Overstepping grandmother?

make-up junkie
on Sep 15, 2009 @ 11:41 am

I love my mom very much and appreciate and admire everything she has done to raise my brothers and I. My mom is very religious and raised us to be the same but as I got older I decided our religion was not right for me. As you can imagine, this is very upsetting to my mother especially now that I have my son. My husband was not raised in a religion but is open to my son learning about my family's religion. I have told my mom and my younger brother who is also very religious that I am ok with my son learning about their religion but by no means do I want them to tell him that this is the only way and this is the only way to
believe. He has my husband's side of the family that believes differently and
I want him to learn to respect both sides. I want want him to be
well-rounded, to be thoughtful of different ways of life, and to
intelligently think for himself. I don't want to tell him how to think
and trust that he will come to his own conclusions the more he learns
and grows. And just because he will not be raised through the Bible
does not mean he will be devoid of any morals or values.

Anyways, my mom here and there will still pipe in telling him certain foods to eat are wrong when we have never told him that or that he has to pray every time he eats a meal. I'm also tired of my mother telling me that I have "no values" because I don't raise my son through the Bible or scriptures.

Do you think my mom is overstepping or am I overreacting and just let it go?

4 Replies

overstepping on Sep 15, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

Maybe because I am also not religious (although raised catholic), I completely agree with you.
Regardless of what the issue at hand is, be it religion or schooling or activities, you are the parent and therefore it's your choice to raise your son as you see fit. You are not teaching your son to disregard religion, you are simply giving him a choice and let him choose his beliefs. Some will say you cannot let a child to make that decision (as the nuns in my primary school told my mother) because they don't know anything and therefore it's the parents' responsibility to guide that child to the way of God. But in my opinion, what you are doing is much better than steering him towards one particular religion because you are teaching him to be open-minded and respect everyone's beliefs. If everyone can show respect for all the different religions, our world would be a better place.
Also, your mom telling you you have no moral is, in essence, criticizing her own parenting skills. She is basically saying she has failed to raise a moral child. But you are a good person and a good parent; I think your mom has done a good job raising you. She just needs to let go and let you be the kind of mother she has raised you to be.
I'm not sure if you can say anything to change her mind. If I were you, I'd let her have her say (within reason) and ignore her comments. In the end, you have to do what you feel is right for your son. If your son chooses to learn more about your mom's religion, then he can go to your mom or your brother for guidance.

overstepping, but with the very best intentions? on Sep 16, 2009 @ 08:33 am

I can understand how annoying this must be for you. I come from a family who loves to meddle, so I've been there!

However, from the outside (ie. maybe I'm full of crapola here) I think your family is interfering for what they believe is your child's best interests. Many religions emphasize the importance of teaching children about faith early so that they have a solid foundation later in life. Will they "inherit" their parents' faith? Perhaps. Would that be the worst thing in the world? It doesn't sound like it harmed you (forgive me if I make too many assumptions :)

I have a friend who is pestered frequently by her doting grandma to "have kids now! before I die!" I know it bothers her intensely to hear it, but she also realizes that grandma is worried if my friend waits too long it will someday be too late. Grandma also knows that my friend adores children and would make a great mother when her time comes. Actually, I think my friend would probably have seriously considered it sooner if everyone would just shut up!

Your family needs to be careful of criticizing you or your child openly about whether to pray at the dinner table or memorize Bible verses. They also need to respect your wishes, as they should for any conflict. However, I suspect they are looking at this through an eternal lens: a chance of salvation or eternity "down below". They probably think it's worth the pestering if they can help you and your child have the best possible present and future. It's not right that they insinuate you are a bad parent, so you should speak to them about a less hurtful way to have this conversation.

Ali de Bold
Agree with mamaluv on Sep 16, 2009 @ 09:09 am

... and would your "friend" be me? ;) She sure does sound and awful lot like me.

I think it's normal to expect a certain amount of meddling from your parents and grand parents. They do it because they love you though that doesn't always make it right.

make-up junkie
thanks guys! on Sep 16, 2009 @ 02:54 pm

You guys are right - I cannot fault my mother because I know she is doing what she thinks is right. I have no problems with her teaching my son her beliefs but I think the negative comments should stop. Thanks for your input guys!

mamaluv - I was thinking the whole time that you must be talking about misschickie! lol

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