My daughter is so confused

by ConcernedDad 12 Replies latest social family

  • ConcernedDad

    I hope there is someone who had a similar situation and would advise to me.

    My daughter Veronica is 8. Her mom (we are divorced) is a hard core JW. She puts lots of pressure on my daughter for her to lead a JW approved lifestyle. But kids are kids. When Veronica comes to my house she forgets about her mom's rules, goes to birthday parties with me, etc.

    They were studying the government structure in school and she was doing her homework a few weeks ago. Part of which she did at her mom. Usually she likes to do it all at my house. She was hiding from me the part she's already done and didn't want me to see it. When I insisted on seeing it she took an eraser and started to erase her writing. The question was: Why is it important to vote? The answer she had: It is not important because we already have a ruler - Jesus Christ. Then she started to cry explaining that she had it blank first then after talking to her mom she wrote it. I didn't ask her to erase it - she did it herself. Then after talking about voting, about why do we have it and what would've happened if we didn't she wrote: It is important to vote because we can choose who we want.

    She is so confused and I don't want to put any additional pressure on her. But it hurts to see how she slowly starts to follow the JW doctrines, doesn't say pledge of allegiance in school. What's next? I am from satan and God will kill me and all my relatives soon? Very soon?

    Anybody knows how to react and what to do?



  • wanderlustguy

    My kids are 10 and 12, luckily for me, the ex agrees that the Org is crap...but her family is applying the same pressure you are seeing. I (actually should say we) have to constantly remind them that their grandparents and aunts/uncles are teaching them their own viewpoint (an 8 year old understands this better than you may think). We tell our girls to think and consider that NO ONE knows all the right answers, and they should remember WHY people make the choices they make. For instance with voting, the PURPOSE for voting was the question, not why don't you do it. The whole witness culture turns almost every secular question or event into an "opportunity to witness" which actually helps with the whole cult mentality, what better way to cut people off from others than to make them stand out so? Not to mention it is the wrong answer and I found out when I was in high school...taking "opportunities to witness" leads to bad grades.

    We tell our kids they are absolutely restricted from making any statements or talking about "The Truth" at school, they are there to learn, not teach. They are way to young to have an informed opinion about anything that is developed to the point they can defend or even explain it, everything is a repeat of something someone else said. We also remind them they are there to take in the reasons people are the way they are, and that they are not any better than anyone else and should consider everything they read, determining for themselves, or even discussin with us the impact it will have on their lives or choices.

    I definately am not saying this is the only or best way...just where we are and I like the way our kids are reacting to it.

  • AlmostAtheist

    My JW mother-in-law scared my nephew (his parents are DF, coming to realize the truth about "the troof") into believing his parents were not going to survive armageddon, they were leading him away from God, the whole bit. The kid's about 8 years old, like your daughter.

    We have been teaching Zach (our 6-year-old) that people have different opinions, and that sometimes they state their opinions as if they were facts. Like the voting question. The question, "Why is it important to vote?" presupposes that it is. Some people don't agree. You could explain to your daughter that the question is probably better worded, "Why do people that vote do so?" Then she can talk about someone else, rather than herself, her mom, etc.

    Wander's right, kids can assimilate alot more than we give them credit for. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that your daughter can understand that Mom's view on religion is just her opinion and that other people don't necessarily agree. And showing her WHY you don't agree would certainly be helpful. Zach sees that Grandma shuns me, and he feels that this isn't in line with the way jesus taught, love and all that. He accepts that she does it, but believes she's wrong to do so.


  • upside/down

    but they "vote" for congretation resolutions.... which always seem to pass... even if there's no funds to cover it.... J will provide.

    I dissented and voted against the "sham" vote for a resolution once... I was the accounts servant.... boy did I get the evil eye.

    FOAD to 'em all

    u/d (of the don't f*ck with my kids class)

  • TheListener

    Sorry to hear this concerneddad. It's a tough situation that your daughter is in. I don't know exactly what you should or shouldn't do but I do know that unless you have very specific reasons you need to handle this without trying to demonize her mother. The problems between her mother and you are not her problems. She's just a confused kid. It appears to me that you already know that and are acting accordingly.

    AAs comment about making sure she understands that everyone has their own opinion is great. Also mention that sometimes people change their opinion when they review and research a matter from all angles. For this particular issue perhaps you could go to the local library or online and review some information on the importance of voting and some past situations where decisions were decided by a slim majority which means that every vote counts.

    Also make sure she understands that you will love her no matter what she writes for her report. The important thing is that she shares her feelings with you and lets you in on her thoughts. That is something a jw parent isn't naturally good at. They don't want to be let in on thoughts that are out of harmony with jw beliefs. If a child expresses thoughts that are out of harmony they aren't reviewed and discussed (in most cases that is) they are summarily told "oh no honey that's not right - this is".

