Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's (and Single Mothers) Day!

I'd like to give a great big shout out to all those parents out there playing the role of dad in any way possible. That includes fathers, grandfathers, foster dads, dad-like role models and of course...the single mom who is both the mom and dad to her kids. Yeah...I'm patting myself on the back here.

Sometimes I worry that my kiddo is missing out because I'm a single mom and he doesn't have a dad in his life. Then I remember that he did once have a father in his life who beat his birth mother, got arrested and then abandoned his child. He knew his child was put into foster care and did absolutely nothing about it, all the while Christopher suffered. This "father" let his child suffer so much that the little guy has PTSD now because of it. Shame on you "dad".

One of the things I have had to struggle with on Christopher is his propensity to hit when he's angry or frustrated. We've been working on it a lot and he's become tons better. Last summer, he would eat something with sugar and artificial dye in it (Yoplait Gogurts and slushies were the worst), pick up a stick and in a zombie-like trance, start hitting any child within his reach. It was really creepy to watch actually and got him into lots of trouble. His nanny and he were escorted out of the Easton Children's Museum by an armed guard once because of this behavior. A therapist afterwards told me that the sugar/artificial dye combo were hitting his young, not-fully-developed brain in such a way as to trigger subconscious memories and he was just reliving behavior he had witnessed as a very young child. Armed with that scary information, I changed his diet the very next day. No more artificial way. It has made a huge difference.

I've also removed gluten and processed foods (ie anything that can break down into simple sugars), had him evaluated and treated by a behavioral pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and he continues to receive therapy through my advocating at school. I make sure my kid gets the help he needs to be happy and successful in life.

Lastly, I've started giving Christopher an allowance for doing chores around the house. He gets a dollar every Sunday if he picks up his toys, puts his dishes into the sink after each meal and puts his dirty clothes into the laundry basket. He will also lose 5 cents per episode whenever he hits his mama. Last week was a bit rough and he only got 45 cents but this week he did much better and he is going to receive his full dollar. I actually see him thinking about hitting before he does it and that's exactly what I'm trying to get him to do. He is learning to control himself now and that is a good thing.

If Christopher had stayed with his birth parents, he would have absolutely grown up to be an abuser of women. I have no doubt about that. But because he was removed from that environment at an early age and has received the appropriate guidance he needs, he will grow up to respect women.

So all that said, I don't feel at all guilty that Christopher doesn't have a dad here. His supposed father failed him so badly and this single mom has had to be the one to pick up the pieces. He's a happy kid now and that's what really matters.

Anyone can be a Father but it takes a very special person to be a daddy.

So Happy Father's Day to all you special daddies out there. Hope you all have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. I applaude what you are doing. I give you A LOT of credit. Happy Father's Day! ~~~ your friend, Doreen