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Discussion Starter #1
I volunteer in a classroom at a nearby public school. One little boy can't celebrate birthdays because he belongs to Jehovah's Witness.<br><br><br><br>
So when all of the other little kids are eating cupcakes, etc. he can't join in.<br><br><br><br>
Is there anything I can do? I mean could I bring him a non-birthday cupcake on a random day to make him happy, or would that be bad?<br><br><br><br>
He's such a sweet kid, it makes me feel terrible.<br><br><br><br>
Anything I can do?
 

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I'm obviously not a Jehova's Witness, but as for Christmas I know that (some) JW parents give their kids toys etc. at some (random) other day as a sort of substitute. (Mostly to prevent their kids from getting jealous at all the other kids who get all sorts of Christmas presents.) So I <i>think</i> it might be okay, but you should probably check with the parents. It's probably best if you word it as if you're not trying to <i>celebrate</i> the kid (God forbid that someone celebrates something else than God!), but instead that you want to make him not feel bad since all the other kids get to eat cupcake when someone has a birthday.
 

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When this came up in our childcare center before, the JW child would simply get to go and visit in another class for awhile. It was pretty low key, and none of the kids would know the reason they were leaving, unless the child chose to tell them.
 

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The Jehovah's Witnesses are a special lot. They have their own doctors and scientists so that they can live according to their beliefs, which I regard as a joke.<br><br><br><br>
They believe that the Earth is only as old as it says in the bible, something like 6000 years. There is some debate about this in their community, but the ones I've spoken with believed the Earth's age is in the thousands, not millions.<br><br><br><br>
You can openly questions the Age of the Earth with a Jehovah's Witness, and they can ask of their scientists to explain why carbon dating isn't valid, why the polar ice cores aren't real, and how the dinosaurs walked among people.<br><br><br><br>
They also often refuse to accept blood transfusions, which is a major sticking point with me and their children. If a family gets critically wounded in an accident, the parents can deny that their children have a blood transfusion to save thier lives.<br><br><br><br>
Sigh... how can people be so thick?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Exitof99</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The Jehovah's Witnesses are a special lot. They have their own doctors and scientists so that they can live according to their beliefs, which I regard as a joke.<br></div>
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So you would go to a doctor that encouraged you to do something that was against your beliefs?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Exitof99</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
They believe that the Earth is only as old as it says in the bible, something like 6000 years. There is some debate about this in their community, but the ones I've spoken with believed the Earth's age is in the thousands, not millions.<br><br><br><br>
You can openly questions the Age of the Earth with a Jehovah's Witness, and they can ask of their scientists to explain why carbon dating isn't valid, why the polar ice cores aren't real, and how the dinosaurs walked among people.<br></div>
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That isn't any different than the majority of Christian denominations. If you go by a literal translation of the bible then the earth is 6000 years old, and there are bibilical passages showing dinosaurs living among men. There are several theories to make these beliefs match what we know scientifically, one of the prominent ones being the "Old Earth" theory that says God created the earth to appear old, ie putting fossils in the core. There are Christian Universities that specialize in "Creation Science", it's not unique to Jehovah's Witnesses.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it. He's refusing to participate in something he believes is wrong, so why feel guilty? Maybe ask if he wants to go to the library instead.<br><br><br><br>
Also, if a JW parent gives their child (or anyone for that matter) a gift, it's because they felt like it, and giving is a joy, plain and simple. Christmas guilt has nothing to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tesseract</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yeah, I'd suggest asking his parents.</div>
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I'm at the school in the mid-mornings, I have never even seen his parents.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>fat kitty</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I wouldn't worry about it. <b>He's refusing to participate in something he believes is wrong, so why feel guilty?</b> Maybe ask if he wants to go to the library instead.<br><br><br><br>
Also, if a JW parent gives their child (or anyone for that matter) a gift, it's because they felt like it, and giving is a joy, plain and simple. Christmas guilt has nothing to do with it.</div>
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I don't feel guilty. I feel sad. He looks sad, but like he's trying not to...<br><br>
He's eight and I don't believe they are his beliefs. I believe he wants a cupcake, like everone else. It makes the kids sitting around him feel bad, too.
 

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Maybe there's a JW messageboard or something where you could ask? How about the other teachers, would they know?<br><br><br><br>
As for the weirdness of their beliefs, I agree, they appear ridiculous. On the other hand, for what it's worth, all the Jehova's people I've known were terrific, top class people.
 

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I work in an office that's next door to a Jehovah's Witness girl... she's very nice and we're on good terms, I could ask after the weekend if you need.
 

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If it isn't having the cupcake that's a problem, but rather the celebration part of it, I would think he would be able to have the cupcake and eat it somewhere else, other than in the classroom with the other kids. But even that seems extreme. How do not make an 8 year old feel like they are being excluded? Are you able to talk to him about it to see how he really feels regarding the whole situation?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>delicious</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't feel guilty. I feel sad. He looks sad, but like he's trying not to...<br><br>
He's eight and I don't believe they are his beliefs. I believe he wants a cupcake, like everone else. It makes the kids sitting around him feel bad, too.</div>
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If this were your child at a birthday party and he looked sad because he couldn't have a hot dog would you want someone to give him one?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Michael</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If this were your child at a birthday party and he looked sad because he couldn't have a hot dog would you want someone to give him one?</div>
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I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. She's not talking about just giving him a cupcake against the parent's wishes, she's talking about how best to find a solution that both makes the child happy and fits in with the parent's beliefs. So a better comparison would possibly be "is this were your child at a birthday party and he looked said because he couldn't have a hot dog, would you want someone to give him a veggie hot dog/slice of cake/get him involved in a game with some children who weren't eating hot dogs?" etc. I think most parents would answer yes to that.
 

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You can always have lunch with him, and include a cup cake, a friend to a friend. They do eat just for the fun of it. Can he stay after school to help you with a project. You would of course have to give him a snack before you two got to work, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Michael</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If this were your child at a birthday party and he looked sad because he couldn't have a hot dog would you want someone to give him one?</div>
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Actually, I was that child at one point...I didn't get to eat the hot dog, but I did get to eat a bun with ketchup & mustard, some lemonade & potato chips. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter #19
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>meatless</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I work in an office that's next door to a Jehovah's Witness girl... she's very nice and we're on good terms, I could ask after the weekend if you need.</div>
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That would be great, meatless. Thank you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>delicious</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't feel guilty. I feel sad. He looks sad, but like he's trying not to...<br><br>
He's eight and I don't believe they are his beliefs. I believe he wants a cupcake, like everone else. It makes the kids sitting around him feel bad, too.</div>
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How do you know they aren't his beliefs?<br><br><br><br>
Ask the parents, plain & simple. The school has their number; call it.<br><br>
Everyone has a right to say how their child should be treated.<br><br><br><br>
I would think that, of all groups, this crowd would understand and respect a parent's right to say what their child can & cannot do/eat.<br><br><br><br>
It's the family's beliefs. Respect them.
 
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