Happy Father’s Day!!!

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June is the month that we celebrate hopefully the first significant men in our lives…..Yep, our fathers. Sadly, in this day and age, many individuals biological dads are not the first significant men in their lives. Often kids are born when the parents are still very young and young men, okay boys at this age are not equipped to see the bigger picture. The child that is easily influenced. So some men, not all but some take the easy road and become “the sperm donor” in their children’s lives.  For the men out there who are struggling to make sure their kids are taken care of….kudos to you. I have often heard the saying any man can make a baby but it takes a real man to be a father. To all the real men out there….thank you for your time, money, guidance and most importantly love. Although, it make not always be visible…..you are loved beyond measure.  My daughter absolutely adores her dad and I am so glad, I married a man who holds family values in high regards. He may not always get it right but he is present and he makes an effort.  That is all any of us can do. For all the men doing their part…..keep up the amazing work. For the men out there who have fallen short…..it is never to late to start being the wonderful father I know you can be.

 

 

What Makes a Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it … Dad
Author Unknown

 

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Communication Can Make or Break Families

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It has been laid on my heart to move from blogging a third person academic blog to speaking of communication in families from first hand experience with the knowledge I have gained academically and spiritually.  Family is one of the most important support systems that a person can have.  A family member can also be the most important thing the family has.

The pillar of my family was my grandfather.  He was a self made man.  Back in his day, a person could still do that without having certificates from a university saying that they are worthy of opportunity.  I was raised by my grandparents who valued integrity above all else but led by the faith of our higher power in which I choose to call God.  My grandparents believed in hard work and nothing was free.  They also believed in family.  We all knew that they valued family.  This belief was not conveyed in words but actions of support.  I now know that I needed to hear the words of love and see actions of love, not just morals and values on how to treat others outside of the home.  Lack of communication is generational in my family.

Six years ago my grandfather, at the age of 62, passed with pancreatic cancer.  It was a sudden and quick demise to death.  I was angry at God for taking the greatest person I had ever known and the one person I knew loved me unconditionally.  I would have given any of his monetary means up to have him back.  The lack of communication in my family caused huge gaps in-between each family subsystem under our patriarch.  Without his unspoken leadership, we began deteriorating as a family unit.  Thought processes were assumed by other members that where not factual but no one called the other and spoke of it.  This was steady fueling something that would soon explode.  The lack of communication allowed negativity to split our family unknowingly at the time.

On Thursday my brother called.  I have not spoken to him in a year.  Not due to any fractures between us but the fractures in our family.  He had the same question for me that I have had for all of my family.  What happened here and why?  Assumptions are dangerous and very misleading but can be doctored at the root and killed off with communication.  There is power in admitting wrongs and misgivings.  It demonstrates being humble but most importantly, that you are not putting yourself above the fracture that has occurred and you are not blaming anyone.  Lack of communication is to blame.  We often let pride and life get in our way of reaching out to those we feel wronged by.  Communicating with others allows some of the wrongs to be seen in their perspective and that wrong may not feel as wrong anymore.  My brother and I both left the conversation with a peace we had not felt in a very long time.

As I finish my education through one of the top universities in this nation, one of the greatest learning lessons I have gotten was this morning in a service by Bishop TD Jakes.  This message was about you.  It was about me.  It was about individuals taking on the power to change their life and surrounding themselves with good people.  Believing in yourself gives you power to reach out and communicate.  In his ministry, he is honoring and recognizing how important mental health is.  Jakes has made this his mental health awareness month.  He also spoke of having a team of counselors on staff because they are given the power to help with situations in your life.  My supervisor at Family First Counseling, Ms Megan Lee, told me that she is a Christian that counsels. Professional counselors can help with communication.  It is not a weakness to seek out help for you and your family.  This allows for healing and understanding to start.  We are in this field because it brings joy to our hearts to see families prosper.  Communicate with others and if that feels to intimidating, seek help to learn how to communicate.

 

Christy Ragle

 

What Is Passed Down To Us. Appreciating Your Parents!

What is Passed Down to Us

Can Your Appreciate Your Parents?

So what did your parents pass down to you? I’m not talking about a family heirloom or a large monetary sum.   I’m talking about what you emotionally inherited; what is passed down to us emotionally?  What talents or gifts do you have that your parents also have or had?  I’ve been doing this amazing Bible study by Beth Moore entitled The Patriarchs; Encountering The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I want to share with you what I gleamed from one particular part of the study.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the concept of “generational sins” or in other words “bad habits” that are passed down from one generation to the next and so on. Of course when you grow up with a parent that has a bad habit, lets say alcoholism or gambling, most of us strive to not turn into an adult with a similar addiction. Often our childhoods leave us with such deep scars and hurts that we say “I never want to be like my father/mother” and we focus on that idea so much that we begin to exclude everything else about that parent. In order to cope most people employ the popular emotional defense mechanism that goes something like this: “I want nothing from you, nothing to do with you and want to be nothing like you.”  We may strive to be better than our parents, but to achieve this, I challenge you to examine this common defense mechanism and grow beyond it.   Beth Moore in The Patriarchs talks about Genesis 26 in which Isaac is repeating some of his father Abraham’s sins.  Due to a famine in the land he had to dig up some of the very same wells that his father had dug because the Philistines had filled them in.  Isaac needed water, his father had already dug the wells, and the enemy had filled them in. Beth Moore asks the reader to apply this philosophically. She states the wells of refreshment that our parents passed down to us can be stopped up with “feelings of unworthiness, distance, disrespect and difference. An adult child stops up a well every time he/she throws out the positive inheritance with the negative.”   Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water! But don’t we often do that when we employ that common defense mechanism mentioned above? Do YOU want to be boiled down to the sum total of your sins? Meaning that you would only be described by your favorite sin? I know I sure don’t want to be thought of that way! But when we allow the hurt and anger from a parent to invade us to the point that we can see nothing good in them, that’s what we’re doing; we’re seeing them only as their sin or negative qualities. This is what the devil wants, he wants to rob you of positive inheritances from our parents. The devil wins when you allow anger a foothold in our heart that excludes the good qualities of your parent(s).

