How do you determine...
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: How do you determine...
...who you allow your kids to play with? I'm not sure if that's the right question or not. Please know that I'm NOT trying to debate hunting here. You could replace that issue with anything you feel strongly about in light of this discussion.
I hope this comes out clearly. We recently met a family at a local park (we're new here). They invited us for a playdate. That in itself was a bit of a struggle for me because I'm cautious with new people. That aside, they seem like a nice family, etc., we met for a playdate at the same park. Know little to nothing about them really, played with just the moms and kids.
They get to the park and kids are going on (ages 6,4,3,1)and on about "Dad got a deer this morning. We drug it out behind our house in the woods and Dad's gonna clean it today!!!" (full of excitement.
Uhhhhh...hello...I'm HUGELY against hunting!!! Let alone small children being exposed to it. My dd doesn't even know that people hunt animals and when she finds out, she will tell me they need to be put in jail. (I'm not too far behind her, so I don't want to offend anyone but this is an issue for me.)
The mom continues later during the playdate to tell me they just bought a puppy for the family. Okay great, I'm a huge dog lover, whatever. She then goes on to talk to me about how they primarily got it to be a hunting dog. On top of this they have come off to me as very Christian people. They seem very active in their church and seem to be a very loving family.
Now to me (again, not to offend I hope but to explain my feelings about this situation) hunting is TERRIBLE. Then to profess your strong Christian faith and go out and murder God's animals for fun takes me to a whole different level.
They were a nice family overall. We don't seem to have a ton in common as mothers, but nice enough to visit with. It got me thinking though. We want to raise a child that is tolerant and not judgemental of the way others live. HOWEVER....where does that fine line begin and end? When that line goes into something you feel so strongly about, what do you do? If we were to go to their home for example, my dd (and me!) would likely see their animal prizes on the walls and maybe even a dead deer in the backyard! I can barely keep my mouth shut as it is, without exposing my daughter to what this means and how our own family feels about it.
I'm not sure we will get together again honestly, just because and completely outside of the hunting thing. I'm not sure there was enough of a connection between the mother and I, but we possibly will at some point. Overall it has really made me think. Natalie didn't really catch what they were saying I don't think, partly because she's completely ignorant to the fact that there are people who do this. She hasn't asked anything because I don't think she comprehended what they were saying.
If she did, what would you say? I don't feel like this is something I can say, "This is something their family takes part in. It's different from us, but it's fine for them" because I absolutely don't feel that way!
Do you see what I mean? I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this, regarding issues that you really find offensive that you might encounter with friends of your children. How can I tell Natalie that we believe it's very, very wrong to hunt? When she even understands hunting (if she does anytime soon) she will be devastated and probably tell them how terrible it is. ????? It's not that I don't want her to know about hunting. I'm fine with explaining hunting to her, and then telling her how we feel about it. But in light of possible new friends who have hunting as a major family event, that's a different story, no?
Can't wait to hear your thoughts...
Well, if someone doesn't go out and kill the deer, people will be dying in car/deer accidents. That's wrong, too. I've been in 3 car-deer accidents in my life and they are very disruptive to your life.
There are way too many deer in Wisconsin. Even with the deerhunt every year, there are still many, many car-deer accidents.
I personally don't hunt, but know plenty of people who do. Besides, venison tastes good.
When the pioneers were developing this country, they would have starved if they didn't "kill God's animals."
I personally wouldn't hold it against them. My BIL hunts deer and he's a very nice person.
I guess you explain what it is, and then explain that you and Daddy feel it is very wrong, but that other families don't feel that way. Tell her you can't change those other families and it's not even your place to try, but you feel so strongly about it that sometimes you don't think you can even be friends with people who believe so differently than you. Explain you should be polite and friendly, but you don't have to be FRIENDS because you feel your differences will get in the way.
Personally, my immediate reaction was, 'that woman has way too many kids way too close in age to be friends with an only child'. I think you and Natalie are going to go NUTS with that much chaos when you are not used to it.
I'd be very curious as to what the Bible might say about hunting for sport. Anyone?
Dawn - a)The deer population in IN is outrageous. I believe their should be a organized means of reducing the deer population through Parks and Forestry. I understand that it is needed for the good of everyone, but it should be done in a different way. b)Pioneers had no other food, and they used the skins of animals to survive in the cold. Totally different than buying a $250 hunting watchtower, sitting in camoflaged clothing with a high powered rifle, completely unseen, preying on an innocent animal in their natural habitat.
I DON'T want to debate this. I'm asking a different question, not if you agree with hunting.
Kate - I think you are right if we were in a home and not in a park. Natalie had a lot of fun with them in the park setting, but in a home with toys and so many options, I don't see it. I'm not sure we will be getting together with them again, but I can see this mother calling me at some point again and we will go from there.
It just really made me think. I think what you said,Kate, that "sometimes you feel so strongly about it that sometimes you don't think you can even be friends with people who believe so differently than you" is a good way to talk about it.
Have any of you encountered potential friends or neighbors that "do" or believe in something that you find so offensive you question your association with them?
I had a hard time digesting that my husband hunted when we first met. Granted, he only hunted birds, but still. I actually told him I couldn't date him because of that and when we got married I told him it was on the condition that he never hunted again and didn't talk with the kids about it.
I think it's easier to teach your kids to be less discriminating about an issue when you yourself feel at ease about it first. It's hard to preach something to our kids when we have strong feelings towards it. Kaitlyn and I have talked about hunting because she has stumbled across those horrible tv shows about hunting and asked questions. I just tried explaining that a long time ago there was no such thing as a grocery store so people had to find their own meat. It's the perfect time of year to be talking about it as the kids are learning about Indians in school. ;) But I told her now there are some people that still like the idea of finding their own food instead of buying it. We discussed how we love animals a lot so it's not something that our family would do but other people feel differently and that's okay. We still treat them the same, talk to them the same, play with them etc....
If I had a neighborhood family active in hunting currently I might be tempted to mention my beliefs to them so they can try to avoid the talk in front of my kids. There has to be a common respect for both sides.
