Advice on dealing with family is requested

Pastafarian
Pastafarian's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: 2012-06-15
User is offlineOffline
Advice on dealing with family is requested

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, sorry.

 

I should start by saying that I'm 35, married to my best friend, and have 3 kids who are well-adjusted, well-behaved, and a joy to be around. I grew up in a household that was staunchly christian. We went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Since most of my family are musicians, we also played in the church band and went to practices on thursday that, more often than not, turned into prayer sessions.

I was bored my whole life. Church really isn't any fun. How many times do we need to hear that we're going to hell if we don't believe in god?

I asked questions from the time I was a little kid, and was always directed to THE BIBLE as the absolute end-all of answers. To make a long story short: I don't believe any of that, and I really never did. I've told my folks about my beliefs (or lack thereof) and while they weren't thrilled, they always sorta quietly accepted it. Until yesterday.

My oldest daughter had gotten into trouble for something dumb (not cleaning her room, so she got grounded for a day) and I called my father to ask his advice on one aspect of dealing with her. his IMMEDIATE response was "Well, FIRST of all, you need Jesus in your family. This whole business of you not raising them in the church is crap. They're OUR grandkids too, and we're going to teach them about God, whether you like it or not."

My response was basically, "Go ahead. I'm going to teach them that it's the same thing as the easter bunny, or santa. I'm going to tell them that you guys believe in it, and it works for you, but they need to ultimately make their own decisions on life."

His response? "You need SCRIPTURE as a basis for all of your teachings. How are they supposed to learn that killing is wrong? Or rape? Or drugs?" Gee Dad, the same way everyone ELSE learns: by teaching them.

 

When he first went off, I was silent. I just let him rant. I ALWAYS do that. I love my father, and my whole family, but man... I wouldn't let anyone ELSE rant at me like that. But now, I'm down on myself because, hey, I'm 35, with my own family. I wanted advice from my ol' man on my daughter... not a sermon. How do you tell your folks that Enough is Enough? It sucks.

 

Sorry for the whining. I have NO other Atheist people to talk to here in Buffalo. None.

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute
-Ayn Rand


Jeffrick
High Level DonorRational VIP!SuperfanGold Member
Jeffrick's picture
Posts: 2376
Joined: 2008-03-25
User is offlineOffline
My $.02

                You could point out to your dad that Christianity began when god raped an innocent virgin, then organized the pre-meditated murder of his own son. Aren't you glad your dad isn't like JC's dad.                 Another point of contention is to remind the oldman just how much He enjoyed getting parental advice from his parants [ I bet he didn't]. And frankly if you can't toture and punish your own children what's the point of haveing them around. When it comes to the 'scriptures' point out that Aesop's fables had far better moral's  and Grimm's fairy tales had far less blood without insest or slavery to boot.                But if he wants his grandchildren to become mindless bigots then go with scriptures.   

 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10543
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Don't ask your dad for

Don't ask your dad for parenting advice. And when he tells you he'll be teaching your kids about fairy tales against your consent, tell him that'll be pretty hard to do when he never sees them again.

That's what I would do in your shoes, after blasting dear old dad with a lecture that shut him up about god forever.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Don't feel bad about whining

I learned not to ask my parents for advice when my own children were children.  But here is my $.02 about raising teenagers.

Don't sweat it.  Watch Labyrinth.  Repeat to yourself - when your child turns 18-20 the goblins will bring back your real child.  In the meantime, be patient with the goblin they left in your child's place.  No, that doesn't mean you stop caring or trying or being a parent.  It means, be patient.  If your daughter was an adorable little girl who said please and thank you, she will be a beautiful, kind, loving adult.  The teen years need not be remembered.  Until she has troubles with her own teens.

You asked your dad for advice and got a sermon.  Now you know - don't ask him again.  You can ask us - the parents on the forums or the ones who remember what dopes they were as teens, or you can find parenting resources on line or locally.  Many communities offer parenting assistance at low cost or on sliding scale. 