    Depending on your relationship with her mother you may start to share some interesting information on birthdays vs. anniversaries, or some other pertinent subjects. Make sure that your daughter understands that there are many good honest hearted people in the world and not everyone fits into the JW mindset of a wordly person. Of course she must also exercise caution.

  • ConcernedDad

    Thanks everyone! I've been trying hard for the last 3 years for my daughter not to get too involved with JW lifestyle but since she spends most of her time with her mom... I don't teach her to dislike her mom but I tell her that in my opinion JW religion is full of lies and falsifications. She says that it is just my opinion. When I ask that whatever they say is also an opinion, she doesn't have an answer and changes topic right away. How do you get a kid to be trained to filter the info like they do? What else can I do to prevent her to grow a full blown JW?

  • OldSoul


    I would suggest helping Veronica to learn critical thinking and logic first. I believe that is a primary reason for the WT stand against Chess. You learn the rudiments of critical thinking through the game. Once your brain is accustomed to those paths, it becomes more comfortable applying those thought patterns to other situations.

    Logic is no longer a required part of most curricula. Logic is vital for reason, however. Does your daughter respect the Bible as God's infallible Word? If so, I will gladly help you develop an ironclad line of reasoning, replete with scriptures, to help you get her to see the need to critically examine her beliefs.

    Let me know if you think that would help.


  • itsallgoodnow

    That she was crying when she erased her mom-approved answer to the question makes me think she didn't want you to know he had been coerced into writing something she knew you wouldn't like.

    That's a lot of pressure to be under for a kid. At least with me, it was just me against my parents, I knew what they wanted to hear and I said it even if I didn't feel it, but nobody had to know. With you and your ex, she can't win.

    As she gets a little older it will be easier for her, I think. She'll have to go to meetings when she's with her mom, but she'll still have you and will be able to get away for a little vacation from the cult sometimes. She also won't have the pressure of disappointing 2 parents when the time comes for her to make a decision about if she wants anything to do with JWs.

    I think it's definitely a good thing she has you to keep her grounded. She will learn how to cope with all of it eventually.

  • Laine

    I am brand new to this forum. I have been reading posts for quite a while, but decided to post after reading this topic. I have a step daughter who is 13. Her mother's side of the family is JW and hardcore! My daughter lived with us until the 6th grade when her mother put TREMENDOUS pressure on her to move in with her and her JW husband. During that last year and a half, my husband and I watched the slow decline in her. She became withdrawn, depressed. She has always said that she is a JW, but when she is with us, she celebrated Christmas, went to birthday parties, went to our church (and loves it by the way!).

    Well, about six weeks ago, we moved her back in with us. She was getting in trouble at school, depressed, fighting constantly with her mother,etc. The rules in their JW house were opressive. Since moving back with us, she is back in Cheerleading classes, music lessons, gymnastics. She is even excited about getting her braces on next week. (Her JW mother said that she couldn't have braces because it was too much money to spend on one member of the family, that large purchases should benefit everyone in the family, not just her. Funny coming from a woman who has had liposuction twice!!)

    What my husband and I figured out a long time ago about dealing with an ex-wife who is a JW when it comes to our daughter is that you really don't need to talk bad about them. Just giving your daughter the opportunity to see the "other side" of life, ie normal life, is enough to make her dislike and distrust what the JWs teach. Our daughter came back to live with us of her own free will and after living there for almost two years.

    She has had to deal with some very heavy issues since moving back home with us. Her mother has told her that she is selfish and desserted them in order to live with us. She says that we have no standards in our house and that our daughter only wants to live with us because she couldn't live up to Jehovah's high standards. She HEAPS guilt on her every time she speaks to her daughter.

    Our daughter is still caught in the beliefs of the JWs. She has not abandoned them, as she feels she must still read her Watchtower, etc. Every time her mother calls, she asks her if she has been doing her reading and her book study. We have decided not to interfere with that as I am sure her mother would use that against us. I know that my daughter is reading the watchtower on ocassion, but hopefully in time, that will stop as well. She will see her mother only once every 6 weeks or so and for a couple of weeks in the summer. We are just thrilled that she is out of the daily grind of the JW lifestyle.

    We are playing it one day at a time. We take her to our church weekly. We have decided to counter the JW lies with our daily example to her of unconditionally loving her and giving her a place of safety and comfort where she can make her own choices in life. If we were to talk bad about her mother or her JW family, I think it would backfire on us. As she gets older, we will talk to her more about JWs, but for now, we are just loving her where she is.

    The best advice I ever got about this was to just love her unconditionally and show her that a better way exists. She will have the benefit that most JW children never have and that is to know that there is a different way to live. And that she has the choice to live that way.

    Sorry to be so long winded, but thought I could share our experience with this same situation. Hang in there and just keep loving her out of the JW's world.

  • ConcernedDad

    Thanks Laine! Nice post. It's very much in line with all other experinces. It's also nice that you call your husband's daughter "our daughter". Love is above everything even above the fear WT preaches. I hope that one day my daughter will decide to move with me too.


Share this