Posts filed under ‘Dad’

Good Grief Dad…It’s Only Money

I’m on a flight back to Chicago and I overhear the following conversation between a dad and his teenage daughter. She must have asked him for something, and this is how he responded. “… Didn’t I give you $173?” Smile from the daughter (I think she was a teen). “How much did you spend? You spent all of it??? That was $173 that I put on your card!!!” His teen daughter just smiled, although this time the smile looked a little sheepish. “You spent it all at Victoria Secret?” “I can’t believe you spent all of it!”

“You and your sister got your ears pierced? Who gave you permission to get your ears pierced?” This time his younger daughter spoke up and said “Mom told us it was okay with her if it was okay with you.” The father didn’t push the conversation any further, and the next thing I knew he was joking with the non-verbal daughter.

I felt sorry for dear old dad because from that brief conversation it was obvious that his daughters had him wrapped around their fingers; he was divorced from his wife, and they had not established rules on important things like piercings. Am I ancient or what? Reply and let me know if you agree that both Mom and Dad should agree on their kids’ having piercings or tattoos before they occur. Mark it hashtag dadparenting (#dadparenting)

C. Lynn Williams
#MsParentguru
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July 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

If you Divorce Mom Does it Mean You Divorce Me Too? #DivorceHurts

I remember when my parents divorced, I was actually happy! I know that sounds strange, but my dad had started drinking more heavily, and I felt Divorce_piecesuncomfortable around him. He was my lovable dad, but I didn’t like being hugged by him when he reeked of alcohol!

I was happy, and yet my family was breaking up. As a teen, I thought I understood (in my little teen mind) what was going on, but I had no idea that mom and dad divorcing would be a terrible thing for all of us, especially my brother. My mom initiated the divorce, the details didn’t really matter. What did matter was that once my dad moved out, our relationship as his children seemed to change forever.

He would tell my mom (or tell me) that he was coming to get us and visit, but often he didn’t. We saw him occasionally which didn’t make much sense to me, but I had already put up a wall of protection around me – so I told myself I didn’t care. I don’t remember how my sister felt, but my brother started acting out. He got in trouble in school; starting hanging around the ‘bad’ boy next door and stealing from the local store. When that happened, my dad came around and beat his behind. My law enforcement uncle came around more often to talk with my brother. He got the attention he craved, at a high emotional cost. As I became an adult, I asked my father why he promised to visit and didn’t. His answer was that he often had no money to give us and it was hard for him to come around us as a broke dad.

Yes, I truly felt that when our parents divorced, we also divorced the parent who left.  This story is for those of you with children who are contemplating divorce; already going through divorce or completely divorced. I get it! Living with someone you no longer get along with for whatever reason is unbearable. I’ve divorced too! I’m sure my children feel the sting that divorce left on them, because they no longer saw their father daily. Please consider an arrangement that allows your ex-spouse to see their kids as often as possible. Get your emotions and hurt feelings out of the way and allow your children to continue to love you and your ex no matter what.    #DivorceHurtsDivorce

 

If you want to read more #divorcehurts, follow My Blog and sign up for my Parenting Newsletter. Want to ask questions or dialogue with me about how tough adult issues affect our families; reach out to me on Twitter @cgwwbook or on my Facebook fan page www.Facebook.com/CGWWBooks.     #DivorceHurts

 

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Generational Development Strategist

www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)
 

P.S. Hey… I have a new book coming out soon about #BlendedFamilies.
Contact me if you want to read a short excerpt…

March 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm 2 comments

Keep Your Hands (and Other Body Parts) to Yourself

SexualAbuse2At the risk of sounding insensitive, I admit that I have gotten desensitized to news about priests and coaches molesting boys and girls. It happens so often, it seems like daily news. I don’t like it, and it seems to take forever for the truth to come out (the kids are usually adults). Of course, nobody believes that a man of the cloth or a favorite coach is touching our kids inappropriately. Wake up America! Did it ever occur that the ‘acting out’ that our kids are doing, may be related to a secret they are ashamed to tell you?

What I still can’t stomach, is when our teen girls tell us (mothers) that they are being sexually molested by their fathers, stepfathers, uncles (family members) and we don’t listen. What is that about? As I mentor teen girls and young women, I want to say that I’m shocked that mothers prefer to believe their (in some cases) pedophile boyfriend to their own daughter. The sex can’t be that good. To make matters worse, you kick your daughter out, because you can’t possibly believe her. Now what is she supposed to do?

