When an Entire Family Abandons a Child

Family Court Insanity

Looking Beyond the Deadbeat Dad: When an Entire Family Abandons a Child | The Huffington Post

There are few issues in the African American community which receive greater attention, discussion, and debate than the absence of fathers. From a historical perspective, fatherless homes have been identified as a root cause of negative outcomes in African American families at least as far back as the famous Moynihan report in 1965. It has been debated that the absence of fathers causes financial strain in families and increases the likelihood that children will be raised in poverty. The absence of fathers in homes has also been attributed to increased likelihood of delinquency and incarceration for sons, as well as increased promiscuity in daughters. Growing up without a father can negatively impact self-esteem and self-worth in children, and it can also negatively impact future relationships. The absence of a father in the home can have a negative impact on children, which lasts well into adulthood.

The negative impact of fatherless homes in the African American community has been discussed in numerous studies, with many attributing the decrease of fathers in homes to the separation of families during slavery; welfare legislation which provided financial incentives when fathers were not in the home; and the increased incarceration of Black males during the 1980s and 1990s. It is also widely believed that not having a father in the home makes it more likely that young men will not raise their own children. Yet perhaps the biggest contributor to the abandonment of children by their fathers, is the lack of involvement of the paternal family. Indeed, while it is widely known that there are men who abandon their children (for a number of reasons), in many cases this abandonment extends to the entire paternal family. In other words, when children grow up without their fathers, in many cases they also grow up without the involvement of their paternal family (including paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins).

Nothing contributes to the abandonment of children by their fathers more than the lack of involvement from the paternal family. Lack of involvement from the paternal family condones the absence of the father and simultaneously takes away the most powerful motivation for men to become involved with their children. The lack of involvement of the paternal family also takes away supportive resources that can make up for any deficits a father may have in caring for his children. Perhaps most disturbing and confusing when considering the lack of involvement of the paternal family is non-involvement from paternal grandmothers, who are in many cases themselves single mothers that experienced the challenge of raising children without the involvement of their fathers. Most importantly when considering the lack of involvement from the entire paternal family, previous discussions on deadbeat dads become too simplistic. This raises the question, what happens when an entire family abandons a child?

For most people, the family is their earliest and longest lasting system of support. Within the family, children learn behavioral, cultural, societal, and moral norms (this is particularly true in African American families). When children grow up without support and acknowledgment from their paternal family, a culture of abandonment is normalized. Furthermore, children who grow up without the involvement of their paternal families are denied financial support, emotional support, and they are robbed of their sense of belonging and history. Having a lack of history resulting from the abandonment of the paternal family should not be understated. Family researchers (both amateur and professional) trace both maternal and paternal lineage to tell a complete story. A lack of involvement and knowledge of the paternal family leaves too many missing pieces to the puzzle. This not only robs future generations of their history, it damages the sense of self for an untold number of black children (the lack of a sense of self contributes to a number of mental health issues).

In an earlier article on multi-generational dysfunction in foster care, I wrote about the importance of Bowen’s family systems theory in addressing destructive behaviors that span generations. The framework provided with Bowen’s family systems theory is especially relevant to addressing the issue of abandonment by the paternal family within the African American community. It is time to recognize that children are not solely being abandoned by their fathers; they are being abandoned by entire families (our community is suffering as a result). With this recognition, efforts to involve more men in the lives of their children, must also include the extended paternal family in order to be more successful. The paternal grandmother and great-grandmother have an especially important role in achieving this goal. While there are many issues facing the African American community, few are more important than healing families and ending cycles of dysfunction. The cycle of paternal abandonment (both by the father and the extended family) is one African Americans have an obligation to bring to an end.

Dr. Mark Echols has been working with children and families in both educational and social service settings for the last 15 years. He is a Fatherhood advocate and the creator of Black Dads: Changing the narrative on Fathers in the African American community on LinkedIn. You can connect with Dr. Mark Echols on LinkedIn.

Source: Looking Beyond the Deadbeat Dad: When an Entire Family Abandons a Child | The Huffington Post

A Disabled Dad’s Strengthening Words

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The Struggles and Hopes of a Disabled Dad – All Pro Dad

Ten years ago I was white-knuckling the handles of a raft in the rapids of Costa Rica while my wife and I were on our honeymoon.