Well, dh hunts, but not just for sport. We eat everything he hunts, either deer or birds. I don't know many people that just hunt for sport. Most eat what they kill. And, unless you are a vegetarian, I guess I don't see the difference in eating meat you buy at the grocery store, or meat from an animal you kill. The meat you serve at your table is also "God's creature"
I guess I have not run into a situation where I wouldn't let my dks play with other kids because we felt that strongly about something their family did. The only reason I have not allowed my dks to play at a friends house is because I became aware of a lack ,of what I thought, was proper supervision, when they were over there. If people do things or believe differently then us, I just tell my dks that their beliefs/rules are different from ours. I explain that it is okay, everyone is different. I don't find anything wrong with exposing my dks to different ideas, opinions, etc as long as it isn't harmful to them. It is a great way to talk about our values, etc and why we feel the way we do.
Honestly, I understand that you are asking a different question, but you aren't going to be able to avoid a hunting debate when posting a question like that. That said, to stay as close to the point as possible without debating, I think that you and Chris have to make this decision based on your gut. The reality is, not everyone believes the same thing, and in this case, you have rather extreme feelings on the topic. On one hand, you want to teach your children to accept all people, regardless of their beliefs, and on the other, you need to live your own beliefs. One way *I* would look at it is if I were a vegan, would I stop my children from hanging out with meat-eaters? I use this example because it is a more extreme choice than most vegetarians, and one that people feel very strongly about, but it is not a very mainstream one.
Have I encountered anyone who does or believes in something I find so offensive that I would question my association with them? I can't really think of a time... I've had friends that have had beliefs I very adamantly disagreed with, but I can't think of any where I couldn't just agree to avoid the topic. Of course, this isn't a close friend you are talking about, so it would be difficult for you to say "Hey, I am really very against hunting, and would prefer not to discuss it, or have you guys discuss it in front of us." This really may not be a friendship you want to pursue, because of the way you feel and how integral it is to their lives.
You gotta go with your gut. Bottom line.
Hunting is not an issue for me. I don't care to hunt, but it doesn't bother me. But if I were with my child and met another family who had different values that made me uncomfortable, I would not continue to expose my child to those things. They have plenty of time to be exposed to unsavory things in their lives. As long as I can shelter my kids with my values, the happier I'll be.
I guess it depends on the issue and how old your child is, yours is young and would probably have limited understanding so I guess in your situation I would just let that friendship go. It's not like your dd can't make other friends and why have the hassle. My dd is older, 6th grade if the people aren't smoking, using drugs or watching I am usually ok with things they believe that I don't. My thing would be people who are into Ouji boards and occult things, that would be a no go at any age. I just talk to my dd about what I believe and what they have going on and usually we have great discussions. I think you have to be careful of being too protective, like no one is ever good enough, it is good to see how the other half lives. For now I think it is fine to let this friendship go just be aware of doing it too much as she gets older.
We want to raise a child that is tolerant and not judgemental of the way others live. HOWEVER....where does that fine line begin and end? When that line goes into something you feel so strongly about, what do you do?
I think THIS is your major question here. Being tolerant and non judgemental of others should not have a fine line. There are tons of things people do that I might not agree with. Heck, some I even feel VERY strong about. But if you are going to just write people off because they do something that is totally legal, just happens to be against YOUR rules, to me, that is one of the very definitions of judgemental and non tolerant.
I'm not sure I understand the hunting issue. We are vegetarian and I find it equally offensive when people eat meat so I'm not sure I understand how hunting is any different then going into the grocery store and eating "Gods Creatures". I'm not trying to turn this into a debate either just trying to explain this from another perspective. Animals that are produced for consumption are treated far more cruelly then someone going into a forest and shooting a deer at least they don't suffer like chickens do for example. I certainly do not understand the christian element here, most christians eat meat, most animals produced for human consumption are treated inhumanly - I won't go into this area of discussion but if you feel that strongly about animals, I would suggest doing a little research on how animals are raised and slaughtered it's quite an eye opener.
If I avoided everyone that ate meat, we wouldn't have any friends. So while you can avoid people that you have different beliefs from you, what are you really teaching your daughter. I think there is a good lesson in tolerance here, it's not like their into anything illicit, it's legal and condoned by the general public, so I think that you can explain that while you don't believe in hunting some people do. Just like we explain to our children we don't eat meat because we don't want to hurt animals and we don't think it's a healthy option for our family although many of our friends do, everyone is different, we are all God's creatures.
I'm off for the weekend, I SO HOPE I did not offend anyone here, I just wanted to give another perspective on this topic. I'm not suggesting that anyone stop eating meat. This is just our choice and our reasons. Have a great weekend everyone.
I would start with the other family. Let them know that hunting is something you do not agree with, so much that you have not even exposed your children even to the idea that it exists. Ask them to refrain from discussions about hunting in you or your children's presence. If they agree, they respect your differences. If they don't, then clearly you would not be interested in their friendship anyway.
I would also then take the time to explain to my own kids about hunting, why others hunt (and I have never met a hunter who didn't eat his game....unless it was lion or something, but I only know deer, pig and foul hunters, LOL). I would make sure they understand that it is common practice and they are still nice people, and not people breaking the law. Esp if you live in deer country. I would be shocked to find more non hunters than hunters in a neighborhood.
And I know hunters who take pride in eating their game rather than eating slaughtered grocery store meat. I see their point. At least their meal got to live a decent life. Don't get me wrong. No way could I hunt or enjoy hearing hunting stories. But I think the hunter is more humane than myself for allowing someone else to do the dirty work for me, so I can eat without seeing the reality of where my meal came from. Most of the families I know who are true hunting families (which it sounds like your new "friends" are) never eat meat from a store. They keep everything in the deep freezer and eat it until the next hunting season.
Prayers to you in finding truely close frieds. I'll say a prayer that God sends you some wonderful opportunities to make friends that "fit" your family.
Vicki- You're right that is my big question. I don't want to write them off because they hunt. I do want to be tolerant, but it's laid out in their backyard! That's my big problem - it's a big part of their lives and it's in the BACKYARD where my child would play. Where the children tell their dad's hunting stories and talk about deer 'parts'. Isn't that different? I'm not saying I don't ever want to speak to a hunter, but I don't want to see it and I don't want my child "around" it. Isn't that different? For meat eaters who could care less about hunting, would you want your child at a cow or hog killing? They might know it happens but do you want them around it? That's my issue.