As Beth Moore wrote to her grown child: “Your parents strongholds do not equal your parents.”

It’s normal to say “I want nothing to do with ______sin or addiction.” But it’s healthy to recognize what our parents were gifted and blessed with, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t flawed people. Have you read the Bible? God uses some pretty flawed people to be his messengers. We can get a more accurate view of ourselves when we recognize the good characteristics of our parents and which ones we inherited from them. Then we can value the positive inheritance instead of defining ourselves and our parents by sins and mistakes made. You are not the sum total of the mistakes you have made and neither are your parents. The whole existence of mankind is made up of a lot of grey areas; don’t let your hurts paint people in broad brush strokes of black and white because it’s a disservice to them and to you!

Feminist Theory

 

 

Feminist Theory

Feminist Theory

 

Could the Feminist Theory belief be one to blame for the make of today’s family dynamics?

Feminist therapy was inspired during the Women’s Movement of the 1960’s. Its main focus was on empowering women and helping them discover how to break the stereotypes and molds of some traditional roles that women play that may be blocking their development and growth. The main goal of feminist therapy is not just to change the individual’s situation or mindset, but also to form a revolution that changes the way society views gender issues.

Many feel that it was this theory that destroyed the traditional family. Leaving many families as single family homes. So much… that single-parent families can no longer be viewed as nontraditional families. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that about 30 percent of American families are headed by only one parent.

It has been found through varied research that children in single-parent homes generally fare worse than those homes with two parents. There are also signs that children in these homes may have problems with depression, emotional stress, and difficulties in school. It has been found that adolescents from single-parent families were found to be three times more likely to be depressed than those living with two parents. Single parent homes are also associated with criminal activity in the U.S.A. Problems found in the single-parent household may not be because of the parent who raised these children, but can be linked to other things that are also related to single parenting. It has been pointed out that when there is only one parent, the family is often less well off financially and this is the main reason for so many family problems.

Tamika Lockett

Kids Don’t Come With An Instruction Manual

KidsDon'tComeWithAnInstructionManual

A friend and I were talking and she told me, “I hate when people say Kids don’t come with an instruction manual.”  She went on to explain that as a Christian we should never say this statement because we have the Bible.  I must humbly admit as a Christian that I have thought and said that exact statement to parents.  After speaking with my friend, I got to thinking about just exactly  what does the Bible say about parenting.  I did some intentional study of God’s Word, and what I discovered is that the Bible has a whole lot to say about parenting!  Although the Bible does not outline what to do in every situation a parent may face, God does  give parents a framework of guiding principles.

Teach Your Children Moral and Ethical Principles about Life — Be sure you are equipping your children with a moral and ethical code when you send them off into the world!

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Encourage Your Children — Don’t be the parent who is too hard to satisfied!

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Colossians 3:21

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:13

Discipline Your Children — Don’t be afraid to set up rules and limits; it is in their best interest!

A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

Proverbs 29:15

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 22:15

 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.

Proverbs 29:17

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive…”

1 Timothy 3:4

Teach Your Children about the Bible and to Love God — Prioritize developing your child’s spiritual growth!

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Psalm 78:4

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

…and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.   All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

Grandparents and Preschoolers

Grandparents

The past eight years I have worked at a preschool. Within those eight years, I’ve seen a high number of grandparents raising these youths today. On a caseload 54, I have a total of 26 grandparents raising these preschoolers. Even with the increase in grand-parents roles as caregiver appears to be continuing for the foreseeable future, and has implications for more research by family-science professionals, practitioners, and policy makers. Many studies have shown that many professionals have credited many of the social issues as the cause of this generation to become the main caregivers of these kids.   Many studies show things such as traumatic death of a parent to parent’s drug use have contributed to grandparents raising of many of these small kids. Even though many professionals feel that grand-parenting can come with advantages as well as disadvantages. These advantages/disadvantages have also been noted with helping the bonding of the generation gaps.

When looking at the many advantages that many of my families have in front of them, it’s one that I see and that’s the child keeping the grandparent young at heart.

I see that looking after a young child keeps grandparents energetic and vibrant even though their health may not be suitable for a continuous activity. This development alone helps create a security feeling that many grandchildren look after them when they become too dependent on others due to old age. When it comes to the advantage many of the kids, I see kids benefiting from the knowledge and upbringing of the experienced grandparents.  Over the last couple years, I’ve seen that grandparents spend a great deal of time playing and reading with the kids, this behavior alone has been said to promote healthy development for the preschooler.

While I have seen growth in many of my families, I also can see the down-side of this upbringing. Over the years I’ve seen many grandparents display their own medical and financial problems. One of the main issue; memory loss. Many of them have memory loss as well as physical disabilities, which makes it difficult to look after children. The poor financial status of the grandparents may affect the child’s health and education. Not to mention that caring for such younger kids can bring a great deal of stress onto the grandparents. But many grandparents are caring for these preschoolers in hope for a better generation.

Tamika Lockett