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Old 04-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by FlightlessDuck View Post
If it weren't for the rules, I would love to have a discussion sometime about secular vs. religious holidays, and whether us Christians would like it better if our holidays were treated more like Muslim or Jewish holidays in the US. I guess Pagans would feel the same way as well, since Christmas falls during old Roman holiday and Easter may be named for a Pagan god, along with the conflict between Sanheim and All Hallow's Eve.

Alas, that will not happen...
I remember when I joined these boards and these discussions were still allowed. Holidays were a lot of fun and I received many messages of thanks for helping explain the pagan backgrounds and historical content behind them. Many did not know anything but the single religious backgrounds to them. I would say the majority of posters really enjoyed learning more about the background.

I will respect the beliefs of those whom home I am visiting. That said, there are some things that I will not bend on and I would most likely remove myself from any situation dealing with it.

However, I would also expect respect from the other person not to push their beliefs down my throat or to make derogatory comments about my beliefs. The respect needs to go both ways.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #77
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OK, well I never heard any anyone having a secular celebration for Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, so that's new to me.

But you certainly don't see a Ramadan Sale at Wal-Mart.
True about the sales--for whatever reason most religious celebrations for things not Christian don't seem to have as big of a commercial component as many Christian holidays do (but not all--you never see a "day of the immaculate conception sale or a Ascension Thursday sale either ). And of course, simply the fact that Christianity is the most common religion in the US drives that as well.

As far as having never heard of secular celebrations for non Christian hoidays I don't know what to tell you there. We know plenty of people who have them.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #78
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OK, well I never heard any anyone having a secular celebration for Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, so that's new to me.

But you certainly don't see a Ramadan Sale at Wal-Mart.
You picked some pretty somber holidays, "celebrating" Yom Kippur or Ramadan would be a little like "celebrating" Ash Wednesday in terms of tone.

Also, you've never heard of anyone going to a Chinese New Year parade, even though they're not Buddhist, or giving their kids Hanukkah gifts, or hosting a Seder, even though they don't hold religious beliefs? Both are really common here. I assume that parents from Muslim cultures would similarly keep Eid traditions for their kids.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #79
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Also, you've never heard of anyone going to a Chinese New Year parade, even though they're not Buddhist, or giving their kids Hanukkah gifts, or hosting a Seder, even though they don't hold religious beliefs? Both are really common here. I assume that parents from Muslim cultures would similarly keep Eid traditions for their kids.
Our Christian church does a Seder every few years hosted by a Messianic Jewish rabbi, but I never heard of non-Jews giving Hanukkah gifts. As for the Chinese New Year parade, I guess if I live'd in a city that HAS a Chinese New Year parade, I could see about going to one.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #80
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Treading lightly & hoping to have this discussion before this thread gets closed!

Why do you choose to celebrate those specific holidays in your family? Is it because you have family members who are adherents to those particular religions?? I only ask because I think it's an interesting mix of faiths & I personally strive to incorporate more world faiths into our family & traditions as a way of exposing our kids to the various belief systems out there in the hopes that they can make an educated choice (even if that choice is to not choose, like DH & I have decided) once they're of an age and maturity level to do so.
I have just seen the OP come back and do not want to derail further--but I'll PM you in a minute. I will say that I was raised agnostic, and still am, and DH was raised Catholic and still is but only loosely. We have close friends of varying faiths though.
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Wow! That's what I get for posting a thread topic and then being away from the boards for over 24 hours, huh?

The whole "religion" topic is what caused me to spend a few days phrasing my question before I even bothered to post. I REALLY did not want to veer off into where the thread derailed which is one reason I did not leave any specific examples with my original post.

That being said, I totally get that everyone has differing values and that it is healthy for kids to be exposed to differences in order to open dialogue as to what their beliefs/values are or should be. Totally get it. However, I wasn't really referring to that as much as this: Do you have certain things that you DO not compromise on when your kids are at family member's homes? What are the "no way, no how" areas? (I understand that this will be different for everyone.) If you do have these areas, HOW do you handle them? Do you reference the "rules" prior to the family get-together or do you find that addressing them as they come up works better? I can see problems with both-I do not want my daughter to offend the host(s) by stating something that might appear to be "judging" them nor do I want her to be exposed to things that we do not believe in.

Do you believe that consistency in your "family rules" outweighs the fact that you are together with family you do not see very often?