Ten years later on our anniversary, a kind stranger offered his help to my wife who was trying her best to lift my disabled body into an inner tube at a hotel pool. I can only imagine what was going through that gentleman’s mind when he saw me struggling to float down a lazy river.

God’s Beautiful Design

Ten years ago I never would have dreamed that I would have a physical disability. But God knew the beautiful design he had for me and for the spread of his gospel would involve taking away the strength of my hands.

There have been times when I couldn’t lift a cup of water to my lips to take a drink or open the fridge to feed myself. Most mornings my preschool-aged daughters help me button my shirt. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been able to pick up any one of my three babies. Sometimes I can’t even shake hands.

Fathers are more involved with their children than ever before…but

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Here’s the “but”…

Fatherhood and JusticeBlog Home

How did your father influence your life’s path? My father taught me that I could think for myself and solve problems if I tried. He expected me to achieve.

Fathers matter to their children. In fact, research says that father-child relationships influence children as much as mother-child relationships. Fathers influence their children in different ways than mothers. Babies who interact with their fathers tend to acquire language skills more readily. Children whose fathers spend time with them do better in school, have more self-control, and are more ambitious and willing to embrace risk. Teens who feel close to their fathers start having sex later.

Fathers are more involved with their children than ever before. The roles of mothers and fathers are converging. Most families with children have two incomes and share in the care of their children. And more fathers provide the primary care of their children.

The research says that African-American fathers are more likely to physically care for their children and prepare meals for them than other fathers. Most nonresident fathers maintain contact with their children, and many are involved with their children’s daily activities. Nonresident fathers who have jobs are more likely to be involved with their children. An equal number of moms and dads say that parenting is rewarding and central to their identity.

So what happens when a father is incarcerated? Emerging research finds that when fathers are sent to jail or prison, their children pay the price. And this is particularly true of sons. Sons of incarcerated fathers show more aggressive behavior and attention problems. Children of incarcerated fathers have more contact with the child welfare system.

Modern Slavery - 2016

This is an EQUAL RIGHTS issue!

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

Where Fathers, Mothers, GRANDparents and Children from all 50 states will be uniting at their State Capitols to demand a change in Family law. This is an EQUAL RIGHTS issue and OUR Children need, want and deserve to have BOTH fit parents as active participants in their lives.

It is Fatherless Day again - 2016Those states participating are as follows: Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

The psychological effects of divorce.

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DivorceCorp - Consulted a minister and psychiatrist NOT Lawyer - AFLA Blog 2016

The psychological effects of divorce on children may include depression and conduct disorders, notes Psychology Today. Breaking up a family leads to feelings of confusion, abandonment and separation anxiety due to children’s dependence on their parents for love, support and guidance while growing up.children4justice -Psychological Damage - 2016

Children’s psychological reaction to divorce varies a great deal, according to Psychology Today. Their reactions depend on the nature of their relationship with each parent, the intensity and length of their parents’ divorce, how much they see each parent after the divorce and their personality.Psych Eval Family courts - 2016

Boys and girls suffer equally if their parents go through a lengthy and messy divorce, explains PsychPage.

Judge used psychologist as scape-goat - Stand up for Zoraya - 2015However, boys act out their frustration and anger. Girls are more likely to internalize their emotions, which can result in depression, physical discomfort or changes in their eating and sleeping habits.

When parents divorce, it is important to maintain routine and stability in their children’s lives, explains Psychology Today.

Stop using Psychiatry agaisnt Dads in Family Court - 2015It is all too common for children, especially adolescents, to become isolated from their divorced parents. Sometimes this isolation can take years to overcome. Children who continue to have a balanced relationship with both parents after a divorce typically cope better in the long run.

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Sources: psychologytoday.com  psychpage.com  life.familyeducation.com

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Civil Rights in Family Law Florida

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Fatherless Day Rallies In Every State and Across The Globe!!

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All Events Fathers Day - 2016It is all too common for children, especially adolescents, to become isolated from their divorced parents. Sometimes this isolation can take years to overcome. Children who continue to have a balanced relationship with both parents after a divorce typically cope better in the long run.

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Civil Rights in Family Law Florida

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Science of Dads.

