“How much does it cost to be happy, safe and secure?”
This question came from an 18-year-old girl on Facebook. Her father won a bitter custody battle for her and her brother, only to allow her new stepmother to throw them on the street at 15 and 16.
“I wish that I knew my father,” from 19-year-old boy whose mother never bothered to tell his father that he existed.
“When I was 8, my father asked me not to visit anymore even though he lives around the corner. He doesn’t want his girlfriend to know he has kids, ” this writer turned into a super father.
As part of my job and part of my life, I listen to these stories every day. I listen and hold back the tears…
My job begins by showing these young adults that they have self-worth. A lesson that should be learned from their parents…
Children are not our possessions, they are our gifts…
Unexpected gifts are often the best kind…
I am shocked by the parents who have no problem tearing their children apart. Do they know the damage that they cause?
Tearing your children down tears builds a wall between you and success…
I am reminded of a story one of my students related about how he saved up for six months to buy his kids a play station for Christmas – only to have them break it two days later. Is that how God feels when we mistreat our children?
My student will think twice before buying the next expensive gift for his children. Are you missing out because you don’t take care of what you have?
It takes time, energy and sacrifice to take good care of your children. But they deserve every ounce of it that we can give.
We should really throw LOVE to our children…
- It’s about them not about you. Becoming a parent means YOUR needs are SECOND. In my family, kids ate first (a throwback to the days when there was a risk of running out of food.) Your play time, new mate, career is second to their needs. Those other things can be replaced, your child cannot.
Having bad parents is not an excuse to perpetuate the pain in your own children. CHANGE it and turn things around.
- Security is crucial to your kids. Children and young adults (18 – about 25) cannot provide for themselves. That is your job. Make it happen. This includes making sure that your child support is paid without fail.
Even young adults have difficulty getting on their feet in this economy. Just because they had a birthday is not cause for throwing them into the street. Along with this, however make sure that they are making MOVES toward independence – job, education, military and that they RESPECT your home and the rules.
- Encourage them to do their best. We all make mistakes. Mistakes are part of learning and growing. Keep their mistakes in perspective; don’t make them a scathing assessment of their worth. While you should be disappointed in that D in math, it is not evidence that your child is stupid or lazy; it is an opportunity for you to help them.
- Praise them from the rooftops when they do something good. Keep it between you and your child when they do something bad.
- Time is free yet so precious. They will cherish the things you did with them, the time you spend with them much more than money. Doing household chores together can creating lasting, warm memories.
Never miss a visit if you are a non-custodial parent, the disappointment is crushing.
- Limits are also a responsibility of taking care of your gift. Children who are never told NO grow up with low self-esteem because the world will tell them NO. Parents are tasked with teaching children how to live as adults. Part of this is living within boundaries and following the rules.
- Love is a birth-right, including access to both parents. Whatever your personal issues with the other parent, your child has a right to their love. Single moms, tell the father – the child has a right for him to know. If he decides to do the wrong thing, that’s his problem, you did the right thing.
Don’t deny visits. The only exception to this rule is if the other parent is abusive or neglectful.
Child support is for the courts, love is a birthright.
- Legacy. Your children, not your tombstone are your legacy. They will be the ones to pass your story along. What will that story say?