My JW sister's daughter is getting into trouble. What can I do to help?

by Joshnaz 11 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Joshnaz

    My sister is a JW. Her daughter who is 15 has decided a long time ago not to join her in being a JW. (way to go) Unfortunately, she's been getting into a lot of trouble lately. She has been experimenting with pot, stealing, and got caught drinking at school because she was blatently drunk and throwing up in a barrel. The cops were called and my sister had to go to school, to pick her up as she is now suspended. She also has to go through some AA meetings. Her only reactions were how cool it was to be so smashed at school. My family is looking at her shaking their heads going, "thats what happens when you leave the truth." I tried talking to her and telling her her self-destructive behavior may be do to her mom and dad getting devorced a few years ago as she was a real "daddy's girl" now he doesn't spend time with her at all. I tried explaining to her that once she knows whats bothering her she will stop physically hurting herself to express how she is hurt on the inside. She is so young she doesn't understand what I'm saying and just expains to me she only did what she did because she can, and not for anyother reason. UGH! What are your thoughts? Is their anything I can do as her Uncle that can help her?

  • dssynergy

    Just keep hanging out with her. Spend time with her doing things she likes. Take her out for meals, etc. If she needs adult male attention, give it to her. Don't be too preachy, but do openly share your concerns, observations and time. If she knows she can trust you, then she will start talking at some point; listen to her, and she will listen to you eventually.

  • Joshnaz

    I have asked her to do things with me but not so in things she likes, lately I asked if she wants to go hiking with me and if she wants to go shooting with me at the range. Both times got turned down. She does however want to babysit my son, for my wife and I cause I pay good. I will ask her what she likes to do to try to include her in things.

  • jwfacts

    It is difficult watching a person going through harmful behaviour, but what she is doing is not really that bad. It is just a natural part of growing up. You may be reading too much into it, with a JW upbringing maybe she does just think it is cool to be rebellious. (I am going through that now at the age of 40 since I missed out in my teenage years)

    Your being there for her and wanting to help is great. If she is also suffering emotional pain, knowing that you are there to support her and will not be judging her like her JW family is going to be more valuable than what anyone else is going to be able to offer.

  • carpediem

    I agree with the comments so far. I would like to add that my daughter was lovely up until she was 12 years old, then turned into a horror, got up to all sorts of bad behaviour, and many times I had to bail her out of difficulties. I really thought it would never end and I had raised a monster. However, she has just turned 18 and is a much nicer person these days - more sensible, more reasonable and she will ask my advice and take it (something she would never have done in the 13 - 17 age bracket). I think if you handle things calmly and keep the lines of communication open, things may settle down with time and maturity on her part.

  • yknot

    I agree that you could make a positive difference in her life by spending time.......doing things her dad should be doing with her.

    It is not a matter of inviting so much as arranging with her mom for her to go with you.

    Find out what things she is interested in......what she wants to do with her life and go from there...

    Maybe consider taking her to some local colleges and get her thinking about where she wants to go in 3 years.

    You said her she was a 'daddy's girl' but her father isn't around anymore.....can he be contacted and reactivated into her life?

    Talk to your sister about her seeing a counselor too...

    I wish more children had such loving aunts and uncles!

  • crapola

    Amen to that carpediem. My daughter was really rebellious starting at about 14 until she was about 19. Thought I would'nt make it. But in time she started acting much better and is now a wonderful wife and mother. So Joshnaz, just give it time and be there for her.

  • SixofNine

    That's a tough one. She obviously realizes that adults (especially JW's) are full of shit for the most part.

    Your first task then, is to not be full of shit. Which means you can't lie to her. Not about drugs, not about alcohol, and not about sex.

    She probably respects you as an uncle and hopefully friend, but not as a psychoanalyst or somone who can reach into her mind and know her better than she knows herself (even if you happen to be right about some of her feelings). It's unlikely she sees herself as "hurting herself", unless she's cutting or that sort of thing.

    Can you get her dad to get reinvolved?

    Does she have any hobbies or goals that she might be convinced/bribed to invest her time in?

    I just came across the following; it's not directly related, but I think it relates in that kids (people?) literally can't reason when emotions get in the way:

    For students, emotions can get in the way of learning

    “Emotions are one of the killers of academic achievement.”

    Horacio Sanchez, president and chief executive officer of Resiliency Inc., is an expert in applying brain science to improving schools. Peter Lee, CEO of John Hope Settlement House, invited him to speak to local leaders about a different, more humane perspective on how to close the seemingly intractable achievement gaps between middle-class and poor, often minority children. What might brain science tell us?

    Sanchez says, “If the amygdala is in control, the neocortex shuts down.” Brain Science for Dummies would translate: If the kid is having big feelings, he’s not thinking clearly, if he’s thinking at all.

    Teachers can give superb lessons, but if the kid’s not listening, he’s not learning. If he’s sad, angry, depressed, or worried about his parents’ fighting, about the bully, about the death of Grandma, the dog, or even a beloved TV character, he’s full of feeling. And feelings come first.

    But, Sanchez points out, “We teach the cortex. Do you know right from wrong? Well, if the kid’s in crisis, he doesn’t KNOW much at all.”

    more . . .
  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough
    My family is looking at her shaking their heads going, "thats what happens when you leave the truth."

    Plenty of clean-cut upstanding Protestant and Catholic kids out there. Is this not obvious?

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Make her read this. That will fix everything.

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