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

DIVORCE, JOINT CONSERVATORSHIP and INCOMPETENT LAWYERS.

I got divorced in 1998. I had a two sons, ages one and three and a five year old daughter.

My ex-husband wanted me to pay him 20,000$ in the divorce settlement. Apparently since I was keeping the house he thought he had a right to that amount. I had two problems with that. First problem was that it had been my Father and I who had purchased the house and second problem was that  I didn’t have that kind of money.

We had several heated conversations about the divorce and a friend of mine suggested I start taping any phone calls with him. In one phone call, my ex-husband threatened my life.  Fortunately I had taped that phone call.  I handed that tape to my lawyer and soon the settlement amount dropped to $5,000.

My lawyer drew up papers for joint conservatorship. It was not what most people would consider joint custody. My ex only took my children on the weekends and that only lasted until my daughter became a teenager.

If my lawyer was any good when my ex-husband threatened my welfare, red flags should have been waving. Any threat or evidence of violence can be considered a contraindication to joint conservatorship.

If my lawyer would have asked me, I would have admitted to several incidents of my husband choking me and slapping me.

The court was supposed to use the following statements as a guide to award joint conservatorship:

  • Children should have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown an ability to act in the best interest of the child;
  • Children should grow in a safe, stable and nonviolent environment;

Since my lawyer did not look out for the best interest of my children. I was the one who had to confront my ex about his anger issues.

One confrontation occurred when my children said that my ex would throw my youngest son into bed at night. This brought back horrible memories of one night when my ex had thrown my daughter into bed so hard that I ordered him out of the room because he was crazy and I was scared he was going to kill her.

I confronted him about this response to my youngest son’s  desire to sleep in bed with him. My ex-husband’s response to this was to cuss me out.

The other time was when friends of mine told me that they noticed that his second wife smelled of alcohol when she picked my kids up from different events.

I called him on the phone to relay this bit of information to him. He denied that his second wife drank at all. I told him “I didn’t care if she drank but she had better not have my kids in the car if she did.”  Ten years later I heard from my ex-husband that his second wife, whom he had already divorced, had committed suicide. Guess how she did it? She overdosed on alcohol.

In 1998 I had no idea of the laws that were written to protect me and my children. I apparently had hired a worthless lawyer who just wanted the money and didn’t really care about the welfare of my children.

Internet was a foreign concept to me then. I was too busy working thirty-two hours on the weekend and coming home to raise three toddlers to even think or have the energy to fight a system, which I know now is corrupt and broken.

For those who want to look up the specifics of joint conservatorship go to Family Law Code of Texas and it is 153.00 which specifies the requirements for Joint Conservatorship.

Bullying – How to stop it dead in its tracks

My youngest son was only five years old. He was in kindergarten and he had a hard time learning the alphabet and had some difficulty learning how to read. He also had a slight speech impediment. Despite these impairments he seemed to be getting along well in school and I wasn’t worried. Then one day he came home and told me that another boy was pushing him against the wall and choking him.

I immediately called his father. One of many times that his father failed in his parental role. He told me that I should just leave it alone. He was a boy and boys just did that. I was enraged.

I didn’t know exactly how to handle it  but pretty soon a situation presented itself in which I was called to school because apparently my son had gotten into trouble. 

I went to school and I still couldn’t tell you why they called me but I knew if I was there I was going to use it to my advantage. I was going to tell the kindergarten teacher about the fourth grader who was bullying my son. I told her I didn’t know which kid it was but someone was bullying my son.

That teacher asked my son who it was that had done this to him. He identified the kid and then she pulled him into her class and humiliated him in front of my son. She said she almost had him in tears. That stopped the bullying. My son never complained about it again. 

That teacher not only protected my son but also taught that fourth grader that picking on a little kid isn’t the way to pretend your tough. 

Bullying can be stopped if the adults who see it happening intervene and do what this teacher did. If more teachers responded like this I doubt that bullying would be the problem that it is today. It takes just one smart teacher to stop a bully.