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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For example, when I want to ask a man a quick question while he is watching TV or on the phone, I am told to wait a minute which never comes. If I am doing something, a man expects that I should interrupt what I am doing tell him the information that he wants to know which usually also involves that I stop what I am doing and do it for him. However, I am expected to multitask and to not forget what I was doing or going to do to take care of something for him.
Another example, men have goals and aspirations that can take a good part of their time and of their disposable? income. Or else they think to themselves, what else am I working for? Women work to contribute to the family income and also to pay the childcare costs so they can work to do this. Certain hobbies and their accompanying expenses are considered necessary “man” things to do. Women like to look nice and to have a nice place to live which is not as important to men.
Women risk their lives and their health in order to reproduce while men usually think it is no big deal. Even if a woman chooses not to reproduce, it is still her responsibility. Also often there are men who like to have unprotected sex and who often do not see reproduction as their responsibility. Birth control and a woman’s menstrual cycle usually are two things women have to take care of and suffer from. Men often think that these are things a man does not have to be concerned about.
Also having children can create a great big stress on a woman’s body and under certain circumstances can kill a woman. Any woman who has been pregnant more than once including stillbirths and miscarriages, as well as live births, can tell you that they can all be different. Even I who had three children late in life seemingly uneventfully can tell that you that I could have lost my third child during birth and I didn’t know this til after she was born.
Some women don’t want to bother with being pregnant but still have to deal with mixed feelings about having an abortion and the often dangerous lack of skilled care at abortion clinics. On the man’s side is the possibility that when an abortion is involved, he may still want the child if the woman doesn’t!
Sometimes I think that some men can become so attached to their ideas and accomplishments that they can’t accept the idea that their ideas may no longer work with new discoveries being found and can stand in the way of necessary progress. Academia reinforces this with its publish or perish mandates necessary to obtain tenure. Women are more flexible and more able to see different points of view. Relationships for women are more important for women and often make up for the fact that they are less attached to a job or position or a theory.
There are some things a woman should look out for when establishing a new relationship with a man. Don’t believe that his last girlfriend or wife deserved to be labeled as the “bad” one in the relationship. Be careful if either you or he came from a family where violence was common or accepted if a woman or child did not do the right thing according to the man of the house. Be aware too that men or women can come from families where violence was common among the women of the family.
There is no real excuse for violence. When anger is considered “justified” because the person who is angry thinks that someone or something made him or her feel that way and that is enough to justify acting it out. This can lead to a very explosive situation. Add alcohol to this in some people and the situation becomes even worse.
Being the only man in the family, besides my elderly grandfather, my dad was called upon to “handle” his brother-in-law when he was in an alcoholic rage in order to protect my mom’s crippled sister and kids. My dad had been quite an athlete in his youth but this did not always help when my uncle was threatening them with a butcher knife. Also, my younger brother was still at home and had to witness this. I don’t think Police usually made domestic violence calls back then.
Women and children and even some men are not punching bags and it can leave a strong impression on some children even if they themselves don’t get hurt. “Don’t hit him; hit me” was a brave statement made by a sister when her brother got hit, not her. How helpless does a child feel when they watch their sibling or parent get hurt on purpose when the other parent has a “mad fit” and takes it out on him or her?
The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they? When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them? The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.
Also, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse? Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless. Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.
Doing it to children is a heinous offense. They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it. Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too. “Monkey see; monkey do” Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.
It is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too. When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears. The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”
The Bible warns against condemning others, but it also tells you not to condemn yourself. We create so many problems when we start having so many expectations for ourselves, things that we have to live up too. Do we bully ourselves? Do we criticize ourselves before somebody else, including God, does it to us? Then when we err we don’t give ourselves any slack. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. We judge ourselves before somebody else can judge us. Of what use is self-condemnation and judgments from others?
Sometimes our conscience is too well-developed. We do this to avoid judgments from others. Maybe we stop and look in the mirror before we go out so that no one can surprise us with an unfavorable remark. Compliments are often few and far between even those they may be deserved. Sometimes when someone says nothing it is as close to a compliment as we can get.
We need warm fuzzies, not cold pricklies. I guess the latter at least reassure us we have been noticed. Have you ever felt that you might be invisible when everybody in the room at a party are busy talking to each other and they don’t seem to notice that you are there?
Are you observant? sensitive? and/or vulnerable to other people’s problems? Do the people around you often wind up raining on your parade? Fear? frustration? anger? Almost all negative feelings can be catching. Should you stay in such a situation because you feel that you have obligated yourself to stay? That has often been my situation in the past….
I have walked out on one movie in my life. I usually feel that I have to stay because I paid for it or because somebody else told me it was good. I didn’t trust my own judgment! However, there was one movie that mesmerized me and it was three hours long. I didn’t move for three hours and suffered the consequences when I could hardly get up at the end!
I have learned to dodge people especially strangers when I see them coming towards me with a storm cloud surrounding them. I know that I am not a part of their problem and I don’t want to become a part of their problem. Sometimes I have seen people come for an evaluation and I just positively know that they want to and probably will make a complaint about me to the agency that referred them.
Sometimes it’s a parent or a relative of the person referred. To them, I am a “professional” target. They want to prove me wrong and possibly to get me in trouble. I have played “turtle” with these people and kept my head in my shell to avoid conflict and did not confront them about their attitudes because that is what they seemed to want.
There are also “poor me’s” who want to share and share their problems with you in order to ultimately prove they are unsolvable. As both of you become more and more depressed in the process, no progress is made and perhaps the process has gone backward.
Don’t be a mirror and reflect other peoples’ problems. Don’t soak up “bad” feelings and experience a downer.
On the other hand, be careful and don’t get sold on something another person is extremely positive about and make decisions you can’t back out of later. Say let me take a minute, let me think about that, I’ll get back to you. Even better say it is a decision you can’t make until you consult with another person you are involved with whether it is a financial planner, spouse, or boss.
Genuine feelings can be shared and it can be a great experience whether it is happiness or grief. I once cried with one of my daughters over a lost relationship. I never regretted that. Sharing feelings can be relationship building. You also don’t want to be a cold fish that never seems to care about anything. Sometimes food can’t be enjoyed because the person eating it can’t taste it.
Exhilaration can be catching. Have you ever laughed so hard that you couldn’t catch your breath? One of the most solemn persons I know grew up in an orphanage. He or she did not do without the necessities of life or responsible caregivers, but there was something lacking in his childhood and it was the mutual sharing of feelings.