Children are like African violets. (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.) They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted. Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of. Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.
As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support. When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant. The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.
Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child. Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.
Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction? Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.
Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another, This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling. This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.
The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling. Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive
Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases). Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.
Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right. The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought. They often cost more time than money. First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.
Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support. A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian. The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!
Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored. “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed. Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.
Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children. Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost. Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well. The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.
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Frightened young girls get pregnant so they have somebody to love and young boys like to feel studly and see how many babies they can generate. Neither is a good reason to have a child. Nurturing a child is also a full-time process which involves being selfless much of the time. It also requires good judgment which is not fully developed until young adulthood.
Our welfare state facilitates irresponsible parenthood and children often raised without discipline or love. How many children are thrown out on the street and have to learn how to survive there on their own.Then we chastise them (not the parents or the state) for doing this and becoming angry at society and not fitting in there.
No wonder these children don’t trust anybody. Yes, the ghetto (where many of these children end up) doesn’t always teach middle-class values. In order to survive, these children do what they can to live on the streets or with parents and foster parents that don’t care or use them for their own purposes. They often only want the check. Worse yet these parents may have been raised the same way that they are raising their children.
Parents having the right to raise or not raise their biological children as they see fit does not take into account the rights of the children. They also go so far as to often use abortion as the method of choice when it comes to practicing birth control.
I think it is a case of blame the victim (which is the child) for the sometimes irrefutable abuse they sustained whether caused by the system, natural parents, and/or foster parents.
Last, but not least, parents who do a good job of raising their children by giving their kids love, discipline, and values do not get rewarded by the system. There are no rewards for doing a good job, just for doing a bad job.
Child custody also gets handled often by people who do not know what they are doing, what the child needs, and what constitutes a good parent. If they do know these things they are hampered by laws and regulations that often don’t make any sense.
For example in one northern county of my state, only the worst judges, those who are not doing their job in other venues, get “demoted” to doing child custody cases and they receive no training on how to do this in a way that would benefit the child whose custody is being determined.
I have proposed that that county develop special training for these judges determining custody cases. It would include forty hours of hands-on training by professionals in the field of custody determination. Doing it this way ensures that judges would actually participate and not just skim through some information on the subject. It should also be a mixed group so no judge would be swayed in a particular direction.
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I just talked about fear and the biggest fear is of fear itself. If we don’t talk about things until one of us, either partner gets mad, then it is hard to overlook how bad it makes us feel and deal with the issues themselves.
I don’t know about you but my very sense of security can be threatened. It got this way in my first marriage and maybe if we had the fights that we did when we were divorcing all along, the marriage could have been better.
Not trusting your partner is very destructive in a relationship; especially not trusting them to make a fair compromise and to not penalize you for bringing something up that needs to be dealt with.
Caution: you may not believe this warning but hear me out. Just because you are newly single and female whether it is due to divorce or to the death of your spouse, you do not have to go out or spend time with any man in your life who asks you. First of all that person is not being very sensitive about your situation and they may be assigning motives to you that you do not have. They maybe projecting their needs and wants onto you and an acceptance by you of an invitation is seen as consent in their eyes to something more than a mere friendly outing.
Date rape is another name for a kind of rape; but the woman who gets raped has consented to go somewhere with someone where she will be alone with him and he sees it as an invitation or opportunity to satisfy his needs and does not accept her refusal of his advances towards her as “No”. because he sees her agreeing to go out with him as a tacit agreement to take the relationship a step further one that she finds out once they are alone together that she is not willing to take; but feels forced to comply with to get out of the situation safely. But of course, it is not true. It never was safe to have to cooperate with a “date rapist.” .
This may lead to women in this situation to requiring a chaperon or only going out with other women or in groups and never getting off by themselves with a man. Some perceive a newly divorced woman or newly widowed woman as “open season” to try to get them into bed and any response no matter how timid by the woman is seen as an acceptance of the inevitable outcome anticipated by the man. I am not considering that women in this situation should remain celebrate for the rest of their lives; but they have to be cautious and may not be as perceptive of any ulterior motives in wanting to cheer them up and to get them out of the house.
Men, not to leave you out of the equation. I have heard of newly single men getting gifts of food delivered to their door by many different women and possibly the offer to satisfy some of their needs now they don’t have a woman in the house. Don’t believe that these gifts and offers don’t come with the assumption that the acceptance of such gifts and offers don’t come with the implication that you want more than that from these women.
Leopards, male and female, can change their spots when they learn that somebody is free game. With young people in some families courtships are very thoroughly investigated and chaparoned. If you are older, this still might not be bad advice for you. With a such an upheaval in the one’s life, one can be very vulnerable and can often make poor decisions while he or she is already under stress. I know of people who have done this and it seems to be best to wait a year or two before making any commitments. When it comes to divorce, people often get into the same type of relationship they had with their previous marital partner and don’t find this out until after they have made the mistake of getting attached to someone prematurely.
No, it is not true that all men are only looking for sex in a relationship and that all women who are single want to latch on to the next free man as a meal ticket.
PS: people often grieve after losing a relationship and grief comes in many “flavors.” What is appropriate for one might not be appropriate for someone else. If this happens to you or has happened to you, take your time, allow your grief to have an outlet (grief kept in can cause tremendous damage not only to the person who does this but also to the other remaining family members that they have contact with). Watch out for “shoulds” and quick fixes for your problems offered by somebody who really doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.
Always watch out for people who immediately say that they know what your problem is and that they can solve it for you. Everybody’s problems are different. Some people get a “charge” out of telling other people what to do and criticizing them if they don’t do it and/or decide to do something else. A good resource is Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s material on death and dying where you will find her five stages of grief explained. Grief occurs after divorce too. Another resource is a group of widows and/or widowers who are all going through the same things. For divorced persons and widows and widowers with children, there is another possible resource, Parents Without Partners.