Posts in "Community" tag

Kids and Improving Health

Why do I do much of what I do as an advocate and mother?

Because decisions and actions in our community are having a negative impact on the health of children.

How do I know?  Because I lived through watching my own children suffer unnecessarily while having the right help withheld from them – intentionally and with dishonesty – by certain members of our family court system.

The best gift we can give children this holiday season would be to step up and help resolve the confusion and uncertainty for them as their parents transition through conflict. There are several reasonable ways to do this, which we’ll be addressing in the coming months on our radio show.

As a parent can you imagine much worse than seeing that your children need help, and not being able to give it to them?  

Having your hands tied…while being lied to and made to believe that you have no choice but to let your own child suffer…when you could be providing needed care, nurturing, and psychological or medical treatment — things are ARE within your reach.  You don’t have to be a parent to imagine how terrifying or traumatic this might be… You just have to be human and breathing… And, YES, this is happening a lot, right in your own backyard.

Please ask WHY anyone would intentionally prevent a loving parent from protecting or providing treatment for their child.  Does this make any sense?

Since resolving my own conflict and gaining perspective on the family court arena, I’ve seen countless numbers of children having their health needs – including physical and emotional health – ignored and have even seen treatment withheld and denied when the diagnosis and financial resources were available.

This is child abuse and neglect, goes against the law, and in too many cases it is happening simply because of greed… and to reward foul play in a legal setting.   I’m asking you to look at this and decide where and when you can help.  It’s time.

This issue is like a cancer in our society, only we don’t know until it happens to us, and usually by the time we realize what has happened and what or why it is being done, it is too late to stop it from happening.

If you are offended by this notion, that this is going on, then I’ve done my job with this post.  But the bigger need is for you not to turn away from it but rather decide where you can lend your voice or resources or connections to help #MakeaDifference.

I’d appreciate your support – and these kids really need you.  Let’s see what we can do to ensure that your kids, your grandchildren, or your friends’ and neighbors’ kids don’t feel the impact of this problem. It “takes a village,” remember?  

There is more to what I do than challenging certain professionals around their poor judgment and lack of loyalty and honesty; this is about challenging more parents to recover faster from conflict, to take a look around and to really see how you can use what you’ve learned – and what you’ve earned.  Get out of your own situation, and find someone else to help.

If you’ve followed me in social media you know that I sometimes serve as a voice for families dealing with pediatric cancer.  My own children are involved because we are all so thankful that we are healthy and have the lives and privileges that we do, so we give back by uplifting other families and raising awareness for this issue.  We need greater funding for #PediatricCancer.  We need more heroes!  #YoungHeroes4KidsCancer (Stay tuned as we head toward March 2015 and the next St. Baldrick’s event in Atlanta/SandySprings.)

More success stories are needed to show what happens when we rally behind kids and give them what they need to overcome challenges. Check out Briana Hudson on Facebook to see what I mean!  #YoungHeroesLeague This girl and her family are making big things happen. She is one of my heroes!

Follow My Advocate Center to support us as we work to help families transition through and out of conflict, and as we advocate for policy changes that will make the legal process safer for families.  If we can #ImproveFamilyLaw then we have a better chance of letting kids receive the best that BOTH parents have to offer.  There is just no valid reason to do anything different and our laws support this mission.

Follow People Against Childhood Cancer if you want to learn more about how to help children that way.  Cancer in every form is AWFUL and deserves your attention, commitment, resources and your voice.  Please do what you can while praying this doesn’t touch your own family, neighborhood, church, business or school.

Above all, be grateful and be inspired to do more with what you have.


Opposing Party

This really bothers me, this obsession we have with opposition.

Opposition that hinders clear thinking and positive results is what I’m referring to.  In politics and religion…gender equality issues…divorce…race.  I chose to wait until I could write calmly.  Not easy when I hear the tone & observe foul play tactics being used by both sides of every debate, and not just the political ones.

