NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ALMOST LEFT MY CHILD BEHIND

As I have mentioned in a previous post, my youngest son had difficulty learning how to read.

Each year I would go into the ARD meetings and fight for him. The teachers and principal kept wanting to flunk him.

They had no justification to do so. I checked his homework every night and he never had a bad grade.

They even put him in special education. He came home crying when they did that. He said he knew everything that they were trying to teach him when he went to that class.

At the next ARD meeting I had the special education teacher crying.  I demanded that they pull him out of special education.

I couldn’t figure out why they kept wanting to flunk him when he was getting good grades.

Then it dawned on me. They were scared he wouldn’t pass the TAKS test.

They were worried about their ratings. The ratings were more important to them than my child.

I had observed this child from the time I gave birth. He was brilliant, but his brilliance was in technology, not reading.

He could barely walk when he figured out the VCR. When it would stop working, his older brother, sister and me would sit on the couch and ask him to fix it.

He would toddle up to the box, push a few buttons and it would work perfectly.

Thank God I saw his potential because the teachers didn’t. I demanded that they pass him during the years he struggled. I also tutored him every evening at home.

The first TAKS test he took was in third grade. He passed. The teacher said I had been right all along.

Like I didn’t know that? This was my son, I knew him better than anyone.

He is now a senior in high school, a member of the National Honor Society and has a 4.3 GPA.

If they had flunked him and kept him in special education, he may have doubted the brilliance that I saw in him.

I don’t think his potential has even been tapped. I have told him his intelligence will explode in college. That is when his mind is going to be challenged and that is when his complex reasoning skills will be used.

The one who knows best what a child can achieve is the parent, not the teachers.  It is our responsibility to advocate for our children in a system which may fail them. Don’t ever underestimate the potential that your child may attain. What others may see as a deficit could blind them to the hidden treasure of brilliance.

ASK A MAN WHY HIS MARRIAGE ENDED IN A DIVORCE AND I BET

Nine times out of ten he blames it on the woman.

That is one of my sifters for men. If they can not admit any guilt in a divorce or a broken relationship I think one of many things…

The first is that the poor sucker is in such deep denial that they can’t see straight.

The second is that they may love to play the victim role, which makes me want to projectile vomit.

The third thing I have learned is to take note of what the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend did wrong. I know, without a doubt, that I will be doing the same thing in the relationship with this man.

You see it all goes back to the famous quote. “Men act and women react.”  If a man is smart enough, he can shape a woman into being the most beautiful and adoring wife ever; by showering her with compliments, tending to her needs and supporting her in her dreams.

Few men are so smart, yet it is within their grasp.

I remember thinking my last long term boyfriend was just so wonderful when I first met him. When he told me that his last girlfriend yelled at him, I was incensed. How could she yell at this wonderful man? She must have been crazy.

As the relationship matured I realized that he was hypersensitive to tone of voice. I had to make sure that everything I said to him was said in a very sweet loving tone.

It got so bad that during one phone conversation he was screaming the words, “you’re yelling at me!” Problem was, I wasn’t yelling. I had remained calm not raising my voice one decibel. He was the crazy nut who was screaming.

By the time I broke up with him I had totally exonerated the former girlfriend from the “crazy” category and put him in it.

Just recently I met a man who has been divorced for three years. When he poured out his heart to me about the pain that he had went through in his divorce, I noticed something very unusual. He mentioned things that he wished he would have done differently. I admired his honesty and as I get to know him more the admiration just grows.

Girls if you are dating don’t throw the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend under the bus until you have been in the relationship for a few years.  Remember that men act and women react and in due time you may become just what his ex was.

HOW TO GET YOUR CHILDREN TO KEEP THEIR ROOM CLEAN

My daughter’s room all during high school was a mess. I encouraged her to clean it up. I was ignored. I decided to just let it go. It was her room, if she wanted to live in filth that was her choice, not mine.

She graduated early from high school and soon was moving out to live with her boyfriend.

