May 092011
 

There is a saying that goes like this, “In life we mainly see what we look for”. I think that all of us at one time or another has looked for the worst in our situations, only to have it become our reality. Why is it that some people see themselves, and their lives, in such a negative way that they can’t seem to figure out why nothing ever goes right for them? Why is it that we as parents sometimes see the negative things in our children, and then wonder why they lose confidence in themselves? Why is it that we are all products of what our minds tell us, rather than what are dreams instill in us?

Our minds are like a movie, replaying over and over again what we see in them. If we constantly see the past, present or future as a negative thing, then that is how our movie will play out. If we see our children never amounting to anything, then that is the movie we will portray to them. If we see every little thing that has gone wrong with our lives as a bad thing, rather than a lesson, then we will never be able to create a happy ending to our movie.

Our experiences are just life’s lessons, not defining moments. They are just one of the the scenes in our movie that occurred prior to us becoming wiser. Never forget that your mind is constantly creating a movie that is playing right before you. Even more importantly, never forget that you are the director, producer and writer of you own movie. If you want to create a sad ending you can do that, but if you want to create a happy ending, where all of your dreams come true, then you can do that as well. It is all up to YOU and only YOU. Why not start today creating an Academy Award winning movie that will bring you happiness, joy and success for not only you, but your entire family. Continue reading »

May 062011
 

Single parents resulting from a divorce know one thing for sure, communication can be a constant challenge. No matter how “business-like” you try to be, those pesky hurt feelings, emotions, and yes, anger, rise up on occasion. Also, sometimes as a parent we want things from our children–a hug, a call, an iloveyouverymuch– they may not feel ready to give at some given moment. Recently a parent asked me:

What to do say if you have the kids for the weekend and the child is supposed to call the other parent but he or she refuses? This can be tricky because you might not know if a situation has transpired between the other parent and child or say the child might just feel “busy” watching t.v. or playing a game. Continue reading »

May 022011
 

Someone once told me that life is like taking a train ride. The unique part about it is that from start to finish, you and only you, will be the only one on the entire ride.  Oh sure others will join you for part of your ride, but again you and only you, will be the only one on the entire ride. The ride usually starts off slowly and calmly, but before you know it the train picks up speed and you seem to be flying along faster than you might be comfortable with. There will be twists and turns, peaks and valleys, happiness and sadness along the way, but again you and only you, will be the only one on the entire ride.  The train will occasionally stop along the way and others will join you, but again you and only you, will be the only one on the entire ride.

I often have thought about the times on the ride, where we knew that we were about to enter a dark tunnel, and just couldn’t seem to do anything about it. It’s just part of our ride. Once in the tunnel darkness consumes us, and depending upon the length of the tunnel, our fear of disaster is heightened. We worry that our ride is about to turn into a train wreck. What I have learned on my ride, especially during those trips into darkness, is that we always come out of the tunnel to the light again. I have also learned that since I will surly exit the tunnel intact, I sure as the heck want to make sure that I don’t do anything, while in the darkness, that I will be embarrassed for, ashamed of or regret once I come out of the tunnel. I want to approach each and every dark tunnel with confidence, hope and dignity because again, I will exit the tunnel, and I and only I, will be the only one on the entire ride.

I have also thought about all of the people who so far who have joined me on my train ride. From friends to family, from associates to enemies, and from those that were close to me at the time, to the total strangers. Some of these people are still on the ride with me, and hopefully many of them will stay on the ride with me for some time to come. The crazy thing about those who join me is that I never really know when, or if, they are going to get off. Each time I feel the train starting to slow down I wonder is someone I know is getting off or is someone new about to join me? I even wonder, God forbid, is this the end of the ride for me. Continue reading »

Apr 252011
 

I have always said that I am the most blessed father in the world to have my children. Raising them on my own has definitely been a challenge, but with challenges come great rewards. I hope that I can just keep the two of them around long enough to realize this.

