Parent’s Corner -Not So Thankful at Thanksgiving

Blue Angry Bird

11-14-16

Dear Sue Ellen,

My sister-in-law is the most controlling person I have ever seen.  Whenever she comes over the first thing she does is adjust the thermostat of my house. She orders us to all be very quiet when she puts her baby down for a nap.  Her son is just an infant and she is already telling us what we can and cannot say around him.  I hate it when they come over and yesterday she told my husband they are planning to spend Thanksgiving weekend with us.  I can’t think of one thing about their visit that I will be thankful for.  Is there any gracious way to get out of this?

S.B.

 

Dear S.B.

Here are some suggestions for getting out of having your sister-in-law’s family visit Thanksgiving weekend:

Lying is a weak option. You need a truthful reason.  Make plans to go out of town for the weekend and tell them you won’t be home.  Then leave town and visit a distant relative.

This suggestion may cost you a little so you’ll have to decide if it is worth the investment.   Burn the turkey.

This option is much more involved and requires a long-term commitment. Go to the pound and adopt a dog or cat. Tell them your new puppy or kitten needs an adjustment period before anyone comes over.

Get your husband to blame you and say you don’t want any guests for the weekend.  If you are lucky, they will stay mad at you for a few months; or at least long enough to get you through the next few weeks.

Extended family members visiting can be stressful, especially during the holidays.  Whatever you decide to do about your sister-in-law, try to have peace, and allow time to reflect on things you are thankful for.  If they come over for the weekend anyway, watch the old movie ‘Mary Poppins’.  There is a good life lesson in the song she sings: “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”.  So when your sister-in-law has been with you for a couple of days and you are ready to screech at her and pull her hair out, remember that little song.  I hope it helps.   Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

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

 

Parent’s Corner – Jealousy

 

preteens-siblings_fighting111-6-16

Dear Sue Ellen,

I have two daughters that are 3 years apart.   They are 9 and 12 years old.  My older daughter is a drama queen.  My younger daughter is quiet and sweet.  My older daughter is sweet too, but everything is just very emotional with her. She is closer to her dad, which is interesting because he is somewhat of a drama queen too.  It’s like my older daughter and my husband relate to each other on some level that my younger daughter and I don’t understand.  Anyway, my younger daughter is jealous of her flamboyant older sister.  I see it, but I don’t know how what to do about it.

Mary Beth

 

Dear Mary Beth,

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was sharing her life growing up with her sister and parents.  My friend loved her childhood, but said her older sister claims they had a terrible time growing up.  I have heard other people say similar things about their childhood.  How two people growing up in the same home can have such different opinions about growing up is a mystery to me.

Jealousy is a terrible thing.  It is like a disease.  It starts out small, but grows in our dark places, like cancer.  For years, I watched two of my cousins, who were sisters, at family get-togethers.  The older sister had been a sick child and had required a lot of her parent’s attention.  The younger sister was always in the background.  Rather than show concern and want to help her older sister, she was jealous because she wasn’t the one getting all the attention. When they were adults, the younger sister turned her back on her parents and her sister, breaking their hearts. Jealousy separates families. Jealousy is not rational, and does not believe in truth.  Jealousy likes to be angry, hateful, spiteful and revengeful.  Harboring bad feelings of rejection or misunderstandings can feed jealousy.  Jealous is the ultimate selfishness.

Try to get counseling for your family.  Talk to your husband and see if he will go for it.  If you bring your concerns out to the open, perhaps you can resolve this thing before it has a chance to turn into something ugly.  We all get jealous sometimes, but how we deal with it is the important part.  Your youngest daughter might just grow out of her jealous phase, but if she doesn’t, your family will have a real problem to deal with.

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

 

Parent’s Corner- Night Shift

mother-and-child-reading

Night Shift

10-31-16

Dear Sue Ellen,

My husband has recently been put on the night shift at his job. Our son is 3 years old. My husband would always be the one to put him in bed every night.  They would read stories together.  Now I am reading and tucking him in at night and he wants his daddy to do it.  He cries for his daddy every night and I don’t know what to do.

Carla

 

Dear Carla,

Things get hard in life sometimes.  Most of us parents want our children to have a perfect life.  We learn soon enough it isn’t possible to be that perfect parent who gives their children that perfect life.  When things get tough for families we beat ourselves up and feel guilty, or we worry that we have let our children down.

Children are amazing and resilient; more so than we are.  We should let them teach us how to be that way again.  We are usually mistaken about the things our children remember from their childhood. You may see your husband being away from your little boy at bedtime as a bad thing because he misses his daddy.  Have you considered the possibility that you and your little boy will make some lasting memories together when he adjusts to you reading him bedtime stories, rather than his daddy?

