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Messages By: dchmtx

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October 20, 2005, 11:38 am CDT

patience

Quote From: downey6977

 I am a single mom to a 4yr old daughter.  She will not talk to me and she is very hateful towards me.  Her father is not in her life.  He could care less about her.  She visits his mother every week and when she comes back from their house, she acts like a totally different person.  Like she is mad at me for some reason.  What can i do to get her to talk? 

  

Your daughter is 4!  She doesn't know how to talk about her feelings and emotions.  She may not grasp hateful tone with feelings of someone else.  

Her father not being in her life has nothing to do with your ability to raise her.  I am a single parent of an 8 yr old which I've raised alone from day 1.  Teach respect.  Explain to her about different "voices" or tones.  Kids don't know things unless they are taught.  If she wants to tell you something in a hateful tone, tell her you will not listen until she talks nicely.  If the grandmother wants to partake in her life, talk with her about her attitude when she returns.  You will not allow her to go if she can not behave afterwards.  When she respects you, then you will let her go.  Again, children will do what they are able to get by with (tempers, etc) and repeat what they are taught.     

 
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October 20, 2005, 3:23 pm CDT

bad parent-not bad child

Quote From: carlosrene

I am a single mother of an 8 1/2 yr old son his father was always in trouble too.  Once I found out I was pregnant I left his father also realizing I didn't want to put my son thru what I went thru. ( he was abusive and an alcoholic and cheater)  His dad was in rehab most of my son's life.  Until I felt my son was ready I didn't tell him where his father was just that he had to work out of town..  After while it started to effect him at school.  So I sat down and talked to him.  Told him that his father was sick and loves him and that is why he is away trying to get the help he needs cause he was never taught the right way.  I have always been honest with my son.  At some point he started to blame himself for his dad leaving.  When his father got out of rehab the 2nd time he would come by maybe once a month to see his son  and when he did he would be drinking and/or smoking.( I don;t smoke and maybe drink once every 3 mo.)  My son started to realize his dad would never change.  I explained to my son that his dad does love him just is not ready to be a full time parent  and that I would always be there for him no matter what.  His dad's mother comes to town quite often and when there is school holidays he goes to her house, and he would rather be with his g'ma then his dad.  My son know that I do as much as possible to get his dad to write or just call and even he gets frustrated when he calls and his dad doesn't answer the phone.  I have even told my son that he has 4 other bro/sis all from different mothers (he only see one of them)  And he is upset that his dad could do that and not care about how the other kids feel.  My son doesn't lie to me I know cause he comes home and tells me things good and bad that he has done thru the day and know he will get in trouble but I tell him it would be worse if he wasn't honest, that I would eventually find out.  I am always honest with him And you would be surprised at how much your kids do understand what is going on.  They can tell when you are upset or bothered.  I wouldn;t come out and say her father is in Jail yet just that he has a problem and because he loves her is trying to get all better so he can be a better parent.    I also keep a journal of when, what or how the time spent with the father is whether it be good or bad.  So that when my son grows up he can see for himself.  He will even write in there sometimes about how much fun he had at his dads or that he tried calling and was upset his dad didn't answer or call back.  Just hold your ground and be glad that you are raising her and she will pick up your mannerisms and won't rebel.  I even talk to my son that when he gets older he might want to drink and that I know that and I just want him to be able to know that he can call me instead of getting behind the wheel.  Even though he  tells me over and over he will never drink.  I tell him well just know that I will ALWAYS be there.    That;s the best thing you can do   is to let your child know they can rely on you and your support.
I have been a single parent from the beginning.  I did not want my child raised in a particularly "at risk" environment.  I think you and I had the same thought in mind -the child does not need a negative influence.  Good for you for taking that leap.  My son does not know his father and never will since he relinquished his rights.  But, be honest with your child.  You know your child's maturity level.  Start with something small like the last lady mentioned about people make bad mistakes.  As he is ready to handle more information, then you can provide more eventually leading up to "your father made bad choices.  As his punishment, he had to go to jail".  Explain to your son what those were (if appropiate!)  Don't lie.  Your son is old enough to accept bits and pieces at a time.  The last thing you want is your son hoping that THIS is the weekend he's coming home.  You'd be setting your child up for a lifetime of disappointments or unfulfilled promises.  When your son is older, you want him to still confide in you, not resent you for not being honest -as you have been teaching him.  
 
