How do you handle relatives who just won't stop trying to 'save' you?
What if the missionary work is aimed toward your spouse or children?

I am atheist, my husband is atheist, my children are atheists. I am not opposed to religion so long as it respects the rights of others. After all , religion brings some people comfort and meaning. I think it is all bunk, but what's the harm. (As long as there is no harm.)

My mother is on a mission to save me and my family. She is persistent and she is driving a wedge between herself and my husband/kids. I love my mom and I know that what she is doing is done out of love for us. She loves us, so she wants to save us from hell. I would like my kids to have good memories of their grandma.

They don't like her very much. They think she is weird. They are not comfortable around her. Should I call it quits and limit how much time they spend with her or should I keep trying to play the peacekeeper: reminding them that she loves them and that this was how she was raised, etc. I don't want to loose her. In fact I sincerely wish there was a way we could connect on a personal level. But every conversation has to have some reference to her 'walk with the lord.' I have told her in the past that the harder she pushes, the more she pushes us away.


How do you handle pushy relatives?

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I'd let it go. Don't know about you, but my grandma was devoutly religious and I turned out alright (ish). You could just tell them she's a little crazy. Some would argue that's not much of a stretch.
Normally that's what I do. I think I just got a little weirded out because she changed tactics by writing a letter to my husband trying to convert him. Now that I've had a chance to air it all out and to listen to other people's experience in this area, I hope I can put it out of my mind (it has even cropped up in my dreams the last few nights).

Sheri, let your mum bang on about her god. Kids always love their grandparents no matter how nutty they are, when my mum died my aunt stepped in as a proxy nan to my daughters and she can't say three sentences without bringing up some angel or saint. But the  daughters love her and I don't argue my point because she only talks of love and eternal happiness. If she were to suddenly start spewing damnation and hell fire- I would have to step in and stop her.

Why don't you gently remind her that kids love to hear about the old stories about the ark or the good samaritan. These stories are harmless as long as you tell stories of fairies and goblins in the same fashion. With love and honesty.

Your kids will work it out.

Is it at the point where every single meeting is stressful, upsetting, non-constructive and aggravating? Is there any compromise from her side? Is it beginning to feel borderline-abusive?

At this point I think my mom and I are the ones who are the most stressed by our visits. My husband doesn't understand most of the religious references she brings into the conversations because he wasn't raised in an evangelical home. My kids just sense that there is something slightly 'off' about their grandma. I guess I'm just worrying because I know how she thinks. She is getting more and more desperate as she ages because she knows she is running out if time to save us. She recently turned her efforts toward my husband. This is a change in her MO. She made several references to Satan and how he, my husband, shouldn't be fooled into being an agent of Satan. What if she turns this kind of poisonous talk toward my kids? What if she convinces my children that their parents are agents of the devil? Am I being paranoid? She is a loving person and it is hard to imagine that any mother would do that to her children. But she is consumed with her mission to save souls.
We try to 'prepare' our kids with open and respectful dialogue about the conversations she already has with them. We tell them that everything she says is because she loves them and she honestly believes that she is doing what is best for them. We have explained what she believes and that for her it is very real even if it different from what we think or even just common sense.
I try to prepare them for the time when those conversations will include fire and brimstone by coaching them to change the topic or reply with 'I love you too grandma'

I have no idea what to suggest or recommend except don't let anyone scare your children with superstitions or toxic nonsense. I love your response "I love you too grandma". That's sweet.

Good luck and strength :)

I quit visiting my mother for an extended period of time when she wouldn't lighten up on the proselytizing. She got the message and now holds her tongue on matters of religion. There is so many other things to talk about anyway.

Maybe she's just worried that she will be unhappy because she won't see you in heaven. That worried my mom too until I asked her if there would be any unhappiness in heaven. She answered no. I explained to her that I had heard that God would remove all memory of any loved ones not in heaven so that you couldn't be unhappy in heaven. That seemed to work for her. Now she's gone so I know she's not unhappy. She's not anything.

"don't worry, if your god has a plan for me to be 'saved', i will be, with of without your in put" - there are 100 ways to put this in a more sympathetic way, entirely up to you.

I am no parent but i can tell you maybe the best thing to do is sit down with your kids and tell them that some people are not "Weird" But there different and come across as "Weird" because of how they act or what they say. When they's different people just need more time to understand everyone's different as well as themselves. But that depends on there age and i am sure you all ready told them something along this line. As for you mother i would allow her to do what she does and in-return make  a deal that your mother can tell them her side but keep it to a limit? make sure she doesn't push them to hard. but idk some people even dont understand that.

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