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  • #25573 Report


    Hi All,

    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


    #25574 Report


    Hi G.

    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.


    #25575 Report


    Thanks Mark,

    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


    #25577 Report


    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.


    #25579 Report


    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.


    #25582 Report


    Anonymous, 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.

    #25583 Report


    Hi Anonymous,

    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?


    #25588 Report


    Hi Anonymous,

    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.

    #25589 Report


    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!

    #25591 Report


    Hi Sherima,

    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.



    #25592 Report


    Hello, I’m one of the moderators.

    Discussions about religion can bring up strong feelings, no matter what your beliefs. Please think carefully about what you post and the impact it could have on each other.

    I would like to remind all of you of our Gingerbread community guidelines:

    We strongly encourage users to take a non-judgemental approach to other users to facilitate connection and support

    Thank you


    #25606 Report



    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.




    #25622 Report


    The thing is Anonymous my children are both Spanish by nationality and genes, I am not imposing it to them they feel half Spanish so allow me to say, the comparison is ridiculous.

    And as I said they have gone to religious events with their dad such as the local mosque events and also have celebrated Eid at school which I have always embraced without imposing my belief.

    They only found out I am an atheist after their dad brought religion into our lives and yes, I agree he wants to share his new lifestyle and my children eat halal (and so I do at times when I want to) but he is not respecting the natural process of being brought without religion to become religious in only two years. He is not allowing them to think by themselves. I agree with PeterD, this should only be discussed when they have the maturity to understand, otherwise it is plainly brainwashing.I find this wrong beyond words.

    The thing of not having a religion is that you can learn about ALL of the religions, so please stop insisting in that because I don’t have a god I am ignorant about religion.

    I was raised as a Catholic and I know what I am talking about.


    #25623 Report


    Hi Gam, your children are still quite young. I think you explain that their dad wants to try a new way of living and it’s fine for them to join in when they are with him if they want to.  However, if there is anything they don’t want to do or aren’t happy with, then they should tell you, and you will sort it out.

    Expecting small children to fast is not appropriate.  Make it clear to your ex that frightening them by saying they will go to hell if they eat pork, or that something bad will happen to you, is not in the best interests of the child.  On your time, carry on living as you choose.

    It may be fine. Your ex may tire of trying to involve reluctant children or he may find a way for it to work so everyone is happy.  I’d be led by your children’s reactions. But definitely no missing school. Education comes before anything.

    #25635 Report


    Hi Anonymous,

    If you read my original post I was asking for tips about how to cope with all of this, hence I think I am open to constructive opinion and unbiased help. Honestly you are the one putting the religion into the scope and have insinuated I have an issue with Islam and that I am not sufficiently educated about religion when this is not the case.

    I wasn’t my intention to have people on my side nor discuss faith but I am not interested in any of those options. My post was about tips from parents to deal with this and learn how they have coped with this in their experience. I am not religious but I am flexible in their learning.

    To be honest I don’t have to explain myself to you and yes, I consider brainwashing to say that non believers are not going anywhere also say that pork is disgusting when  he KNOWS pork is my main meat. It is your opinion to say it is inflammatory. This comments instigate fear and disgust for anything other than that religious beliefs. Totally irrational thinking.

    I have tried to talk to him and ask him to reduce the exposure until they are older but it’s not working.

    Your type of posting if anything is making more opposed to the idea of my children being close to any type of religion so I guess I get to thank you for that.

    Have a good evening.

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