For example...My husbands' side of the family is very volatile and tends to be politically minded with every single one of the members of his family having a totally different political lean. This is ALWAYS discussed very heatedly at every get-together, and it is not pretty or constructive. Add to that fact that there is often heavy drinking and horribly offensive language being batted around in general...well, it makes me concerned about putting my daughter in that kind of environment...even for a short amount of time.

A totally different example from my side of the family: both of my sisters (one older, one younger) have preschool age kids. This past Christmas my older sister expressed concern about coming for Christmas dinner at my younger sister's house because my younger sister's daughter is not expected to sit at the table like her own children are. My niece has never been a good eater and so is often allowed to get down to play while we are eating. This was concerning to my older sister who said that this was a bad example to her own kids as they would rather be playing with their cousin instead of having to follow "the family rules" at the dinner.

As you can see, neither of these examples deals with religion so I hope we can steer the topic back on course.

Thanks! IVY
Okay, in your examples:

So long as there was no fear for safety, I would still go to visit family and let the political discussion happen and then afterwards talk with my kids about how it makes me sad that the family cannot debate their beliefs without being respectful of one another and how their use of bad language bothers me and is not the best way to convey a point.

For the second, I am a fan of "every family has different rules, what your cousins or friends or whoever do is not how I decide what is okay for you." All 5 cousins are within 3 1/2 years of each other in our family. We ALL have things we allow our kids to do that the other cousins cannot. I would never not get together with family just because of that. I'd tell my kids that they need to sit at the table as always if that is what I wanted. Or, I might tell them that at aunt so and so's house, and ONLY there they may leave the table when their cousin does and play nicely with her.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #81
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And OP, I apologize for my first response as I was writing it before I saw your response. So now I will answer your additional questions.

While I do not have children, we have had to deal with these questions within the family. Honestly, some things have led to some family no longer being welcomed on holidays. There were issues in the past where the ways other family acted (adults and kids) that led to a split in the family. When you flat out have people who do not respect the rules and beliefs of others it can lead to a lot of hard feelings.

That said, being exposed to things you "don't believe in" will not automatically make problems. In fact I often think such things, when exposed to properly, can solidify someone in their beliefs because it makes them think more as to WHY they don't agree with the other side.

Now, with your example of exposing your daughter to the political discussion, I sort of agree with you. To me, it is not about what the discussion is about. It is about how the "adults" are acting during it. I would be more worried about the heavy drinking and how the discussion is being done. My family often discusses politics and we have a huge range of beliefs when it comes to it. But we never yell, use bad language, or put down others based off of their beliefs. It is a polite, well informed, well argued discussion based off of fact and educated thought.

As for the situation with your sister... to me that is something that is not worth the worry. She needs to explain to her children her expectations. That should be enough. Is it really worth the fight and the strain it might put on the family relationship?
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #82
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #83
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Our Christian church does a Seder every few years hosted by a Messianic Jewish rabbi, but I never heard of non-Jews giving Hanukkah gifts. As for the Chinese New Year parade, I guess if I live'd in a city that HAS a Chinese New Year parade, I could see about going to one.
You've never heard of people who are not culturally Jewish giving Hanukkah gifts, or you've never heard of people who are culturally Jewish, but secular in their beliefs giving Hanukkah gifts?

All the people I know in the latter category celebrate Hanukkah and Passover in some fashion. Just like those of us who are culturally Christian, but don't actually believe in Jesus, usually have Easter and Christmas traditions.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:54 PM   #84
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Wow! That's what I get for posting a thread topic and then being away from the boards for over 24 hours, huh?

The whole "religion" topic is what caused me to spend a few days phrasing my question before I even bothered to post. I REALLY did not want to veer off into where the thread derailed which is one reason I did not leave any specific examples with my original post.

That being said, I totally get that everyone has differing values and that it is healthy for kids to be exposed to differences in order to open dialogue as to what their beliefs/values are or should be. Totally get it. However, I wasn't really referring to that as much as this: Do you have certain things that you DO not compromise on when your kids are at family member's homes? What are the "no way, no how" areas? (I understand that this will be different for everyone.) If you do have these areas, HOW do you handle them? Do you reference the "rules" prior to the family get-together or do you find that addressing them as they come up works better? I can see problems with both-I do not want my daughter to offend the host(s) by stating something that might appear to be "judging" them nor do I want her to be exposed to things that we do not believe in.

