I've noticed that each WT lesson really only has one or two points they want remembered. Normally they build up to these by about the third subheading. This week's lesson though was different, the main point was insidiously made through an experience in the first paragraph:
CHRISTIAN parents have few joys like that of watching their child get baptized. “It was a highly emotional experience for us. We were, of course, grateful that our children wanted to serve Jehovah,” says Berenice, whose four children were baptized before they turned 14. “But,” she adds, “we also knew that as teenagers our children would face many challenges.”
Did you catch it? Yes, WT is subtly saying that to be a good example a parent should have their children baptized at a young age. 14 is not old enough to drive a car, get married or drink a beer but it's a great age to get baptized. I like how they purposefully state that it was the children who "wanted to serve Jehovah". It may be true but children want to do a lot things at that age. They have not developed fully and can't really understand what the decision will mean. And are we to believe that the guidance and instruction from their parents had nothing to do with it?
The WT follows up that paragraph with this quote in paragraph 2:
one expert on child development states: “Adolescence is not a period of being ‘crazy’ or ‘immature.’ It is an essential time of emotional intensity, social engagement, and creativity.”
I found it quite odd that WT would use this quote when none of this things mentioned are encouraged by JWs. Reacting emotionally has always been looked down upon in the org. Social engagement isn't really encouraged either, the prevailing attitude is to push teens away from social activities and towards "spiritual goals". How creative can you be when all your beliefs are already chosen out for you?
WT then replaces those three things with their own:
While they are teenagers, your children can develop a more meaningful friendship with Jehovah, set and pursue goals in the ministry, and use more initiative as they make their dedication and live up to it.
Emotional intensity = friendship with Jehovah
Social engagement = field service
Creativity = Dedication
And parents in the hall just nod along as if the whole thing made perfect sense.