message that the church grandma attends is the "wrong" church, unless you plan on raising an intolerant child, and you want that child to disapprove of grandma in that regard. There are not only different churches in this world, there are also temples, synagogues, mosques, etc. with considerable diversity among, and within, all of them. It's fine that you should want your child raised in the belief system and practices of only one of them, but when you start considering the others as "wrong", and letting your child know that, you should consider what else you're teaching your child, and how well you're preparing the child to live in a religiously diverse world.

0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » my child is going to the wrong church
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/21/2019 at 01:56:25