Hi everyone here!
Most of the time I just lurk . . .everyday . . . lots of times throughout the day. However, something has come up that I would like some advice on, especially from members who were exiting the JW religion with young children.
Let me give you a brief history of my journey to this point. My husband and I were both raised as JW's. We met while we were both out/inactive in our very early twenties. We married and wanted to be serious and do things the right way so we starting going to the meetings again. I finally got baptized. Fast forward a few years and my husband is inactive and has done his research about the JW religion and no longer wants nothing to do with it. I continued to attend meetings with my son a few more years. Then the July 2013 Watchtower happened, and I began my mental journey out of the religion.
Our son is now 6. He is bright, kind and caring. He has a very evident spiritual side (not due to me or my husband, but mostly it's just his nature.) Now that its becoming apparent to my husband's parents that I will no longer be attending the meeting , they are worried about our son. They want to pick him up to attend meetings and go out in service. My husband and I agree we want to limit his interaction with the religion, but not necessarily his grandparents. My father in law wants us to allow my son to make the decision if he wants to attend the meetings or not. If I gave my son that option, I know he will decide to attend.
So my question is, if any of you had children around this age, what did you tell them? How did you convince them? Like I said before, he's a bright boy. He understands a lot of the JW doctrine already. A simple solution would be to show him how fun the holidays and bithdays can be, but he's too indoctrinated for that. Plus that is not my parenting style. I prefer to reason with him and he responds to that sort of parenting. I have always tried to raise him to be a thinker. My original plan was to continue this process of emphasizing how important it is to think critically, and ask questions, and look at the evidence. Then when he is a little older he could see the Witnesses for what they are. Now I realize I don't have that time. He is also starting to ask questions about why I dont attend the meetings anymore.
I'm not 100% sure what I believe, which makes it even more difficult. My husband wants him to live his life in the belief that there is someone out there to who we are are accountable to. Although at this point, I dont necessarily believe that, I'm willing to go along with it. I live in what's known as the Bible belt of the U.S. So his life will be easier if he had some belief in God. My husband likes the arguement that when Jesus was preaching, he wasn't trying to set up a church or organization, but basically telling people how to live a good life. I could tell him about this and then explain that people believe many different things, most of it is directed by the church and not Jesus. At four years old my little boy would pray that his preschool friends not be destroyed. He still believes this. My response used to be "keep praying about it." Now what do I tell him that won't confuse him anymore? I just feel like he's going to walk away from this very very confused more than anything else.