sorry dedalus I am having a really bad day and should not post. please remeove my coment.
Request for Experiences
You do have a point the kids will probably answer JW's but if it were me I would reply "See son, that is your opinion. Having your own opinion is a good thing. No one should ever critisize you for your opinion. They may debate it but they shouldn't critisize it. While I respect your mom's opinion that you need to go to 3 meetings a week and out in service to be in Gods favor, I don't share that opinion. No where in the bible does it say that we must attend three meetings a week. But if it is what your mother thinks is best for you I am ok with you going. But if you ever change your opinion, that is ok too. Please feel free to come to me and let me know and we will discuss your reasons for your change of opinion. My door is always open."
I was bullshitted too much in my life and I have an extremely low tolerance of it. I realize this is not how most people are and super straight forward will not work with all children. Perhaps some in between would be best. Each child is different. I think if you show him the multiple opinions and options from this board he will be able to find a happy medium for each child depending on their personality and age. I would definitely use the God reads hearts scripture though. I really think that one would set their mind at ease regarding Armageddon.
I see what you're saying, Unique1, and I think the imagined dialogue you wrote out is terrific -- in fact, the more I think about it, the more it sounds like the sort of thing I'd say, if I were in my brother's shoes.
I'll definitely pass along what you've written to my brother. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
Your brother needs to protect his children as much as he can. Is it possible that he could get legal custody? He needs to get material together to show his attorney and the judge. He might need to get Social Services involved and take his children to a good psychologist for counseling to help them sort out the mixed feelings they must be having. He is the only one who will be there for the children in a positive way, and he will need all of the support he can get. If he has to get the court to order counseling because the JW's are against it, so be it.
I did go through this with my daughter. I left her JW father when she was 7. She was traumatized, and I was at such a low ebb that I could barely hang on, much less be the tower of strength she needed me to be. If I had it to do over, it would be very different.
Probably the best thing your brother can do is to not talk about the mother and other relatives, particularly about the religion. What he should do is provide an environment of acceptance and happiness, take them to parks, museums, read good books with them (age-appropriate, of course), take them to the library (some libraries have special programs for kids), and, in general, open up the world to them and show them that they can have a good life outside the borg. It would be best to focus on what he would like them to know and experience and leave out negative talk about the things he would not want for them.
It won't be easy. He will have a fight on his hands every step of the way. It's a long haul, but it's worth it.
My daughter, who lived mostly with her JW father as a child and teenager, has no desire to have anything to do with the JW's. There are people she misses, JW's who were kind to her and to me. She has a college degree now and a good life. Her father has nothing more to do with her. I am her only parent. His insistence that she be with him in childhood was all about control and punishing me, and, sadly, she, being the intelligent person she is, understands this. Be ready to deal with the heartbreak.
Your brother's CO sounds like self righteous pond scum!
Your brother needs a good attorney. His wife has no right to deprive him of seeing his children and she is completely out of line if she is putting negative thoughts into the children's heads.He needs to make sure his attorney knows what she is up to.
Coaster: you are disgusting!
Coaster, you may want to stay away from the keyboard for a bit!
We're practically neighbors! Northampton is just down I-91 from my house in Vermont.
Yes, I'm repartnered. She's an artist, and that's us in the avatar. We ought to see about getting together sometime. We get down that way occasionally for concerts - I'm a huge fan of the Signature Sounds people, and several of their artists are my friends.
I have a good ex-JW friend who, last I heard, was living in Northampton. He just graduated college and was trying to figure what he was going to do. You'd find him interesting.
Congrats on the kids, degree and job. I'm writing like a madman as usual. Mostly non-fiction, but a few other projects in the works. I'm also the editor of a weekly paper now.
Oh, forgot to mention - Michael Chabon yes! Now you're talking!
That'll get those Henry James cobwebs out of your head! Conrad is a fine, fine writer also
My sister is going through this, her girls are 6 and 11, the parents have joint custody and the dad is an Extra Sick JW Schmuck who raped his 12 yr old sister 28 years ago when he was 18. He has told their kids nasty things about their mom ( my sis) for yrs, now that they're divorced and she has quit the cult and then was DF'd (without her foreknowledge) he's worse. But now, they get to visit mommy and her nice boyfriend, celebrate holidays and BDays and they have FUN together with their mom. THey see that their mom is now really living, and happy, and what better life lesson can there be?
Dedalus- Mr. Flipper here. So sorry your brother is going through all this. It may get somewhat worse before it gets better for him I'm afraid, I've been there done that so here are a few things I can say.
My childrens mother ( still a devout witness) and I divorced in 1998. My children were 13, 11 and 10. After we split I was dfed from 1998 to 2002. My ex wife did everything she could to keep the children busy with friends and " spiritual" activities so their weekly visits with me would be disrupted. I had them usual 2-3 days a week on weekends. I never bad mouthed their mother as most psychologists will tell you it's bad for the children. I just explained to them that dad had different views of life , but that I loved them deeply and more than ever still. I showed that by example: Spending time camping, golfing, taking them shopping, the girls that is. If your brother just tries to be a great hands on dad, in time as they grow his kids will see he loves them.
In 2001 I had to go back to court with the ex wife to mediation with an attorney, because she would not let the kids come visit me much at all. She'd make excuses," they have their life with their friends, we have meetings, service, etc." Visiting with dad was low priority to her. But I was determined to stay close to my kids in spite of her. I knew I had a lot of social skill ability and valuable things to teach my children and was not going to let the ex wife determine how much they saw of me. The courts ruled that the children would be with me 3 days out of the week, and thats how it went till they were 18.
At 18 my son left his mothers house as she threatened to kick him out if he didn't dump his worldly girlfriend and be regular at meetings. I welcomed him with open arms and he lived a few years with me and now is going to a state university. Outside of my wife, he is my best friend. we are close. My two younger girls are married 20 and 19 to witness boys. I'm fairly close to my older daughter, but the younger daughter is resentful towards me as I haven't been active as a witness in 4 years.
Your brother needs to realize there will be only so much he can control as those kids grow. But the thing he can control is him acting with dignity, teaching the kids manners, social grace, and unconditional love. Those are things they will not be taught by the mother in the witnesses. Everything there is conditional. Good luck to your brother. Hope I gave you some thoughts to share with him
Thank you, Flipper. I appreciate what you've written, and will talking with my brother about your experience in time.