Dr. Paula Brody, Ed.D., LICSW, is director of Outreach Programs and Training for the Northeast Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (the Reform movement), where she develops and coordinates a wide range of programs and services to welcome interfaith families into Reform congregations.
Dear Dr. Paula: Do I Need to Tell My Parents about Our Religious Choice for Our Children?
InterfaithFamily.com was pleased to offer "Dear Dr. Paula," written by Dr. Paula Brody, the nationally prominent specialist on interfaith family issues. Dr. Brody's monthly advice column responded to email letters submitted by our readers.
Dear Dr. Paula,
My wife and I dated for over eight years, trying to work out our interfaith issues. With a few big issues still undecided, we did marry two years ago and are now expecting our first child. Having Jewish children seems to be much more important to my wife that having Lutheran children is to me. Last year, we took a basic Judaism course and I feel I could be a good Lutheran dad to Jewish kids.
The biggest issue is my parents. I haven't talked to them about any of this, not even that I took the course last year. I feel they will be really hurt by my decisions. They will assume I was forced into doing this by my wife and her parents--which is not exactly true, although I did feel some pressure from my in-laws.
I have considered just not telling my parents or letting them assume that we are raising them "both." Should I tell them that they are going to have Jewish grandkids? Wow, if so, how do I do it?