I see what you're saying Vicki about there shouldn't be a fine line with not being judgemental. On the other hand though, I completely don't want my dd to "see" the evidence of this big part of their lives. I can discuss it with her, but by being friends and visiting their home, she (and I) will see and hear all about it. That's the big problem.
As far as eating meat, Natalie doesn't eat meat. I eat little. It bothers me very much to eat meat, yet I've tried to find a balance for meals for our family. (DH eats meat) I see that point, yet I think hunting is totally different and I will leave it at that.
I really didn't think it would be a debate about hunting, so I guess that was naive. Chai~latte, interesting that you say that. We've made some new friends from India and they do not eat meat. I was with a few ladies lastnight and we started discussing meat/animals. She explained their reasons for not eating meat, then 2 other ladies went on to describe killing chickens and how fun it is, and killing other animals on farms when they were young. She had to leave the room and I followed! What kind of conversation is this? They apologized for offending then told what they felt were 'hilarious' stories about chickens and pigs dying. I was appalled. It came right back to this topic, but that's more the debate side. Just interesting that you bring that up after last night's encounter. The Indian woman and I spoke about it, and she said that her issue is with telling her DD that other people eat meat and that's okay for them, but not for us. I wish I could feel fine with just saying that on this.
I can't think of another hot topic scenario where I would feel this way. I'm running them through my mind and I can't think of one where I would feel so uncomfortable about it.
I guess the bottom line is if we feel uncomfortable with it, we just don't do it. I'm not going to put myself into a awkward situation of something I feel strongly about. I can tell DD all about hunting, but she doesn't have to see/hear about it firsthand.
BTW...hunting is huge here, as you said Dana. Plenty of people eat it, but plenty have heads all over their walls. I'm absolutely in the minority, I'm sure of that. I don't feel like I can tell them to not talk about something that's a big part of their lives though.
Imamommyx4 - I think you're so right.
A couple of things. First for me I draw the line at safety. Smoking is one of those hot button issues for me. I didn't let my young children go play at peoples houses that were open smokers. I felt like it put their health in danger, but I did let those children come to our house, I did meet at parks etc. But when you can smell the smoke on someone and you have seen them chain smoke, you just know the house is full of smoke. We have family members who died of lung cancer, every dead person in my family for 2 generations has died from some sort of cancer. That is a risk I can avoid. We didn't preach it to my kids, we didn't say anything to those people, it was just how it was. I found 2 people in their toddler years that fit that description. Now as they are older, we do talk about how smoking is bad for you. It is addicting, it is gross, and onc eyou start it sooo hard to stop. Because my children haven't really been around smokers (my hubbys sister smokes, but very discreetly), the smell of smoke really bothers them. My dd on her own quit going to a friends house last year because it smelled so bad. I also feel as teens if your parents smoke your odds of smoking are way up there and so are you friends.
As for hunting, eating meat. Honestly there is an age that yes your kids do need to see what they are eating, in my opinion. I grew up raising cattle for us to eat. My dad still does. We have never hid this from the kids (we didn't start getting it to eat until the youngest was in 3rd grade). My dd went through a few months of being vegetarian because of it...she got over it. Meat is meat, whether hunted, farm raised or grocery store bought. But health wise, I pick farm raised, then hunted over anything I buy in the grocery store. I have never hunted, but have been around hunters.
I personally do not understanding your hunting issue and you not being a vegetarian.
I do understand not want to hang out with the hunting family. I don't like to see dead animals on the wall. I don't like to hear children talk about bleeding out an animal. I dated a boy in high school and his dad and he cleaned deer meat to make money. OH my gosh..it is so gross. I stayed away during hunting season. Not because I found it offensive, just gross. Killing of animals is gross. I don't think it is wrong, just a gore factor.
On a side note, you said something about the parks dept doing something about the deer control. They do, they open it up to hunters. In texas every year they study the deer in the off season and how many dear and what type you can hunt is specifically controlled. There are huge fines and imprisonment for breaking these limits.
I think your question was how do you let your child be friends with someone you feel is wrong and not be judgemental. The answer is you don't. If you feel it is wrong, then you won't be able to get past that. Telling a child they do that and we don't agree is judgemental. However if telling your child, we aren't hunters, we think it is just gross and don't like it is different. I guess you will find that if you feel so strongly about something you have to take a stand. It is your job to teach your child your morals and values, when they are older they get to decide where you are wrong HOpefully they don't make those decisions on important issues!
Anyway, you have two things. You have to figure out if hunting is moral issue that you want to pass on to your dd. So when she brings home a boy and you find out he hunts, then it is over (just like if he were to smoke).
Second with this family, really what you don't like is they seem a little "Redneck", sounds a little like something you know you are a redneck if your small children can tell 5 stories on how to skin a deer. YOu don't have to be friends with people that don't share similar interests. Most of have friends who are a lot like us. That is okay. That is part of what makes us friends.
As far as God's creatures - I believe the bible says something like Adam was given dominion over all the animals - which means we can do what we want with them. In fact there is MUCH ritual slaughter of animals in the bible - so there really is no paradox or hypocrisy about a very christian family that hunts.
I do understand what you are saying. It bothered you to have her exposed to all this talk of deer hunting. You would not want her going to their house for a playdate and seeing hunting "evidence". I would not want that for my children. I wouldn't want my children around the guns - but that's a whole other issue.
I guess you can just let them play in the park together or invite them to your house, but not go to theirs. Just keep it an "outside" friendship.
In general though, where does tolerance end? It doesn't - otherwise it's not tolerance anymore. We can't be non judgmental when we feel strongly about something - unless we change. You can say this is something their family does. We don't do it. Leave it at that - without the part about feeling that it is wrong.
We will meet many people with many different lifestyles. If I want my children to be accepting of others and truly non-judgemental, I need to put aside my prejudices and let my children see others as normal. Different from us but not better or worse. We have friends whose parents are the same gender or not the same skin color, friends who have only one parent, a friend who writes for a magazine you would not have in your home, friends who believe very differently from the way we do.
We all get along because what we do have in common is greater than our differences. We want our children to grow up differently from the way we did - without the prejudice and the baggage we still carry.
We hope to teach them by our example what we believe is the best way for us to live, but we don't want to tell them that others are "wrong" or "bad" or "immoral" or "unsavory".
