Should I allow it? When my littlest one was born we knew finding affordable daycare would be tough. A sister in her congregation was suggested over and over and we finally checked her out and allowed her to keep the baby. My oldest has had a fairly normal life (thanks largely to me and my wife before she became a witness) and because of that she is quick to speak of birthdays, holidays, etc.. I want her to continue to have a fairly normal life as I know how hard it would be for her to be 'singled out' because her friends decide to do these things.
She's about to start kindergarten and my wife wants to try some sister from her congregation who is looking to make some extra money providing before and after care. I am obviously concerned though I tried not to let on exactly why for a while. It appears that my daughter would end up going to the center but this chick does not let up and my wife feels 'obligated' to give her a try and truth is, this person would be cheaper.
Finally, I just told her my feelings and needless to say it turned into yet another back and forth over religion (something I was trying to avoid).
I told her that I wanted to have my daughter's life be fairly neutral in terms of religion outside our places of worship, no church, no kingdom hall, except for in our home and in our places of worship. I did not want our daughter having too much influence beyond that though I can understand the hanging out with the groups and what not. She said I was being unfair singling her out for her religion and stated it in a way that got me thinking. She asked me why and I told her that our daughter is quick to talk about birthday parties and the like and I did not want anyone who was keeping her to start telling her why they don't celebrate and why she should not celebrate either.
She made sense when my wife told me that she would at least say that they do not celebrate and why, similar to why Jews don't celebrate Christmas and all. I was beginning to see things her way until she started saying that she might be taught THE TRUTH about these things. When I asked, "Who's truth?" She responded saying, "Well, wouldn't you want her to know the truth about things?" "Yeah," I said, "I would teach her the facts but I would also tell her my take and I would expect you to tell her yours and let her decide when she is ready."
She then insinuated that I was discriminating due to religion and performing an illegal act (I may have been discriminating but its my child and I do not consider it illegal). To be fair, I told her that I felt like not even the ladies at the church who have been offering to help with the kids should be considered either. Let's keep it secular and neutral.
She offered to take me to meet the lady and see for myself how she is like. Then she said, "I'll even ask her if she would if she would try to 'indoctrinate' our child or not.' Trying to contain her laughter as she was saying this. (Yeah, I feel VERY respected now. NOT!) Her whole attitude towards my feelings have been very condescending and while I can understand why she might feel like I was being a little paranoid, her attitude in her response was not very reassuring.
Frankly, my wife's attitude concerning religious tolerance in general made me less apt to consider this person. If I could be assured that this woman would not be slipping in JW-isms at every opportunity and would be respectful of my beliefs, etc, I would not be as concerned. I've never met the woman but the way my wife went about the whole thing makes me not even want to consider her now even if she turns out to be very nice and harmless.
But I guess my question to the group would be as follows:
For those who have kids, if you were a non believing JW would you consider allowing a witness to keep your kids in their home?
Even if it is before and after care?
If not, why not?
If so, were you concerned on the effects that her religion might have on your child? Especially (assuming you are a non believing spouse) if the person attends the meetings at your spouse's cong?
If you have done something like this in the past (even if you were a believing witness at the time) did you feel comfortable with this person with your children? If you were a believing witness at the time but now no longer, would you still feel comfortable with this person with your children? In other words, did your feelings about this arrangement change?
What would you recommend that I do?