My son is now 17 and I am so proud of him. He and I have a bond that although not expressed daily, is there in our hearts. I have watched him mature more and more each day. His sense of humor is second to none.  The other night I told him that “Yes Jack we are going to eat together as a family” to which he replied “Dad I promise that if you let me eat downstairs in front of the TV, I won’t do drugs, get anyone pregnant or go to jail”. As he walked down the stairs to the TV, I wondered where he gets this from. Then I looked in the mirror J

My daughter who has been the apple of my eye since the day she was born has always been a joy. She has a heart of gold and a smile that stretches from here to eternity. She has never been a problem, just a good kid. That was until she turned 14 last August. I have heard stories of how girls transform at this age but hearing stories and experiencing it are two separate things. The other night Jack asked if we could just “put her down” There is that quick wit and humor again. What is it that turns little angels into devils at 14? Continue reading »

Apr 222011
 

 

By Will McCormick Guest Blogger

I come from a long line of folks who take the biblical principle “spare the rod, spoil the child” to heart. My children’s mother was raised the same. Growing up in the deep South in strong Southern Baptist families will teach at an early age the consequences of poor decisions. I know first hand (switch and belt) what comedians mean when joking that growing up the entire neighborhood raised a child, and applied liberal discipline in the form of a swatting. Usually, your behind was so numb by the time you got home that your parents really were not going to do much more damage when their turn rolled around. Honestly, I had good parents, and I really can only remember a few spankings growing up. By most accounts, both of my kid’s parents turned out just fine. So it should come as no surprise that we decided when expecting our first child that we were going to spank our kids as a form of discipline.

A funny thing happened on the way to a spanking.

Michael was two years old when his brother Mathew entered this world. He had endured a long day of waiting at the hospital with extended family. We had decided that I would take him home to try to keep things as normal as possible for Michael while his mother and new brother rested in the hospital. I am not quite sure how much sugar he was given while in the care of others, but picture Taz on Starbucks. I could not get him to stay in his bed. Continue reading »

Apr 102011
 

Have you ever felt as if you had other voices running around in your head telling you what to do? Have you ever felt as if those other voices in your head are constantly reminding you of what you do wrong, more than reminding you of what you do right? Do you ever wonder why all of those other voices in your head are in essence mini images of yourself? I know I sure do, at least I think I do. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.  Oh hell, I don’t know what I think.

Now before you start to worry that maybe it’s time for me to seek professional help, and God knows it would be justified since I am raising two teenagers, stop and ask yourself if those other voices in your head are really defining who you are as a parent.  Parenting is a very confusing experience for all of us. It’s never right and it’s never wrong. It’s never black and it’s never white. There are times when I am convinced that I am doing the right thing, and then there are those times when I have no idea what I am doing. There are times when I feel guilty with the choices I make, and then there other times when I am proud of the choices I made. There are times when I rely on others for advice, and then there are times when I just wing it. There are times when I know that I should of handled the situation different, and there are times when I question how I ever made the right decision.

The problem for me is that each of my good decisions, each of my bad decisions, and each of my choices as a parent, seem to have their own little voice in my mind. There are times when I know that I made the right choice in dealing with my kids, but for some reason that voice never seems to speak up very loud. Then there are times when I know that I have made the wrong choice, only to have that voice scream  loud and clear at me. I have learned over the years that regardless of which little voice in my head is screaming the loudest, I need to remind myself that it is only one voice. Continue reading »

Apr 042011
 

When I was young, my friends and I would go to the local amusement park each summer and ride the roller coaster. Damn that roller coaster would scare me, but I was not about to be the first one to say it. I was convinced that each time I would get on it, would be the day that it was going come off the tracks and violently hurl me through the air to my inevitable death.  No matter how many times I rode that roller coaster, the same thought would rush through my head. In reality the roller coaster never did breakdown, let alone slam anyone into the ground, but that sure didn’t keep fear from entering my mind.

Now that I am older I still go on roller coasters and in the back of my mind I still believe that today might just be the day that the damn thing finally breaks down. Fortunately for me my past experiences tend to remind me that it just isn’t going to happen.

It’s funny how the life of a parent is like riding a roller coaster. It starts off slowly as you lean back in the seat, looking up at the blue sky above, without a worry in the world. Oh sure, you know that inevitably there are going to be some twists and turns but nothing that you can’t handle. Then reality hits! Before you know it your life is spiraling downward, your stomach drops and you start praying to God to save you. Please God just let me survive this fall and I will make sure that I do it right as a parent. Then just when you get a break from the fall, and before you can catch your breath, the next twist and turn is before you. Your mind races, your heart pounds and you hang on for all you life praying that you will survive. And when you finally are convinced that today is the day that you are going to be hurled off to your death, the ride comes to a sudden stop, and you slowly coast into the safety of the platform. Continue reading »