Should I let my kids visit my JW parents?
We aren't talking about shunning. We are talking about letting grandparents have unsupervised access to vulnerable children. There is a BIG difference.
Agreed. If I understand what some have said, it seems that some have more or less totally written off having their JW parents in their and their children's lives. That's a shame. IMO, children have a right to know their family (including their JW grandparents) and categorically ruling out all association with them would be -- at least for *my* daughter -- a tragedy.
If I thought my parents were a danger to my children on any level, JW or not, I would limit the exposure to them, and insist I be present at all times. No exceptions.
Again, I agree. But before going into supra-protection mode, first I'd have to see a real danger. At least that's the situation *I'm* in, thank goodness. As it happens, I'm one of the lucky ones. My daughter has great grandparents, both in and out of the truth™. That's why I earlier said that not all JWs are the same.
IMO, children have a right to know their family (including their JW grandparents) and categorically ruling out all association with them would be -- at least for *my* daughter -- a tragedy.
Teejay, yes children have a right to know their extended family. I work in family law and I am well aware as to how judge's view this also. And yes it is a tragedy that grandparents sometimes forfeit their rights, due to their actions, to see their grandchildren. My parents (my mom) made a choice not to call me to see my children. I set the ground rules, they chose to ignore and leave us alone. What else could I do. I feel sorry for them that they are missing out on their grandchildren.
My daughter has great grandparents, both in and out of the truth™. That's why I earlier said that not all JWs are the same.
That's wonderful, but there are going to be a few that don't have this type of circumstance and the parents have to make a choice in keeping what family they have left together and sane.
You obviously don't have a mom like mine. I couldn't trust her as far as I could throw her. I perceive her to be a lying snake in the grass. There is no way, unless she changes, that my kids will see her. Do I want someone to divide and conquer, and put a wedge between my children. NO!
Thats my thoughts
of the "not to be judged harshly class" unless you walk in my shoes.
Mother, I too had a nice visit with you and thank you very much for the paintings. You know I will take care of them and make sure they are admired by all, which has and will always happen. I wasn't going to say anything about some of the things we talked about, but since you took this opportunity to explain/witness I thought I would give you the flip side and you can take it for what its worth. Your objection to birthdays due to a litteral take on the bible is fine, but it is not something I nor ******, I'm sure, want the kids to have to deal with ever and I hope I can explain why in this letter. . I have asked you several times politely to not proselytize the children, or give them Noah videos, try to start a book study w/*****, because you know if such a thing were to occur then the kids would be right where I was all those years ago. Living with guilt and the fear of Armageddon. This to me is a clear lack of respect/tollerance for my wish as a parent and going against the very writings of your own litterature.
12/8/97 Awake p. 12 Child Custody—A Balanced View ***
Christian grandparents may offer the children spiritual instruction and wholesome activities, but they must be respectful of the parents’ decisions about religious training, for it is the parents, not the grandparents, who hold the moral and legal authority to make these decisions.—Ephesians 6:2-4.
As a child this is no fun. You put it all together and you get frustration, yes persecuted, a lack of social maturation, ***** being a good example and ***** another shining example of someone with little or no direction. I was very serious with you when I mentioned the fact that I had no impetus to go to college. I'm sure you and the old man and the BOE would have been much happier if I had become a regular pioneer or would have went to Bethel. You stated that when I left it felt like " a death in the family"...well mother it did feel like a death...after years of being taught to make my own way and be self sufficient I was ready to be my own person and I had no support from you on that end. The very person that had taught me those sales skills and how to be interactive and be self actuating, suddenly thinks I'm dead to the world and surely will die when your vengefull god comes back to kill all but about 6 million people on the earth. When in actuality all I wanted was the freedom to make up my own mind about being a Witness and make my own way...Something that never happens w/JW kids that want to make up their own minds or find their own "truth" and you know this to be a fact that can't be ignored. You can see how this would be on my end. You say that I must be tollerant of your beliefs and I say OK, but living in my world means people have to meet me somewhere in the middle and I don't mind doing that with you, but it has to be both ways. After 17 years of going to meeting 3 times a week and out in service, and having to deal with people I never felt really let me in their cliques, (maybe because we were poor?)I have a hard time being as tollerant as others might be in regards matters of conscience and being a Jehovahs Witness. I love you and I want you to be a part of their lives, we just need to find the middle ground somewhere a call it good. I was also very serious when I said I wished we had a normal(Yes I know its an oxymoron)family for 24 hours. Much love.
My sister has shunned her daughter since she was disfellowshipped six years ago, at the age of 18. In the meantime, my niece had a daughter and she allowed her parents to see the little girl once a month. They picked her up and spent the whole day with her. My niece had been very clear that she didn't want her parents teaching her daughter anything about the JW religion. She thought things were working out OK until a few months ago, when her parents started to ask if they could take the child out in service, if they could read the bible story book to her. etc. She said no. They could read her version of bible stories, but not the JW version. They could NOT take the child out in service or to meetings. About a month after this conversation, she received a letter from her parents. The letter said that if they couldn't teach their religion to the granddaughter, they couldn't in good conscience continue to "associate" with her. In effect, they're now shunning a four-year-old child!