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October 20, 2005, 3:34 pm CDT

2 parents

Quote From: tkebobby

Well, first off I am a firm believer that a child should have two parents. However, both parents need to be responsible adults. As far as allowing him to see his son, it is a good thing IF and ONLY IF he is ready to be this child's father, and that means for the rest of his natural life. Things that might suggest this, for starters, paying child support. No money, no kid. That is not to say that money and material possesions are everything, but lets face it, kids are expencive! Furthermore, I'm even saying that he needs to pay to see his child. What I am suggesting is that the money be a sign that he is being responsible, he has a good job and is willing to provide for his child. You need to have a clearly defined number of things which he must do to prove to you he is willing to be a good father this time around. And he needs to be clearly told, until he has done those things (and continues to do them afterward) he will not have gained your trust.   
He is indeed the father.  He has every right to see the child as you do.  You may be the custodial parent but because he doesn't come around, doesn't mean he's not entitled to that visitation.  I know you are probably enraged with what I am saying.  Child support and visitations are two seperate issues!!!  I understand that paying child support is a symbol of responsibility, interest  and maturity.  However, any court will tell you those are two seperate issues.  Visitations are a right.  Child support is an obligation.  You must fulfull your obligations but don't have to fulfill your rights.   Introduce the child and father in a casual environment.  Playground, zoo, park, etc... Someplace where the child is not forced to talk to the parent but interaction/playing and bonding can take place.  Increase the visitation time.  You say the father and you are getting along. On the side, express to him that he is making a big commitment to be involved and you expect him to continue.  Best of luck to you : )
 
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October 21, 2005, 3:41 pm CDT

ghost parent

Quote From: slharms

I became divorced from my ex-wife when my oldest son was 7 years old. Now, ten years later, our relationship is pretty much empty. He acts like I'm a ghost, as if I were not there. He dosen't call me, and can't even come over to me when I attend his HS games, to say hello, or thanks for coming out. This attitude has been going on now for 1.5 years. Question: whats all this about ?? I can't get anyone to talk to me about it.

He's a typical teenager who has reached the stage where "parents don't exist" or "I don't need/have parents".  Teenagers go thru stages where they don't want to be around their parents.  I did it!  I was preoccupied with my friends and trying to make my own life.  I didn't want to hear my parents lecture me, tell me what to do.  I wasn't into drinking or drugs.  My parents and I are now the best of friends!! 

Can you engage in any activities with him?  Shoot some pool, watch a movie, take him and a few friends out to dinner etc... and find out what his personality is like to see if it is truly something personal towards you?  

How often were you involved with him until this point?  You mention you go to his games,  but was this how the relationship was from the beginning with him?  

Kids -especially boys - don't make a point to call their parents.  Are you kidding?  They forget to mention when they are going to be home let alone  to say hi, how are you and let me hear about the people at your work?   

I don't know how close the two of you were through out the years but several of my friends have talked about this attitude as the child gets closer to being independant. 

  

 
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October 21, 2005, 3:52 pm CDT

Co-Parenting

Quote From: kristawood

My son is 4 years old, 5 in Feb. 2006. When he was first born, me and his father were not together any longer. I was with someone else, he was single. He come to the hopsital when he was born and had regular visits with him, he took responsibilty. He only paid $25.00 a week CS, and made pretty good money, but I told him as long as he was a part of our sons life and helped me when I needed additional help that 25 was fine.  Well 4 months later he got his self a new girlfriend (who was my long time rival I might add) Suddenly, visits slow down (his family would still see him) CS stopped.My son almost died in the hospital and he lived 30 min. from the hospital and she wouldn't let him come see our 4 month old son who almost died. He claimed he didn't have a way, but she had a brand new car sitting in the drive, if she was half a woman she wouldn't have brought him to see his son. Well........she didn't. He survived, without his dads support. A couple of times they would split up and he would call me and me being stupid and neuve would take him back. Then they would get back together. Now all these years later, I'm remarried to a wonderful man who is a great daddy to my son. His real father has not seen him in a couple of years. Me and my husband has talked about him adopting. The real father is having CS garnished out of his check $42 a week. I have asked him to sign his rights over, he said he would if I drew up papers stating that I didn't want any future support. But I decided, what gives him the right to get out the responsibility of this child? So, I decided against it.  

But..........should I? Is that $42 a week mean that much that I should let this worthless piece for a father be in my sons life any longer? He adores my husband. What do you think? 

Yes, when a person relinquishes their parental rights, they -in most cases- don't have to pay child support because now in the courts eye, they are no longer the parent and no longer responsible.   

My ex signed away his parental rights when we divorced.  I do not receive a penny in child support.   

If your husband is the father your child never had and you can live peacefully as one complete family with no interference and your husband is willing and lovingly accepting your son, then let it be said.  Allow him to adopt and get over the financial aspect.     

If he signs away his rights, he is signing away any and all responsibilities to the child including emotional, physical and financial support.  If/when he signs, the biological father will have no reason to contact or communicate you or your son again.  

If it is truly a bad situation, why drag it on when your child has the opportunity to be happy? 

 
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October 21, 2005, 4:02 pm CDT

ugly parenting

Quote From: magickali

My ex-husband remarried.  I was very supportive of this and actually encouraged it.  We had a joint custody situation.  We never had a lawyer for the divorce, because I could not afford one and the parting was amicable. 