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dad-with-kids

For decades, psychologists and other researchers assumed that the mother-child bond was the most important one in a kid’s life. They focused on studying those relationships, and however a child turned out, mom often got the credit — or blame.
Within the last several decades, though, scientists are increasingly realizing just how much dads matter. Just like women, fathers’ bodies respond to parenthood, and their parenting style affects their kids just as much, and sometimes more, than mom’s.cdf43-dove-for-dads
“We’re now finding that not only are fathers influential, sometimes they have more influence on kids’ development than moms,” said Ronald Rohner, the director of the Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection at the University of Connecticut.
Feeling dad’s love
Rohner and his colleagues recently reviewed decades of studies on parental acceptance and rejection across the globe. Unsurprisingly, parents have a major effect on their kids. When kids feel rejected or unloved by mom and dad, they’re more likely to become hostile, aggressive and emotionally unstable. Parental rejection also can lead to low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy and negative worldviews.
This is true for both parents, Rohner told LiveScience. But in some cases, dad is a more important factor than mom. [History’s 12 Most Doting Dads]Father comfort - 2016
Behavior problems, delinquency, depression, substance abuse and overall psychological adjustment are all more closely linked to dad’s rejection than mom’s, Rohner said.
By the same token, dad’s love is sometimes a stronger influence for children than mom’s, the researchers found.
“Knowing that kids feel loved by their father is a better predictor of young adults’ sense of well-being, of happiness, of life satisfaction than knowing about the extent to which they feel loved by their mothers,” Rohner said. He and his colleagues detailed their findings in May in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review.
Influence and persistence
The research looked only at male father figures, so while the dad in question doesn’t have to be biological, the results don’t apply to absentee fathers. Rohner and his colleagues aren’t certain why fathers sometimes outshine moms in their kids’ development. In every family, Rohner said, there is a member with more influence and prestige — the person who might set the weekend plans, for example. In families where dad is that person, his actions might make the greatest impression on the children.
In those cases, “kids tend to pay more attention to what dad does and dad says than mom, and he’s going to have more influence,” Rohner said.
Dads may also be responsible for endowing their kids with “stick-with-it-ness” that serves them well in life. In a study of two-parent families published Friday (June 15) in the Journal of Early Adolescence, Brigham Young University researchers found that dad’s parenting style is more closely linked to whether teens will exhibit persistence than mom’s parenting. A persistent personality, in turn, was related to less delinquency and more engagement in school over time.
ec62a-fathersThe magic fathering style that was linked to such persistence in kids is called authoritative parenting, a style characterized by warmth and love, accountability to the rules (but explanations of why those rules exist), and age-appropriate autonomy for kids, the researchers found.
“Our study suggests fathers who are most effective are those who listen to their children, have a close relationship, set appropriate rules, but also grant appropriate freedoms,” study researcher Laura Padilla-Walker told LiveScience.
It’s not clear why dads might be more important than moms in teaching perseverance, but it’s possible that fathers simply focus on this trait more, while moms teach traits like gratitude and kindness, Padilla-Walker said. [5 Ways to Foster Self-Compassion in Your Child]
Being a good dad
Fortunately for dads, biology is there to back up good parenting. Hormonal studies have revealed that dads show increased levels of oxytocin during the first weeks of their babies’ lives. This hormone, sometimes called the “love hormone,” increases feelings of bonding among groups. Dads get oxytocin boosts by playing with their babies, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
Fatherhood also leads to declines in testosterone, the “macho” hormone associated with aggressive behavior, according to research published last year in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. father_0This change is stronger the more involved a dad is with his baby’s care, suggesting that it may reduce a man’s risk-taking drive and encourage nurturing and domesticity. 
What’s most important, Padilla-Walker said, is that fathers realize they matter. Quality time is important, she said.
“That doesn’t mean going on fancy vacations, it can be playing ball in the backyard or watching a movie with your kids,” she said. “Whatever it is, just make yourself available and when you’re with your children, be with them.”

Source: The Science of Fatherhood: Why Dads Matter

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas or LiveScience @livescience. We’re also on Facebook Google+.Special Kind of Hell - 2016

Why Arizona’s Joint Parenting Law is Only the First Step in Father’s Rights

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custody disputes - 2016Wife Murders Husband in Custody Dispute But Not the Whole Story – Men’s Views Magazine

In Gilbert Arizona, Jennifer Smith is accused of murdering her husband in cold blood over a custody dispute. Two days before she murdered her estranged husband the children were taken from her by child protective services.

