Dear Grandma,

I can’t seem to get my mother-in-law to back off and respect my parenting skills and religion. I’m of one religion and happy about it. She has left this religion and is now Born-Again. All she grandparents-1019594_640wants is my daughter to follow in her religion and do the very thing she does best: hurt people with a book. How do I tell her that it’s not a weapon?

Help!

Dear Friend,

It’s not your job to educate your mother-in-law. Your job is to give your own child religious training if that’s how you want to have her grow up. But let’s face it, many kids adopt a new religion when they are adults, or leave the one that they were raised in.

However, it is kind to respect all religions and not degrade them by saying rude things about them. If your mother-in-law starts in, just say to your daughter, “You know Grandma believes in one religion and we believe in another. What I want you to know is it’s important to respect everyone’s choices.” And I would say it in front of your mother-in-law.

If she continues, you and your husband will have to discuss this. It’s his mother so he should be the one to tell her discussing religion is out of the question because of her attitude and if she cannot be quiet about her choices you will have to limit her time with your child. That would really be sad. Kids need all the love they can get from every side. What they don’t need is to be exposed to bigotry.

Kindest regards,
Grandma Maggie

Peggy Moss, AKA "Grandma Maggie," was was a partner in BabyNames.com after she retired as an early childhood educator. Her Q&A column "Ask Grandma Maggie" is now republished with the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice. She has written many eBooks about parenting issues, available at Amazon.com.

Peggy, who passed in 2014, was mother to Sue, Kate, Jennifer, and Mallory Moss, and grandmother to Ike, Peter, Miranda, and Veronica.