Posts filed under ‘Adoption’

Do father’s have equal rights when battling custody?

It seems that times are in constant change. One topic I’ve heard plenty over the course of my research to publish SPMagazine.Net is that father’s have to fight super hard to gain custody rights of their children. Or in the least, fight an expensive battle just to spend a little extra time with their children who were once under the same roof as their dads on a daily basis. If the kids want to be with the other parent, put your differences aside. Trust me, it will help you in the long run.

The fathers I have met in the last couple of years have brought tears to my eyes. Why? They will put off anything to spend quality time with their children and I feel like my son was short-handed. His father, who unfortunately gives other fathers a bad rap making the court system what it is today, spends zero time with his son. Yet he expects his son on Father’s Day because there is a big feast. Everyone in his circle of friends and family expects a father and son, obviously. To show up without a kid would be detrimental to the image he’s been portraying – a tattoo with this son’s name and birthday. The bad mom that doesn’t let him spend that quality time with his son. I recently found out that he had been telling lies for years saying he calls to see his son all the time but I wouldn’t allow it. A fallacy that kills me because the one thing I promised myself  as a child was never to do that to my own kids. You see, my mother did that to my siblings and I and it was not fair to us. It’s been a difficult time forgiving my mother for what she did.

Children are used as tools by some mothers, giving mother’s like me a bad rap – and a believable lie to use for some men, not going to point fingers. 🙂 I have seen first hand, second hand, and whatever other terms there are to use, how women who claim to love their children will use their kid(s) as pawns just to get their way whether it is for financial gain or because of emotional injury.

Here’s a message for mothers and/or fathers, FORGET for  a minute that the other hurt you or is not paying child support. The children and your personal adult misunderstandings and issues have nothing to do with parenting. If you can truly say your children enjoy the other parent and they miss them (unless there are addictions like alcoholism and/or scary pedophiliac tendencies) let them spend time with the other parent!

My son wishes now more then ever that his father took part in his life – he’s in his early teens. Don’t take away from the child any quality time with the other parent because you can’t turn back time. Hard as it may be emotionally, give in for the child’s sake and find some busy hobbies, work, time with friends and family, anything to help you through that time away from the kid(s). And when your kid(s) grow up, they WILL appreciate your good efforts. It comes back to you, so think about the future! Don’t ruin a good relationship with your children.

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July 7, 2009 at 1:00 PM 11 comments

Should children be spanked?

Diane and Peter on a boat in St. Maarten

On a boat in St. Maarten - Mom and son vacation continues to be a yearly priority, no matter how much harder I have to work.

Are you raising your child(ren) the same way you were raised? Spanking as a form of punishment is not like it used to be and if you are one of many raised by ‘the belt’, than you’re probably nodding your head. Most people will tell you stories about their childhood that make you cringe. Many parents today who experienced harsh forms of childhood discipline refuse to raise a hand to their children while others fall into the same pattern, with feelings of guilt after their actions.

As a product of a harsh disciplinary upbringing, I made a conscious decision not to spank. However, I am guilty of going against my will. On those rare occasions, I felt this uncontrollable urge that ended in spanking my son on the buttocks or on his arm. In the end, it left me feeling horribly regretful – even though it was nothing close to what I had endured as a kid.

For my child, my main choice for disciplinary action was through time-outs (1 minute per age) and it was by far more effective. Spanking brought on rebellion, anger and the urge for my child to hit me back.

For hours after those few times I spanked my son I remember my guilty conscious would get the best of me, keeping me up wondering why and how I can ensure I wasn’t a repeat offender. I often I asked myself, was the spanking (or yelling – a whole different animal) a part of my child’s misbehaving or was there something else lingering behind my actions (besides a natural instinct from my upbringing)? In most, if not all cases, it wasn’t my son’s misbehavior. The culprit was usually a bad day at work, a situation with a friend or family member, feeling lonely as a single parent and in need of a mommy break. The list of excuses can go on but in the end it was something else and my son was getting punished for it.

Parenting is never easy and it’s even more demanding when there is only one parent dealing with the day to day list of demands.  At the end of the day, I  look back and feel satisfied as a parent because I did something about my guilty conscious by trying harder each time to control my urges. My son is happy, treats his elders and everyone that comes in contact with him with respect, and has few memories (can count them in one hand) of spanking as a form of discipline and many memories of time well spent. I think that was the main secret, I spent a lot of time with him and we had a lot of fun.

So, don’t beat yourself up! If you’re reading this, you are obviously a GREAT parent who wants the best for your child(ren) and I commend you for that.

