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Strategies for Living Host
Grandmother Concerned and A Part of History
Posted by: admin - January 19, 2009
I have been concerned for sometime about the yelling and physicality that I witness as my son-in-law disciplines and interacts with my grandchildren. Recently I witnessed this very strong man lose his temper and grab his pre-teen daughter by the hair and drag her from one room to another, because he had called her several times and she didnít answer him or come when called. I know that she was in physical pain, and continued to cry for a very long time, but he made no apology for hurting her. This is just one instance where I feel there was too much physical interaction. He "rough houses" with both the daughter and son to a point of causing pain and then calls it "playing." What is wrong with a grown man who feels that itís fun to use sarcasm and force as a means of communicating with his children? Doesn't he realize that he is making memories and that these memories can be either good or bad? However the children adore their father and try to please him, but I worry that theyíll grow up thinking that this is the way men are supposed to be. The mother keeps busy consoling the children, (or as he refers to it babying them) or trying to keep the peace by placating the "man of the house". I have talked to her but she continues to avoid confrontation. I would like to add that this man attends church regularly, has a responsible job and many friends who think he is the "salt of the earth." I guess my real questions are: What actions constitute child abuse? How much is interference in a family situation and what are my responsibilities to protect these children? I would appreciate your addressing the issue of where discipline ends and child abuse begins in your column. And, could you find room on the sports page for your column sometimes, so that men will read it too?
Speaking to you also as a grandparent, I would imagine that your heart must be breaking as you have witnessed some of what you are detailing in your letter. First let me say to you and anyone who witnesses or suspects child abuse, that you can call the Emergency Louisiana Child Protection Hotline in Caddo or Bossier Parish anonymously at 318-676-7622. The Louisiana Childrenís Code provides the following definitions of abuse:
ďAbuseĒ means any of the following acts which seriously endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health and safety of the child:
As for as the question of interference, I would suggest that you have both the right and responsibility as a loving grandparent to do everything within your power to support the healthy growth and development of these children. In spite of your concerns, it sounds like there are many things about your son-in-law that you admire and that he has many good qualities; however it also sounds like he definitely has an issue with anger. Have you considered talking privately with him about your concerns? Through the years in my practice, I have worked with many men who have anger issues. On more than one occasion, they have come to therapy for help after a family member or friend has lovingly suggested that they have a problem. You may be that courageous family member for your son-in-law. Many men have expressed that they knew they had a problem, but they didnít realize how much it affected others or what they could do about it. Discipline is not to be confused with punishment. True discipline is about teaching how to delay gratification, about accepting responsibility, how to be truly honest, and how to balance the multiple issues and tasks of life. As for your suggestion about the sports page, Iíll pass it on, but maybe in the meantime you could just happen to insert my column manually. After all, the TV listings are right there too. Thank you for your letter, and I hope Iíve given you some starting points.
What exciting times weíre living through. Today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and tomorrow a new president will be inaugurated.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
| | | | Article Posted by: admin
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