Remember the movie Precious? Precious’ mother knew her husband (Precious’ biological dad) was having sex with his daughter and had fathered Precious’ two children. Yuck! But it happens, probably more often than we care to admit, and it’s a dirty little family secret – especially if a child is born. If there was ever a reason for castration, sexually molesting your kid, niece, nephew or granddaughter is number one as far as this mother is concerned! What are your thoughts?

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

February 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

When Parents Make Mistakes

ImageParents are invincibleinfallibleHuman!

My husband and I saw Black Nativity last night and I am glad we did! Being a person of color, we usually support movies with African-American actors, directors, film writers during the first weekend the movie airs to support it financially. While I love, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, I’m not crazy about musicals, so I almost missed a golden opportunity. If Black Nativity is still playing in your area, go see it! Anyway I digress… There was a line in the movie that absolutely spoke to me about PARENTING! Rev. Cobbs (Forest Whitaker), the estranged father of Naima (Jennifer Hudson) said “Parents make mistakes…I am so sorry that I meddled in your life.”

Have you ever felt that way about something that occurred between you and your teen or adult child? Were you able to admit it and have an honest conversation with your son or daughter? Or did pride keep you from opening the doors of communication with that person that you love with all of your heart and soul? The movie had another theme that has been really messing up my parenting theory about our teen (or twenty-something) daughters getting pregnant and having children without being married. When my daughter was a teen, we had the ‘SEX’ talk a few times. I wanted to make sure that she understood the consequences to getting pregnant. I felt (and told her) that she would have to move out if she got pregnant before getting married. I felt that way because she, her dad and I talked candidly about waiting until marriage to have sex; if she couldn’t wait then use birth control. I know you’re thinking OMG – it’s okay for her to have sex??? She did not get pregnant, but what if she had? Would I have made her leave home for this mistake? Would we have been estranged? What about her future? Would she have gone to college, grad school, or become the professional woman she is today?

Well, no I didn’t want her to have sex, but let’s be honest here;  part of the teen experience is that LOVELY puberty that starts to occur to our kids when they turn 12 or 13. The boys you couldn’t stand in fifth and sixth grade, now start to look a little less like wimps and more like hotties! A kiss on the lips, turns into raging hormones! Right?!? If your daughter loses control (and has sex) she’s screwed (no pun intended) unless she is taking birth control. Again I digress. So for mothers like me who take that hard line, what are our daughters supposed to do if they find themselves pregnant? That was the dilemma of Mary (Grace Gibson), the very pregnant and homeless teen in Black Nativity. She said, “I made a mistake and was kicked out. I have nowhere to go, so here I am pregnant and homeless.”

The other theme that caught my interest was the relationship between the mom (Naima) and her teenaged son (Langston). God, she really loved him (and he loved her too), but as a single mom trying to make a living for the two of them, she was unequipped to offer him the masculine discipline & love that he needed to grow into a man. Well I won’t tell the entire story, but I’d like to end with this: if you, and your son or daughter have not spoken to each other because of miscommunications or disappointments, reach out and call them and begin to mend the fences. There is nothing worse that not having an opportunity to say “I’m sorry” and having regrets for the rest of your life.

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

January 14, 2014 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

Dads Are Important Too

family Christmas and other dad traditions

family Christmas and other dad traditions

When I think of the holidays, Christmas especially, I think of my dad and my granddad. As I write this post, a myriad of memories crowd into my heart about the men in my family. Today is ‘Dad’s Turn’. My dad would drive our family through different neighborhoods to look at the Christmas decorations. A day or two before Christmas, we would pick out a Christmas tree and decorate it. ..Lots of fun

My dad was usually the parent that my siblings and I could count on to ‘play’ with us and have fun. He would jump out of the closets and scare us, and tell us stories about him and his brothers growing up. He was the male balance of our household – the last word. When he would play with us, we’d forget he wasn’t a kid like us and be disappointed when he became ‘Dad’ again. No fair… We would drive every week to our grandparents to spend Sundays with them and the Ed Sullivan Show. I hated that show, but loved the family time together. I loved watching my dad interact with his dad. They looked just alike, except for the age difference. While Dad was disciplined, Granddad was even more disciplined, yet he let me do things I couldn’t do with my own dad like comb his hair, and push in the buttons on his very cool Dodge dashboard. Granddad also smoked a pipe and had the most delicious smelling tobacco.

