20 answers

Parent Vs. Grandparent

If a parent clearly states their beliefs about not having their child attend an organized religious belief, but the grandparent does it anyways...should the grandparent respect the wishes of the parent? Or the parent has not say in the matter because the grandparent has chosen to do whatever they want? What are grandparent's rights in California? Who has more say in raising the child...the parent or the grandparent? How do you handle such a situation between parent and grandparent? I personally think that how the parent wants to raise their child should be respected by the grandparent.

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if i had clearly stated my wishes and the grandparent disregarded them i would not be a happy camper. i would never deny my kids a relationship with their grandparents, but this would definitely be a big case of me sitting down with them and laying down the law in no uncertain terms.
that being said, if one is clear, there is rarely an issue. since i never feared my parents or in-laws would take my kids to a service that would do anything worse than bore them, i never needed to have a confrontation with them about it.
but if push came to shove, custodial parents win.
khairete
S.

1 mom found this helpful

I also believe that the parents have the final say. I don't think it matters what state you're in - the parents have the right to say how the child is raised. Grandparents have to learn to bite their tongue and let their children raise their children. I'm the grandmother of nine so I can tell you from first hand experience, it's not easy, but I bite my tongue and let the parents make their own choices as far as the kids go and most of the time things work out just fine even though it wasn't my way.

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Yep, grandparents must follow the parents wishes. Lots of problems happen if grandparents dont ask for parental permission.
But please remember that the grandparents love the child as much as you do and in a completely different way, this is THEIR childs child and it's an amazing thing for us. We only do what we thing is best for our grandkids, we arent their parents and we know that and so does the child. You've heard the addage "When in Rome do what the Romans do"? Well, when at Grams and Gramps you do what Grams and Gramps do. As the children get older if they dont like visiting G. and grandpa anymore I'm sure they will let you know. I think the diversity that grandparents bring to the family unit is a necessary. I loved and truly miss all of my grandparents. One set were smoking alcoholics that watched baseball and football, the other set were devout christians and G. baked pies, cookies and took us to church.
We didnt go to church with our parents, ever. But they didnt mind when the grandparents took us.
And whatever you do and believe in your home is the foundation that your kids are growing up with, it will always be the first and foremost. What happens at G. and grandpas is a totally different thing, they dont live with them, they live with you. As long as your kids know what you expect at home dont worry too much about what goes on at G. and grandpas because I'm sure it is all LOVE based and couldnt be too harmful.

ADD ON:
I re-read your post and it is somewhat ambiguous. It sounds like maybe you are a single mom living with your own mom? It's kind of hard to make all of your rights work when you are living with your parents still. If you live there and your mom is your babysitter what is she supposed to do if she wants to attend a church thing while she has your child? Obviously she has to take the child with.
If you are still dependent on your mother or mother in law, these issues just need to be worked out while you sit at the dinner table. You really cant have your cake and eat it too. It might be better if you did give us a little more info so we can make clearer answers for your situation, right now we are all assuming different scenerios.

3 moms found this helpful

I think this question indicates that there are some deep seated issues between the adult child and the grandparents that are way beyond attendance at church. Personally...I would never EVER take my grandchildren to an event, whether it was religious, political, anything, if their parents had indicated that they did not want their child there!
I am a Southern Baptist...very active in my church and have very deeply held religious beliefs. Unfortunately, none of my now adult children are involved in church any longer....when they are here at my house to visit they are free to come to church with me on Sunday morning if they would like but I would never force the issue and I certainly would not take one of my grandchildren against their wishes.
My feeling is that you, or whomever you are writing this question about needs to work on their basic relationships with the grandparent ( I am not making value judgements here and saying that I think either side is "right" or "wrong" I am simply saying that the relationship needs to be healed).
As so the "who has more say"...unless the parent has lost legal custody or has been shown to be a danger or unable to raise the child, I would think that the law would side with the parent as opposed to the grandparent. We do not have enough information to really answer that question fully.

3 moms found this helpful

I get what you are saying but am not understanding why this has to be a fight. Is the organzied religion that the grandparents want to expose the child to illegal? Does it expose the child to certain danger? If it is simply a matter of the grandparents want to take their grandchildren to a Catholic church service because they are Catholic, for example, and you do not agree with the ideaolgy of the Catholic church, what really is the harm of allowing your child to go to a Catholic church service here and there with their grandparent. Why engage in that power struggle? Your child will be exposed to a lot of things that are outside of your control during his life time and I just don't think that sharing in a part of something that is part of their grandparents' heritage is going to do a lot of damage in the long run. You are still the parent and you still have the greatest influence on your child of anyone that your child will come in contact with in this lifetime, including their grandparents. Just relax and trust that your child will make the right decision for him/her and that you are still Numero Uno in their eyes -- unless you do something brash, controlling and irrational and blow it.

