When can I let my guard down?
I use a book called Twisted Scriptures by Mary Alice Chronalogar. We discuss small parts, as her age increases so do our conversations This book is written by a woman who was caught up in a Catholic Cult within the Catholic religion. The basic precepts are there. The mind control, the FOG, the shaming, and the important recognition of how scripture can be twisted to make a specific idea seem correct in total unquestionable truth, when it can be used in an entirely different way by another person/organization for the same (and sometimes completely different) reasons, to back up what they decide is the truth.
I felt this specific teaching was crucial with her having a father who was fence sitting and like a time bomb when it comes to wanting to indoctrinate her into the JW.
At 12 years old I encourage questions, I ask her questions, I make sure she repeats each time we talk that it is NEVER wrong to have questions you can't answer, but ALWAYS wrong to have answers you can't question.
Prophylactic indoctrination shield? I hope so.
We have it from two sides of our close family. JW on her dads side, and dad's nephew with his young family of six, is independent baptist. Another high control, traumatizing religion.
My goal is to build her toolbox of diffusing answers and topic changers. And give her an out if she is overwhelmed. She is not going to be bullied into trying to defend herself, when they are taught with great skill how to make a person feel stupid because they don't know a specific bible passage etc.
She and I study the bible in historical terms, ideas, ( differing ones sometimes) messages we think that are positive. We focus n the positive, since it is the best way to live a positive life. We talk about helping all kinds of people like Jesus did, and how that is a huge theme of the new Testament.
I must say, my little girl is a super attentive child that watches for other kids who are sitting alone. I am so very proud of her. She makes a point to play with the child who is standing alone. She is the best friend of the class "bully" since 1/2 way through Kindergarten. She has laid out boundaries, and keeps them, that this bully respects. It is something to behold.The bully, like many are, is super smart as well, so the two have multiple skills to put together.
Guard down? NEVER let it down. Refine it as needed. Stay super educated yourself. Educate the kids against what " some people in some religions think it's ok to control many things in your life for you, and kick you out of you don't do as they say"
I sometimes use a current buzzword or theme and make sure the reality is known of the story, not just the heavily redacted, indoctrination parts. /end book haha
You can never let your guard down. My mother was baptized in her mid forties. My dad was dunked in his fifties. My grandmother in her mid eighties! So sad.
nonjwspouse - love this "it is NEVER wrong to have questions you can't answer, but ALWAYS wrong to have answers you can't question."
"it is NEVER wrong to have questions you can't answer, but ALWAYS wrong to have answers you can't question."
What age do you think that kids can stand on their own against this stuff?
With my daughters, it was right around 12 -13. Of course, they became quite disagreeable in other ways, so it was a mixed blessing for awhile.
I would guess it would typically be a little older for boys, but don't actually know that from experience.
When JW youth rebel, it is seldom, if ever, based on scrutinizing the JW belief system, but almost always an emotional, bravado-type reaction that makes it more likely that, once they've worked through their rebeliion, they can still return - not that many do, but they may still harbour thoughts that it's "the truth' against which they have rebelled. Enter lifelong FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt).
This is what I observe not just among JWs but also other high-control religious groups. Their youth are ill-equipped to question but ever-ready to rebel.
Your children's exposure to JW's is negligible at this point right?
Steve makes a valid point above, but in the case of my children (And yours too, if I've understood your correctly.) there was no prior state of indoctrination for them to revert back to once the hormonal firestorm of adolescence had died down.
Hi there, TD, et al...
Yes, I would say that the kids' exposure to JW nuttery is negligible, thus far, due in part to my steadfast protection of them. A level of protection that has rendered me...somewhat weary over the years.
Thus, my interest in knowing when the kids are sufficiently armed against JW ideology. I'd like to, at least *feel* that they are secure and intellectually well-armed enough to rebuff any attempts to proselytize them. Yes, this a question that is ultimately self-serving in nature. If it should bear out that that I cannot assure myself of such protections, then of course I would continue to insulate them from such influences for as long as it be necessary and I am able.
No prior indoctrination. And I am committed to keeping it that way.
In my (admittedly limited) experience (Three daughters, mid 20's to early 30's today) your ability to affect the outcome one way or the other is going to evaporate sooner than you might be prepared for.
When they were young, I walked on water, but part of the process of growing up is recognizing that parents are fallible human beings with their own biases.
I remember posting this twelve years ago...