28 May 2019 at 5:36 pm #25573
Without wanting to offend anyone, I need help to be able to cope with this.
I am an atheist, when my ex and I were together, our house was by agreement a religion free place so our children could choose when old enough to take one or none.
Three years after our split he became a Muslim – which for me is not an issue – but suddenly his new belief is interfering on how we raise our boys.
Examples are: saying that pork is disgusting – I am Spanish and pork is our main meat. So I had to defend myself when my boys told me I was feeding them a disgusting meat.
Allowing the eldest to fast without my consent or consulting me.
Teaching them to pray
Saying “mum will not go to heaven as she has no religion”
And last row was over him wanting to take them out of school to celebrate Eid.
I understand he wants to share his new lifestyle but surely he should not be imposing and saying certain things to them.
I just want my boys to choose whether they want to be religious or not and whether is Islam they want to take.
How on Earth do we come to an agreement on this? He is quite inflexible on this and I have to remind my sons that what he says is what he believes but not everyone thinks the same.
Any advise welcome x
G.28 May 2019 at 6:19 pm #25574
I’m totally with you this, if anything I’m anti religion and believe in science as it’s provable rather than a belief in some fairytale.
You were totally right to be upset by not wanting the boys to be taken out of school, education is the priority always.
It is totally unfair of him to poison your childrens minds by saying negative things about you because you don’t believe.
Unfortunately I don’t think that there is any leway with religious fanatics so you might do well to speak to a solicitor, I think that there is a legal definition and protection for when 1 parent actively sets out to make the other parent look bad which is what he is doing.
Mark28 May 2019 at 6:52 pm #25575
Your words are exactly what I needed today. It’s been two years of constant argument about religion and although I am not anti-religious ways I just hate this brainwashing and that he knows he is using the love they have for him to make them bend his way.
Now he threatens me to stop Xmas too. But I only celebrate it because they believe in Santa.
So sad x
G.28 May 2019 at 7:06 pm #25577
You could counter the Christmas thing as I do by saying it’s one a year where it’s acceptable to spoil the kids and show them how special they are, for me Christmas has nothing to do with religion and therefore your ex has no justifiable reason to stop them celebrating it.
Mark28 May 2019 at 7:19 pm #25579
Yes in my house it’s not a religious festivity just a family reunion and as you say, a time to spoil the children. But if you ask me, I would not even celebrate xmas.
The point is that because he has changed his lifestyle now it seems that they boys need to be in whether they agree or not.
It’s just hard to be the bad cop at all times.
G.28 May 2019 at 7:44 pm #25581
I’m afraid that your decision to not share a religion is as valid as his to.
The food element you’re going to have to follow through on what you said re religion and let the children decide whether they wish to eat pork or not regardless of it being the basis of your main dishes. Following through on what you’ve said you’d do re religion.
Likewise it’s natural he’d want to show the children how to pray etc and fast within the realms of what is counted under basic fiqh that he follows; it’s quite normal for children to fast or partially fast for part of the day or give up foods from 7ish. As a parent he doesn’t need your permission or agreement in how he chooses to parent. Equally having one day off for Eid isn’t unreasonable and not going to impact on their education .
I wonder if genuinely you’d have less of an issue if the faith wasn’t Islam?
Yes this isn’t what you signed up for, but it could be so much worse if for example he’d embraced a life of drugs, debauchery etc.28 May 2019 at 8:04 pm #25582
Solomummy, it is absolutely not normal to force children to not eat, my child has breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as various snacks (he is slim btw), it is well documented in schools that hungry children suffer educationally which is why so many schools are offering breakfast clubs and free school meals so it’s nonsense to say it’s normal for children, in fact I think it abusive.
Equally it is now illegal to take a child out of school without good reason and the parents could be fined for it, education must always come before religion so no its not ok to take a child out of school for religion.
You seem to be totally missing the point in that this man is alienating G through the use of religion, if he wants to believe fine but to victimise someone for their non belief is wrong as is trying to brainwash the children in such a way that it harms the relationship between a mother and her children which is what Gs ex is doing.
G said that she doesn’t have a problem with his religion so there was no need to make out she is islamaphobic, it’s the awful impact of the fathers religion that’s the problem not the religion itself which G made very clear.28 May 2019 at 8:05 pm #25583
Thank you for your input but I disagree in some points.
Erm not, my issue is not with Islam at all, I respect people’s beliefs but I don’t feel comfortable of how he’s deciding to bring religion into our lives. Because it affects my life too btw.