She took all of the bedroom furniture and left a disaster zone in her wake. Her floor was piled up with a mound of dirty clothes and unfortunately a few of my felines had mistaken it for a litter box. They decided to grace her pile of clothes with brown stinky mementoes.

She told me not to worry about it. I ignored her for a change. (must be a genetic trait – that ignoring characteristic). I tore into those clothes, washed them and put them neatly in her closet. Then I steam cleaned the carpet, cleaned and organized her closet.

Thank God I had done that because in a few short months. I got a call from her. She asked if I could host her, her boyfriend and eight of their coworkers at my house, while they attended a work conference. We agreed on reimbursement terms for food and lodging and I rushed out to buy new furniture for her room.

That week turned into two weeks and by the end of two weeks I was exhausted but I had enjoyed every minute of hosting those wonderful kids. They were all so polite and such good house guests, I felt blessed to have had them in my home.

She traveled around the country working with her boyfriend for two and a half years. Then they both had difficulties with the company and decided to quit.

I got another call. She wanted to boomerang back into my home. I once again made a reimbursement agreement with her and her boyfriend and opened up my front door. The boyfriend only stayed for six months and then they broke up and he moved out.

I was worried for a minute about how she was going to handle the break up. She amazed me. After trying to please a man for over two years she came to the conclusion that it may be a wise decision to please herself. She continued to work full time and take night classes towards her college degree. She reconnected with all of her high school friends and reattached  her social butterfly wings

Then she got the bright idea to redecorate her room. (You are probably thinking that this story does not have a point about keeping rooms clean but hold on, partner, I am getting to the point soon, very soon).  She painted the room the most beautiful shade of lilac purple.  She went on Pinterest to get ideas and made herself a jewelry holder out of an antique frame, cork board, nails and a swatch of purple lace. She also created a bulletin board to put on the wall above her desk. Then she bought a painting from France, framed it and placed it above her nightstand. bordered her bed with two candle holders and another painting that she still has to frame yet. (The point is coming, really, be patient dear). 🙂

I have snuck up to her room several times to admire the beauty of it and there is one thing that has amazed me more than the beauty. The room is clean, not just picked up and tidied, no, it is sterile clean. Immaculate would be the term that best describes it.

I asked her about this change. She said that she felt as if she finally owned her room. It was hers now, not just another room in her mother’s house.  So I am thinking if this is all about ownership, how I can get her to own the kitchen sink, the pantry and the refrigerator?

ARE YOUR WORDS LIKE A RIVER OR A DAM?

All of my life I have fought this monster. The monster is criticism and negativity.

 The monster ate at my soul and tried relentlessly to devour my dreams.  I was surrounded as a child by people who constantly made me feel as if I was lacking.

I found that my husband continued the slaughter of my soul.

I told him once that if he said something nice, he may be amazed at how hard i tried to impress him.  He didn’t, maybe he wasn’t intelligent enough to understand the power of positive influence.

I, on the other hand, felt it a grave sin not to compliment someone. Criticism of another was something which I did only to defend myself and that was if all other avenues had failed.

Sometimes my kindness harmed me, because instead of being honest with people, I would stuff all of my sarcastic comebacks down my throat. Then the people would continue in their verbal abuse of me because I didn’t let them know how wrong they were to use words which hurt.

I am learning to put my armor up against people who are unkind and misuse the power of words. I am doing this not only to protect myself but also to help them grow and become a better person.

A recent example was at my nephew’s wedding reception. The reception was a fabulous affair, beyond elegance, and I wanted to look amazing.

I had a beautiful dress and it showed off my tan and toned legs. I had been careful not to display my cleavage, I knew that would raise the ire of my mother and sister.

When I first walked into the room I checked on my niece and her boyfriend. I felt as if her boyfriend may feel a bit out of place within the midst of relatives. I walked up to him and greeted him. He said “You look like a movie star.” Love that boy!

Then I walked by my a close family member’s  table and I heard, “That dress is too short.” I looked back and told the person she “was being rude.” She said it again. I repeated the fact that that was a rude comment to make.

