My daughter wants to convert

by Yerusalyim 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • Yerusalyim

    My 13 year old little princess wants to Judaism.

    She asked me today on the way home from her therapist if she had to take the Confirmation class next year in the Catholic Church. I told her that she didn't have to take it until she was ready to, that it was wholly her decision. She then said she's thinking about becoming Jewish.

    I've exposed my kids to a variety of religious customs and traditions while maintaining a Catholic perspective. She apparently likes what she sees in Judaism. I told her that if it weren't for how I felt about one particular Jew (Jesus) I would have converted a long time ago.

    She's been reading a lot about the Holocaust lately, she's 13, she's testing the waters. On the issue of religion, I will let her make her own choices within reason (No kingdom halls and no Jim Jones types).

    On an ugly note she told me she was sexually assaulted about three years ago by one of her "girlfriends" of the same age. Her therapy went a bit long today. I'm glad she felt she could share this with me.

    Ain't life grand!

  • DanTheMan

    At least they won't shun her for life if she changes her mind.

  • Shutterbug

    Thirteen is rather young to be making a decision of that magnitude..If she were mine I would suggest she wait for a few years, at least until she gets out of HS. I had a nephew baptized as a JW at the age of eleven and it was a total disaster. I'm think a person needs to be on their own for a while before making these types of decisions.

    And all of this advice may be worth what you are paying for it. Just my 2 cents.

  • SheilaM

    Yeru: Glad she shared that with you. Some girls are freaky. I had one girl spend the night (only one I ever allowed to have over) we were 10 and she had ideas that I didn't understand or want to be part of. I hid in the closet most of the night playing with my barbies ...she freaked me out. I know my Mom heard she and I were fighting really loud. So, let her talk if she wants to talk and let her know that it wasn't her fault OK

    As far as Judaism hey it's not being a dub so it's all good ya know. Let her explore but just tell her that you don't want her to give herself to any religion until she is old enough to make an educated decision. She will hate that but you know she is 13 LOL They do that ...

  • kgfreeperson

    I think it is great you can talk and you aren't reactive. It has to be helpful to her to have your help thinking through what she might want to do without worrying about whether or not she's going to actually do it.

  • Litebriterstill

    I think 13 is pretty young to convert to anything other than what a serious minded parent is teaching them. I agree with those that suggested study until they are out of high school.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Thirteen may be young, but if I recall correctly, it is also the age at which Jewish girls get their "Bat Mitzvah" (it can be a year earlier) and are recognized as members of the community. Boys of thirteen get the "Bar Mitzvah."

    That's not to say she should just "do it." It would not be unreasonable for her to spend some time studying the religion and the culture. She may want to think about WHY Judaism appeals to her. She may also want to look at how other converts have been assimilated by their congregations.

    Personally, I think she's just going thru that phase young girls go thru when they are raging Sammy Davis Jr. fans...

  • Ravyn

    I think maybe the holocaust stuff and the bat mitzpah might be influencing the attraction. 13 year old girls also want babies and boyfriends(on a non-sexual level I am talking about innocently) and the next day want horses and to become the next Britney spears. Kind of an impressionable, emotional age. Not saying it won't stick, but if she could just give it a little more time....


  • Yerusalyim

    I'm not real concerned about her desire to "convert". If I oppossed the idea with her, it would make things bad. By allowing her to explore the options we grow closer, she grows in independence, etc etc etc. Besides, no Rabbi I know would accept her conversion until she was older, 16-18, unless it was the whole family converting. I'm just excited that at 13 she can share with daddy.

  • Abaddon

    I can identify with your joy over her sharing with you Yeru. I have a not-quite thirteen year-old daughter who shares a hell of a lot with me, and I feel so lucky that she does - from her totally non-sexual interest in boys ("they're fun but I wouldn't want their stuff up me"), to her giving someone a well deserved bitch-slapping at school (she's been bullied a bit and I am so pleased she turned the tables), to her opinion about the dumb cult my x-wife is still in (but inactive, ha!ha!).

    Does she get any exposure to non-theistic worldviews? Even as an atheist I think its important to give kids a view of what I don't think is 'true'. They have to make their own choices.

    Your comments regarding conversion and how it wouldn't happen until later due to her age are spot on as well. Supporting a kid whilst letting them develop independence are great things. My daughter has just become a vegetarian. I can tell her I don't really agree with it and why (I think it's unnatural), but we can talk about it, and I can support her choice (albeit with just a little gentle teasing about bacon).

    Ravyn; I like your comments "13 year old girls also want babies and boyfriends(on a non-sexual level I am talking about innocently) and the next day want horses and to become the next Britney spears" is spot on, as the above bears out.

Share this