Just to clarify, I don't know that she's eating with them.
Also I think they'd be totally freaked out giving thanks to dead animals. Lol.
I wouldn't be happy about that. I feel it is disrespectful. DH and I feel that religious discussions should come from family and parents, not from sitters. I am fine with saying thank you for the food. But different families have different beliefs and I don't think it is appropriate to share with small kids without prior discussion with the parents. I am sure that a christian family would not want their children taught about the goddess and earth mother without prior discussion. I would want the same respect with people talking to my child about what they call god.
We dealt with this a bit on our vacation as my family is very catholic and we are not. I explained to Kaiya that the family would say grace which is a prayer that is saying thank you for the food. She could say thank you as well or sit quietly. She said she wanted to say thank you and did at the meal (although she told me at one point that no one said the word "grace" or "thank you" so she was confused.)
Ok, if she's not even eating with them (and thereby saying grace for herself) I think I would definitely ask her to knock it off. As touchy a conversation as that is, it's one thing for her to do it for herself and have them join in, but it really is another to just make them do it themselves.
I have been thinking about how I would reply to this since I first read it this morning. My first gut reaction is "what's the big deal". Then, I think about how I would feel if it was a muslim or Hindu teaching my child to pray in their religion or an atheist telling my child there is no god. Really when it boils down to it I would not have a full time babysitter that was going to be with my children 8 hours a day or more that had hugely different religious beliefs than my own. I know not everyone will agree with that POV, but that is how it is. If someone believes strongly enough in prayer that they are going to be teaching the children to pray over a meal, they are probably teaching about it all day long in a less subtle way.
As an atheist babysitter to a lot of Christian families, many of whom were religions I was unfamiliar with at the time -- Catholics and Mormons -- if the parents told me in person or in their written instructions that the kids were to say grace, then I would ask one of the kids to lead us. Or if the kids asked, "Aren't we going to say grace?" then I'd say, "Oh yes, and why don't you lead us, Susie, since you remembered." I would try to respect their family values even though I didn't really know what kind of prayer they would say, kwim?
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
I've been through the slaughtering process...its pretty easy to think of a processed chicken breast as being very different than the bird itself...even when you actually have to do it yourself.
There is a point in the processing where it just becomee un-birdlike...so i don't typically think of it as a dead bird on my plate.
I remember my nephew's horror when he found out that "a chicken" was the same as "chicken". He had no idea.
So...I don't know if she eats with them. She's not really with them all day as they have camp or classes or whatnot and I don't know how often it has happened.
I know the sitter goes to church and I did find a way to drop the bomb that my dad is gay so that she'd be clear on where I stood on such things.
Our regular sitter (school year), I don't know what her religious beliefs are, before that we had a nanny for many years who is Hindu.
The kids know that I'm Jewish but I don't believe in any religion, they know their dad believes in Christianity, etc.
But yeah...I was very thrown off by her not asking me if it was okay, and yet I know she is a good person and a terrific babysitter and is doing what is probably just very normal to her. So I think I need more information from the kids. Dave was as stuck in the middle as I am.
Recently we visited a summer camp and during the tour, they talked about how there's chapel where they just talk about everyday moral issues. I asked if they talked about God, and the guy giving us the tour said no. Then at the very end, when I asked another question about it, it somehow slipped out that the older kids (my son's age) have mandatory MASS once a week! I asked what goes on and the guy said, "oh, you know, it's like a mass," and I said, "I'm Jewish, I have no experience with that."
We chose not to do the camp because of that. Our friends who were with us are Catholic and they also opted out because of how sneaky the camp was about it...they didn't like that they were trying to hide it.
I don't think our sitter is trying to hide anything, I think she is doing what is normal in her experience. She must not know I am Jewish and she's heard Nathaniel talk about going to church with his Daddy, which he does sometimes.
But all these opinions are really helpful, even if we're not going to think about animals getting killed before we eat them. I like the theory that they simply magically appear in their plastic wrap and nobody suffers. Like spaghetti!
I agree that she's probably not trying to do anything nefarious - she's just doing what she is used to doing. Probably to her, people say grace before eating, just like they wash their hands before eating. Which is why I think you need to bring it up with her if it's a problem rather than leaving it to your kids to tell her that they don't have to. If a kid told me he didn't have to wash his hands, I would steamroll right over that ****.
Apparently T was the one to do the Big Reveal to his pre-K class that meat is made of animals (or is it that animals are made of meat?) They were talking about where food comes from, and all of the kids knew that milk comes from cows. Then he piped up that steak also comes from cows, and that they kill the cows to get the steak. Apparently this horrified a room full of 4 year olds.