Your little boy may remember this: “When I was a little boy my mother and father read to me at bedtime.  Sometimes it was my Daddy and sometimes it was my Mama”.  What’s wrong with that?  When your little boy cries for his Daddy, let him.  Validate his feelings.  We all miss our Daddies sometimes.  Get your husband to leave him a message on your phone to reassure him.  Then read him his favorite story, tickle him, rub his back, tuck him in and kiss his sweet little boy cheeks.  Over time, he will adjust and so will his parents.

When I was a little girl, my Daddy could stick nickels in his ears and they would come out of mine.   It was magical!  That’s what I remember about my Daddy working the night shift and my mother working during the day.

 

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

 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month- October

domestic-violence

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.

It is not always easy to determine in the early stages of a relationship if one person will become abusive. Domestic violence intensifies over time. Abusers may often seem wonderful and perfect initially, but gradually become more aggressive and controlling as the relationship continues. Abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness, or distrust. Abusers may apologize profusely for their actions or try to convince the person they are abusing that they do these things out of love or care. However, violence and control always intensifies over time with an abuser, despite the apologies. What may start out as something that was first believed to be harmless (e.g., wanting the victim to spend all their time only with them because they love them so much) escalates into extreme control and abuse (e.g., threatening to kill or hurt the victim or others if they speak to family, friends, etc.). Some examples of abusive tendencies include but are not limited to:1

  • Telling the victim that they can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of the victim’s family and friends and time spent away
  • Accusing the victim of cheating
  • Keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming the victim with put-downs
  • Controlling every penny spent in the household
  • Taking the victim’s money or refusing to give them money for expenses
  • Looking at or acting in ways that scare the person they are abusing
  • Controlling who the victim sees, where they go, or what they do
  • Dictating how the victim dresses, wears their hair, etc.
  • Stalking the victim or monitoring their victim’s every move (in person or also via the internet and/or other devices such as GPS tracking or the victim’s phone)
  • Preventing the victim from making their own decisions
  • Telling the victim that they are a bad parent or threatening to hurt, kill, or take away their children
  • Threatening to hurt or kill the victim’s friends, loved ones, or pets
  • Intimidating the victim with guns, knives, or other weapons
  • Pressuring the victim to have sex when they don’t want to or to do things sexually they are not comfortable with
  • Forcing sex with others
  • Refusing to use protection when having sex or sabotaging birth control
  • Pressuring or forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol
  • Preventing the victim from working or attending school, harassing the victim at either, keeping their victim up all night so they perform badly at their job or in school
  • Destroying the victim’s property

It is important to note that domestic violence does not always manifest as physical abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence. Lack of physical violence does not mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuse.

Additionally, domestic violence does not always end when the victim escapes the abuser, tries to terminate the relationship, and/or seeks help. Often, it intensifies because the abuser feels a loss of control over the victim. Abusers frequently continue to stalk, harass, threaten, and try to control the victim after the victim escapes. In fact, the victim is often in the most danger directly following the escape of the relationship or when they seek help: 1/5 of homicide victims with restraining orders are murdered within two days of obtaining the order; 1/3 are murdered within the first month.2

Unfair blame is frequently put upon the victim of abuse because of assumptions that victims choose to stay in abusive relationships. The truth is, bringing an end to abuse is not a matter of the victim choosing to leave; it is a matter of the victim being able to safely escape their abuser, the abuser choosing to stop the abuse, or others (e.g., law enforcement, courts) holding the abuser accountable for the abuse they inflict.

PARENT’S CORNER – Monsters at My Door

Monsters at My Door

10-24-16

Dear Sue Ellen,

I am a mother of 3 kiddos and they are getting excited about Halloween.  We live in a neighborhood that gets behind trick or treating, and it is a lot of fun.  The thing I have seen the past couple of years is how much more evil-looking the costumes are. When I was a kid we dressed as Strawberry Shortcake, Wonder Woman, Superman and cute scarecrows; stuff like that.  Now kids want to dress up as Zombies, vampires and terrifying aliens.  I am thinking about boycotting any kids coming to my door for treat-or-treat that are dressed in violent, evil costumes.  Will you join me in my campaign?

Sensible Mama

 

Dear Sensible Mama;

I too long for sweet princesses in pink and dashing pirates to entertain me on Halloween rather than (fake) blood-drenched ghouls.  It’s been my observation over the years that there has always been an element of the dark side lurking around on Halloween night.  The word on the street is Halloween represents a pagan celebration where you release your evil tendencies in preparation for a day of cleansing on November 1st.

