Posts in "Trauma - Prevention & Recovery" category
But in my experience there is no greater good to do in this world than to mother children.
What is your world view? How do you see mothers, and grandmothers, shaping how we react to new or strange circumstances, to uncertainty or to the delightful sounds and smells of home-cooked meals and holiday decorations?
We could go on for hours discussing all of the ways that mothers impact our lives and how we as mothers, as parents, make a difference for each of our children. For now I’m interested in your thoughts on what God says about motherhood, so please take a few minutes to look up the verses below in your Bible.
Motherhood: A Task Worth the Effort
Motherhood references are found throughout the Bible, borrowing here from my *Women’s Study Guide given to me as a gift when I married the man who is the father to my twins.
Exodus 20:12 says mothers are to be respected.
2 Timothy 1:3-5 Children are to be lovingly nurtured by their mothers. *Children do not come off an assembly line, nor are they the by-product of an impersonal biological process; they are not trophies nor are they tools for control.
Isaiah 49:15 When Isaiah the prophet searched for an illustration of God’s constant love for His people, the best example he could find was a new baby’s mother. (Yes, I do know many fathers who are bonded/nurturing and vigilant so you’ll see posts about fatherhood as well!).
1 John 3:16 This is a truth that will transform any suffering or sacrifice into reward and joy: mothers have enduring love that even the most trying circumstances or rebellious child cannot dim (as my own mother knows).
As a mother lets go of her own life for the sake of her child, she is reminded of the depth and height and breadth of God’s love for her, and in a unique way she experiences the true joy of motherhood. Again, this is a truth that will transform any suffering or sacrifice into reward and joy.
Exodus 2:1-10 God has a plan for mothers.
Deuteronomy 6:6,7 The high calling is an all-consuming task.
Proverbs 31:28 The reward is worth the effort!
If you agree, please share, comment, and add your own thoughts and scripture to posts on social media.
If you come across a situation where a mother is wrongfully being prevented from giving of herself, her time, care, love and wisdom, to her child please let me know. And stand by this mother; she and her child need all the support they can get.
That’s what we all want as parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches for our kids.
To ask for help early on to troubleshoot any challenges, including emotional burdens.
To use better judgment when choosing which company you keep, where you spend free time and how you treat your family, as a few examples. Each act of wisdom and each show of empathy and kindness may help prevent breakdowns and crimes as revealed in the news story below about a man who could not cope with the consequences of his addiction — set in East Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia.
After studying parent/child relationships for decades, analyzing hundreds of cases involving family conflict, I can say for certain that a parent’s judgment in how he or she guides children to treat other family members has a lot to do with preventing ongoing dysfunction, including addiction, family violence, abuse in relationships, etc.
Several cases in Georgia involve someone taking a life, their own or a family member’s life, committing arson and other crimes, because that person doesn’t have the coping mechanisms needed in relationships and in deciding how to handle uncertainty and disappointment.
A Marietta, Georgia, man turned suicidal, burned down his family home, ran from police and put many other lives at risk.
This story could have turned into a much greater tragedy, but fortunately no lives were lost and the perpetrator of arson and drug use is behind bars.
Below: traumatized father and neighbor talks about the scene. Other neighbors led from smoke-filled, burning homes adjacent to Matt Olson’s unit. We do not yet know the total damages caused by his addiction, suicidal behavior, arson and the police chase.
Photography and video credit: Fox 5 News, Atlanta, Georgia
Asking for what you need is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s worth the effort.
Just watch, then ask what you can do…
The last few years have been like playing hide and seek in getting to know the truth about what happens to parents and children when they have to go through our court system.
Too late, many parents caught in a Family Court matter realize the truth just doesn’t matter, and by then they are turned upside down wondering what happened, and how.
WHY was my evidence not used to protect me or my kids? WHY did they tell me we would be “just fine” because the truth was on our side?
The numbers of children who are NOT fine is staggering, whether they are remaining with abusive or addicted parents, cut off from healthy parents, or if they are watching parents lose their homes because the “divorce got really ugly.” The reality of the “ugly” is that legal fees are ratcheted up so high that parents too often cannot afford to keep homes, or cannot pay for college or medical/psychological treatment.
This is what it feels like to these children and parents: it is like being on the inside of a pinball machine, but you can’t get out and you have no control over what will happen next. This breeds uncertainty and makes decision-making nearly impossible. You react…really are just knocked around, until you can’t tell which way is up…or out. To those certain professionals managing these confused parents, they are looked at as pawns, and to some it seems this is entertainment, not just a way of earning an income. When parents are treated this way – intentionally – it is certainly not advocacy.
Most people can’t relate to what this family is experiencing, and the professionals tell their clients not to talk about what is happening, and then they seal reports so that the truth never comes out.
For so many mothers and fathers, and for children who are being hurt in the process in some way or another, it boils down to the fact that our judges and custody “experts” do NOT have to consider the evidence we present to help us get through conflict safely.
It’s unfortunate but true that for certain Family Law professionals it is just too profitable for them when they keep evidence hidden — evidence that if used in Court might have otherwise put your case to rest and allowed you to get through it safely, and without losing your children and everything else you cherish.
