Kids and the JW Religion

by txwild91 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • txwild91

    I am a divorced ExJW with 3 children who live with their JW dad. They are 16, 13 and 11. I am worried about the fact that they were raised as JW's and are now questioning if they want to make this their life or not. While that is not a bad thing I am worried because they were IMMERSED in this religion from the time they were born until I left the religion about 3 years ago. Their father is d/fed but trying to make a come-back...with a new "worldly" wife. After seeing the hypocricy of their father and the new life I am living they are questioning the restrictions placed on them by the religion.

    My concern is how they will adjust to the world. Will they totally go off the deep end? Without the guidelines and principals they now have what will they do? Where do they go to find the guidelines they need?

    For the record I have never read the forum or posted here before. I friend of mine who posts here recommended that I post this and see what happens. She said I might be able to get some good advice from people who have experienced the same type of situation.

    Thank you.

  • LB

    think of all the worldly kids who behave themselves without the threat of shunning hanging over their heads. If you feel you've raised them with morals, then relax and be sure you've done all you can. Consider all those JW kids living double lives too.

    Never Squat With Yer Spurs On

  • Dutchie

    Thats what parents are for, to give their kids guidelines and principals. Surely you have noticed that in the Kingdom Hall not all children turn out well even though they were immersed in the teachings of the organization since childhood. Children do not need fear of the elders and fear of an organization for them to turn out well. Its good for your kids to question their religion. Its even healthy. Hopefully your JW husband will listen to them and respect their wishes. I hope so. I wish you the best.

  • terafera

    Hi Txwld,

    Good questions. I have thought the same thing raising my 7 year old. I came to the conclusion, like the others have posted, that a child brought up in a happy, well adjusted home has every chance of being a great adult, that a jw one would have.

    When I think of all of the young people I grew up with (as a jw), here is how they turned out:

    1 got into drugs and drinking, has 2 kids with 2 different men, her mother raises both now (takes the kids to meetings).

    1 got married to a worldly guy, never loved him, cheated on him and is on her third marriage at 27.

    1 married a worldly man, tried to get him into the 'truth', he left her with a baby.

    1 elder's son married a worldly girl, got another girl pregnant, has 3 kids at 25.

    3 kids in the same family- the oldest boy entered the Army, the 2 other daughters got pregnant and have many kids with different men.

    I just described to you young ones I knew in just 2 congregations. There were many more I could tell about , but dont have the time to go on and on.

    The point is, I know many kids who were not raised JW, who have wonderful morals, who have an education, who open the doors for old ladies, mow their mother's lawns, etc. My husband is one of them.

    Believe me, you dont have to raise your kid a Witness for them to turn out good!

  • alamb

    another spin:

    A Jehovah's Witness parent is never 100%, truly the parental authority. So much power is given to the organization the JW parent is simply caretaker at best.

    If a young person disobeys a rule set forth by them:
    1. The youth is forced into a confrontation with "concerned elders."
    2. The parents are called into the backroom to explain the youth's actions.
    3. The parent can have his priveleges in the KH restricted or obliterated depending on the "crime" and perceived repentence.
    4. The child, if baptized, unbaptized publisher, on the school, can have those priveleges taken away also.

    The ultimate authority in the child's life is not the concerned parent, it is the mother organization. A non-custodial parent is relegated to "visitor".

  • lauralisa

    Hi Txwld,

    Welcome to the board. You could not have found a better place for an intense, exciting and accessible source of comprehensive information, advice, and support for issues surrounding jw's and those who have found their way out into the real world.

    I relate to you because I am the non-custodial parent of two sons, ages 12 and 15. I've been out of the organization for over a year. Their father was never a JW. (He has custodial privileges because he earns several hundred thousand dollars more per year than I do, and I chose NOT to become 1) his adversary and 2) bankrupt and 3) he's a good father).

    My concern is how they will adjust to the world. Will they totally go off the deep end? Without the guidelines and principals they now have what will they do? Where do they go to find the guidelines they need?
    YOU are a PRIMARY source of guidelines and principles. You MUST provide them with information with which to reason and to make informed decisions. All parents must provide such things... it's sad that most jw parents simply pass this obligation off and on to the WTBTS, believing that those old guys and their supporting cast of thousands have a grip on "reality". The idea that they are a channel of communication between God and humanity is very (VERY) easily discredited. (And one does not have to be a brain surgeon to figure this stuff out

    They will need YOU to explain how YOU have come to your own conclusions as to why this religion is suspect. With my own children, I tell them fairly bluntly just exactly why I chose to EXIT that controlling and abusive cult, and why I do NOT want them to be deceived by their mind-controlling tactics. I am really specific about just exactly these tactics are - and explain such things to them when they are ready and wanting to have answers.

    You will find an enormous source of information and facts here, not only for your own needs but for theirs.

    Please forgive me for saying this, but your ex sounds like a weirdo: trying to make a come-back with a "worldly" wife? Why do you think he even WANTS to go back? Is his new wife a good step-mother? Is she supportive of his religious - uh - confusion?

    I wish you well, and hope you let us know how things progress for you.

    Warmly, lauralisa

  • Will Power
    Will Power

    I agree alamb

    Oh no! my teenager is normal! better call the elders!!

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