My mother lives a plane trip away from me, so does not get to spend very much time with Zac. However, she is in Sydney for 3 weeks and has been babysitting. I knew that she would be talking about Jehovah, but was very annoyed yesterday when Zac said my mother was speaking all day about Jehovah, such as how he made the stars.
In the past, I was not overly concerned if Zac learnt about Jehovah's Witnesses, as I thought it would help with critical thinking skills to understand different points of view. However, today I am fuming and very worried.
I am now worried that talking endlessly about her God will affect Zac's mind. Zac's other grandmother is also a JW and speaks to him about Jehovah occasionally. It did not concern me as she is not as influential or insidious or my own mother. Now that Zac is old enough to tell me what is being said, I recognise how it is shaping the development of his own ideas and beliefs.
A child is born an atheist. At 4, Zac has been asking how he came from mummies tummy. At some point in time, and I do not know when that is, he will start wondering where the universe came from. But he has not asked yet and I do not feel the need to provide explanations.
Since he is telling me about Jehovah, I have responded that I do not think that Jehovah is nice. I explained that Jehovah kills little children, and showed him the story in the Bible Stories book. I then said that it is not real and just stories.
But how do you explain to a child that his grandmother believes in myths and what she is saying is not real? I think it is possibly more damaging that I am indicating to him that his grandmother is lying to him, or is deluded, then the teachings she is infecting him with about a God that only loves Watchtower followers.
My mother now wants to start Skyping Zac. Unfortunately, my wife does not really care about what Zac believes or if he wants to be a JW. So my mother rings her when I am not around and uses her to speak to Zac. No matter what I say to Mum, I know she will still go behind my back to try to indoctrinate Zac.
I have considered sending a message to Mum. Please let me know what you think, and if it should be toned down, or not sent at all.
Mum, I do not want you speaking to Zac about your God or religious ideologies. Since Zac has not yet asked about the origins of lie, I do not feel it is appropriate that you force your opinions upon him at this stage, particularly as he is too young to be able to identify the rhetorical fallacies in your arguments. Please do not go behind my back on this, as I do not want to have to cut all contact between you and your grandchild. Act like a normal grandmother with him. With your background in teaching, I have no doubt that there are many ways you can help him develop and grow and enrich his life without having to attempt to indoctrinate him.