Ask a Dad Question

Telling Grandparents We’re Not Baptizing Baby


My wife and I were both raised Catholic; however in adulthood we decided (each on our own) that religion really isn't our bag. She's an atheist and I am agnostic, and I don't see religion playing a central role in our son's life. My parents, on the other hand, are staunch cafeteria Catholics (the kind that swear their devotion up and down but go to church only about 3 times a year).

The issue is going to come up soon about baptizing our child, which we are not going to do. Both of them are going to have a stroke over this - guaranteed. Her mom and grandparents have no opinion, so they aren't the issue. [My wife has] made it clear that this is my mess to take care of and I agree, but I don't need [my parents] blaming her and her non-religious family, or holding it against me because of the decisions I'm making for my son (at the end of the day, when he's old enough to make his own decisions, he will).

What's the best way to break it to them? I don't want to hurt any of their feelings but on the other hand, it's my child and my life and I don't see why their opinion matters.


I suggest you get together alone with your parents and tell them how great you feel about becoming a dad, how cool it is to have the opportunities dads have today to be close to your kids, what you look forward to doing with your son as he grows up (with grandpa too), how your wife looks forward to her son spending time with his grandparents because she loved hers so much, etc. Tell them one thing you decided to do was let your son decide, when he's older, if he wants to be baptized. Let them know you considered their feelings, but this decision goes to the heart of how you want to raise him, and you hope they understand.

Their take away is that you are going to be a great dad, but you need to do it your way.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Take our website home with Crash Course for Dads-To-Be.

Have something you want to tell us? Let us know.