It is a tough place to be, Deanna. It's much harder to talk the talk of tolerance and being non judgemental than it is to live it. In the end you will need to do what you feel is best for your child and your family.
Well, I draw the line at people that don't worship God (devil worship) and witches. ;)I do not want my kids near those people. If I were you, I would run the other way and not play with them again. Since you feel this strongly about the hunting.
My ds is out deer hunting with his Dad right now, as I type this. I am proud to say that if I were ever stranded in the woods or somewhere, the men in my family could hunt/prepare/cook/and feed us. I would never take that SKILL away from my men. I hope they get a deer this morning and my soon to be ex is nice enough to let us have a little of the meat for the freezer. Because it saves me a lot of money at the grocery store.
We also fish in the summer and they can catch/clean/cook the fish for dinner. Again, I wouldn't raise my boys or girls without these skills. Of course, I also secretly want all my boys to do some time in the military, as well. lol (but that's another post lol)
When I was a child my Dad lost his job. I remember having peanut butter in the pantry and nothing else, at one point. Of course, we were fortunate that Dad had bought some calves the year before and they were ready to be slaughtered and processed about that time and we quickly had a freezer full of beef. So, we were able to eat steak instead of peanut butter. lol I think we are naive to think that hunting for food will never happen in our life time. God has amazing ways of teaching us humility. ugh I will NEVER forget that someone can lose a job tomorrow, and all their money, and end up unable to buy food... You can go get food stamps. But I might choose to fish, hunt (dh hunts birds, deer and squirrel?? yuck- I guess if I was hungry enough I would eat a stupid squirrel ewwww), grow a vegetable garden, trade something for a goat or cow, etc...;) lol
You shouldn't put so much thought into it and just skip over this family and find another that is a better fit for you. I am sure the family will understand and not lose any sleep over it. I do not mean that in a hurtful way- so don't read that wrong!!! I am just being matter of fact. I wouldn't worry about it, just don't hang out with them??! Ya know?
I really do hope God brings someone into your life soon that has more in common with you. Because that is very important!!!! I know how hard it is to move and make new friends. It can actually be quite draining. I moved every 1-2 years when I was growing up. It sucked! So, as an adult, it is a HUGE deal for me to move now. I do not want my kids to have to go through making friends over and over again and adjust to new schools, etc...
I am ROFLMAO. You are in for such a rude awkening when you DD goes to school. The kids, both private and public, talk about everything. My DS is a hunter and he's 10. The papers he writes and has to read to the class concern hunting. You can't protect her from every single thing you disagree with. She will grow up not being tolerant and very lonely because no one will want to be her friend.
I draw the line at illegal activities and if the environment is not safe or well-supervised. I try to teach them to be tolerant and see other people's points of view, even if they don't agree with it. they would be excluded from a lot of fun with friends if I said no just because the family did something I don't agree with. For instance, I don't agree with trap hunting but my kids are friends with families who do that. It doesn't make them a bad family.
We are a hunting family and Christian. we don't agree with trophy hunters or those that kill just to kill. We eat what we kill. Our church does a huge game dinner with nearly 2500 people in attendance. The biggest animal abusers in the country are the Amish. But, it's their way of life and they view all animals differently than we do. They serve a purpose and aren't seen as pets.
If you want to see cruelty, look in the meat department at the local supermarket. Those animals suffer. They have no choice and no chance of escape. It's a life of h$#@ for them. Living in farm country I know how they slaughter them. At least the deer have a chance. And, in Illinois, high powered rifles are illegal to hunt with.
I think the part that I questioned in the post was...they seem to be christians. Come across as Christians.
Did God say we shouldn't eat meat?
I also wondered about the Christian thing. I'm pretty sure animals were sacrificed in the Bible for various reasons, and that it says God put them here for us. The argument about no longer needing to because we can go to the grocery store holds no water either, because as people pointed out above, they are treated way worse when raised to be slaughtered. The food in the grocery store doesn't just magically appear from thin air, that was a cow or chicken or pig that was killed and packaged. The method of killing is usually horrific, like a nail gun to their skull. They are kept in small pens, fed chemicals/hormones many times, etc. The only way to avoid that is buy organic, free range food, and even then, the farmer had to butcher them. Do you and Natalie wear leather shoes, or carry leather purses? That leather didn't spontaneously appear either. It goes back to my vegan example... if you are truly against hunting for the reasons you gave (and personally, I don't like hunting because it grosses me out, but I can at least recognize that it is humane and necessary) you should be living a vegan lifestyle. Otherwise, it's fairly hypocritical.
That said, I still stand by my original point... if you don't want to debate hunting, the only advice anyone can really give you is to look deep inside yourself, decide what kind of values you want to pass on to Natalie, and what you can tolerate.
I don't think I feel very strongly about things that aren't things that everyone would generally be concerned about, things regarding safety. We aren't into hunting but many people here are. I personally don't know of anyone who does that is in our close circle but it's not a hot button issue for me personally.
That being said I guess it depends on when you feel you should tell her about hunting especially since it's common where you live. It doesn't sound like these are people she would sorely miss because they weren't part of her regular playdates if you don't want to befriend them further.
I guess the biggest issue I have encountered is I don't want my kids around kids whose parents think nothing of cussing around children. There are a couple of them so we stay clear. We never got to be good friends with them anyway, we are polite and wave, etc. It's not a big deal.
The world is a big,scary place for everyone let alone the thought of sending your baby out there. I think between the big move you guys had and facing her starting kindergarten etc you have had some major things going on. I think with her being your only child this is probably magnified. Is it possible that you are very sensitive after the move? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being concerned about hunting or where she goes to school etc. Just some of your posts come across to me like you are scared so I was wondering. Not judging or anything. I would be scared and unsettled for a long while if I moved even though sometimes I dream about it!
You are going to come across this many times as you raise your children, people who believe or do something that is mind blowing offensive to you. Really the only thing you can do, is to be friendly but limit your contact with people like this. We or rather I, ended a friendship that dh had when our oldest was about 2. The other couple had no problem spanking their child for the slightest infraction. I have a HUGE problem with spanking and I couldn't be around people like that because it upset me to much. You will find people in your community that think are like minded, it just might take a little time.