This person  came and sat by me later and said that I did look wonderful, which was her way of apologizing, I guess. This was one of the first times in my life that I have fought back against a  critical and demeaning spirit.

It felt good. I wish I had done it sooner. i wish we all had. If we had, then maybe this person would not continue to use words to wound her those whom she claims she loves.

Many times she has wisdom to share, for she is wise in many ways. I wish she was wise enough to know that the avenue of criticism is a treacherous path if you want to reach a person’s heart.

I was reflecting on this as I was communicating with one of my guy friends on OKCupid. He is a writer and highly intelligent. We have a history of being each other’s confidants and encouragers. Today he thanked me for the kind words I had just sent him and I told him that the river flows both ways.

Then I started thinking…

Words which are kind are like a river, they nurture dreams and goals. They feed the soul. The give life to a parched and dreary land of desperation.

Words which are negative are like a dam. They can kill a dream, defeat the most loftiest of goals and they can starve a soul.  The land adjacent to criticism is cracked, dry and devoid of life as if in a drought.

Be careful which words you speak. In the Bible it says that we will be held accountable for every careless word which we speak. God created most of the universe by speaking it into existence. It was only Adam and Eve which he formed with his hands. If the universe was spoken into existence, the logical conclusion may be that words have enormous power.  Let us all seek to use them wisely to build, not tear down, another human.

A special thanks to my dear friend on OKCupid for the inspiration of kindness, which nurtured my mind to write this post. You are beyond wonderful.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF CALLING THE POLICE

I have had a few of my boyfriends and also my ex-husband who have gotten physically violent with me.

The first was a man I dated in college. He held me at gunpoint and threatened to either kill me or rape me. The SWAT team came in before he could do either because a neighbor in the apartment complex had done the right thing. She notified the police when she heard me screaming.

The second was my ex-husband who choked me when he became enraged at me. I didn’t call the police. I should have. I don’t know if he would have been arrested or not.

When he knocked the mirror off of my car in a rage after we had been separated I filed charges against him but dropped the charges when he agreed to have the mirror replaced.

It sickens me to think that I filed charges regarding my car but failed to file charges when it came to my safety.

The third was a man I dated for two and a half years. He was an alcoholic and although he didn’t beat me I was savvy enough to know that he had the personality of an abuser.

Last night I heard the story of another victim of domestic violence at the legal clinic. She had been married to her husband for 24 years and had suffered abuse by him. She also did not call the police. Now they are getting divorced and she is making allegations of domestic violence but without a police report they may not hold water in the courts.

Women if a man lays a hand on you in anger, violence or frustration it is HIS problem NOT yours! Call the police. It is important to have it documented. In my experience the man usually blames the woman for his anger and physical abuse. In no way is a woman responsible for domestic violence. Get out of the relationship and go to a safe place. The number for the Safe Haven which is associated with the Women’s Center in Fort Worth, TX is 877-701-7233.

If you don’t protect yourself you may not be able to protect your children.


Women’s center legal clinic visit.

I just returned home from the legal clinic at the women’s center. All I needed to know was how to file a bill of review regarding my case since an AG employee told me that the case against my ex-husband and all of the back child support he owed me had been closed. The man said he had never filed a bill of review. I told him that was ok I could do that, all he had to do was look at the AG list of motions and tell me which one had closed my case. He couldn’t tell me and kept trying to distract himself with the recent case history which had nothing to do with my ex-husband’s lack of child support.

The lady at the Attorney General’s office said I could not go back after my ex-husband for back child support because the case was closed but if the case is closed why is the cause number still the same? If the case was closed then why couldn’t that lawyer tell me exactly which order had closed the case. I am thinking that someone is lying to me and if there is anything at all I hate it is when a person lies to me.

Don’t ditch your kids for a date

Raising three young toddlers and working thirty-two hours on the weekends left little time for a social life.

I was attending a church with a single’s group when I was newly divorced. I  had my share of invitations to go out on dates.

I had one standing rule for those men. If it they wanted to see me when I had the children, they could guess again. It just wasn’t going to happen. I dated quite a bit but always worked it around my children’s schedule and when they would be at their father’s house.