Do you believe that consistency in your "family rules" outweighs the fact that you are together with family you do not see very often?

For example...My husbands' side of the family is very volatile and tends to be politically minded with every single one of the members of his family having a totally different political lean. This is ALWAYS discussed very heatedly at every get-together, and it is not pretty or constructive. Add to that fact that there is often heavy drinking and horribly offensive language being batted around in general...well, it makes me concerned about putting my daughter in that kind of environment...even for a short amount of time.

A totally different example from my side of the family: both of my sisters (one older, one younger) have preschool age kids. This past Christmas my older sister expressed concern about coming for Christmas dinner at my younger sister's house because my younger sister's daughter is not expected to sit at the table like her own children are. My niece has never been a good eater and so is often allowed to get down to play while we are eating. This was concerning to my older sister who said that this was a bad example to her own kids as they would rather be playing with their cousin instead of having to follow "the family rules" at the dinner.

As you can see, neither of these examples deals with religion so I hope we can steer the topic back on course.

Thanks! IVY
1) As far as the political example, have to learn to tune them out and then leave before everyone is 3 sheets to the wind. That is something that quite frankly has no compromise or end to it.

2) The sister thing, is a good example. My kids would have to follow my rules and have to remain at the table. Remember, you are modeling different behavior and setting an example. It might prompt the cousin to stay at the table.

So bottom line avoiding things that are uncomfortable is not the way to teach your child your values. Your kids learn in the face of adversity, so don't forget that.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #85
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A totally different example from my side of the family: both of my sisters (one older, one younger) have preschool age kids. This past Christmas my older sister expressed concern about coming for Christmas dinner at my younger sister's house because my younger sister's daughter is not expected to sit at the table like her own children are. My niece has never been a good eater and so is often allowed to get down to play while we are eating. This was concerning to my older sister who said that this was a bad example to her own kids as they would rather be playing with their cousin instead of having to follow "the family rules" at the dinner.
We were just at a friend's house on Saturday... went to an Easter egg hunt at their church and then back to their place for lunch. For as strict as we are with our children, I believe that they're even moreso. Typically after DD finishes her meal, we let her get up from the table and play (basically so that DH & I can spend a minute talking to each other instead of her, lol!). But we've been to their house enough times to know that they don't allow anyone up from the table until EVERYONE is done. So when DD finished her lunch and wanted to get down, we told her she had to wait until everyone was done.

When they're at our house, we do the same thing even though we're the more lenient ones.

Our nephews pretty much run wild & get even crazier when they're around the whole family on holidays (thanks to some idiotic uncles). They rarely even sit down to eat when we're all together and BIL & SIL don't make them. That doesn't mean that DD gets to throw all our rules out the window though. She still has to sit (on her behind and not on her knees or hanging halfway off the chair) and eat all of her dinner -- or finish as much as we tell her to -- and then she can ask to be excused. I know we get looks of incredulity from BIL but oh well, that's how we choose to raise our kids.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #86
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1) As far as the political example, have to learn to tune them out and then leave before everyone is 3 sheets to the wind. That is something that quite frankly has no compromise or end to it.

2) The sister thing, is a good example. My kids would have to follow my rules and have to remain at the table. Remember, you are modeling different behavior and setting an example. It might prompt the cousin to stay at the table.

So bottom line avoiding things that are uncomfortable is not the way to teach your child your values. Your kids learn in the face of adversity, so don't forget that.
Interesting. For me and my family we follow our family values everywhere, but, except for safety related rules, when we're visiting we follow the rules of the household we're visiting.

For example, I allow my child to eat in the living room, my mother doesn't, so when he's at my mother's house he doesn't eat in the living room.

To me, getting down from the table is a rule, not a value, so I'd allow my kid to get down and play with their cousin.

On the other hand, there are certain words and phrases my child isn't allowed to say. To me, this is a value, so if we visited a family where they were allowed I'd call my kid over and remind him that we don't use them anywhere.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #87
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You picked some pretty somber holidays, "celebrating" Yom Kippur or Ramadan would be a little like "celebrating" Ash Wednesday in terms of tone.
I'll admit I don't know everything there is to know about Ramadan, but every Muslim I've known definitely treats it like a celebration at the end of the daily fast. There was a hookah bar & restaurant that I frequented when I was younger and every Ramadan, they'd invite my friends and I to partake of their amazing feast (and never charged us) when we went in for smoke. As soon as the sun went down and the feast began, it was like a party in that place.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #88
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Wow! That's what I get for posting a thread topic and then being away from the boards for over 24 hours, huh?