Jennifer Smith murdered her estranged husband Paul Smith, as he was stopped in his car along a congested road near a very large fire. According to news reports, Jennifer and Paul had a very rocky relationship where there were domestic violence issues in the home over several years.

During the divorce proceedings Jennifer was able to gain primary custody of the children she and Paul had together. Unfortunately, under Arizona state law, if one partner commits acts of domestic violence he or she would be denied joint parenting privileges. We don’t know if either Jennifer Smith or her husband Paul Smith were ever charged with domestic violence so we cannot determine if this factor even came into play during the divorce proceedings.

What is clear, from media reports, was that Jennifer has had some mental health issues in her past which led to the troubles in the marriage.

Regardless of the reasons Jennifer murdered husband to request is why she had custody during the divorce proceedings in the first place Arizona’s recent joint parenting law should have placed the children in Paul’s custody at least on a 50/50 split. However this was not the case.

Media reports indicate Jennifer lost custody of her children through child protective services intervention two days prior to her murdering her estranged husband. Clearly, Arizona Child Protective Services did not seem to fit allow the mother custody then why did a judge, who is bound by law to enforce joint parenting laws, give primary custody to a deranged, homicidal woman?

Unfortunately, we may never know the answer to this question. However, this case should highlight the problems with Arizona’s new joint parenting law.

First off, many courts don’t fully enforce or enact the joint parenting law as it was intended. Courts throughout Arizona still seem to have the notion children are better off with their mother as primary caregivers. Sadly, in Jennifer Smith’s case the court grossly underestimated the mother’s fitness for parenting.

Secondly, under Arizona law fathers have a “joint parenting right” for 50/50 parenting time but he must still fight for his rights. It seems fathers still face a grueling battle even when Arizona laws give him rights on “paper” he still must prove his fitness in “court” despite written rule.

Clearly, men’s and father’s rights organizations in Arizona have a long way to go before fathers are treated is equally as mothers in family relations courts. We need to keep vigilant and keep acting to pass new laws and strengthening existing ones to ensure fathers actually have equal rights in a divorce court.man-looking-into-gun-barrel-dreamstime_xs_39260801

Source: Wife Murders Husband in Custody Dispute But Not the Whole Story ~Men’s Views Magazine

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Men talk about parenting.

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ab432-miami2bdemo9American Fathers Liberation: A growing posse of men

Men Begin Re-Establishing The Meaning Of Fatherhood

As culture continues to make fun of men and fathers, a growing posse of men are beginning to set higher expectations for themselves.

 4, 2016 By 

Now in its fifth year, Dad 2.0 is the conference where dads meet parenting-related activists, marketers, and the media. Dad 2.016, as they called it, attracted a varied and interesting crowd, with a female minority and a boatload of bearded men.
In all, 450 participants descended on Washington DC to discuss issues of concern to men, both as fathers and as influencers — whether as published writers, filmmakers, or social media stars. They engaged in important, practical discussions about improving video quality and properly tailoring blog content to your audience, but what captivated me was the fatherhood component.

Men’s Singular Approach to Life

As I’ve written before, I enjoy listening to men discuss parenting. Not only does it warm the heart to hear men talk lovingly about their families, but the conversations tend to be much mellower than those women have about motherhood. Perhaps the most fascinating part, from my point of view, is just how differently men talk about parenting (and other things).
 
American society has so many negative cultural stereotypes of men, especially as useless, overgrown children. Yet the men I encountered at Dad 2.0 proved how mythical those negative stereotypes are. In an interview, Jen Bremner, brand manager for conference sponsor Dove Men+Care, noted that only 7 percent of men can relate to media portrayals of men. Ninety-two percent of men say it’s their emotional strength that defines them as men.
During one session I sat in on called “Mastering the Moving Image,” the all-dad panel shared helpful hints on improving videos across online platforms, while good-naturedly ribbing one another. I liked one panelist urging an audience member to both fail often and fail in ways unique to him. That struck me as good life advice, but something I couldn’t imagine hearing from a fellow mother in a similar context.
Emotional openness, awareness, and strength were certainly on display all around me. On stage, author Brad Meltzer delivered an opening keynote urging the audience to consider our legacy — to both family and community — and how we want to be remembered after we’re gone. Drag racer Doug Herbert spoke about losing his two sons in a car accident, and how that inspired him to found a special defensive driving school for teenagers.

