We did bring toys/books and even allowed to sleep at times. This was not encouraged, but no one talked to us about it. Perhaps being an elder helped :-)
Kingdom Hall Spankings
Oh man that bring sore memories, I've had my guts full when two dubass elders came to my sister the other day (she wasn't coming to meetings ever since she gave birth 10 months ago - actually she almost died having something called placenta privia and not wanting blood) anyway those two idiots came and started almost yelling at her that she must come to the meetings and if baby cries give her "appropriate discipline"
As they were there throwing out their wisdom baby started crying, sis got really distressed. Her hubby not wanting to offend them was silent. Mom was in kitchen just swallowing it all. I and gf were having a coffee at the terrace. Finally I just couldn't hold it any longer so I've said
"I suppose gentlemen you've never read the bible" - one of them went "of course we have .." So I concluded “well if you've had then you'd surely remember Genesis 33:12-14.” I've started quoting, as I did it her hubby finally found courage and asked them to leave as baby started crying more and more. What assholes the whole thing is a joke.
Here are those scriptures
12 Later on he said: “Let us pull out and go, and let me go in advance of you.” 13 But he [Jacob] said to him [E'sau]: “My lord is aware that the children are delicate and sheep and cattle that are giving suck are in my charge, and should they drive them too quickly for one day, then the whole flock will certainly die. 14 Let my lord, please, pass on ahead of his servant, but may I myself continue the journey at my leisure according to the pace of the livestock that is before me and according to the pace of the children until I shall come to my lord at Se´ir:.”
No hall I ever went to allowed this.
EVERY hall I went - the children brought toys (like a cuddly toy - nothing noisey) or a colouring book and they were allowed to sleep. I personally came from a very strict family and the only thing I could bring was a notebook to take notes and used to envy the other children. On the times I did start to doze off on my mothers breast she'd nudge me awake.
I was a witness from '75 to '91, perhaps you attended in a different stricter era or a different part of the world.
IMO it is bordering on child abuse to force a toddler to stay awake until 9.30 at night which is when our meetings finished and I don't even like children! I wouldn't dream of taking a child out to knock on doors when its minus 10 degrees outside as I was. When I look back I think the extremes I was put through and others were beggar belief!
I've come full circle on my feelings on children at the hall and discipline of them.
Not having kids I was pretty intolerant of them at the KH. I used to question why parents brought toys and non-WTS books for them, even after we were told that the KH was not the place for such stuff. Then I couldn't stand it when parents wouldn't keep their kids quiet. Why don't they do something about the kid?
Now, stepping back and away from the manipulation of the WTS, I realize that you can't force a baby or toddler to sit still for two hours. You can't make them be quiet. A baby/toddler is the center of the universe...at least in that family. All attention and effort has to go to taking care of that new being. No amount of "discipline" is going to change the nature of an unhappy baby. I still don't have kids, but having watched some close friends and family raise them from close range, I see why a lot of parents did what they did by bringing toys and snacks and taking them out to wander around the lobby instead of forcing them to sit still.
It really came home to me when, right after I started my serious fading away, I went to a Sunday talk and I watched an elder beat his grandchild. She was old enought to sit stilll but she was being a little noisey but not enough to use physical punishment in my estimation. But he grabbed her by the arm, jerked her clean out of her seat, dragged, literally, dragged her outside and beat her. I don't mean spanked, I mean beat. I was apalled and disgusted and angry. I didn't do anything and I regret to this day at least not getting in his face and telling him that he was being too rough and that he needed to vent his anger in a healthier manner.
some extreme behavior such as a child persisting in some type of dangerous behavior might need physical discipline but sitting for 2 hours quietly just ain't in a kid's nature and to spank a child for squirming or getting out of their seat or making noise is ludicrous. its not a natural way for a child to interact with their environment or learn.
actually this reminds me of something (god I'm full of memories todady aren't i!)
Last year I went to the funeral of mr crumpet's great aunt in Edinburgh. It was held in a Catholic church. one of the members of the family had a baby who kept escaping into the aisle - everyone took turns running out to grab the baby - and there was so much laughter despite it being such a sad ocassion. It was just so warm natural and friendly. No one even thought to give the giggling little child a smack. They just smiled indugently - as you do with babies.
This thread is making me really pissed off this morning. I had kind of forgotten how mean a lot of JW parents were. I really love kids, and mean people or people who are soooooo unrealistic of how a baby or toddler should act just really make me mad. So many people shouldn't even have children. Makes me want to go to a meeting so I can tell someone off or punch someone.
i remember being dragged for entire weekends as a young child in "service" with my super dub/special pio dad. we were to stand at attention, not dawdle between doors, not get distracted by anything we saw, not complain about hunger, thirst, being tired or "nature calling." those were the rules from infancy on in the 60's.
many a householder took pity upon us kids and offered us a glass of water during 90+ degree heat wearing full dresses, crenolins, socks and patent leather shoes. i knew exactly what they were thinking: "what kind of father drags his kids up and down the entire street during a heat wave fully dressed to the nines when they should be out playing?"
at the KH we didn't act up because we were just expected to behave. we were always treated as little adults and not children. we did know the fate of others who crossed the line and got rushed to the back to get their alotment of smacks.
i also remember severely cutting my foot just before the memorial and instead of getting stitches, my parents just wrapped me up and took me to the memorial instead. i still have the scar.
The first 18 years in Baptist church and class, I was never spanking even at home. I still goes to baptist church since 1946.
The WT which champions itself as family friendly is actually hurting little children every week. I know now I was very wrong to force my small children to go to meetings from 7:30-9:30 during the week. They never got to bed before 10pm. Children in grade school should be getting ready for bedtime at 7:30, not going to the KH meetings. Just another aspect of mind control. I'm grateful I got out while my children were young and they never became JW's.
at peace now,