First, Happy Father’s Day to all my CSDs out there!
You know, it seems just like yesterday. The years I spent as a single-dad when my son was between 10-15 years old were the worst compared to the other 13 years. During this time period, I was struggling financially and trying to finish school to earn my degree, with the hope of coming up in this land of milk-n-honey. I was also trying to provide for my other children that were being born with my wife and also going to work at various places meant days that never ended and stress that felt like I was carrying a weight 24/7.
My poor sociology teacher had to read all about my struggles, as I poured my heart out in essay after essay. My son was at an age where he could choose (he was not given that “right” by me, but by his mom and the court) whether he wanted to come over to my home or not, and oftentimes for various reasons, he would not. Perhaps the ultimate knife in my chest was when he told the referee that he did not want to come to my home, as there were too many rules, he did not have fun and all we did was go over his grandparent’s house. My heart stopped beating that day in the court room, as I was fighting to maintain the visitation rights that I fought for when he was just a baby. I thought, “And this is how I get paid back?” “I’m being treated worse than Cain who said, ‘It ain’t mine’ and bounced. For those who have seen Menace To Society, they know what I’m talking about.
But it was all of those experiences that moved me to create this blog years later.
The essay below was one that I wrote in 2001 for my Social Science Theory class. My superb professor had us all develop a theory by the end of the semester, as she knew that social and psychological theories that change the world are not only born when you have a Ph.D.. So it is in the environment above that I have described, that my Alliance Theory was born. When I performed my research for the paper (yes, done without the internet and we had just got a computer for me to type this on), I learned that my theory had basically been previously presented and was known as Parental Alienation Syndrome.
I’ve never shared this publicly, and I’m posting pictures of the essay until I can type a more recent edition. Therefore, you get to see all of my grammar mistakes, the faded paper, etc.. But I wanted to share this on Father’s Day to once again encourage those of you struggling as well. You may not get to see your son or daughter today, as they may choose (or the mother may choose for them) to spend it with a new guy, with mommy or a step-father instead.
I know it hurts. It hurts to watch you and your child’s relationship melt and you seem to be the only one that cares. You know your child has no idea the impact that this is going to have in his or her life. But you hang in there. Never give up and cry to yourself if necessary. Emotions usually spring forth in the only way society allows men to grieve, and that’s through anger and violence. But you probably know that when you lose control in those arguments, you lose. She can just pick up her “toys” if you will, and go home. You look like the bad-guy, and to your child, you are that bad guy. Why? Read the essay below.
Make today a special day for yourself. It’s special because you are still there, whether your son or daughter understands right now or not.
Now this was written 14 years ago, but what do you think? How has your life experience been and does this theory fit your situation? Let me know in the comments below or email me.
So again, if that phone doesn’t ring or no one comes to visit, you at least get a heart felt Happy Father’s Day from CSD my man, and may God bless you.
Dad’s, with all of the cheating that is going on in sports these days, how do you talk to your kids about this issue?
It’s hardly new. “Back in my day”, I wanted to throw a knuckler like Phil and Joe Niekro and a spitball like Gaylord Perry. Those were fun guys and Joe and Gaylord were cheaters, but hey, it was funny right? Did George Brett really mean to run Pine Tar that far up on the bat?
Come on! Lighten up!
Now this was before we really got serious on baseball cheaters like McGwire, Sosa, Bond (allegedly), A-Rod and the list goes on and on in that sport. But then there’s “Stickum” in football, anabolic steroids, growth hormone in almost every Olympic sport, blood doping in cycling, academic cheating from junior high through college for basketball and football players, car modification cheating in racing…maybe it is true, if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!
So we really shouldn’t be tripping out about Tom Brady.
But this article in The Root breaks down that we do view and talk about cheaters differently, I highly recommend giving it a read.