Tayjar - I can't protect her from what she HEARS at school, but I can protect her from seeing dead deer in someone's backyard. I was offended by your first paragraph. I know all about how grocery meat is slaughtered and it's awful. I did a study in college. I stated that I eat very little meat, and I've struggled with that since being an adult. I think she is growing up knowing about all kinds of people, but I strongly disagree with her witnessing dead animals and hunting stories, if for no other reason than the gore. I don't think that's going to make her a lonely, intolerant person.
Ilovetom - I guess I see being a Christian as loving to things made by God.
Rayelle - My hunting issues have been there forever. I'm "scared" here because I'm not familiar with the schools here. Where we lived before was the town I was born and raised in, and I was totally familiar with the school district we lived in so I knew exactly what she was going into, both public and private options there. I'm definitely scared about school, but that's attributed to unfamiliarity with the area.
I'm trying not to be offended by some of the posts, and I'm getting really good insight from all of you. Thank you to those of you that answered my question if there was something that kept you from being friends/hanging out with a family. I agree with the smoking, and unsafe issues of course, too, and your example with the spanking Colette. That's what I was wondering.
Kaye- Do you really think that saying you don't agree with something is being judgemental? That's just a general question posed to anyone. I think judgemental would have been me telling this family exactly what I think of it, telling them they are raising kids the wrong way, and stomping off in protest. Saying abruptly 'we can't spend time with you' and getting out. That would have been judgemental in my eyes. I'm mostly just sitting and wondering the whole time how they can not only do it, but expose their kids to it because it's not something I agree with. So not agreeing is being judgemental? I really don't think so. I don't judge those on this board who are pro-choice, and I'm super pro-life. I disagree but I don't shun them or not want to be friends with them, we just disagree, no?
I think saying something is wrong because it is different from what you believe is judgemental. This is why when I talk to my dks about how we think differently/believe differently then others, I leave out that we are right, and they are wrong. I just say everyone is different. I also talk alot to my dks that most people do the best they can, that we all make mistakes, etc. Especially when talking about how parents do things differently, I say that most parents just do what they think is best for their families. I don't say what they are doing is wrong.
You said "On top of this they have come off to me as very Christian people. They seem very active in their church and seem to be a very loving family. Now to me (again, not to offend I hope but to explain my feelings about this situation) hunting is TERRIBLE. Then to profess your strong Christian faith and go out and murder God's animals for fun takes me to a whole different level." To me this sounds judgemental. You are basically saying that if you hunt, you aren't a good Christian. If you said this to me, since my dh is a big hunter, I would be insulted and offended.
"I think judgemental would have been me telling this family exactly what I think of it, telling them they are raising kids the wrong way, and stomping off in protest. Saying abruptly 'we can't spend time with you' and getting out." I think this is more confrontational. To me judgemental is looking down on someone because of their believes. And, I think being judgemental is thinking someone is wrong just because they think differently then you. Hunting is not illegal, immoral, or anything like that. So, to not like someone, or think badly of them because of it, to me is judgemental. Now, that doesn't mean you have to be friends with these poeple, or have playdates. We have made some good friends. For the most part, they have the same values and beliefs that we do. Most people are drawn to people with similar interests, beliefs. This doesn't mean we agree with our friends completely. One of my very good friends lets her dks play M rated video games. I don't agree with this. However, she doesn't let her dks play them when my dks are at her house because she know I don't allow it. So, I am fine with my dks going to their house. And, I don't judge her for it. She feels it isn't a big deal. She has great kids who are very nice and respectful. I still don't agree with it. But, it is her business.
I think as your dd gets older this will be more of an issue. I think you will have to walk a fine line, and think about what you really want to teach her. She is eventually going to make friends with kids that have a lot of different beliefs, etc then your family.
I don't think you are judgemental, the fact you wonder about how to handle this incident rather than just tell the people they are wrong proves that.
I read a lot here but don't post much. I see some similarities between you and I, because I do, I am going to say this and hope you won't take this the wrong way. I think you are a very intelligent, well read mom of an only child. And that is part of the problem, you may want to work on letting go and relaxing; just a bit, everything isn't going to make or break her life and you can't protect her from everything. And we don't want to protect them from everything, experiences are how we grow and learn. My dd is a very planned for, doted on only child too and I did all the things you are doing now when Lexi was Natalie's age, now in hindsight I can see I was a little over the top. I guess what I am trying to say is I wish I knew then what I finally figured out in the past couple years, Life is short, don't sweat every little thing it does them no favors.
I guess that makes me non-Christian.
I will remember that at church tomorrow.
I was pretty much offended by the original post. To call me a non-christian because of my views on hunting is pretty dang blatant considering you don't even know me. I'd call my minister and tell him this but he is currently in a tree stand bow hunting. No joke.
Debbie - I agree with everything you said. Melissa - you hit the nail on the head.
My husband hunts and my son is anxiously awaiting the day he can join him. The moments after DS was born DH beamed and said, "Now I have someone to take hunting with me." We eat what he gets and it's not for fun, as you post implies. Yes, we could go to the store and buy meat (and we do) but the government sees the deer population as a problem and allows deer hunting to help with this problem. Just this fall we hit a deer and had $7000 damage done to our car.
I do take offense to your suggestion that because they hunt they are not Christian. I think that is judgemental.
To answer your question though...if you like the family and you think your children would enjoy each other's company then encourage playdates at a neutral place so your children are not exposed to the dead deer in the backyard.
Oh and to address one of your concerns, DH is a hunter. We don't have trophies on our wall. DH does have elk antlers that he hopes to put in his garage someday. They just don't fit with my decorating style. He has only had a deer once in our yard. Acutally it was an elk and he and a friend were going to prepare it themselves. Usually, it is taken directly from the hunt to the butcher. Just wanted to reassure you that the chances of your children being exposed to an animal in the backyard are slim.
A funny note, to lighten the mood. My family is from a town where hunting is very big, our family's general store is one of the places to check deer in during seasons. My dad is a city boy though, not a hunter, but my parents have a 8-point buck mounted in their study. People always ask if my dad shot it, and the answer is no... he hit it with his police car. The reason he had mounted is he not only flipped his car, ripped off the light bar, and basically totaled it, but he also did permanent damage to his back, compressing some disks. With all of that, he figured he might as well get a conversation piece out of it!
