Digesting Life...

Father’s Day

To my children on Father’s Day. . .

I robbed you of this day when I did not marry my match under the healthy circumstances required to build a strong foundation under a marriage. This is not a letter of regrets but a writing to acknowledge how difficult your lives have been because you did not have a father to raise you. You missed out on the daddy love that only men can give. The leadership with authority and service that only men can give. The example of how to be a man for my sons and how to choose a man for my daughter that only a man can give. Many of life’s challenges are rooted in this deficiency for each of you. I admit that my actions contributed to this loss as a relationship involves two people doing it right or wrong. This is an instance when no action can resolve your experience. Some things just need to be addressed in a formal manner. . .

To fathers, I ask that you lead your families with the heart of a servant, and that you acquire the knowledge of what that looks like. Your role has been discounted and dumbed down. However, you are important indeed. All it takes is one man to stand up and be a father to his child(ren) and the example will multiply others to step back into their roles. Happy Father’s Day, 2018.

Sharing Toys

Toys can produce problems for sure. Sometimes you find there are too many, and they keep coming. Siblings fight over them, you step on them in the dark and trip over them in the light of day.

The shared toy dilemma can be resolved by keeping the toys in one area that is off limits to the children. You maintain control of them by checking one toy in and out like the library checks out books. Clearly explain to both children that if they continue to allow their sibling to play with their checked out toy when either one of them loses their toy privilege, then that consequence will result in no toy privilege for the offending sibling, twice as long.

Do not allow your eight year old to break you down when you must exert your authority. Now it may take some organization to get started, but I guarantee that any chaos of toy sharing will be nicely resolved.

Moving the Family

Parents are often faced with the dilemma to move or not to move. There are many factors which can influence this decision. When a child does not want to move, this compounds the problem. The reasons for the move are the first considerations. If it comes down to improving the family lifestyle there is nothing wrong with parents limiting the final decision to their discussion. Considering the wishes of their child(ren) can be a part of any informed decision. However, making it the basis of said decision might not be the best course to pursue.

Husbands and wives should discuss issues first between the two of them, which is a perfect example of putting the marriage first. This provides an example for the child(ren) that the parenting unit can take care of them and they will be safe. A child’s reluctance against a move can vary but many times it is due to a self centered reason such as leaving friends. It is understandable when a child wants to continue to enjoy living next door to their “besties.” However, the neighbors probably would not extend the same commitment to never move for the sake of a friendship. Further, often “best” relationships evolve and others take their place.

Carefully assessing where you would move, taking into consideration the proximity to the children’s school and friends (if it is local), is a fulfillment of a due diligence test. If you move, your child(ren) will have to learn how to handle their disappointment, stress, depression, anxiety or whatever other feelings they may conjure up. If you decide to stay put, do it because you both have decided you do not want to upgrade your lifestyle. Young children do not know what is best for them, that is why they have parents. Parenting often involves making decisions that your children feel is unfair. If you approach parenting in an emotional manner than you will give in to every childish whim in order to not upset them. That is not how the real world works and does not prepare a child to become an adult who is personally responsible for their actions.

More From Africa

The dust has settled after my trip to Africa and I find myself wholly involved in my routine. And then I remembered an Africa related topic I planned to write about which is the subject of this offering.

The medical students were tasked to write about solutions for problems of domestic violence in groups which consisted of about ten peers. When I read what I will be posting below, I recall the emotion that it stirred in me. The men in this group made a pledge to the women they will marry as follows:

“Domestic violence should be discouraged at all costs. It brings with it unwanted adverse effects on the entire family and community at large. It’s not God’s desire that we have such. As group 2 men, we promise to love and cherish our wives – to be upholding them in high esteem, letting them know that we shall always love them as God has commanded us to do so. Women, please know that you are special and as Christ loves his church, so shall we as men, love you to the fullest!”

Domestic violence is not an isolated problem. Every society has to deal with it and it sometimes becomes entangled in customs and practices within cultures. It is wrong. I had the pleasure of interacting with men and women in Africa who are willing to use their awareness to work towards solutions that start with themselves.

Zambia Pictures

I wanted to share some pictures from my trip to Zambia.

You can click on each image to view it full screen.

Driving From The Aiport

Driving From The Aiport

Outside the door to the dining room at the Ashland Lodge where we stayed for 6 days

Outside the door to the dining room at the Ashland Lodge where we stayed for 6 days

Dr Snyder giving medical attention to a man who was having a seizure on the street the first day

Dr Snyder giving medical attention to a man who was having a seizure on the street the first day

Dr Snyder

Dr. Snyder

Pastor Doudy who also served as our driver

Pastor Doudy who also served as our driver

Zambian Life

Zambian Life

University Teaching Hospital

University Teaching Hospotal (UTH)

UTH

UTH

UTH The Conditions are quite different

UTH The conditions are quite different

UTH Lobby

UTH Lobby

UTH Lobby

UTH Lobby

Entry into the psychiatry unit

Entry into the psychiatry unit

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

One location where we taught

One location where we taught

University of Zambia
Shopping with some team members

Shopping with some team members

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