I have no choice..I must study with my kid

by Jez 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • GentlyFeral
    "But Dad, all religions worship the same God, JW's are no different."

    Smart kid! And the CHILDREN'S section of the public library will have plenty of literature to reinforce HER belief! Here are a few titles I found on my local public library's website:

    • The Kingfisher book of religions : festivals, ceremonies, and beliefs from around the world by Trevor Barnes
    • Religions of the world : the illustrated guide to origins, beliefs, traditions & festivals by Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O'Brien, Martin Palmer
    • People and their religions by Thomas J. Clarke (not sure this is a children's book, but the title sounds simple enough to be one)
    • Paths of faith : conversations about religion and spirituality by Michael Thomas Ford (Teen section)
    • Out of the ark : stories from the world's religions by Anita Ganeri ; illustrated by Jackie Morris
    • How do you spell God? : answers to the big questions from around the world by Rabbi Marc Gellman & Monsignor Thomas Hartman ; illustrated by Jos. A. Smith ; with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    Your library may not have these particular books, but they'll have others equally good. Yes, do show her all the beauty and depth of the world's religions - let her own experience and learning contradict the narrow-minded view that there is only one religion that is any good at all.

    We will keep a notebook and I will study with her like I use to but this time it will be the truth. I am going to do different topics. The first thing we are going to do is rip apart the JW's doctrines/beliefs/practices. Get her thinking for herself by showing her what the bible says and what the JW's say and does it match? Are they really applying the bible?

    This sounds like rather heavy going for a nine-year-old. Furthermore, this is just what the JW's are trying to do to other people's religions, only in the opposite direction.

    May I suggest that the curriculum be based on her questions about religion and about your ex's machinations? And that the "frosting" - the world's religions - be served with the "cake" - protection against Watchtower cultspeak.

    gently feral

  • Jez

    Feral, Thank you so much, I will surely take into consideration your excellent comments. Thank you so so much. I will not bombard her and I will be careful not to be overly critical or heavy with her.

    She also told her Dad, when she heard the story at the assembly about Jesus telling the murderer beside him, "Surely you will be with me in paradise," that she immediately thought about how quickly Jesus forgave the man. She said that JW are not like that and take a long time to forgive someone but Jesus is so quick about forgiving....AND if he said YOU will be with ME in paradise. Where was Jesus going? Heaven, she said, "Maybe paradise is in heaven if the man was going to be with Jesus and Jesus was going to heaven" I told her, "Great thinking!"

    Every study is ended with a positive note as well. Like a positive affirmation. Tonights study was great. She hugged and kissed me so much after.

  • minimus

    I like that YOU will lead her to understanding! Very, very good!!!!!

  • BluesBrother

    I have no words of wisdom, never having been a parent.. But you have reminded me of just how hard it is for parants in the position that you find yourself.. May I add my word of support and may I say that I admire very much what you are doing . I am sure your daughter will thank you one day , particularly if you can teach her to think, and to see the obvious fallacious arguments put forward by the dubs, and others too, come to that

    Way to go! Jez

  • Gretchen956

    In reading the above posts, my thoughts went to the guilt and the fear that underlie the studies that her JW parent will teach her. As it becomes more clear that she is thinking for herself those two tactics will come more and more into play. No one is better at it than JWs. As you study with your daughter, you'll need to find a way to combat this. I don't have an answer for you right now, (its too early, I just woke up so I'm still fuzzy) but just wanted to point out the aspect.

    I think its wonderful that you are studying with your daughter. What a bond that creates between you. She can't help but see the contrast with what she is getting from her other parent.


  • Jez

    Truth be known, I don't want her to have any religion at all, but I can't deny her need any longer. She yearns for a 'group' a religious 'social club'. She loves that feeling of belonging and loves the thought of God. My entire premise is to teach her to be open minded and question.

  • Carmel


    I taught my kids a simple truth that religion should not try to attract people by fear. If the teachings of Jesus were from God, then his example of love not fear was one that every church should employ. Many, in my experiance do. If you are looking for an up-beat rendering of the teachings of various religions, you may wish to contact your local Baha'i community. Most have a pretty good library on all religions from a positive perspective.


  • Happy Guy :)
    Happy Guy :)

    The most important thing I ever taught my kids was empathy (and I still reinforce this on an ongoing basis). It affects the way they view themselves and others and will impact on every relationship they have. Teach them to leave and be kind and good people and they will see the Watchtower teachings and practices for what they are.

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan
    Or if she says, "But Dad, all religions worship the same God, JW's are no different." He says, "Of course we all worship the same God." He purposefully waters down what he believes to confuse her.

    She was already confused - he simply knew it - Tell her plainly the truth - Jws worship a different god, and never forget that.

    She said it has a horrible picture of Armageddon that made her stomach sick, but he said, "BUT look at the next page." Which of course shows paradise. So he teaches he to focus on the fantasy and not the reality.

    That is a sound opportunity and example for explaining how jwism is layered with confusion and how it is continuously utilised to deny your real self - show her examples from changed statements - back & forth - so that loyality becomes required regardless of what is said and done.

  • Dawn


    I'm involved in children's ministry at my church and there are numerous books, videos, games, etc that you could purchase and use to study with your daughter. Check out your local christian book store - you'll be amazed at what great stuff they have.

    The biggest advice I can give you is to make it a positive and fun time spent with your daughter. If your study time is boring to her (like the meetings and traditional JW family study) she'll just tune it out. However, if you can capture her attention she'll actually remember more of what YOU had to say than what she hears at meetings or through her dad. Kids LOVE to learn about Jesus but are rather bored with general doctrinal issues. So - if you can show her what's wrong with a JW doctrine through a Jesus story that might capture her attention.

    Here's an example: I read a few short scriptures to my daughter where Jesus touched and healed a leper. Then I told her about the story where Jesus healed a young boy in another town - he didn't even see the boy, let alone touch him, and he was healed. So I asked her "why do you suppose Jesus made a special effort to TOUCH the lepers?" We talked a bit about what leprosy was, how it made those people outcasts, etc. Then applied that to today - who are the "lepers of today? and "how could we reach out to touch them?" You could go a bit further with this one by asking your daughter "if someone really needed help and love, but they didn't believe in your religion - do you think Jesus would still want us to reach out and touch them like he did the lepers?

    Here's a site with some good ideas - I use this one a lot for inspiration: http://www.kidssundayschool.com. Check out the games and the lessons links.

    It is imperative that you counteract the mind controlling tactics of your husband. And I agree with other's comments to teach her to think for herself and not to be afraid to ask questions - even questions such as "is there really a God" and evolution questions. Allow her to really consider all the possibilities - she'll trust you more and open up to you more.

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