As a young girl growing up, Dad was always there. He may have been preoccupied, or asleep on the couch, but I remember the time he spent with us. I knew what he expected of me. I also knew I could trust him. His way was different from Mom’s. They both meant business; however when Mom told us she was going to ‘tell Dad’, we knew it would not be good. As much fun as we had with him, he was a former ‘military’ man and didn’t tolerate nonsense!

Like most families in the sixties, he was a family man. I never understood why he didn’t do housework. Okay yes he cut the grass, painted things when necessary, and barbecued the meat during holidays, but it never made sense that we (the Gist kids) had to wash walls and clean up the kitchen! When I had the nerve to ask why we had to wash walls, he would say “You dirtied them up didn’t you?” Let me just say that after washing the walls, we kept our hands off the walls! While Dad didn’t cook much except BBQ, occasionally he made lunches for us – fried Spam sandwiches and tomato soup. Yummy! He’d cut the sandwiches into shapes and while no one today would dare eat a Spam sandwich, it was another fun time with Dad.

A lot of those traditions changed as our family went through the transition of divorce and separation, I remember the times when I didn’t see my dad much. He would promise to come by for a visit, and never show up. My mom was careful not to talk bad about him to us, so all we had then was disappointment. I didn’t reestablish my relationship with him until the summer before I left for college. I had sassed my mother and wasn’t on speaking terms with her, so I cherished the times I got to spend with dad. We talked about a lot of topics, and I got a chance to know him as a person. I asked him about the times he didn’t show up and how disappointed we were. I remember him saying that he was barely getting by (financially) and didn’t want to show that side of himself (to us).

Perfect, he was not. Necessary to me growing into the woman I am now, very definitely! Today, there are a lot of girls growing into woman without the benefit of their dad. Woman decide what men they will become involved with based on the relationship they have with their father (dad), stepdad, grandpa or other positive male role model. Merry Christmas Dad!

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach
Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

December 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Love Isn’t Always Easy or Convenient

Love Isn’t Always Easy or Convenient

Both of our parents are elderly. My dad is 81, and my mother-in-law is 79. The good news is that they both live on their own. However, even though they both live alone, one is experiencing temporary memory loss, while the other has been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer.

While visiting Dad, I found myself treating him like one of my children. It felt very odd to remind him to do things, that I took for granted he did. Yet, like my kids, he needed reminders to do what he normally would do (without my help). Take eating healthy. Dad is a big proponent of juicing, exercising and eating moderate amounts of food, yet he’s consuming more sweets than ever seen before. Looks like lunch has been replaced with coffee and a sweet something or other. Another thing, every couple of weeks he’s having something new repaired on his car. When I ask him why, he says, “I want my car to run well.” It already runs well… I’m concerned that he’s wasting his money, or worse, TV ads are convincing him to spend money unnecessarily.saturn car

You’re probably saying, hey that’s not a big deal! He can still take care of himself! Well what happens when he forgets (again) how to get to the VA Center, which he has driven to for years? Or how do you tell your elderly mother, that you have to take her car keys because she continues to get lost and has to have someone call you because she doesn’t know where she is? Loving your parents means that you care for them, (and make those hard care decisions) when they can no longer care for themselves.  

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010) The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)

Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

November 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm 9 comments

Patiently Waiting for Dad

As I travel back to my hometown, I think about my annual weekend visit spent with my dad. We talk weekly, but seeing Dad face to face is another story altogether. Over the phone he sounds pretty normal; a little more cantankerous the older he gets, but still my wonderful dad. Up close, I get to see how time has started to slow his walk considerably and determines how many household chores he is able to accomplish at any one time. Seeing him, I understand that it really is difficult to cook dinner and talk to me on the phone at the same time, because he has to focus.

Although he is prescription and disease free, his short-term memory comes and goes, which is really scary. During our weekend together, I didn’t understand his need to stay in the house and decided he was just being a stick-in-the mud. horsebuggyI remembered that “he’s eighty-one years old, and while he looks to be in his early seventies, his body (and mind) probably feel his actual age. Did I mention that he doesn’t have the modern conveniences I think all households have – cable TV and Internet access? So once I got it into my technology driven mind that Dad lived in the horse & buggy era, I collected my thoughts, reminded myself how glad I was to have a dad that loved me and who was alive, and I challenged him to a game of Scrabble. Parenting 101: enjoy your family with the tools that are readily available! Guess What? His mind was alert enough to beat me by nine points! Ahhh.

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach
Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

November 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm 1 comment

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