If you have kids who are being exposed to JW beliefs

by Libelle 31 Replies latest social family

  • garyneal

    Right now, my wife is more or less a 'weak' witness. It's a good thing because she is actually quite reasonable.

    I guess I just take things one day at a time with my daughters. My littlest daughter is too young (2 months) so I am not too concerned about her at the moment. My oldest already talks about God and Jesus and is very inquisitive. My wife mentioned reading the book of Bible stories but I told her that I was concerned about the indoctrination. Reading stories from the Bible is one thing, telling kids what they should believe about Holidays, birthdays, and people of other faiths is something totally different. I am mindful of this at my own church as well which is why I never force her to go to Sunday school (at least that's one of the reasons).

    I try to stay involved as much as I can and my wife and I don't speak of religion too much. Sometimes, it can become a point of contention when I am trying to get her to see the truth about the 'truth.' Never-the-less, I try not to make the KH and the witnesses look bad and I even, as a show of support, go with her to the assemblies and conventions and the occasional Sunday visit to the Hall. Of course, when we get there within an hour my daughter wants to start walking the halls (as do I).

    Great advice so far for your situation. We indeed walk a tight rope.

  • Heaven

    Libelle... everyone has had some really great words of wisdom for you. I think it is a really good idea to teach your childern critical thinking skills (Black Sheep's suggestion on the book is great) and also to teach them to listen to their hearts.

    For me, Stephen Covey's books have helped a lot. His son Sean wrote one for kids called "The 7 Habits of Happy Kids". If it is anything like the adult version ("The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People") from his Dad, it is well worth getting:

    7 Habits of Happy Kids

    I also think it is a great idea to get them involved in something that can show them that helping others is a big part of what Jesus' message was all about. Maybe shopping for some food for the local food bank and then taking it to the actual bank as one idea. The act of doing something to help others is greatly rewarding.

    Good luck to you and your children. I hope your Mr. figures out the real truth one day.

  • TheListener

    What I am putting in this post is based on my life and may or may not work for you. I hope some of it helps somebody.

    Never talk bad about your witness spouse.

    Let your kids know you love them no matter what. Witness or non-witness doesn't matter. That sounds easy but in reality it can be tough when they get older and are still becoming little witnesses. But, if you start early and reconfirm this message it will sink in. I've found that you have to hit this message in two ways. First, by action. They have to see in your actions that you love them even when they choose to do something witnessy. Second, by words. Don't just rely on them to see your actions and understand their meaning. You must reassure them verbally that you love them no matter what. Discuss it with them and tell them you will love them no matter what. I don't think you need to specifically mention the witnesses but kids sometimes will ask questions like "if I ruined our car would you love me?!?'. Answer yes and elaborate as necessary.

    Ask your kids if they believe God loves them. Also ask them if they believe God loves yourself and/or your spouse. Talk about how God loves everyone and how Jesus died so everyone could have life. I think the object is to stress everyone versus specific ones. Ask them what people need to do to live forever (I never added on earth or in heaven) then Read Acts 16:23-35 or summarize depending on their age. After you've read it a few times spread apart by a week(s) or month(s) you can keep hitting the mantra of "what do we need to do to live forever?" This seemed pretty powerful without even talking bad about the truth. Hit the subject of Grace along with this. Grace is never discussed at the hall and when it is it's called undeserved kindness. They won't fully understand that they are the same thing. I can't stress enough that Grace is a doctrine that IMHO gives kids a sort of inner calmness. Plus they'll wonder why such a cool thing isn't discussed at the KH.

    I totally agree with teaching them to think and see through the BS of life. Others have covered that very well.

    I have also found that witness parents tend to be busier (in a made up stressed out sort of witnessy way) than the non-witness mate. Take advantage of all the time you can to spend with your kids. If your kids go to the meetings regularly but then are sick one night - be there with them to take advantage of that time. If the spouse goes in service and you and the kids don't - be there with them and maybe even take them to breakfast.

    Encourage non-witness friends and after school clubs. Kids are naturally drawn to both these things so its fairly simply to naturally let it happen. Perhaps your county or city has recreation facilities with kids nights or various classes. Some of these can be done as a family. The idea is to have fun with them and to let them have fun with others their own age away from the indoctrination. When they play with other witness kids they tend to start using the same words and terms and that's a slippery slope.

    Use standard Christian terminology if you are a Christian. Use the word cross. Say Bless you after a sneeze, have fun clinking your glasses at dinner (even if it's just ice water), tell them to have a blessed day when leaving for school, remind them that Jesus if our king, redeemer, judge and intermediary. When appropriate ask them what Jesus would do. I find that making Jesus the focal point highlights the fact that he isn't talked about in that way at the hall.

    Just my thoughts.

  • garyneal
    When they play with other witness kids they tend to start using the same words and terms and that's a slippery slope.

    Hee hee hee, my daughter sings jingle bells to her witness grandmother. She says things about birthday parties and sings happy birthday around witnesses at conventions.

  • TheListener

    Garyneal, that's so great. Lucky for you then that your daughter should be considered bad association and not get many witness invites. Hopefully that will work in your favor.

  • mamalove

    This has been a helpful thread and I look forward to more experiences on this subject. I am going to order the critical thinking book.

    What if I don't know if I am christian? I really still question so much that I don't know what to teach them. But they definitely have that God, Jesus Bible mentality....hmmmm

  • garyneal
    Lucky for you then that your daughter should be considered bad association and not get many witness invites. Hopefully that will work in your favor.

    I suppose it does but *sigh* it is not good for my wife who pines for days when she and her witness family use to do lots of picnics and other social gatherings with their 'spiritual' brothers and sisters from her's and other's congs. Given our marital situation you would think a little tolerance and compromise would be in order.

    While I guess I should be thankful that the witnesses would eventually shun my wife and daughters because the kids enjoy holidays, I can also see this somehow being made to look like it is my fault.

  • TheListener


    Each of our situations is so unique it really is impossible to generalize; but I offer the following generalization for you...

    In your wife's mind it will probably always be your fault. I think the congregation will blame you too, but even the most stable and fuddy duddy congregations eventually have turnover and slowly forget who you are. Unless you have a ton of family in the congregation - they never forget.

    I think you and your kids can enjoy the holidays while your wife abstains and you can be a source of depression and anxiety for her and she can be a hero at the kingdom hall. If she's weak enough perhaps she's secretly glad (and feels guilty) that the kids are having a good time.

    What a twisted organization. You are lucky she's weak. Hopefully she isn't pushing them to go in service, join the TMS, get baptized or have a study with a strong member of the congregation.

  • designs

    So how is taking your kids to Church where they view the bleeding Jesus hanging from a cross better or happier

  • carvin

    This may seen a bit harsh, and it would depend upon your childs ability to reason but you could try it. Drive by a playground and watch the children play, especilly young ones. Ask you child if she thinks they should die, because their parents aren't JW's. After the answer then ask if she is going to rejoice and celebrate when god kills them. Or does she think god is better than that, and will end up judging people by who they are and not be what church they go to. It will probably not make a deep impact but it will get her attention, and when they have it in another article, even glossed over the way they do, she will remember it.

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