The worst is when they cooperate – attorneys, custody experts and the judge – to suppress evidence of child abuse rather than using it to protect and uplift a child. The same thing applies when they put an innocent parent in jail, or cause them to lose their job in addition to their children and property.
In the process of suppressing evidence – to manipulate the outcomes of cases for their financial gain – they are severing relationships with nurturing parents who want to protect the child and end the fighting. The damages to children are staggering, and many of these children never recover. Parents who are blocked from caring for and protecting their own children…are also having a hard time managing and recovering. Some do not.
The opposite of what should happen – based on the available evidence – is what is occurring on far too many cases all over Georgia.
Please write your legislators and simply say that we want our Georgia statute to say that Judges and court appointed professionals “shall” consider evidence, rather than “may” consider evidence. This is just one point for reform, and it may take time but it’s important.
It is time to end this suffering and to address the cycles of abuse, addiction and dysfunction where it is possible for our Courts to use evidence to intervene properly. Where evidence and testimony are available to help put protections in place for children, and to support good parents, these should be secured on the record and used to protect.
Family Court practices that lead to ignoring evidence are worsening the situation. The professionals who work this way are worsening mental health, stability and productivity; they are increasing the cycles of abuse and addiction.
Where you are seeing certain professionals cooperate with each other to block, suppress or ignore evidence – evidence of real abuse, or evidence that would exonerate an innocent parent who is falsely accused – please visit MyAdvocateCenter.com to report this data.
This post is being updated in October of 2015 as we acknowledge Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please see this note shared on the MAC Facebook page that was written by a former family law attorney, and also read what I shared myself directly onto the page:
In all situations where evidence is ignored and the truth does not count, this leads to more loss, stress and trauma for the children and parents involved. Please let us know how you can help address this, and how you can help involve our healthcare community so that these families can recover while we work on reforming bad practices.
If you see me around the Capitol, you know why I’m there. Get involved.
Have you heard the saying, “It takes a Village to raise a child?”
If you’re a kid then maybe you have not heard this – but I’d like for you to think about it for a minute:
This is an idea that many people believe to be true. This is because we all believe that you – our children – are our most important purpose in life.
NOTHING is more important than your well-being. You matter, and you matter BIG time!
We adults have to work together to help you grow up strong, healthy and able to enjoy life and all that is wonderful about you, and about our world. You deserve to feel safe and secure, and to be peaceful in your surroundings, and you deserve the best that your parents and family can give you.
I really believe this is true, and this is my commitment to YOU. I say this for my children, for their friends and for all of you who are reading this on my website and blog.
If you are reading this, chances are that you are struggling with some challenge in your life that is really hard for you to overcome by yourself. And you shouldn’t feel like you have to do this on your own…we adults have responsibility for helping you through these things.
You need people to believe you, believe in your right to be free and healthy, and you need people who will speak up on your behalf. So here goes:
If someone is getting in the way of your rights, we adults and advocates and especially parents need to know about it. If someone is hurting you in ANY way, we need you to be strong and tell us. It’s the only way we can handle the people who are hurting you – and it is the only way we can help you.
You are very brave. So know that I and our “village” recognize that, and are here to support you. You are NOT alone.
And even if someone has disappointed you in the past when you’ve asked for help, please know that it is ok to feel disappointed and to even be angry at someone who didn’t follow through and help you. Even though that felt bad, and you may be worried that someone else will disappoint you, I want you to try this again.
I do know that this is hard, and that when you’ve been hurt it is easier to stay quiet and to give in to shame and fear than it is to speak up and ask for help. Just know that we can work through that, ok?
It is your right to be supported and helped through this. So please ask your parent or another adult you trust to let me know how I can help you and them.
Who am I?
I am a Mother – one who has worked hard to help my own children overcome fear, worry and sadness. There were people who got in my way and caused my children to hurt a lot. So we know how you feel, and how your parents feel. My children are healthy and happy now, so if I can help them…then I can help YOU. (No, I don’t do this alone; there are lots of great people here who want to help you! It’s important to know I do this because I’m a good PARENT. I work with both mothers and fathers to help kids get what they need. Sometimes parents need help…so let’s see what we can do for them, too, ok?)
I am an Advocate – this means I work in our community to help others see what they need to do, helping them to do it BETTER, so that you can get what you need. Does that make sense?
I am a COACH! This is my JOB. I lift other people up and make them stronger, so that we can all make things better for you – our kids. If you have P.E. at school, or know about sports, you know about coaches, right? I love coaching kids! It’s my favorite thing to do…so think of me as someone who can help you do better in this challenging “game” that you want to win.
Did you know … there are many people here who want to help you? Leaders in our business community, in our schools, at our hospitals and in our neighborhoods…all who want to work to see you get what you need!
So if this feels right to you – and you can help me help YOU – ask an adult to help you get in touch with me.
How do we get in touch with each other? Easy… Use this page – click HERE – to send me your email and/or phone number.
~ Keep being Yourself ~ Believe ~ Play ~ Dream ~ Be a Kid! ~