Helping My Children
I try not to think about it everyday but every now and then I seem to get very down about the fact that I see my adoptive children being raised as Jehovah's Witnesses. They are 10 and 13 years of age. My wife continues to raise them in this religion. And they seem to like what they are experiencing. Dad is viewed as a person of the world, someone that does not love Jehovah.
I always wonder if later on, if they discovered TTATT, that they will either hate their mother because she did not listen to their father concerning this religion , or hate us both. Hate me for not forcing them to know what this religion is all about. It really breaks my heart when I think about how strange of a life they actually are living right now. I want to somehow explain things to them but they are young and this can make waves. But I can't handle the thought of them finding out the real truth perhaps late in life and realizing that Dad was correct. This could have devastating effects on them and I just can't think about what would go through their mind.
What have you been doing or what would you do in such a situation? Life is too precious to waste. I always thought that maybe when they graduate from high school, I will give them an envelope that will read the Greatest Gift. Inside it will be a short story you could say, perhaps somewhat poetic in nature explaining how important it is to protect your life from other people ruling over it. And how precious freedom is and how we need to research something that affects our life so greatly,before we continue to follow it. It it would not be an attack on the Watchtower.
The boy is a very highly intellectual boy. He has the traits of a genius. His IQ is beyond the average child in school. He is one that I believe would listen to me even now. I always wonder if I should speak with him in private. I feel that he could even keep our conversations secret. But of course I don't think that this would go over too well. He is a child, and we would quickly see changes in him and my wife would know that I said something. But honestly I just can't handle seeing my children waste their life. I just know that they are not going to think too well of their parents,if and when they find out.
I think if the mother has custody it's up to her to decide at the moment.
When they're a bit older and are able to make a more independent decision, say 16/17 then that may be the time to talk to them about your feelings. But until then, just make sure you keep these lines of communication open. Good luck.
Dad is viewed as a person of the world, someone that does not love Jehovah.
I'd double down on your love for them. You have to be the alternative to their JW experience by your example. To do well in school. Have hobbies...take them places they enjoy going to. Like the movies, the Library. Encourage higher learning.
Bring the best parts of the world to them.
Bond through popular music with the 13 year old. Find funny silly stuff a 10 year old would find funny on you tube like https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=a+little+girl+gives+money+to+a+street+performers+hat
If you don't educate your kids they should grow and hate you for not doing so, I would!
I disagree with Landy's advice to let the Mom indoctrinate the kids since they are ONLY ten and thirteen.
My objection is based on my own personal experience.
My mom accepted a free home Bible study from the JWs when I was about 7 years old. In less than a year her marriage to my dad was destroyed and from that point on I was raised by her, totally indoctrinated into Watchtower dogma and "end of the world" theology. She was a hard-liner -- I had NO friends in school, and engaged in NO extracurricular activities. I wasn't even allowed to associate with the kids in the Kingdom Hall because she wasn't sure they were "theocratic enough"!
By the time I was in my mid-teens I was chronically depressed and my sense of self was almost non-existent. I had no view of the future other than that Armageddon was coming and that after that... well, no one really had any idea what to expect, but it was going to be WONDERFUL! Did I think about suicide? Yes I did, but since suicide was a sin, I didn't think about it often. I did have some accidental "close calls," though. Were they subliminal suicide attempts? Quite possibly.
So I would urge you to do whatever you feel you are capable of doing to offset the JW mindwash and keep your kids emoitionally healthy and optimistic. If you can get away with it, I would even urge you to tell the kids that "mom has some silly ideas about religion" and make sure you learn about OTHER cults and share this information with your kids. Tell them that they can be FREE in their own minds, even if it means PRETENDING to go along with the JWs. Tell them to ALWAYS tell you when their mom beats them. JWs are really big fans of corporal punishment in addition to psychological abuse and torture. Emphasize to your kids the importance of them doing EVERYtHING that can be done to nurture their talents and interests.
Or you can be like my dad was. He did none of that, because he didn't care. His excuse was always "things could be worse." It never occurred to him that things could have been better, too.
He's dead now. He was dead to me since I was in my teens.
Thank you Nathan. I reflected on your words. Within a half hour, I had a long talk with my son.
I don't care about the fallout. My children's lives are important to me. Your experience is exactly what I fear. I just can't be a pacifist anymore. He at least now knows that I do care. Most likely, he will remember my conversation. I haveca better chance of him not hating me.
Liberator, hopefully you've been able to catch the "Scientology & the Aftermath" series that Leah Remini and Mike Rinder presented on the A&E network. Fortunately, you can view episodes on
I have some additional suggestions; the OLD 1981 movie "Ticket to Heaven" is about a guy who got into the Moonies (the Unification Church of Korean cult leader Reverend Sun Myung Moon). A review is here: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9B0CE1DA113BF930A25752C1A967948260 you can get a copy from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ticket-Heaven-Nick-Mancuso/dp/B000MTEFTQ.
"Ticket to Heaven" came along at a good time for me. Interestingly, the cult deprogrammer Steven Hassan was once a moonie. He isn't any more, of course.
The Mormons are another group worthy of criticism and analysis. One great DVD is "The Lost Book of Abraham", which you can find here: http://www.mrm.org/product/the-lost-book-of-abraham.
Actually, almost anything that promotes critical thinking skills will be helpful, but a multi-angled approach is best, because the kids will learn that the world is full of opportunistic liars who promise everything in exchange for your mind.
Admittedly, some of these films were made by Christian Evangelicals with a goal of gaining more converts. I am not a Christian Evangelical. I describe myself as a "non-practicing atheist." I'm selling nothing. Literally.
Here's a lisy of documentaries about cults from the Internet Movie Database(IMdB):
I seem to get very down about the fact that I see my adoptive children being raised as Jehovah's Witnesses.
A couple of things stood out in the OP. One, you say 'adoptive' children. This could mean that you and your wfe did adopt two children, in which case you would perhaps be less likely to call them adoptive and just say 'children'. I could be wrong but I suspect they're your step-children in which case you have very little rights to access (even if they were your biological children you would still have suprisingly little in the way of rights). Anything you do which may cause your wife to have doubts about your influence on them is likely to cause you an issue with access.
Secondly, you say that 'you' get very down about it. This doesn't mean that your kids are down about it. I suspect they are leading a happy life and are being well cared for. Any doubts or conflicts you raise with your children now, at a time in their life when they are totally dependent on their mother and are absolutely unable to do anything about it, is going to have a upsetting affect on them.
Perhaps keeping your feelings about the JWs in check until they are of an age when they can make their own decisions is the best thing to do for the kids.
The only caveat I would make about that is with regard to baptism, if that rears its head before they are of a sensible age I would bring it up with their mother.