Please help with JW Mother in Law


#1

As stated my mother in law is a JW, my husband is nothing although he does believe in God and Jesus, and he has agreed to raise our children Catholic, and he goes to church with us every week, and Holy Days.
Anyways my daughter is 3 and my son is 2, and our third child is due on Christmas. My main concern is them and her influence on them like confusing them while I am trying to teach them. I have tried to be respectful of her beliefs, and she will ask me questions about mine, and I try to defend the best I can, but she always has another answer. She leaves their pamphlets in my house, left me a copy of their bible. Give my children their children books as gifts. Insults the Church Fathers in front of me, I tried to defend my beliefs in Mary, and I started by quoting St. Augustine, and I got Oh did he talk to God, does he know better then God.
I am at wits end and do not know what to do, I try to bend over backwards for but get no respect in return. We were not even married in the church because she could not attend our wedding, (something that is the process of being corrected, I had just started coming back to church and my daughter was eight months old at the time we got married and my husband did not want to wait the six months to be married, so she was not only factor but a big one.) Also she use to babysit for me at night when I was taking my RCIA classes to be confrimed and my daughter would not pray with me at night for almost two months, she would say No Mommy prays I don’t. I have no proof that she is had a hand in this, just a feeling maybe a crazy one.
Sorry this is so long but does anyone have any advice or thoughts? Thanks


#2

Sometimes I wonder, did they stop making Catholic men that so many women here marry non-Christians??

Anyway, you are going to have a tough battle. Learn all you can about the JWs.

I’d suggest you visit this web site, catholicxjw.com/ hang out on the forums, meet ex JWs who can teach you how to battle for the souls of your children.


#3

You just need to set some boundaries. When she drops the stuff off, simply give them back to her, even if you have to wait until you see her again. As long as this conversation goes on, there’s going to be hard feelings. But she needs to respect your home and respect you as a parent. No if, ands or buts about it. She knows your beliefs and you know hers…once that line of respect is crossed, insulting another’s belief…conversation over.

I work with someone who is a JW and we get along pretty good, without either one of us compromising our beliefs. In the beginning it was a little rough but we moved past that. But she never hurled an insult towards my faith at all.


#4

I thought your husband agreed to raise the children Catholic? You need to light a fire under him (figuratively please :D) and remind him of his promise. That means he should be the one dealing with your MIL and telling her in no uncertain terms that pamphlets and faith promoting materials that run counter to his promise to you are not welcome and are at the point of causing problems. If he won’t, then you do it. Be polite, but be firm. Those little souls are your responsibility.


#5

Your husband goes to Catholic church with you and doesn’t have a problem raising your kids Catholic. I don’t think the mother-in-law matters at all in this situation. Your kids will listen to their parents, not her. Just let your kids know in private that she believes in a very odd, cultish form of Christianity. They’ll believe you (especially if you tell them that JWs don’t believe in birthday parties or Christmas!).


#6

This is a really good answer!

I work with Jehovah’s witnesses and have had a few long-term studies with them. Arguing with them is really difficult because even if you know your faith and history really well, they have been trained to respond with “stumpers” and to avoid addressing your difficult questions.

As Lainey63 says, you need to set boundries, and the first one should be ‘no material published by the Watchtower.’ no Bibles, no tracts, no magazines. You also need to sit down with her and explain that because of your ver different beliefs, she is not to instruct your children religiously in any way, nor is she to insult the Church in your childrens’ presence. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not supposed to read or listen to anything that criticizes the organization, so she should be able to at least understand why you’re drawing these lines. Tell her you want her in your family’s life, but you can’t allow this behavior to continue.

And, as Lainey63 stated, hold firm, she needs to respect your wishes, or leave. And there will be hard feelings and lots of uncomfortableness at first, but hopefully, after a few incounters - when she realizes that you really will stand your ground - your mother-in-law will be able to be involved without any religious issues.

A lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses have a difficult time focusing on something other than “kingdom business”, partially because a lot of them are lonely and a little socially uncomfortable; the Watchtower prepares them to talk about their religion, but not about anything else, so they’re on their own socially, unless they’re in a group of fellow Witnesses. Your mother-in-law may be struggling with this too, so have some sympathy for her there, just not so much you don’t stand your ground against her beliefs, sometimes its a hard line to draw.

Good luck!


#7

Stop bending over backwards and stand up straight. She is way over-stepping her role as grandma and is trying to take over YOUR role as parent to raise your children in whatever religion you see fit to raise them. You and your husband need to confront her together, in a calm, friendly way and let her know that she is not to interfere with the religious training of your children. She means well, but JWs are very agressive and have to understand that “no” means no!


#8

Thank you all for responses, and advice. I will try to stand my ground, I tend to be a bit of push over because I try to make eveyone happy, and I don’t want to be disrespectful to my husbands mom, so I just end up venting to my husband after she leaves. I know now that I need to be firm, and it helps to know that I am not the only one to think so. She never had a problem with my being Catholic until we had children and my husband started going with me, so I think her sudden interest took me by surprise this past year or two. Thanks again.


#9

I am curious how this turned out. I am dealing with this as well. Although my husband is also catholic my mother in law still tries to convert us. Even after my husband has told her to back off. Now she is working on my children. My son came home talking about the devil and revelations. Crossed a line for me and my husband. She is now no longer allowed alone with my kids. She now has scared a 6 year old out of his mind. How is munipulating and scaring a 6 yrs old christian???


#10

Sorry my response is late. It did not turn out as well as I like. The kids are now 6, 4, and 2. The few times I have had her babysit I have had to re-teach things, like the Trinity, that their grandfather is in Heaven, and most recently that God is not making a new body for him.
I have finally gotten to the point where she will not be alone with them. My husband I do not think agrees yet, he said he will talk to her. Honestly I do not have much faith in that, I do not like to make him choose between us, but he has said to me in the past it is easier for him for me to mad at him, than her because I forgive easier and do no make him feel guilty and constantly bring it up at a later time. I doubt the forcefulness of this conversation. It is very frustrating.


#11

[quote="Sheila82, post:10, topic:172674"]
Sorry my response is late. It did not turn out as well as I like. The kids are now 6, 4, and 2. The few times I have had her babysit I have had to re-teach things, like the Trinity, that their grandfather is in Heaven, and most recently that God is not making a new body for him.
I have finally gotten to the point where she will not be alone with them. My husband I do not think agrees yet, he said he will talk to her. Honestly I do not have much faith in that, I do not like to make him choose between us, but he has said to me in the past it is easier for him for me to mad at him, than her because I forgive easier and do no make him feel guilty and constantly bring it up at a later time. I doubt the forcefulness of this conversation. It is very frustrating.

[/quote]

I was going to suggest just that, when I noticed the thread was 3 years old. And I am pleased that you returned to update us, and glad that you realize that she is undermining your authority with your children through religion. It goes far beyond just tearing down their growing faith, although that is bad enough. But when she contradicts YOUR teaching, what she is doing is undermining your parental authority which will have dire ramifications when they become teens and if they want to test the limits in any other way. They may not even be able to articulate it, but somewhere in the back of their minds will be the thought, "Well, Grandma thinks Mom is wrong, so I've got someone on my side." And maybe Grandma will encourage rebellion because it will get the kids on her side.

NEVER allow her to be alone with your children again. If you are there, you can immediately correct any random falsehoods that happen to fall out of her mouth.

I don't care what the relationship is, you DO NOT allow someone to go behind your back and tear down your authority with your children. I know this from personal experience. Unfortunately we had no idea what was happening and we actually encouraged a relationship between our son and this relative. Only later did I find out how destructive he had been. It could have resulted in a child being born, at the best, or an abortion, at the worst. The relative felt no responsibility whatsoever for his part. Happily sowing destruction of lives and feeling free of consequences - wow.

Anyway, STAND FIRM!!!


#12

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