Seriously, though... in South Jersey they have a serious deer problem, they eat our plants and gardens, carry and pass Lyme's Disease (which my mom, dad, and little sister have all had, my sister got it as a baby), and cause many accidents, sometimes fatal ones. Without the hunters, it would be a million times worse, and "having the parks dept take care of it" really translates into having controlled hunting seasons. You can't bait to hunt deer there, so it's not like you can just sit and pick them off while they lick the salt lick or eat the apples you set. Many non-hunters like myself put out treats or go spot-lighting to just observe the deer, and there are protected places to do so. They aren't being tortured or treated cruelly, it's very much the circle of life. Every single hunter I know is a good, God-fearing Christian, not to mention responsible about gun safety and the environment. Maybe one way for you to look at this is to focus on the good qualities that come with being a responsible hunter... they are almost always extra responsible about weapons, sympathetic to hurt animals, and careful about the environment. Those are certainly qualities you would appreciate in a person who your child would be exposed to. Also, there are so many things someone could be "into" that could be dangerous, and are private, so you wouldn't know. What if you didn't know someone's parents liked handguns, and weren't good about locking them up? Your child could be in danger in a home like that, and you would have no clue. You cannot control every aspect of your child's life, so the only thing you CAN do is explain your values, and let them grow and experience things so that they can develop their own opinions.
One last thought... why do you feel so strongly about hunting? Was it something instilled in you as a child, did you see something that made you feel this way, or did you just decide the concept was horrible? How much have you really educated yourself on hunting?
I think that what has everyone up in arms here isn't your anti-hunting stance as much as it is the apparent hunting=non-Christian stance. I'll admit that although I am not a fan of hunting either, I thought that these statements of yours, "They get to the park and kids are going on (ages 6,4,3,1)and on about "Dad got a deer this morning. We drug it out behind our house in the woods and Dad's gonna clean it today!!!" (full of excitement.Uhhhhh...hello...I'm HUGELY against hunting!!! Let alone small children being exposed to it...On top of this they have come off to me as very Christian people. They seem very active in their church and seem to be a very loving family." did seem pretty judgmental.
You can certainly disagree with certain actions and beliefs of others and make the decision as to whether or not to pursue a relationship with people based on that. However, to think that they are wrong or non-Christian just because they hold different beliefs crosses the line of character judgment. I don't like hunting because of the gore and I do love animals, but I am an omnivore and recognize that I am being a hypocrite if I say hunting is bad but buying meat in a store is okay. As others have mentioned, hunting is also a necessary way of keeping the deer population in check. There have been abundant deer everywhere I have ever lived, but WI is so extreme. From now until December I will drive in fear at night. Last November I was driving home very late from the Milwaukee airport and was exhausted. Twice deer ran RIGHT in front of my car across the interstate!!! If I had hit them at 65 mph I would have likely been killed. Not to mention all of the deer that I saw on the sides of the interstate. It was the most horrible white-knuckled 3 hours of driving I have ever done. We know many, many wonderful Christian men and women who are hunters and all eat what they kill. As a matter of fact, a good friend of ours here is the minister/leader of Intervarsity Campus Ministry at the university where I teach. He and his wife are young (poor) newlyweds and they only meat that they eat are fish he catches and meat he hunts. He does it to provide for his family.
As to your original question, you have to decide what the non-negotiables are for your family. Other than engaging in known illegal activities or abuse, I can't think of anything that would keep us from developing a relationship with another family. That does not mean that I let my children go play or spend the night at the house of just any friend. There are some friends that can only come to our house and/or they can only hang out together in supervised public places with us like bowling or the movies. However, we would never impose our belief systems on others. We'd have an awfully hard time if we were looking for people JUST like us, not to mention that as Christians we are called to be salt and light and to be IN the world (just not OF the world). We have friends who are agnostic, atheists, homosexual, smokers, gamblers, spankers, adulterers, etc. None of those are actions/behaviors that we condone, but we try to have relationships and friendships with all types of people.
Debbie - It just seems contradictory to me to be such big hunters (these people) which seems so horrible to me, and then be a loudly pronouncing Christian. I guess that's my problem, and I'm not saying that to be sarcastic. I'm not saying they aren't Christians for heaven's sake! It doesn't seem like something nice to do IMO. I'm certain that I did NOT originally post that hunters are non-christians, but it does seem contradictory to me. Tayjar, your pastor can hunt all he wants as long as your fine with it. I am not.
I don't look "down" on this family - I just hate what they are doing. And when you disagree with someone/something, then you think it's wrong, no?
Crystal - I did not experience hunting when I was growing up because I was taught that it's wrong to kill an animal unless it's self-defense. I am also a huge animal lover as my parents were. My grandfather hunted birds when I was growing up, but he didn't live near me and I never thought about it for some reason. I have watched hunting TV programs (on sports channels, etc.) where hunters are taped hunting - whole shows on this. It is very upsetting to me. I did research in college on the inhumane treatment of hogs and cattle in slaughter houses, which was appalling. I stopped eating meat completely for a while, then only some. I cook meat for my husband and I honestly have gotten to the point that even that nauseates me. I barely eat it. I cannot imagine being behind the barrel of a gun and shooting one of those beautiful animals, or any beautiful animal. That's really how I feel about it.
People can be offended if they want. I'm offended by hunters and hunting. I didn't mean to say that these people aren't Christian, or that anyone who hunts isn't Christian, but it just *feels* contradictory. If you think I'm wrong, fine. I can be friends with hunters, but I'm not sure a family so involved with that choice is a good 'fit' for us.
People find smoking offensive, cussing, major PDA's, spanking as someone said, or the way a man or woman treat their significant other. Why is this different?
I'll leave it at that. I HONESTLY had no idea so many people on this board were into hunting, and as a result, never dreamed this would be such a debate!
Thank you for your thoughts. I do appreciate it.
How do you determine who you allow your kids to play with.....
I believe that that is the question you were asking.
Luckly my son's best friends live right across the street and the other right next door, so I can keep an eye on things. One child's family seem to have the same values as we do as a family, so it's never been a problem. The other child is raised differently and in a way that we don't approve. I make them play outside and do not let my son go inside. If it is something that you feel strongly about, then you have a right to keep your child away. You are your best protector for your child. I have a friend that won't let her child come to my house because we have 2 large inside dogs. It doesn't matter, thats her right. I don't think that you are being judgemental. When our children are little we have to make the decisions for them. I personally don't see why this has caused such a debate.