The whole "religion" topic is what caused me to spend a few days phrasing my question before I even bothered to post. I REALLY did not want to veer off into where the thread derailed which is one reason I did not leave any specific examples with my original post.

That being said, I totally get that everyone has differing values and that it is healthy for kids to be exposed to differences in order to open dialogue as to what their beliefs/values are or should be. Totally get it. However, I wasn't really referring to that as much as this: Do you have certain things that you DO not compromise on when your kids are at family member's homes? What are the "no way, no how" areas? (I understand that this will be different for everyone.) If you do have these areas, HOW do you handle them? Do you reference the "rules" prior to the family get-together or do you find that addressing them as they come up works better? I can see problems with both-I do not want my daughter to offend the host(s) by stating something that might appear to be "judging" them nor do I want her to be exposed to things that we do not believe in.

Do you believe that consistency in your "family rules" outweighs the fact that you are together with family you do not see very often?

For example...My husbands' side of the family is very volatile and tends to be politically minded with every single one of the members of his family having a totally different political lean. This is ALWAYS discussed very heatedly at every get-together, and it is not pretty or constructive. Add to that fact that there is often heavy drinking and horribly offensive language being batted around in general...well, it makes me concerned about putting my daughter in that kind of environment...even for a short amount of time.

A totally different example from my side of the family: both of my sisters (one older, one younger) have preschool age kids. This past Christmas my older sister expressed concern about coming for Christmas dinner at my younger sister's house because my younger sister's daughter is not expected to sit at the table like her own children are. My niece has never been a good eater and so is often allowed to get down to play while we are eating. This was concerning to my older sister who said that this was a bad example to her own kids as they would rather be playing with their cousin instead of having to follow "the family rules" at the dinner.

As you can see, neither of these examples deals with religion so I hope we can steer the topic back on course.

Thanks! IVY
When I was growing up, we often visited my mom's sister and her husband who drank heavily and often had discussions with language that our parent's didn't use. As kids, we would go play with the cousins. I knew the language and drinking were going on, but that was for the grown ups not for us kids. I also knew that what we did at our house was different. But it was always FUN for us to go over there, because of the differences and there were always a variety of people coming to visit them. It also taught me and my sibs which way we wanted to raise our families.

To the dinner table issue, at a large gathering, the kids are excited anyway and my food rules go out the window for that day. It's one day and it's a celebration for goodness sakes. Kids table and adults table would work here.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:05 PM   #89
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Interesting. For me and my family we follow our family values everywhere, but, except for safety related rules, when we're visiting we follow the rules of the household we're visiting.

For example, I allow my child to eat in the living room, my mother doesn't, so when he's at my mother's house he doesn't eat in the living room.

To me, getting down from the table is a rule, not a value, so I'd allow my kid to get down and play with their cousin.

On the other hand, there are certain words and phrases my child isn't allowed to say. To me, this is a value, so if we visited a family where they were allowed I'd call my kid over and remind him that we don't use them anywhere.
I also follow the "rules of the house".

I was speaking to OP about her sister's concerns and a different way to look at it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #90
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Political discussions mixed with alcohol can be very uncomfortable, especially when people use foul language, we don't contribute (usually hoping that the fight ends quickly) and as much as I sometimes would like to shield my daughter from bad influence or values I consider problematic, I don't do it.
Getting in contact with other views, other ways to express opinions and other values will be positive for her in the long run. She knows what behaviour and language is acceptable to us and concerning political views, beliefs and things like that she will have to form her own opinions anyway, I just try to be an example for her.

About the table rule: we have the rule that everybody stays at the table until we all are finished,my sister in law doesn't. When we are visiting my SIL I'm usually lenient. We visit 3,4 times a year, our daughter will be fine if she gets up earlier and play with her cousins. She knows that visiting relatives isn't the same as our every day life and that different families have different rules.

We don't have many no goes, I drew the line once, when her cousin called her horrible names and pulled her hair so hard he had whole strands in his hand (and my SIL still didn't say a thing) and I wouldn't accept dangerous behaviour.

Everything else we consider a life experience.
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