If you relish opposing just for its sake & enjoy celebrating over someone’s demise then my blog isn’t for you.  I’m a problem-solver and peacekeeper – because that is what leads to positive outcomes for children and families. It’s what our communities and states need as well.

If you stay, then I ask you to stand with me rather than oppose or argue just to be difficult.  If you want to help make this mission better, and can be constructive then please speak up!

Something important is going on around us that demands we set aside the Seek & Destroy mentality being fueled by every form of media we have access to.

We are missing something big and useful because we’re too caught up in the fight, and in which party is winning.  Time to get rid of the Win/Lose mentality and focus on the best outcome for all involved.

This is so well said at Good Men Project that it bears repeating:  “People are more active and reactive, more jumpy & fearful of who gets elected or that bill getting passed or the Supreme Court deciding one way or another.  In the realm of emotion, it’s revealed that ideology creates enemies of science from all sides.”

The GMP post is entitled “What you believe should be true limits what you are willing to believe is true.”  And the author does a great job of giving examples in how the opposing sides of political or religious debate get in the way of letting science benefit us as much as we’d like.  Emotion gets in the way.  Screw progress or logic…or compromise.   But what if it isn’t just a debate, or just political advantage – or the benefits of science – at stake?   What might be more important than that?  Maybe our children?

Too many of us are closed-minded, willing only to see how things affect us and to read situations in a way that satisfies our own emotions – and that becomes our agenda.   So I ask, is it more important to have an enemy & to defeat them than it is to solve problems that both divide us and hurt our children?

Leaving politics aside I’d like to highlight how this encouragement to oppose and attack – to lie and call others liars – plays out with parents whose relationships or marriages dissolve amid conflict.

It has become normal & acceptable, or so it appears, to do whatever it takes to the opposing party.   Does this REALLY need to be the case?   Why has this become our standard?  Who “approved this message”?

The reason for this post is not just to say “fight fair if you’ve gotta fight” but to reveal during Domestic Violence Awareness month how much worse things are getting because of  this policy of attack instead of debate or compromise.  We seem to enjoy accusing more than solving problems…is that what we want children to do?

~ I believe there is a way to turn this around, but only if opposing sides will turn toward each other, rather than away in resentment and distrust, to listen and to debate.  Openly.  Calm your fear for a minute and give the other side a chance to speak their truth. ~

Speaking now to anyone who has been on either side of the sensitive & inflamed situation involving any form of abuse or allegations of abuse or violence:

Men – including men who have been falsely accused of abuse of any kind – you might read a book written by a true victim of violence and abusive control.   It might be challenging to be allowed to visit a shelter, but it would help if you could.  Put yourself in the shoes of someone real who does not believe they have the right or the ability to protect themselves.

Women – or anyone making false allegations or using children to punish another parent – please spend time listening to good fathers who do not know their children because they were the vulnerable party to their divorce, the one who was under attack & afraid to fight back.   You don’t hear about them as much because it is not Okay for a man to say he was abused or even arrested, possibly losing his job on top of his parenting rights, due to not being allowed to defend himself.

Anyone making false allegations needs to also visit and volunteer in helping real victims, and let it sink in that you are harming these victims and causing the legal system to not pay attention to those who actually DO need protection and support.  Imagine that if you cry wolf, you are leaving someone who needs real help in the hands of their abuser.

Anyone dealing with mistreatment by another, regardless of your gender or status, if you are under attack & need help, ask for it.  If you aren’t sure what you’re dealing with or don’t know how to ask for help, there’s only one way to find out.  ASK.

We each need to hear and understand both sides of this issue.  If we do, then more of us, both women and men, can get what we need.   We can’t afford not to, and we’re paying a price for lack of understanding and for being closed off to the opposing party if we don’t.

Consider this:  if both opposing parties turn their backs to the other, what might happen when no one is looking?   What happens in that gap?