You have inspired me to start my own campaign.  It wouldn’t be to punish scary little monsters at my door; it would be to fine their parents for using poor judgment in how they let their children dress up for trick-or-treat.  I would post signs everywhere that says “if you come to this door as a bloody hooker, zombie, alien, vampire, plastic axe toting monster or any other not-so-nice character, your parents will receive a $10 fine for letting you dress that way”.  I would appoint Costume Police to serve every neighborhood and even include rural areas where the tradition of trick-or-treat is celebrated.  Inappropriately dressed children would be sent home.  I would also determine what tricks would be allowed, for that night only.  For example:  rolling someone’s yard would be okay, but you can only use 1 double roll of any brand toilet paper.  Egging a house would not be permitted.  There would be a curfew.   The witching hour would end at midnight if it is on a weekend night (Friday or Saturday); and 9:00PM if it is a school night.  I would use all the $10 fines to award churches, clubs and other organizations that offer alternative celebrations such as fall harvests and trunk & treat parties.

In retrospect, this campaign makes me sad when I think about all the little innocent children that would be left out because their parent’s let them dress in a way that is not allowable.  Therefore, I respectfully withdraw from participating in either your, or my, campaign.

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

closet-monsters

Parent’s Corner – I Am Afraid

 

10-31-16

 

I Am Afraid

Dear Sue Ellen,

I can’t give you my name because I am afraid.  My boyfriend is getting more and more hateful towards me.  I tried to break up with him, but he threatened to kill me if I did.  He’s all nice around everybody else, but when it’s just me and him, things are different.  Nobody believes that such a nice guy would every harm anyone.   I don’t know how to get out of this situation.  Please help me.

No Name

 

Dear No-Name:

You are in a very dangerous place.  Did you know that everyday three women die from domestic violence in America?  Some abusers are masters at covering their tracks.  You must find a way to get out of this situation.  There are shelters for victims of domestic violence, but charges have to be filed with police.  If he hasn’t physically abused you, or if you don’t have proof of the threats he has made, it will hinder the police from doing anything to protect you.

You must come up with a plan.  If you stay with this guy, it will only get worse.  Domestic Violence can be: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse or a combination of all four.  I spoke to an expert in the field of domestic violence prevention and this is what she said about your situation.

You did the right thing by reaching out.  Leaving an abusive relationship is not only hard, but it is dangerous. In fact, violence may increase by as much as 75% upon separation. You need a plan that addresses how you are going to maintain safety while you are still with him; what things you need to do before you leave; and how you plan to be vigilant and safe after you leave.

I won’t lie to you and say everything’s going to be okay or that it will be easy to get out of this nightmare. There are many programs that can help you.  It’s just a matter of knowing about them and reaching out.  You can educate yourself about your rights as a victim and choose to regain control of your life.  It is possible for you to live free of fear and abuse.  Your local police department may have a victim assistance coordinator or another professional that can help you.  You have the right to speak to law enforcement without your boyfriend knowing.

Remember:  Safety is first and foremost right now.

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

afraidne

 

 

Save the Date – Barnes & Noble Bookfair

 

Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 9 am at the Market Heights Barnes & Noble, plus five days of additional online accumulation through November 4. Our bookfair proceeds will arrive mid-November in time for the purchase of new books for Christmas On The Farm! Remember online means you can help from anywhere! Thank you in advance!

barnes-noble-bookfair

 

Urgent Help Needed ASAP

Microphone AnnouncementAttention: ALL Certified Volunteers

We need your help! The task involves reviewing scanned documents and renaming it based on the date and title/description. You need a computer and a secure internet connection. Most private home WIFIs are okay.

This is a time-sensitive and confidential assignment. Please contact Dd for background information and details.

(254) 307-9098 (call or text)
ecdedios@awarecentraltexas.org

Respectfully,
Dd
Family Violence Unit Director

 

 

 

Gender Issues

Dear Sue Ellen,

My daughter just opened up to me about liking girls. I was shocked but grateful that she trusts me. I’m worried about her getting bullied at school and church because she’s pretty active and involved in both. I’m mostly worried more about other adults telling her things that will hurt her feelings. The last thing I want is for her to lose faith because of intolerance and insensitivity from other Christians. What should I do? I want to protect her forever. I know I can’t but I still try? She’s my first born child and only daughter.

– Nanay

Read more

Paid Position Available: FVU Community / Social Service Specialist

Position Summary

Under the direction of the Family Violence Unit Director, the FVU Community / Social Service Specialist will direct, manage, supervise, and coordinate the activities and operations of the Family Violence Unit, to include but not limited to: providing direct service to victims and survivors of domestic violence, facilitating peer support groups, assisting victims with Crime Victim’s Compensation, Permanent Protective Orders, and other relevant services unique to individual needs. The FVU Community / Social Service Specialist will also oversee volunteer advocate activity to include (but not limited to) recruiting, retention, and training. Fringe benefits includes 1.5 days of PTO (Paid Time Off) per month.

For More Information

Visit http://bit.ly/fvu1718.

To Apply

Schedule an interview, by calling Dd at (254) 307-9098, Monday-Friday, between 3PM-5PM.