This is where we differ. When I disagree with someone, I don't think of it as a wrong vs right thing. I look at it as we have different beliefs, ideas, etc. Now, if we were talking about abuse, or something illegal or harmful that is different. So, I guess it is all in how you look at things.
I hope you understood that my question on how you came to have these beliefs was more curiosity than anything. I re-read it, and it does sound a little harsh, I didn't mean it to be so. I don't agree with you here, but I don't want you to feel attacked, either, and I think Pam hit the nail on the head about the Christian thing getting everyone's feathers ruffled. I know I personally got caught up in the debate when I had originally intended not to, so my apologies for that.
Deanna, I have to agree with you 100%. I, too see it as a contradiction to be a hunter and yet a Christian. I also once knew a veterinarian who was a hunter. That seemed a huge contradiction to me, since he earned his living SAVING animals' lives. I am also very anti-hunting (and a vegetarian). It repulses me. I would have to separate myself from that family, explaining it to them as gently as I could. Even if the family were respectful enough not to talk about it in front of my kids or me, the issue would be out there like a giant elephant in the room.
I personally can't bring myself to be friends with someone if their activities/beliefs really go against my beliefs. Some of these issues for me would be hunting, atheism, other cruelty to animals (or people), drugs, p**n, stealing, adultery. Life is too short to spend it with people whose beliefs or activities make you uncomfortable or go against the values that you are trying to teach your children.
My adopted sons' birth sister lives alone with her adoptive Dad. She once told me that he hates cats and when he was a kid, he and his brother used to do terrible things to cats. He laughs about it to this day. I cannot be around this man.
I commend you for your strong stand and wanting your child to be protected as long as possible.
Also, I would never want my child playing at a home where a hunter lives because there are guns in the home. I would be scared to death. Even though most hunters secure their weapons and ammunition safely, accidents happen involving children and guns. Not a situation that I could handle.
Follow your gut feelings and stand by your convictions. Don't let anybody make you feel bad or wrong.
Crystal - I didn't take your question as harsh, just curiosity.
Jtsmom - You stated how I feel.
Debbie - I am re-evaluating myself on certain issues and how I feel about them with regard to my dd, which is the reason that I asked on this board. I think in general (I hope I'm not wrong!) I see disagreements as just different beliefs. This is such a sensitive topic for me though, that I somehow can only see it as 'wrong'. I think I'm just dealing with that. I appreciate your responses.
I am sorry if I've offended anyone. I appreciate the responses and once again, the comments from this board are helping me to sort this out in my mind.
Deanna, I think it's good that you are very consciously thinking this through and trying to figure out just what it is about hunting in particular and differences in general that troubles you. I can tell you that I have changed A LOT in those regards since my kids were small. And on a personal note, I am sorting through some similar type of thoughts on a different issue. One of our former youth who we are very close to (as well as his sister and their parents) has just "come out." I have been very upset about it and have shed quite a few tears. DH and I still love and care for him very much and we have a long history with him. His sexual orientation doesn't change that. However, we do not condone his new lifestyle and have openly told him so, but that we still love him and would like to continue to have a relationship with him. I'm still trying to sort out my feelings and beliefs with that.
Just a question because I know things are different in the US. If there are guns in the home, do they not have to be locked up by law? Here in Canada guns in the home have to have both a trigger lock and be stored in a locked cabinet. Ammo must also be locked and stored separately. All guns must be registered with the federal government (I think...this was something the old government put in to place...I'm not sure if the new government followed through or not. My husband has registered guns).
It is great that you are thinking about these things. I think you could possibly miss out on a lot of great friendships if you let your differences of opinion/beliefs get in the way.
Paula, to answer your questions, no nothing has to be locked up. We have very loose gun laws here in the us. In Texas, I would guess 1 of 4 cars has a gun in it. You are supposed to have a licensed to carry it hidden (concealed), but I know most people don't. In the country part of texas most trucks have big gun racks in the back window, proudly displaying their shotgun.
Ditto Kaye on the guns. I haven't seen them displayed in trucks, but have seen people just wearing them on their belt, which is crazy to me!
Dh has a handgun that is locked at all times, and then that is hidden. We touch it maybe 1 every 3 years, LOL, when we're cleaning out something.
Thank you Pamt and Debbie....that's really what I'm doing. I think I've gotten somewhat more protective overall of what I believe in since becoming a mother. The hunting thing isn't a view that is going to change, but dealing with it can.
Okay deanna..i have to laugh a little. Y'all don't hunt, but you own a gun? What are you going to kill with it?
This isn't meant to sound ugly, just struck me as funny. I would have assumed you were a gun free house
We own a gun for self-defense. It was a gift from a gun-toting FIL.
Sorry, Deanna, haven't had time to read everything above.
It sounds like you wouldn't have much in common with them anyway. They have a LOT of kids and they are obviously passionate about something you're not. I would just be patient and wait for some fellow parent relationships that will evolve within your own church and school. I'm never apologetic about people we don't let Connor be around. He's our child and, while it can be educating experience, I could think of better ones. Natalie will also pick up on your uneasiness and you definitely don't want that.
To add, I won't let my son be at my brother's house unattended (without me). He's BIG into guns and really doesn't secure them. Not every hunter is careless but if they expose their kids to guns like that, it makes me wonder how accessible they are. It's just a chance I wouldn't take. JMHO.
We live in a similar situation. Hunting is a huge deal around here, and I am strongly against it.
However, if I didn't let my kids play with the "hunters", they would have no friends. My kids don't think hunting is "ok" either. I've just used it as a teaching experience on how people are different and how we can all make our own decisions.
Your dd is small, and I totally agree with you in that I wouldn't want my kids (even though they are older) to be hanging out in the back yard with a dead deer. I think that is pretty gruesome.
If you are interested in keeping the friendship, I would limit it to playing in the park.