I had a terrific babysitter, she was about thirty five miles from my house.  Even if she had been next door I wouldn’t have used her to go out on a date.

I analyzed what had went into this decision. I realized as hard as it was to be a single mom it was also one of the funnest things I had ever done. The dates, well… not so much.

So when one of my guy friends from church called me up and asked me to lunch one day when my youngest son was  home, I said “No, I don’t ditch my kids for a date.”  That became my motto for that time in my life.

Looking back I don’t miss even one of those men whom I dated or who wanted to date me. If my kids were estranged from me or if anything tragic happened to them, I would miss them like crazy. I think I may have made the right decision. This decision may be the reason why I am still satisfied and single also. 🙂

It is not right…

PROVERBS 18:5 -IT IS NOT RIGHT TO ACQUIT THE GUILTY, NOR TO DENY JUSTICE TO THE INNOCENT.

Whenever I take a step in my life which may open a door to conflict, or may be viewed as a misstep by most people, I always search the Bible for a verse of confirmation. Proverbs 18:5 is the verse I found when seeking God about the court battle I have been fighting for the past 4 years. As I am revisiting what I consider an unjust system and corrupt system I keep this verse in the forefront of my mind.

When my daughter asked to move back in with me so that she could go back to college again I used a verse in Isaiah which said “not to hide from your relatives when they are in need.”

Has it been easy to have my 21-year old daughter live with me? No, not really. It has been difficult for both of us and walking the tightrope of an adult child moving back in is a definite balancing act. I am still not sure I have achieved the balance.

So I hold on to that verse knowing that although I am obeying God’s word, it may not be an easy walk in the park. If I am a Christian is obedience to His word and direction important? I think it is vitally important.

The Bible is full of contradictions and opposing messages but when you seek God with an open heart he will show you the verse which will give you direction. Then it is your decision whether or not you obey.  I have found that obedience can sometimes be the most difficult path to choose. Although difficult, it may be the only path which will bless others as well as yourself.

Is a Father important to a child’s self esteem?

Just yesterday I was commenting on another single mom’s post and the comment opened an unusual door for me to my ex-husband. A door of gratitude. She and also some of my good women friends have experienced ex-husbands who were unreliable, absent and inconsistent in their children’s lives.

I remembered when my ex-husband left and the profound emotional effect it had on my three year old son. He kept saying after his father left that “Nobody loved him.” It broke my heart. I knew I loved him.

I remember one day while in his bedroom he said something in relation to his father and his feelings of being unloved. I called his father immediately and his father set a time up to be with this son. In addition to this his father had the children visit him every weekend. He didn’t take them on extended holidays but I didn’t want him to. It was hard enough for me to have them go there every weekend.

My son kept saying that “nobody loved him”, even after his father made an effort to spend extra time with him. I wanted to know just how deep this feeling was in my son and I knew that I would have to somehow tap into his subconscious to see if it was just a surface emotion or a deep seated void.

I did it one night when he was walking past me as i was sitting on the couch. I said “I love you,” as he walked on by. He replied “I love you too,” then stopped himself and said “You don’t love me no one does.” But I knew I had touched his inner being and that little boy knew without a doubt that he was loved and that he could also love  back.

Did my ex-husband hurt my children  by moving out and leaving me for another woman? Yes, he did, but he could have done a lot worse if he had abandoned the children or been unreliable.

Phonics – is it the best way to teach reading?

I learned how to read using whole word reading.

All of my children learned how to read using phonics. The oldest two didn’t have a problem with that method of reading. The youngest had a big problem with it.

He also had a bit of a speech impairment and so the school had him in speech therapy. Over time the speech difficulty resolved.

He struggled while in elementary school and as a result he was put in summer school. The teacher that taught him in summer school taught whole word reading and he said he learned more in that 6 weeks of summer school than he had learned in school the whole year.
He finally  mastered reading  and is now a Honor Society member as he enters his senior year.

I was wondering if any other parent had a child who had difficulty with phonics? Could it possibly be a difficult concept for a child with a speech impairment to grasp