Raising children - thoughts
Just some thoughts for today - let me know what you think.
I grew up in the JW faith / cult -
I can’t prove I am a better person because of it , but in some ways I can prove how it has damaged me. I grew up with at least 20+\- friends who had all kinds of parents. Some hard ass JW, some more liberal , and from my little world I can’t think of many positives of being a JW and it delays maturity, critical thinking skills, collaborative understanding, fosters a false belief system , and at some point all of that has to be dealt with. I don’t see a link with how “ busy “ kids were in the truth with their outcome long term , most are in a worse long term situation as decisions were delayed for a very long time. I know Inam rambling , but I asked my dad to identify the positive outcomes of all of the kids I grew up with in the truth and he could not name one . !
The one that my mum would say is "a good relationship with God and the promise of everlasting life".
I don't think growing up JW necessarily means a good relationship with Jehovah if he in fact exists.
Growing up JW fosters following rules due to guilt trips and not logical reasoning. Rules set by men you will never meet and to whom you mean nothing. Rules that are no where to be found in the book of instructions supposedly left to us by God. Rules that will see you struggling to survive in the real world and leave you ignorant of the state of the world and how you could contribute to making it better.
Growing up JW makes you arrogant and intolerant and without compassion for fellow man and most of all judgmental about absolutely everyone.
Not at all what Jesus was, in whose steps we are meant to follow, if he did in fact exist.
As an outsider I can only go by what many have said here and elsewhere about growing up jw. I see the trauma, the PTSD and all the emotional and spiritual damage that is directly related to growing up as a jw.
That being said, there is plenty in the 'world' that also produces all of the above but in this case the jw religion/cult is clearly a cause for those who suffer the effects. In the outside world it could be school, bad parenting, other religious extremes, the world at large, addictions and so forth. I guess in the case of jw's at least they can pinpoint the cause and hopefully deal with it from there.
Thankful I was able to keep my kids far away from this abusive cult.
I was born in too. And yes, reflecting on our JW upbringing, that's a very common feeling. However, there's no way of knowing that our lives would have been better if we weren't raised in the JW cult. There's no point in wondering what/how our lives could have been had we grown outside the influence of that organization.
The way I deal with is is by using the skills I did get from being a JW, but for my own benefit. Also making sure that the rest of my life is not defined nor influenced by that organization. If some of my current believes or values coincide with what they say it's purely coincidental, not because they say so. I am older now, and looking back, I feel great that I had the opportunity of walking away from that organization and create a life that I feel happy and very proud of.
I'm sure that with making good decisions, and trusting your own values and principles, and not doing anything because of them (neither in accordance nor in contrast, none of it matters), will lead you to become a great, happier, and better person. You can choose to do good things and be a kind, decent person on your own and because you choose to, not because of some paradise on Earth nonsense.
As an outsider as well, I can only relay what I see from my husband and his mother.
My husband didn't mature beyond his teen years in many emotional ways, and definitely in academic ways. Even though his potential is there. He didn't plan goals for himself, future goals, career goals, didn't even know the first thing about how to go about it. He didn't really even think about it, as an teen would be doing, a teen taught the world was going to end in 1975 when he was 13.
He is severely hard on himself, extremely. Has very low self esteem, will not allow himself to recognize any achievements he may have. He literally locks them away in his mind.
He has no work related ambition. None. He attempts to, then gets frustrated, then gets depressed, then hates himself ( literally) for not doing something about it before now. A vicious cycle I believe the Borg is directly related to.
He is continually looking for direction, but if I give him direction on something he feels he is an expert on, he gets out of line mad about it. It is a guessing game for me sometimes to know when to speak and when not to.
I take off the gloves when we are financially sinking. He does NOT like it, but I do what I have to do. Arguments then ensue, unfortunately.
Luckily he has a father that did provide some direction, unfortunately my husband didn't follow very much of it until recently.
Great topic! Same born-in situation, here...The JW childhood never taught me to be and do good, for its own sake. Instead, I learned to temporarily fake the appearances of such on an as-needed basis. Usually meaning long-enough to get some adult off my back...
Born-in. Everything that was brought out is very true. I woke up at the age of 55 I finally grew up by 60. This is a story many of us can relate to. Still Totally ADD
My one and only real regret in this life is that I brought up my two boys to believe in this cult .And while they are both adults and out of the religion now I know they have been influenced to the point where it has affected their adult life to some degree and affected their own lives and how they deal with it.
And I can`t take that back and undo it .That is the sad part .
My daughter has just finished university and left home. She jokingly talks about having to do 'adulting' now. The other day she asked me when did I feel like I was an adult. Oh I said when I was about fifty. Difference is I wasn't joking. That religion does hold you back emotionally as well as academically.
Yup, same for this born-in old fart, woke up in my late fifties, and realized I had no real education, no critical thinking skills and pretty poor social skills.
I was not really an adult !
I realized too that many decisions I had made were Cult Approved, but were really bad for me and my family.
I cannot change the Past, but I have changed who I am, I have "put on the new personality" LOL. I have educated myself, learned Critical Thinking skills so that my Bullsheeeet Meter works 100%, and learned how to act in the company of the normal lovely people I now associate with, who JW's would label "worldly".
I cannot think that any childhood spent in any kind of high control, mind control cult can actually be of benefit in any way.