  

Every thing was civil up until my oldest daughter's birthday which fell on my weekend to have the girls.  He gave me a hard time, lied about some stuff for that weekend.  I ended up going to court.  Now instead of joint custody, I have visitation and I have to pay child  support which I can really not afford.  I have always been a homemaker and now I have two small children.  My ex-husband makes $100,000/yr.  Now I am sorry I did not have the lawyer, because things have been quite nasty. 

  

His  new wife makes my daughters call her  mommy.  My oldest daughter brought me her homework planner  to be signed, so I signed it.  The step-mother erased my name.  My daughter cried and then got punished for it.  This woman had also called our local building department to report that there were too many people living in our house (my husbands aunt and his father live with us in an 1800's carriage house).  When this  plan did not work the building department was called for a part that was sagging 9an area where no one resides) and our house ended up getting condemned.  I had no where to live my  baby and my toddler.  It was horrible.  She then continued to call in that we were still living in the house with the children, but I had gone to California and Florida to stay with relatives. 

  

The step-grandmother sits near me at my daughters soccer games and says annoying things that she knows I will hear.  The step-mother throws out personal items that I buy my daughters when they take them home from the visitations.  My 11 year old is on to what is going on.  But my 8 year old breaks my heart as she is fickle. 

  

I just want to enjoy my daughters in peace, be able to buy them items and not get harassed.  My lawyer says to record everything, but that is so stressful.  I don't want to live like that.  I just don't know what to do. It is making me very angry. 

DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.  That is the advice I was given and trust me, it helped and worked to my advantage.  

  

I recorded phone conversations and kept receipts for clothings, groceries, b-day presents, etc... 

I had an ad-litem (child advocate attorney) who reviewed my records and documented phone calls and conversations.  I admitted when I hung up on him or denied visitations and why (due to late hour of arrival or sick child).  But it showed that I stuck to the rules and things weren't one sided. 

  

The courts can appoint a psychologist, play therapy and even a home visit.  A friend of mine who's daughter lives out of  town had a psychologist accompany the child across state lines and do a home interview with friends and family of the father (us).  Then compared how the child was with the mom vs with the dad.  The results were shocking.  My friend had child support reduced and had visitations increased!!  That's not what you want to hear but a psychologist or counselor can see thru the "acting" that might occur and see the truth -to your benefit. 

  

  

 
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October 28, 2005, 3:25 pm CDT

Balancing Work and Family

Quote From: tracyock1

I teach first grade special education in a rural area of Missouri.  I have three students with severe behavior problems at school.  Dealing with them all day is exhausting.  Between behavioral outbursts, modifying curriculum and teaching social skills, I am overdone by the time I get home.  I love teaching and I know that I am making a difference, but I feel like the wicked witch of the west at home to my two boys (6 and 8).  By the time we get home from school, do homework, eat supper (fix supper) and start to relax, my temper is short and my patience is thin.  I feel that my students are getting the best of me and my kids are getting the left overs.  It doesn't help that my husband works the night shift.  He has applied for a different shift and has been promised the day shift, but it will take a while for the change to happen.  How can I find ways to have more patience at home?  My boys are not behavior problems - just very active.  Their teachers say that they are very good at school, but at home it is non-stop bickering, arguing and rough-housing.  As a teacher, I want them to be good at school, but as a mother I need them to be good at home.  Can someone help me find a way to balance both parts of my life? 

I just read your message.  I hope you are checking for replies still.  

I feel your exhaustion.  I work at a pediatric hospital where everything is urgent and critical.  I am so stressed by my coworkers and the demands of perfection.  I go home to an ADD/ severe ADHD child that has some learning disabilities.  I have  3 hours to fix dinner, eat, clean up, do homework (he's not able to do homework without constant one on one attention at the 3rd grade level because of ADD).  Then do any chores, run any last minute errands, baths and ready for the next  day.  Some nights we have soccer, PTA, family stuff.  I am so burned out and exhausted.  Oh, I'm a single parent by the way.  TV is out of the question. I catch headline news from the radio.  Luckily I have an hour commute each way and that is my relaxation and down time.  I unwind, leave my stress where it originated (either at home or work).  I think of what I have ahead and organize my thoughts and prioritize what needs to be done.  I look at rush hour traffic as therapeutic.  :)   

Then I've tried to simplify my life.  Do only necessary errands during the weekends and only plan one or two (if short) activities a day on the weekends.  This keeps me from still feeling rushed and stressed and doesn't over stimulate my son.  We have managed to find some great down time at home and able to do things with each other.  I  understand the demands of work taking all your energy and patience where none is left when you walk in your house.     