Elevating Expectations for Men

Out in the audience, I met a life coach who specializes in helping fathers resolve their own work-life balance challenges. Another attendee co-founded a nationwide group to help dads get out and socialize together. A third dad, who stays home raising his young children, asked a former stay-at-home mom moderating a social media session for advice about transitioning back to full-time office work. After a presentation about how biased family courts are against fathers, I watched one man tear up while talking to the speaker, because her remarks had clearly hit a nerve.
 
These men were reflective. They clearly relished the role of father, and they took it seriously, albeit with a sizable helping of good-natured humor.
For the summit’s founders, that’s precisely the point. In an interview, Summit co-founder John Pacini commented, “We’ve recognized that the bar for fatherhood has been set unreasonably low for so long, while at the same time the bar has been set unreasonably high for women and moms. The Dad 2.0 mission has sought to elevate the conversation and the expectations for men, in a way that benefits the whole family.”
 
That they’ve done. The dads at this conference do more than just show up. They’ve clearly also given significant thought to what it means to be a dad, how to support their spouses, and how to best raise the next generation. They’re redefining fatherhood for the modern era, or in Pacini’s words, demonstrating “masculinity at its best.”
 
It’s a model that would likely look familiar to Baltimore’s Joe Jones orMemphis’ MeiAngelo Taylor. Both men started fatherhood training programs to help men in their communities who wanted to be involved with their kids but weren’t entirely sure how. As MeiAngelo told me in an interview in 2014, men can provide for their children in many ways, “not only financially, but also spiritually and emotionally.”
The dads at Dad 2.0 would undoubtedly agree. In 2016, this is fatherhood.
Melissa Langsam Braunstein, a former U.S. Department of State speechwriter, is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

father_0I enjoy listening to men discuss parenting. Not only does it warm the heart to hear men talk lovingly about their families, but the conversations tend to be much mellower than those women have about motherhood. Perhaps the most fascinating part, from my point of view, is just how differently men talk about parenting (and other things).

Source: American Fathers Liberation: A growing posse of men

Infant bonding is not just a maternal issue

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The Birthright – Relating To Men

A very good friend and well-known advocate of the men’s rights movement recently dropped a video clip into my inbox and simply said, “watch this”. I knew it was important and he had my full attention.

It took only a minute for me to be tuned out from the world and into ‘Laugh After Pokes’, a rap song about Paternity Fraud. Not something you see or hear every day and so I was intrigued. It was immediately apparent that this was one man’s way of sharing his story in a frame that was tragic and yet a clearly cathartic outlet for sharing his creative love with his personal crusade to find out the paternal identity of a child. A child he was told could be his.

◊♦◊

I spoke with Dan Scott (Rapper turned Vlogger) to find out the full story and what circumstances led him to being denied confirmation if he was the paternal father of a child that he had not yet met. A baby girl, he believes to be born on or around 01/12/15.

This is not like any other story I have heard.

There can be little denial that if you have sex, there is a likelihood of conception. It’s a known risk that we mitigate with various forms of contraception and usually a level of trust that at least one of you is doing the right thing. Trust is usually where it goes pear shaped.

When we enter into a relationship and spend time with someone intimately we naturally develop a trust, often irrespective of our past history with others. This is the way it should be. We learn trust very early in our development (between 0-2 years) and at the same time we are developing bonds and attachments, all driven by Oxytocin, the hormone of love secreted to the brain. As nature would have it, we generate this same hormone after sex. We are after all, sexual beings.

When Dan entered into his relationship he naturally developed a level of trust. It wasn’t an ideal relationship, but there was love and attachment.

◊♦◊

On an occasion after having sex his girlfriend made a comment that threw him completely – “did you release your little soldiers? “ and Dan was instantly suspicious. “Was she trying to conceive?” But there was another nagging question spinning in his head. Was she already pregnant and trying to deflect responsibility to him for being the father. At the time, he wasn’t sure why he questioned that, Sometimes it’s hard to know how gut instinct drives our thoughts, but it’s alarms are always strong.I AM A DADDY - 2016