Here are some of the highlights:
“If he were black, people would be calling him a criminal and saying that his behavior reflected some innate values. They would blame hip-hop, single mothers and the culture of poverty. If he were a black player, the conversation wouldn’t be about Goodell or the system but how the lack of a work ethic and morals led him to cut corners, to win “by any means necessary.” If he were black, the conversation would turn to affirmative action and how he was forced to cheat because he lacked the skills needed to excel at this elite level….Brady demonstrates yet again that whites are innocent … until proved innocent. Any evidence to the contrary proves that the system is flawed, that we have a miscarriage of justice.”
Dad’s when you’re having this discussion with your kids, do you unknowingly talk differently based on the color of the athlete?
It’s something to think about and it’s how we teach our children about so-called race, without ever talking about race in our homes. Then we proudly exclaim to the world, “I teach my kids that skin color doesn’t matter, everybody should be treated the same!”
So do you treat everyone the same in your actions and judgements on who’s a cheater and who isn’t? Perhaps this is a good discussion to have with ourselves first, and then our children as well.
If God allows you and I to live long enough, we’ll see another “race riot” in two months or two decades. History has shown that “race riots” in the USA are just as predictable as the weather.
The response of the Christian community is, well, as I said on social media to my wife:
“Forgive me as I don’t want to jack your post. But it jumped out at me that this article was written on a site who’s worldview is much different from ours. However, as it was during Ferguson, the vast majority of Christian sites/commentators are once again silent. I can’t help but reflect once again on the Good Samaritan parable, MLK’s comments about the silence of The Church during his protests/persecution, and 1 John 4. It confirms yet again, if I were on the side of the road unjustly beaten, in jail for protesting (not because my hockey team won a game) or just feeling troubled and saddened by the actions of my nation, comfort would be far more likely to come from those who need the gospel themselves, not by those who claim to share my belief in the gospel and its power. That in and of itself may be more shameful than what’s going on in the nation today…for at least I know where “they” stand, but I’m forced to ask on Sunday (e.g. within the Christian community), “who is my brother?” – 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us. 20If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”
Yes, sometimes as a so-called “Black Christian”, you feel quite alone during these times in our lives. It was this same environment in the early ’90s, that resulted in a rise in the number of African-Americans turning to the Nation of Islam. So many just wanted someone spiritual to speak up about crack in our communities, police brutality in our neighborhoods that resulted in a video of a man named Rodney King being beaten worse than a dog, and later riots in the streets of L.A..
But the Nation of Islam need the gospel, they do not have an answer.
The message below from Thabiti Anyabwile resonates with you African-American Christian. The NOI, Bahia, and now Kemet may make our flesh feel justified, but it will not justify our souls. Only Jesus Christ can do that, and I thank God that even when things seems to be at their worse, He still has men out there saying, “The Bible DOES deal with race! God is not a white-devil used to enslave your minds!”
Check out the message from this brother. He broke IT DOWN (some of y’all know what I mean when I say that). I can truly say he’s my “favorite” dude right now and I’m so glad God is using him to teach me at this time in my life, when I’m even standing out wondering, “Lord, am I missing something? Can people not get rid of their ethnic identity to be one with my people group in the Church?”
The Justified Life with God is a Compassionate Life Toward Men – Thabiti Anyabwile
I’ve finally finished Meg Meeker’s book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, and thought it was absolutely extraordinary.
There are so many great thoughts in the book, that I’d like to share a few of them periodically here.
Today’s thought: Realize Who You Are To Her
“When she is a baby, her eyes will search for your face. Her ears will listen for your voice and everything inside her will need to answer only one question, “Daddy, are you here?” If you are there, her body will grow better. Her IQ will start to rise, her development will track where it is supposed to, but more important, she will realize that life is good because you love her. You are her introduction to love; you are love itself.”
It’s been quite a few years since my little girls were in the baby stage. But I still remember those days. There was something about seeing them and knowing that one my roles would be as the protector of her heart, mind and body. The ground that I lay in her life in regards to love will determine how love is perceived and grows in all the other areas of her life.
Dad’s this is definitely one of those areas where both of you will reap what you sow.