And I don't remember who said it, but someone mentioned asking the family to not talk about hunting in your presence....I don't think I would go that far. That would really offend them, I think. No need to be rude about it. I would be offended if someone asked me to not talk about crafts, since I love to do them. It's part of who I am. I think you either have to decide if you want to tolerate their hobbies, or pass by it for this time and then re-examine the situation if it arises again with another family.
Deanna you use your mother's instinct and go with what you feel is best for your child.
You can post on here what is giving you concern, but we are not in your neighborhood and it is hard for us to judge what the situation it.
I understand your concern though.
I haven't read everything above so if I repeat anyone my apologies.
I think it for me it would depend on the situation. IF they're just "in the park" friends then I feel it's different than if they're "at home" friends.
I would probably sit down and talk to your dd about it and let her ask you questions. If she is hearing this alot in your neighbourhood she may be more worried than she needs be. That would be for you to decide.
If you develop a "friendship" with them and they want to invite you to their house then you could explain to them that you'd rather your dd not be exposed to seeing dead deer in their yard.
If you're not going to their house then your dd won't be exposed to actually seeing the animals they do hunt dead (I too would be nervous about my dd seeing that as she is an animal lover too) however in another time and place that would have been "normal" as it was a means for survival.
I watch who my children play with and I'm very discerning. However if you're at the park you have less options on controlling that. As our dog people told us when we adopted her a dog park is NOT a controlled environment and neither is a public park, whereas your home is.
I'm sure you'll develop other relationships as time goes by at your church, through school etc. that you will be ok with exposing your daughter too
Deanna, they won't have dead deer in the yard every day all year long. Hunters are limited to the number they can (hmm) kill, based on the state and area with in the state they live. They are allowed a set number of deer based on the population of deer in a specific area. The department of parks has a way of getting an idea of the population. In Ohio we have three zones. Zone A allows two kills, Zone B allows four and Zone C allows six all based on the population of deer in those zones. They even tell them how many bucks and doe's they are allowed to get. They also are limited in the type of equipment they are allowed to use, bow and types of gun during specific time frames. Hunting has regulations and rules that have to be followed. It isn't something that can be done willy nilly because a violation brings hefty fines and possible jail time.
When I was younger my exposure to hunting was limited at best. My dad only hunted when we lived in Ohio and seeings that I spent the majority of 14 years of my life with him in the military that was on the rare occasions that we ended up back in Ohio around hunting season. I think in all my life my dad was able to get two deer, so he spent many of those trips coming home with nothing. So going on a hunt isn't a sure kill, it is based on knowing where to go, being prepared to do it, and the "luck of the draw".
Up until a few years ago, I felt hunting was wrong. I felt that they could just go to a store to buy meat and that it was inhumane to kill Bambi. Then I started to hear stories about the population over growth. I started seeing friends and family members with body injuries and totaled cars. I saw news reports about deer that had gotten themselves into town, into houses searching for food, basically into trouble and into bad situations for themselves and others. Then I started to read about hunting and talking to people I knew that hunted about why they hunted. I discovered that all though not something I am about to do, there is a true reason for hunting, there is a reason they change the numbers that can be hunted each year, and there are reasons that they will extend the hunting season if the parks deem it necessary.
About three years ago, DH and I were in another financial struggle. We were limited in our funds to purchase food.
That said. My Pastor and Assistant Pastor are both hunters. They hunt not only to feed their families but to feed other families. They view hunting as a means to provide for others. They get a good hunting season and they give back, just as they are called to do, a type of tithing. My senior Pastor and his wife also put in a HUGE garden every year and use the abundance of it to give away, also a way of tithing.
My Pastor knew times were tight and he brought us two coolers full of deer meat. I swore I would never eat deer meat when I was younger, like I said go to the store. But I had little to no choice, my money needed to go elsewhere and my children needed to eat. So I fixed the meat and we ate it. For two years my Pastor has been hunting a deer specifically for my family, he pays all the fees and he even processes it. He is somewhere in southern Ohio sitting in a deer stand as I type this, trying to get our deer for the next years meals. We have one pack of ground meat left, so I went out and bought ground beef and we made hamburgers and my kids knew right away it wasn't deer meat and complained that it wasn't as good.
Four years ago, we would have all been up in arms about having to eat deer meat. However, we had a major need and we were provided for. If this isn't a Christian thing then what is? Getting the deer cost little money, there is no way my Pastor could buy beef to feed the 5 families he attempts to provided meat for every year. His siblings, eight of them, also hunt to feed others. So do the math, 9 people times 6 deer if they hunt in Zone C, that is 54 families that will be getting meat that year. Three of the spouses also hunt, so 18 more. If they all meet their limits of 6 deer each that will be 72 families that will be eating for $15 dollars a deer tag. So for a single hunter to tag 6 deer, it would be about $90 dollars. $90 dollars to potentially feed 6 families?
Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry
I understand the whole anti hunting stance, as I said I have stood in those shoes, but my views changed as my life changed. I have found that my life is better when I spend less time focusing on the things I disagree with and more time focusing on the common ground I share with others. You will never find me in the woods, in a deer stand. I will never process a deer, but I will not turn away help when my children need it.
I also want to state that it is easy to assume things about people, the hard part is learning to accept with out having to have understanding, and as Christians that is what we are called to do. It is one thing to think a person is wrong for their life choices, it is another to condemn them and turn your back towards them all on assumptions.
My Pastor prays before he hunts, prays over his kill, and gives a tithe for his success in the hunt. He isn't some animal up in a tree in the middle of the night spot lighting a poor defensless deer. This is an ability, a gift of sorts he has, and he gives it back. All my years of Christian training tells me this is very much a Christian roll model of the way God intended things. To me it is an act of service. Not just because I am fed by it but because he does it with a heart of giving and God knows his heart.
Off my soap box now.. Deanna, the choice to hunt has nothing to do with whether you are a good person or not. I have ran into so many anit this pro that situations in my life to finally understand that unless I get to know a person and their logic I will sit in my house and never grow. My opinions don't change easily, I am extremely hard headed, but I can agree to disagree in this stage in my life, and my life s richer for it. Get to know this family before you assume they are terrible people.
Wow, sorry for the book, haven't had one of these post in a long time..
I appreciate your response Bobbie, and I totally understand your experiences. I don't assume these are terrible people though, I just don't understand it and don't have to be around it. I also know that hunting is only for certain times of the year.