Here are sites that might help on this topic:

Why NOT to Spank

http://www.principalhealthnews.com/topic/spanking6to12

Time-Out Proponents / Time-Out Opponents (from one of my favorite sites, about.com)

http://childcare.about.com/od/behaviors/qt/timeouts.htm

On Spanking: Raising Children 1-3 and 3-6 at AHealthyMe.com

http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/spanking1to3

http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/spanking3to6

If it’s your strong belief to use spanking as a form of discipline, here’s a helpful ‘How To’ guide:

http://www.wikihow.com/Include-Spanking-in-Child-Discipline

Share your story and/or thoughts by adding a comment. Are you a single parent or step parent? Visit SP at www.spmagazine.net for information on our publication.

May 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM 11 comments

Topics for Single Moms, Single Dads & the Blended Families

I’m laying on my sofa on a beautiful day (my son is sick) and I’m contemplating what topics to bring single parents and blended families on the next issue of SP Magazine. At this point, I really should have already had general topics for the rest of the year but in my world, not so much. However, I can now focus on SP thanks to a wonderful new start.

So, I will ponder on this and when I come up with some ideas, and hopefully some tips from awesome participating single parents and step parents, I’ll get back on here and share!

May 16, 2009 at 8:19 PM 2 comments

Single Parent Adoption (An Article from SP Magazine’s Issue 1 Volume 1)

Single Parent Adoption

Lucy Aponte

 

In 1977, as a single mother of three I ventured to adopt, unaware of the prejudices I faced as a single Latina woman. I was excited as I entered the NY agency for my interview. Introducing herself the worker led me towards the elevator. I wondered if my child was amongst the little children we passed in the halls and in the elevator. Little did I know, the worker had already decided I would not qualify to adopt.

So, after confidently answering the questions posed to me, I was told there were no children. The children I had seen, she claimed when I asked her, were not for adoption. I could not believe that in this huge building, there was not one child that needed a mother’s love. In fact thousands of children lived isolated, hidden deep within the bellies of such institutions; alone, unloved and parentless.

Confused and feeling inadequate, I left with tears in my eyes.  

 

It would be another year before I’d have the courage to try again. But, this time research led me to the New York Council on Adoptable Children.  At COAC I learned that my experience with the previous agency was commonplace for single parents wanting to adopt. I was relieved to learn from the counselor that there was nothing wrong with me.  They helped me through the process of looking and deciding what kind of child I could parent. Although I originally wanted a two year old, I was willing to take an older child. All children yearn for love and family and I had that to give.

 

Ten-year-old “Michael,” ironically lived under the supervision of the agency that had rejected my application. He had a severe developmental disability and did not speak. Experience with baby sitting my Downs Syndrome cousin gave me the confidence to meet such a challenge. Visits began, first at the institution and then weekends at home. When I’d visit Michael, other children grabbed me kissing my hand, hoping I would take them home. Michael would possessively lead me towards the door so we could leave. I detested going to that institution and after three months I insisted I was ready to take him home. The institution was reluctant and warned I’d be back with him within two weeks.

 

Michael came home on three psychotropic drugs to manage behavior. Most of his misbehavior was due to lack of basic social skills, because of low expectations by previous care-takers. We taught him to use the toilet, tie his shoe laces, eat with a spoon and fork and we all learned sign language, so he could communicate. With patience, consistency and training Michael acquired social skills that allowed him to integrate within the family and freed him from drug-induced immobilization and isolation.  

Weeks of shampooing uncovered Michael’s natural blond hair beneath the brown grime. For the first time, he had clothes that fit and that he didn’t have to share. Rather than gauze to hold his pants and to lace his shoes, he wore a belt and tied real laces. I wonder today, if the hospital is still waiting for his return.

 

 

Three years after Michael, we heard about 8 month old Daniel, a boarder baby. I knew I could care for a sick baby, I was a nurse. But, learning he was terminally ill stopped me dead in my tracks. I did not want a baby to die in my home. He’d go to an institution, as he was due for discharge. His doctors and my children convinced me he’d be better with us. So, after two months of visits Daniel came home. We would give him loads of love in his final month and lots of holding.

 

Daniel would never sit, stand, nor walk, predicted doctors. But, my fourteen year old daughter Kim, decided he would do so before he died. So, every day Kim exercised Daniel, strengthening his back, neck and abdominal muscles. She’d stand him on her feet to practice walking through the apartment. One month later, Daniel walked between Kim and me into the clinic, holding our hands. The doctors were excited and took him up to the intensive care unit for his nurses to see how he’d grown. They were thrilled to see him and passed him around. These visits became a must at each appointment. Daniel had countless emergency situations, hospitalizations and three near death experiences over the next 12 years. Yes, he survived that first month and today, he is a twenty seven year old young man, doing well. He came to be known as “The Miracle Baby” of Jacobi Hospital.

Single parent adoption is more common today but too many children are still waiting for their permanent family.

Contact COAC @ 212-475-0222 for adoption information.

October 26, 2008 at 8:24 PM Leave a comment


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