Every year, at the beginning of the school year I prepare a letter for my daughter's teachers saying 'we are JWs don't celebrate this....no anthem....here are some suggestions..blah blah". And here's our 'JWs and education' brochure from 1969, a bit outdated but you know, it's spiritual food at the proper time. Besides, its an easy placement. I've never read it but I'm sure everything it says is the truth and you better accommodate our beliefs although we will not tolerate anyone elses ...ok i made the last few sentences up ;) Apparently my DH felt that this year my letter was not strict enough (actually it's the same letter that we've been using for the past 3 years) HA!. The letter said that my daughter can remain in the class while everyone sings "Happy BDay". What the teacher does is gives the birthday kid a certificate and a party hat and they sing happy bday to him/her. if parents provide treats, they eat them....this all takes 5 minutes at the most and then they get on with the day. This has happened twice so far and my daughter stayed in the class but did not sing or eat bday treats. This upset my husband as he felt that she is partaking in the celebrations. He ordered me to revise the letter and ask the teacher to excuse her during this time. I told him that I'll do that but I don't understand his reasoning. He said that shes celebrating with them by remaining in the class. I reasoned well, then she should be outside the school for the anthem where she cant hear it because its the same thing. (right now she stands up for the anthem in the class but does not sing as the other kids do). He asked me who I'm trying to defend. As you guys suggested I said 'I just want to understand your point so I can better explain it to the worldly teacher'. He just repeated the same thing again and I asked how that differed from the anthem and he couldn't answer but said to prepare the letter....OK boss! My daughter is old enough to comment at meetings on her own, go in FS, and even get baptized BUT we cannot trust her conscience....or mine...only DH conscience because he is our head..... If she's mature enough to make a decision to get baptised why can't she decide what to do in such a situation? Anyone else go through something similar with their kids?
Moulding our JW Children
Another childhood about to be screwed up by the cult. Get out for her sake!
I struggle with this, cantleave. I want to! you have no idea how much I do.
But I want to try to get through to my DH and my mother before I make my exit. In the mean time I talk to her about the future, setting goals to go to university, get an education, a career, etc. If I leave now and try to take the kids with me, they will be told that I am Satan and that what I wish for them would only result in their losing everlasting life.
Idea: Politely ask him to write the letter, since he is so clear on the content and you are not. Then tell him you will deliver the letter or send it to the school, whichever he would prefer. Once the business end of things is wrapped up, maybe suggest a Family Worship session on birthdays. Let the kids explain why JWs don't celebrate birthdays. Let your husband explain how he would explain your family's stance to a teacher. Maybe you could play the teacher and ask a couple of curious questions (What about marriage anniversaries? Birthdays aren't associated with violence and beheadings today, are they? What about baby showers?) to see how he and the kids would respond.
The birthday thing is kind of a joke. I know of JWs that either, send non-birthday birthday cards, post "happy day" messages on facebook, call their grown kids to reflect on the first day of birth, go out for drinks (or to restaurants that offer freebies) on birthdays and some who even buy small tokens of...well, they're bascially birthday presents. When reasoned on, the JW ban on birthdays doesn't add up and it alomst seems kind of cruel to not acknowledge such an amazing event as one's entrance into the world.
I managed to get my kids out and they are a lot happier for it. As with you, I do want them to get a good education and attend university etc.
There never is a 'good' time to leave. If it's what you really want then sooner is better than later. Why will it get easier to leave?
I do feel for persons such as yourself who are struggling with it.
Personally, I found it tough but it was worth it in the end.
I sacrificed a lot for my childrens freedom, future and mental health!
Obeying all the commands of the leaning on the understanding of the Governing Body [that is leaning on one's own understanding (the GB has the correct understanding), and leaning on thier understanding of understanding]OMG is this where they are magic practicing? OK, yes I do have a point. The point is why do the persons loyal to the GB obey men? Is the reason why they obey is so they do not die at armagedinoutofhere? But Jesus said at Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, John 12:25. Who do they lose thier soul to? I think I know the answer. They say it is DEATH, but I say it is they actually lose thier soul to the Governing Body. It's like a science fiction novel, but it is sad and more than a little scary because it is not fiction, but it is real. My husband would not let me inculcate the children (I have four), and I was OK with it, because truth for Earth is not mature yet, I knew that. God bless you angel.face, and may Jehovah give you power, peace!
Thanks for the ideas FM. I'll mention it for FWE.
Erbie: You are right that there is never a 'right' time to leave. I don't think that it will get easier...actually I know it will get harder as I try to persuade my mother and husband but I really want to try....what happened with your situation? Did your husband stay in? Did he try to take the kids from you?
Sorry, I am a father of two lovely children not a mother but have been through just the same as you.
I was the first to express doubts and as a result I became irregular and subsequently left altogether. My wife carried on for about five years on her own and it was a real heart wrench for me to see them trundle off to the meetings without me. I felt that I had let them down and was not providing them with the leadership that they needed. My wife gave me a really hard time for a while and the guilt trip etc.
Nevertheless, I stuck to what I knew was right and in the end my wife just stopped going litterally over night and has never looked back despite being a regular pioneer and having parents in the 'truth'.
I'm not going to lie to you, it was tough, in fact I write this with a tear in my eye (of joy I suppose), but I watch my two children grow up, play for the local football team and live a normal life. They thank me for the freedom I have given them frequently.
Of course, my wife threatened to leave me and I was bullied by her parents but I stuck fast and in the end I won. I beat them against all odds and my family is intact. Now I see my mother in law breaking up with alcohol abuse and so on because she cannot make sense of the world through the WT eyes.
My kids are doing well at school and my wife has retrained as a lecturer. I think we've made it!
If there is anyway that I can be of assistance or encouragement then please do not hesitate to ask. It makes all I have been through worthwhile if I can assist someone like you.
I have to go and collect the kids from school now but will check this thread later.
With very best wishes.
Keep them damp and in a dark room.
What an inspirational story.