Now, if the organzed religion that you are talking about involves child sacrafices, certain molestation, and crimes against humanity and the law, then I would say that the parents' rights trump grandparents' rights each and every time. But really, do you really want to involve yourself in such ugliness and power struggle if you don't have to?

My suggestion would be to sleep on this for a few days and figure out what's really yanking your chain here before you declare all out war. I just hate to see people get to be so fighty with each other.

Please take care and understand that this post is just intended for you to get a little bit different perspective on this situation. That's all.

Updated

I get what you are saying but am not understanding why this has to be a fight. Is the organzied religion that the grandparents want to expose the child to illegal? Does it expose the child to certain danger? If it is simply a matter of the grandparents want to take their grandchildren to a Catholic church service because they are Catholic, for example, and you do not agree with the ideaolgy of the Catholic church, what really is the harm of allowing your child to go to a Catholic church service here and there with their grandparent. Why engage in that power struggle? Your child will be exposed to a lot of things that are outside of your control during his life time and I just don't think that sharing in a part of something that is part of their grandparents' heritage is going to do a lot of damage in the long run. You are still the parent and you still have the greatest influence on your child of anyone that your child will come in contact with in this lifetime, including their grandparents. Just relax and trust that your child will make the right decision for him/her and that you are still Numero Uno in their eyes -- unless you do something brash, controlling and irrational and blow it.

Now, if the organzed religion that you are talking about involves child sacrafices, certain molestation, and crimes against humanity and the law, then I would say that the parents' rights trump grandparents' rights each and every time. But really, do you really want to involve yourself in such ugliness and power struggle if you don't have to?

My suggestion would be to sleep on this for a few days and figure out what's really yanking your chain here before you declare all out war. I just hate to see people get to be so fighty with each other.

Please take care and understand that this post is just intended for you to get a little bit different perspective on this situation. This is written by a person who never really had grandparents so I the thought of being able to spend special time with them. My mother's parents died when I was very little and, because my parents split when I was very young and my mother did what she could to keep us kids from having any kind of relationship with my father's side of the family because her bitterness overroad her better reasoning. I would have killed to have some kind of family connection with my grandparents on both sides of the family even if it meant spending time attending meaningless ceremonies like attending a church ceremony. That's all I am trying to impress upon you now. Food for thought. I hope that you will be able to resolve this disagreement very soon.

2 moms found this helpful

The parents should have more say in raising a child, unless the grandparents share custody of the child. However, I think I would pick my battles carefully. If your parents normally attend a mainstream church and they are keeping your child for the weekend and want to take the child with them to services, that should be fine. They are probably not going to indoctrinate your child with a visit to a church or a sunday school class.
If you are ambivalent about religion or want to let your child choose when he is old enough, then exposing him/her to religion should be fine. A visit to church is not joining the church. However, if your parents belong to a religious group or sect that you find appalling or dangerous, then you should not allow your child to attend and you should discuss that with your parents and not leave your child with them during that time.

2 moms found this helpful

I am very anti-organized religion... and feel each child needs to grow up a bit in order to make their own choices. Having said that, I gave my Catholic parents permission to baptize her and take her occasionally to church with them. Reason behind that is, how can one make a balanced and objective choice if both sides aren't explored?

2 moms found this helpful

My very Catholic grandmother had me baptized in secret into the catholic church (she'd get her priest to come out and do it on the sly, so to speak, with all of her grandkids "just to be safe")... and then from that point onward it was all up to her kids and she never butted into how our parents raised us. To this day, I'm not sure if my parents know.

In western culture, the buck stops with the parents... in many asian and middle eastern cultures, it's either grandparents or eldest relatives. Ditto some parts of Italy & E Europe, but not all. If you've got a culture clash going on... no one is likely to bend and decide that they are "wrong" in their views of where the buck stops.

In my own house/ family... buck stops with me. Period.

2 moms found this helpful

if i had clearly stated my wishes and the grandparent disregarded them i would not be a happy camper. i would never deny my kids a relationship with their grandparents, but this would definitely be a big case of me sitting down with them and laying down the law in no uncertain terms.
that being said, if one is clear, there is rarely an issue. since i never feared my parents or in-laws would take my kids to a service that would do anything worse than bore them, i never needed to have a confrontation with them about it.
but if push came to shove, custodial parents win.
khairete
S.

1 mom found this helpful

If I asked my parents to not do something and they did it anyways I would be furious! However, I also agree with Denise, your not very clear as to the situation. If they are babysitting your kids during their normal time for church then you need to make other arrangments for your kids at that time. It wouldnt be fair to expect them to miss something they believe in. If your parents have legal custody of your children then they of course have all the legal say as to what happens. If none of this applies and your parents mislead you by sneaking the kids to church services against your wishes then I would politly let them know they will no longer be allowed unsupervised visits until they can understand you are mom!

1 mom found this helpful

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