So what kind of ground will you sow today? What kind of “soil of love” (I know that sounds cheesy, but it fit) are you creating in her life?
I remember I missed class because of the birth of my first daughter. Dr. Lyn Lewis, my professor at the time, told me that I would have a larger impact on the life of my daughter than my wife would. Over eleven years later, I realize how truly right she was and I’m still trying to make sure that impact is far more positive, than negative.
How about you?
If you have an adult daughter, how did you do and do you have any advice for the rest of us CSDs? Let us know in the comments below!
A couple of weeks ago, our church started a group of meetings called the Life Action Summit. Quite honestly, my percentage level to attend was under 50%, as those “revival” type meetings are usually full of bad theology, financial begging, and as my boy Rob would say, “Momma-say-momma-sa-mumombusa”…in other words…speaking in tongues with no sign of an interpretation coming from anywhere.
All I can say is: OUCH.
I went for 11 days and:
Many of the lessons that I heard exhorted me to return to my first love, Jesus Christ.
Many of the lessons that I heard exhorted me to return to the love and commitment I have for my wife.
But many of the other lessons the I heard exhorted me to return to being the father that I am supposed to be as well.
Now why am I writing this to you?
Even if you are not a Christian, I think what I’m about to say applies to you.
Do you need to return to the love you had for your children when they were born?
Like a wedding, I’ve found that parents have showers, celebrate, cry, tell everyone and are just so excited about becoming parents when the woman announces she’s pregnant and delivers the baby. However, after a few years, just like marriage, that loves seems to change.
From 0-5, they are cute and we are patient, as they discover this world and still have a smile that melts our hearts.
From 6-10, they’re not as cute and that smile now gets accompanied with a frown when they don’t have their way, and our patience lessens.
From 11-15, we often go through the motions as they become their own person that we like/dislike and our lives are full of school events, sports, and “stuff”.
From 16-18, we are just trying to endure to the end. We back off as to not “push them away”, as they scream silently, “Mom, Dad, would you please give me some direction and guidance?” Then high school graduation comes and as they walk across the stage we say, “Where did all the years go? There’s so much more I wish I could teach them…”.
Quite honestly, some parents say, “Get out! You’re 18 now!”
What happened to all the promises we told ourselves? Promises how we’d protect them, provide a stable household for them, tell them that they can always come to us, kisses and “I love you-goo-goo-ga-ga” accompanies with goofy faces.
Tonight, I’d like for you to reflect on whether you are truly still thankful for your children.
Next, ask yourself (and if you are really daring, your wife), if someone you didn’t know were to ask your kids, “Does your dad ACT AND SAY that he loves you?” What would the answer be to that person? What would your kids say?
So your CSD-homework assignment for this week? Tell your child/children that you love them. That’s it. I bet you acted like you did they were born, but what about now?
Let me know how it goes…
If you ever have an opportunity to go to a Life Action Summit, I cannot recommend it enough. It has certainly made a difference in my life and I’m not typing anything to you that I have not had to struggle with myself, as I’m far from the perfect dad. But over the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to sit with all five of my children and renew that love that I had for each one of them when they were brought into my life.
Just starting with “I Love You”, can be a way for you to begin that same journey as well.
I’ve had it. I’m done. I’m tired of the comments.
I will come here to vent, but I may just vent on the people who feel the need to give me their opinion as well.
But if there are any homeschooling parents out there, feel free to chime in with your experiences as well.
I’m about to start a new section called: Revenge of the Homeschooling Dad.
Why are you asking about my kids socialization when all people complain about is how disrespectful children are these days, how self-centered they are, and how they aren’t learning anything in school…folks keep giving their unsolicited opinion to me, so I’m about to start giving mine….Oh yea, and they are so Biblically illiterate, that Jesus is nothing but a swear word to them, not their Savior.
Yea, it’s on now…if you want my skin to be thick enough for your opinions, I’m sure yours is thick enough to hear mine as well.
After all, I’m sure you went to school, so you know how to interact with various people and respect different views when my kids will not right?