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3 Bumps

can you get a restraining order on grandparrents for exposing your child to religious material and concepts with violent themes?

My in laws keep talking to my daughter about death, dying, judgement and the afterlife. I have told them flat out to stop, and we have stopped allowing her to visit overnight with them because this has become such a problem. they have refused to stop, and she woke up lastnight from another "jesus" nightmare (If your an 8 year old, this makes perfect sense) after they took her to a "christmas play"(we wernt told about it, and she will not be going to any more) where 2 of the main characters were killed in a car wreck. she woke up at 4 am begging me not to let jesus take her. I am convinced that if they were taking her to violent movies, or reading her adult books, I could legaly do something to stop them, but because Its religious, no one will help.
My daughter is terrified, They sneak her off to church without telling us, they take her to "christian" plays without telling us, and are constantly talking about death, judgement, and the end of the world. My DD is 8 years old. She loves her grandparrents, and wants to make them happy, but she is starting to show real problems due to the exposure. (not just the nightmares, but panick attacks, and constant worry). as a mother, I believe religion or no, you should not be allowed to scare a child. but legaly, I cant do anything about it. So what should I do? Is this child abuse? do I report them? they take her places against her will without consulting me, they read her things innapropraite for her age, they talk to her about violence, and I'm at my witts end. what do I do? (and believe me, she wont be seing them for a long time after this one)

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Asked by kiwigoddess at 11:42 AM on Dec. 5, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 4 (55 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • I would stop letting them see her. It's not just about being exposed to a religion, it's about causing fear in a child and that's not right, no matter what you try to hide it behind.

    Answer by scout_mom at 11:45 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • simply stop taking her over there. that seems like a good enough solution, without getting the courts and everything involved.

    Answer by tnm786 at 11:46 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I wouldn't let them see her. Simple as that. I dont' think you can get a restraining order. But you don't have to let her go over there.

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 11:47 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • If I were you Id have a long sit down talk with the grandparents, and let them know that you feel disrespected. Maybe you shouldnt let your daughter visit until they can cooperate with mutual respect/est interest for your child.

    Answer by sugahmamma at 11:48 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Generally I would think there is not enough there to get an actual restraining order. But this is YOUR daughter, simply remove them from her life. When they call, tell them no, they can't talk to her. When the show up, close the door. When they want to take her, tell them they can't see her. And make it CLEAR why you are cutting them out. Will it cause some issues? Yep. But most grandparents are not willing to lose their grandchild over something like this and after a short time will back down and you can then reintegrate them in to her life with the clear understanding that this is NOT what they are to teach her. I made it VERY clear with my family, anyone teaching my children their beliefs (they are JW) would simply not have access to my children - PERIOD! We do not believe in teaching religion in any form and we will not allow other family to do it...

    Harsh, but it worked for us.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:48 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. If your in-laws refuse to comply with your wishes, then you have no choice but to protect your daughter. She is way too young to listen to this nonsense. Your in-laws sound like religious nuts.

    Answer by twinkletoes0408 at 11:51 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I don't think you should stop them from seeing her altogether. They need to be supervised with her. So, if they have lunch together, you are with them. That way they get to see each other and you get to monitor content and make sure that there is nothing disturbing about the conversation, activities, etc.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 11:52 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • PS...You could call CPS and report emotional abuse. However, CPS might not do anything. If they did, the grandparents could see your daughter through supervised visitation at a neutral location. If it were me however, I would not ever allow your daughter to ever be alone with them again.

    Answer by twinkletoes0408 at 11:53 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I would simply stop letting them see her. Period. The ONLY time I would allow them to see her would be if I were present. If they cannot follow your rules then they have no right to see her, especially if they scare her into nightmares. I believe in God but I dont believe in scaring children.

    Answer by samanthar140 at 11:55 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Do what I do with my mother in law. Say shes MY daughter and if you wont abide by my wishes you wont see her. Period. I'm sure they have the best of intentions but they're not doing it the right way. Also, you should talk to her about how you don't have to be afraid of Jesus so that when she gets older shes not terrified.

    Answer by bseastrand at 12:04 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

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