I would support them missing school for Eid if that was their chosen religion but it is not. They have openly said they don’t want to practice so I see not point for them missing school to celebrate something they are not even agreeing with. It is not that their education will derail it’s the reason why they’d miss school.
And not, he does not need my permission but I believe we both should consent as it is the childrens’ life we are deciding upon and whatever decision we take should be agreed.
What if both start to take unilateral decisions on how to bring up the children?
G.28 May 2019 at 8:43 pm #25584
Fasting is not for ongoing a child not to eat. A true muslim would always tell the children to break their fast if it was not appropriate. They eat and drink freely from sunset to sunrise. Many parents encourage the children to give up certain foods only or fast for only part of the day. This is the other parent’s decision however.
Likewise there is much research about the benefits of Fasting.
The op hadn’t mentioned the children Fasting on school days so your comments re that are as far as I can see purely an attempt to further enflame the op which is not bring supportive .
Taking a child out for Eid isn’t totally LEGAL. Again your assertion is inflammatory.
The ex isn’t alienating the mother by stating that from an Islamic perspective she as an atheist is destined for hell. That is a “basic ” fact from their perspective whether it offends our sensibilities or not. Though I disagree with that “honesty ” being shared with the children it alone isn’t sufficient to state alienation. Looking at the bare facts of the op, it could be deduced more that the poster is being incredibly inflexible towards the other parent’s choices, which is equally arguably a formal of alienation belittling his choices.28 May 2019 at 8:50 pm #25586
The children celebrating Islam isn’t dependent on them identifying as muslim in your eyes. The children may well be saying something different to the father.
I personally think let them have Eid with the father. It won’t harm the children. But may be good bonding for the children and father.
In an ideal world coparenting would involve discussion, compromise, agreement etc. But there’s no middle ground here. You don’t want any religion, he believes it’s his Islamic duty to raise the children with faith or be accountable and sinful if not. Ultimately you make many unilateral decisions about the children. You don’t pass everything through him. And though I fullyget tgat you’d want to discuss this, as I would, what middle ground is there? So you need to rely on the children saying what their wishes are if they disagree. ….
Exposure to faith won’t stop them choosing their faith in the future. I know plenty of adults who have chosen as adults to leave or embrace a faith when their parents were mixed faith.28 May 2019 at 9:14 pm #25588
I don’t think I am being inflexible, they have gone to other religious celebrations with their father and I have never opposed.
On the contrary, I think he is taking advantage on my undertanding attitude towards religion and he is taking more and more steps to bring them towards islamism. And in case you may wonder, I don’t care whether it is Islam, buddhism or any other religion.
On the fasting I don’t totally disagree with you, however the reason my son did fast was “to not to disappoint his dad” not for religious reasons, so I encouraged him to make his own decisions. Why would a 8yo think that fasting is the way to keep his dad? Because he is using religion as the link to keep him close.
I think you are being incredibly judgemental. Please point where have I said that his choice of faith was wrong or where have I said to my children that his dad is wrong? The opposite, it is a constant talk with them saying that it is his dad’s choice and that they have freedom to choose.
And they have plenty exposure to faith btw, in school, through friends, family… it is not like I am keeping them in a box and scaring them about God. It is his dad that says that non believers don’t go anywhere so I forced to explain about hell and heaven so they don’t worry their mum will not be there.28 May 2019 at 10:02 pm #25589
I am not particularly religious & I was raised as a Christian.
My daughter has attended church since she was 10 months old. As a parent it’s important to me that I have done my bit. When she gets older and she no longer wants to go then it’s fine with me. When I have tried to leave early my daughter has resisted and has wanted to stay longer. My sisters kids are half Islamic and she herself is a Hindu and the kids were taken to church even though she was a non-believer.
In this day and age where there are evil drugs circulated in schools by children . Facebook is a religion and children die by the knife people should encourage their kids to believe in something good and godly!29 May 2019 at 10:27 am #25591
Whilst I agree we are facing difficult times where children are exposed to a lot more than we did as children, I do disagree godly ways should be the answer.
As an atheist I do teach self love and love to others to my children without a god of any kind having to involved.
There is not right or wrong answer about religion it’s about belief. But please let’s stop demonising non believers.
G.29 May 2019 at 10:33 am #25592
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Rose29 May 2019 at 3:43 pm #25606
I am going through a similar thing.
Both parents have the rights on what religion they want their children to adopt. Their father should wait until your kids are 18 years of age so they can make their own minds up and he should respect that.
My children mother is converting to Islam and as I too am an atheist we have both agreed that no discussion if any will happen until our children are 18.