You can not change your dad - that you still care for him is wonderful.  Learn to deal with what he is, not what you want him to be.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hey Pastafarian,We have a

Hey Pastafarian,

We have a lot in common.  I too was raised in Church and went Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening.  I didn't play anything but my mother played the piano for service and I was bored silly most of the time.

Also like you I'm in my mid-30's (38 to be exact) and I have 3 kids.  16, 8, & 7.

My mom is hard core religious, and my father has become more religious in his old age.  Also, my parents are the only ones I would let rant at me like you described.

Teenagers suck.  They are close enough to being adults that they want all the privileges and none of the responsibilities.   My 16 year old is pretty crazy.

A couple months ago, get this, she makes out with some little boy and then tells the boy's girlfriend about it.  Then the following day at school she is surprised that the girl and her friend start mouthing off at her.  One thing let to another and my step-daughter (I've been her dad for the last 10 years.) clocks her in the eye, gets three days off of school, and gets a visit from a police officer.

That evening when I try to talk to her about it she starts yelling at me that she didn't do anything wrong.  She's also a cutter, depressive, is being promiscuous, and has been caught smoking dope in her room twice in the last month.

Holy fuck.

But she experienced some pretty fucked up things before I came around so I guess she has her issues.  She's been attending therapy for the past half year.

Anyway, my mom, who is great, takes the little ones almost every summer for summer bible camp.

I don't have a problem with it.

It's religion that divides people, not lack of religion.   I don't care if they grow up and become Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc.  It doesn't really matter to me as long as they're happy.  I'll love them no matter what.  But while they are growing up I make it known that I don't believe and the reasons why.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Old Seer
Theist
Posts: 768
Joined: 2011-11-12
User is offlineOffline
You may need to be patient,

Pastafarian wrote:

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, sorry.

 

I should start by saying that I'm 35, married to my best friend, and have 3 kids who are well-adjusted, well-behaved, and a joy to be around. I grew up in a household that was staunchly christian. We went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Since most of my family are musicians, we also played in the church band and went to practices on thursday that, more often than not, turned into prayer sessions.

I was bored my whole life. Church really isn't any fun. How many times do we need to hear that we're going to hell if we don't believe in god?

I asked questions from the time I was a little kid, and was always directed to THE BIBLE as the absolute end-all of answers. To make a long story short: I don't believe any of that, and I really never did. I've told my folks about my beliefs (or lack thereof) and while they weren't thrilled, they always sorta quietly accepted it. Until yesterday.

My oldest daughter had gotten into trouble for something dumb (not cleaning her room, so she got grounded for a day) and I called my father to ask his advice on one aspect of dealing with her. his IMMEDIATE response was "Well, FIRST of all, you need Jesus in your family. This whole business of you not raising them in the church is crap. They're OUR grandkids too, and we're going to teach them about God, whether you like it or not."

My response was basically, "Go ahead. I'm going to teach them that it's the same thing as the easter bunny, or santa. I'm going to tell them that you guys believe in it, and it works for you, but they need to ultimately make their own decisions on life."

His response? "You need SCRIPTURE as a basis for all of your teachings. How are they supposed to learn that killing is wrong? Or rape? Or drugs?" Gee Dad, the same way everyone ELSE learns: by teaching them.

 

When he first went off, I was silent. I just let him rant. I ALWAYS do that. I love my father, and my whole family, but man... I wouldn't let anyone ELSE rant at me like that. But now, I'm down on myself because, hey, I'm 35, with my own family. I wanted advice from my ol' man on my daughter... not a sermon. How do you tell your folks that Enough is Enough? It sucks.

 

Sorry for the whining. I have NO other Atheist people to talk to here in Buffalo. None.

Give things time. eventually they will/may accept you as you are. People are flexible in most things. I don't believe in Christmas either, but it's a fun time for them so it's a fun time for me. You may have to be a bit flexible too. Just keep in mind they love you regardless, especially your Mom.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.