  

  

 
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November 7, 2005, 3:32 pm CST

Over stressed

Quote From: tracyock1

I was just checking the message board while my two are outside playing.  I started crying when I read your message.  It meant so much to me that someone else understands.  Keep your chin up.  It sounds like you have a good sense of humor - keep it - you will need it.  I completely understand about the stress of co-workers and the demands of perfection.   I have one little girl who is completely out of control.  The regular classroom teacher looks at me to solve all of her problems, her mother can't control her either.  My boss thinks I should devote a lot of time to the girl plus keep up with all my other students.  ENOUGH!!!    Good luck and don't give up.  THanks again for replying.   

  

You are not alone in this big world!!  There are sympathetic people out here that know the sceario all too well.    Wow, a child that the parents can't control?  Sounds like they look forward to when school is in session.  Sounds like the parents need the help -which would make your life easier!  As long as you know you are stressed, you've identified the problems and can focus on your limits.  Most people don't recognize stress which causes so many more problems.  If you lose your temper at your boys- stop, count to three and very calmly repeat what you orginally were saying.  You'll get some strange looks for your boys thinking you have totally lost it when infact, you are recomposing : )     

We have had a birthday party every weekend.  2 coming up this weekend alone.  Then thanksgiving is here.  I'm so busy that I forgot to plan a get together with my friends for my OWN b-day.  That's okay.  Makes me feel young celebrating a child's birthday rather than my own. hehehe.  My friends and I have started scrap booking and letting the children go wild (within  safety limits of course) while we stay up all night.  I feel like a younger generation of old ladies quilting :)  Don't want to offend anyone who quilts because I want to learn to do that too.   

Just be sure to make time for yourself.  Get up early and take a long shower.  Sacrifice the dishes and soak in the tub.  Just plan time for yourself.    

I got married b/c I was pregnant which was a HUGE mistake.  Needless to say, I was soon going thru a seperation with an infant at the time.  My parents were splitting up, work was stressful, I totaled my vehicle, financial problems.  You name it.  My doctor wanted to intervene.  I told her "NO THANKS.  I'M NOT GOING TO WASTE MY ENERGY AND TIME ON THE THINGS I CAN'T CONTROL.  I CAN'T CONTROL MY PARENTS, MY COWORKERS OR MOST OF MY FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.  I CAN ONLY CHANGE WHAT I HAVE CONTROL OVER".  She tore up the prescription and knew I was fine.    Do what you can and start a new day when the alarm clock goes off (or a big big dog in your face -in my case).  

You are only one person.  Simplicity is the best remedy.   

 
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November 7, 2005, 3:42 pm CST

Older adoptions

Quote From: molly15

My husband and I adopted a foster child last year.  This young man is now 15 and has been in our home for 3 years.  Two years as a foster child. He is ADHD, ODD .  His mother gave him up for adoption and he gave her 2 trys to get her act together to be his mom but she choose drugs instead.  Our son was in the foster system and movied 7 times before he came to us.  He has told us many times that he has lied all his life so why should he change now.  How do we help this young man to understand that has long as he lies about everthing we will always have trouble trusting him. 

I give you a pat on the back and applaud you for adopting an older child!!!!  I grew up with foster children in our home.  It was the greatest experience ever.  From a child's point of view, I had a big family.  I knew of each of the children's back grounds (all were school age and adolescents) but neither of us received special treatment for being foster children or biological children.  I have seen older children go thru "the system" b/c no one wants to adopt a child b/c they have issues, set in their ways, won't bond etc... Everyone wants the infants and babies that don't know their past.  

Because my parents cared for older children from abandonment, neglect, abuse, drugs etc... I see the hard road that lies ahead with the state -especially siblings that want to stay together.  I would love to adopt an older child.  Teach them to trust and love.  They have a new beginning. You are willing to protect them and a permanent home and family.   

I tip my hat to you for embracing an adolescent.  

  

 
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November 7, 2005, 3:50 pm CST

Foster Parenting

Quote From: mucholoca

My kids have been in foster care since oct 2004. I never abused or neglected my kids. They where placed in care because i was in a abusive marriage. I am doing all my court orders but the system is so hard on parents, iam afraied i will never get my kids back.

If you are in a repetative abusive situation, the state fears the children are put in danger.  At what point will the abuse turn towards the children.  Will the children be running and laughing causing a parent to get angry and go off the deep end?  Will they get a bad grade thus a punishment be considered cruel and unusual? 

The state takes the children away because the danger and threat is still apparent. Until the that threat is removed and you can prove you are protecting and have the children's safety and best interest in mind, the children will not be returned.  

I grew up with 2 foster sisters because the mother refused to leave the man who abused her children.  Someone had to leave and she wouldn't make him -thus the children were removed instead.     

Use this period to build up the strength to correct the abusive relationship.  If you want your children back, you have to get out.  

  

 

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