Parent’s Corner – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

isolation

Dear Sue Ellen,

I saw this thing on TV about domestic violence and it said one of the danger signs of an abusive relationship is isolation.  It said abusive partners would try to keep you away from your friends and family.  It made me uneasy to hear that because my boyfriend wants me to move away from all my family and friends to a town where I don’t know anybody.  I love him, but I don’t think he should expect me to do that.  I try to talk to him about it, but he keeps on pressuring me to go.  I think I want to build a life with him but I really don’t want to move.  Should I stay or should I go?

Crystal

Dear Crystal

This is going to be really easy for me to say:   Don’t go!

The thing you saw on TV is right.  Abusive partners DO try to isolate their victims.  Does that mean your boyfriend is abusive?  Since you brought up the subject, let’s talk about abusive relationships.  An abusive relationship is when one person controls another person using criticism, emotional manipulation, threats, blaming, physical violence, anger, force, charm, lies, fear, monetary control and/or isolation as you already brought up.  An abuser will seem so charming and trustworthy at first.  He (or she…yes there are lots of women that are abusive) will seem too good to be true.  They are so appreciative but then, over time, subtle controls start.  Eventually a victim feels powerless to escape because they are mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically trapped.

You say you love this guy and you want to build a life with him.  Why wouldn’t you want to go with the person you are planning your future with?  There must be more to this story.  If some little voice inside you is telling you he really isn’t the one, please do yourself, and him, a favor and break it off.  How he handles your breakup will show you what kind of man he is.  Are you a little bit afraid to make him angry?  Deep down do you think he will try to harm you if you end it?  You don’t have to be honest with me, but your life depends on you being honest with yourself.

Let’s talk about love.  Love is good. If love is the core of your relationship with your boyfriend, you will be able to work this issue out together.  Love is patient and kind.  It is not jealous or boastful.  Love does not insist on its own way.  Love is not irritable or resentful.

Here is one more question for you to ask yourself.  Do you want this boyfriend of yours to become the father of your children?  If you go with this guy and he is abusive then your children will grow up in an abusive home.  Is that what you want for your future?  You have lots to think about.

Please email your parenting questions to sejackson@awarecentraltexas.org and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.

Parent’s Corner – Big Imaginations

imagination

Dear Sue Ellen,

My 4-year-old son, Timmy, tells me stories that I know aren’t true.  Granted, sometimes they are funny.  He told me that an eagle flew into our back yard and had an American Flag stuck in his tail feathers. Do eagles even have tail feathers?  The other day he dropped his cereal on the floor; the bowl broke; milk and cereal went everywhere, of course. When I asked him about it he gave me one of his lengthy explanations.  The short version is that a little boy about his age, who looked a lot like him, walked into the kitchen and was going to steal a bowl of cereal, but Timmy heard him; ran and got his Star Wars laser; and turned the boy into a skunk that knocked the cereal over and stunk up the whole kitchen.  Timmy said his laser was able to get rid of the skunk and his odor, but his laser didn’t like to clean up messes on the floor.  When he tells these stories he will argue they really happened.  Should I be concerned about Timmy’s big imagination?

Mommy-B

Dear Mommy-B

Storytelling is an old folk art.   Maybe your little one is going to grow up to be the next Mark Twain of his generation.  I wouldn’t worry too much about his delightful imagination, but I would suggest that you don’t let him watch too much TV.  There is so much awful stuff being shown, even on kids’ channels, that a boy with an imagination like your son’s could be pure trouble for him, and everybody around.  I am imagining it right now: it will start simple “I need a Spiderman Suit”, he might say.  Then it will grow into “I need a scientific laboratory so I can clone the cat”, or “I need my very own Tiny House on Wheels so I can drive to the wilderness and live with Bigfoot”.  (Whew!  I’m ready for a nap!)

At some point in time (sooner better than later) you will have to start teaching your son the difference between telling stories and telling the truth.   There is a time for both.  Stories are great as long as everybody knows it as a story and not the gospel truth.

I like the way you wrote your concerns. Have you thought about keeping a journal for your little boy?   You could encourage him to tell stories while you write them down.  That happened to me when I was a little girl.  My mother documented one of the many stories I told her.  To this day, I cherish those handwritten pages.  It was a tragic tale about a ballerina that had two broken arms and two broken legs. I found it years later when I was helping my parents clean out their attic.  Where did a five-year-old girl, that only watched Captain Kangaroo on TV, ever come up with a story like that?  Sometimes I surprise myself.

Yep…keep your son away from too much TV.

Please email your parenting questions to sejackson@awarecentraltexas.org and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.

Loud Kids

Dear Sue Ellen,

I am fed up with parents that let their kids scream in public places like restaurants and stores. Would you please send them a message for me? Tell them we are tired of parent’s not dealing with their kids in public places. Thank you.

– G.L.

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He’s Off to College

Dear Sue Ellen,

We are getting our son ready to leave for college and I am a wreck. I want to be supportive, but I am not ready for this. Do you have any words of encouragement?

– Wrecked Mom

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Creepy Neighbor

Dear Sue Ellen,

We just moved to a new neighborhood where we don’t know any of the people around us yet. It seems like a nice enough place to raise our daughter, but there is one guy down the street that lives alone and is strange. He takes walks around our block at night and it gives me the creeps because I feel like he is looking into people’s windows. He came over and tried to talk to my little girl the other day when she was playing outside. I made her come inside. How can I find out if he is a sex offender?

– Carrie

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Terrified

Dear Sue Ellen,

My ex-husband tried to choke me to death and only got sent to prison for 18 months. He is getting out next month and I am terrified that he will come after me. How can I protect myself and my child? Everybody thinks he is such a nice guy, but he is a monster. Nobody will believe me.

– Terrified

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Angry Old Bird

Dear Sue Ellen,

My kids drive me crazy. They don’t mind me, they are messy, disrespectful and don’t work. (They are 18 and 20 years old). They tease and call me an angry old bird and maybe it’s true, but I am ready for them to fly away. I love my kids but I wish you would give me some pointers on how to get rid of them.

– PK

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Where is Currier & Ives?

Dear Sue Ellen,

I am the proud grandmother of 6 grandkids. I love Christmas, but it just isn’t the same for me as when I was a kid. I don’t know if you ever saw those Christmas Cards with pictures by Currier & Ives where families were having the perfect holiday? That was my childhood. Something seems to be lost from those simpler days. I would like to give my grandkids special memories like that, but they don’t seem interested. Any suggestions?

– Nana

 

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Stress Wrapped in Christmas Paper

Dear Sue Ellen,

The holidays are always so hard for me. My kids want more stuff than I can afford to buy. We always spend more money than we should. We invite relatives over for Christmas dinner that we really don’t enjoy being around. I wish I could erase the month of December from my calendar. Do you think calling off the holidays altogether qualifies me as a neglectful parent?

– Stressed Out Mom

 

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Keeping Santa Real

Dear Sue Ellen,

What do you tell a little kid when they ask you if Santa is real?

– CC

 

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