Needless to say, all association has ended. My niece is now pregnant with her second child, and she hasn't even informed her parents. All along I've had the opinion that to let her parents see her child while they continued to treat her like a piece of dirt was wrong. What does this teach the child? That her mother has no worth. That it's OK for people to treat her mother this way. That's not what I would want my children to learn about me. It's all about setting an example for children about human dignity and worth.
I vote for not allowing the grandparents to see your children until they can treat you like a decent human being. You don't want to send the wrong message to your children--that this kind of behavior is acceptable. It isn't.
Teejay, My parents (my mom) made a choice not to call me to see my children. I set the ground rules, they chose to ignore and leave us alone. What else could I do. I feel sorry for them that they are missing out on their grandchildren. ... there are going to be a few that don't have this type of circumstance and the parents have to make a choice in keeping what family they have left together and sane. You obviously don't have a mom like mine. -- calamityjane
My reason for commenting in this thread was only to offer my personal experience that serves as a bit of a counterpoint to valid comments that others have made.
Back in 1970 when my oldest sister Connie was df'd at nineteen (as mentioned in another thread), I followed my mother's lead in shunning her. Connie went on to marry a very fine man, a man of such high quality that I don't hesitate to refer to him as a brother. He and Connie went on to build a good life together, raising two boys to adulthood. For the most part, my mother (and I) dutifully shunned her (them) the whole time -- to my lasting shame.
That is... until about 10 years ago when I began to extract my head from my anus.
Over the past four or five years -- for whatever reason -- my mother began responding to the idea of reuniting with ALL of her children, not just those "serving Jehovah." Was the change in her attitude attributable to her advanced age, regrets, a wt article? I don't know. All I know that the woman changed. Since then, much of the dysfunction that plagued our family for thirty years is gone.
Now, since she is still deathly loyal to the Org I never asked my mother why the change (and I never will), but I have the deep feeling that my mother knows that many of the problems in our family over the years are directly linked to her exclusionary beliefs and the actions she's taken toward her children as a result. Put simply, Mamma knows that she made serious mistakes that cost her children YEARS of togetherness, and I've seen clear evidence that she has put at least THAT JW bullshit behind her. For THAT reason and THAT reason only, I can say today that I wouldn't have any problem letting my JW mother spend as much time as she wants with my daughter. (I think) She's feels that she's lost enough, and risking the loss of my family and daughter due to any attempts to convert Baby Girl is a risk she simply will not take.
I realize that most exes who still have loyal JW parents / family don't enjoy the situation I do with regard to my JW mother. In fact, I didn't have it myself for many years. I TOTALLY understand people's unwillingness to open their children up to that kind of religious abuse and I assure you that I'd keep my daughter from my mother as well if I thought my daughter was under the slightest threat of any kind. As it is, she isn't.
As I said, not all JWs are the same.
As I said, not all JWs are the same.
And that my loverlies is exactly the problem.
Thanks Teejay for enlightening me of your situation. I too, would welcome both my mom and dad into my arms wholeheartedly, if they came to me and said they truly wanted to see my children and would not try to influence them in any way, and just wanted to be family again, and set aside the religion shit, to be frank.
I am a person that forgives, I do consider that I have a big heart. My home is always welcome to them, but I cannot at this stage, allow them to degrade my family.
So when my parents come to me to try and fix our so called "dsyfunctional family" I'll be there to listen. My home is open to them, even if they chose to stay with the borg.
((((((((( Valis ))))))))))))))))))
I hear you buddy. I'm sure you and I can vent quite a lot.
The way we have been doing it is that if they shun us, they don't see the kids. My MIL doesn't shun us so she is allowed supervised visits any time she wants. My sister asked to see the new baby and I let her. Then the next time I saw her she full on shunned me and my husband. So we said NO MORE. Now my other girls don't want to see or talk to her either.
BUT ... this is the JW's doing. It's THEIR fault. They can END it if they choose. Just don't shun me and we wont shun you. It's the lesser of two evils.
Either way the shunning continues. If we don't shun them back then they influence our kids to grow up and shun their own parents -- shunning continues. Or the lesser evil, influence our kids to shun them and their religion. Eventually, the generation will die out and along with it the Watchtower Bull Shit Society!
Just don't shun me and we/I wont shun you.
Well said Bluemeister! My feelings exactly.
This is a real dilemma for parents - I was Df`ed when I was 21 and my two girls were babies. I always let them stay with my parents (active JW`s) during school holidays etc.....even though on many ocassions I was told to `leave them at the gate`......nice huh! anyways most times I would have to `un` program them as they had been filled with book studies and prayers etc. When my daughter was 10 she wanted to live with my parents so I let her......my daughter is now 24 and has children of her own and wants nothing to do with the religion, as well as, my younger daughter too.....BUT I think it was useful to let them decide for themselves and see the differences in conditional / unconditional love....I think I made the right decision even though it hurt me as I was / am shunned by by folks......I can only say it was a struggle....and as parents its difficult when confronted by these dilemmas...........