Discussion in 'Black Parenting' started by Nia Maishani, Oct 20, 2002.
Whose responsibility is it to maintain contact?
Haaaaaaay Nia Mae ... thanks for accepting the "mission"
It is always the parents responsibility to guide, lead, direct and show the child, regardless of the child's age, how to be a good parent (whether living with the child or not). No matter how old the child becomes, the parent ALWAYS has more age, HOPEFULLY more wisdom and LORD WILLING the patience needed to see and meet the needs of their child. The child learns from its parents how to be a parent (among other things), and oftentimes, will do for their child, the way their parent did for them. There should be many examples of wisdom, longsuffering, and unconditional love passed on from parent to child ... for generations to come.
Unfortunately, not every parent has such wisdom. Whether their parents failed to share it with them, or they didn't pay attention during those life classes ... they are raising children who don't know what it's like to have parents willing to go to the ends of earth, and back, for them. It is certainly possible for the child to go against the grain, against all they have seen and heard, and do the opposite ... but it is more likely for them to do what they've seen, thus perpetuating this cycle ... for generations to come.
It is BOTH parents responsibility to teach the child how to be a responsible parent. If there are things the custodial parent can do to help encourage and foster a loving relationship for the child and non-custodial parent, they should do that. Each parent must put "self" aside, for the sake of the child.
I didn't see an option above for "both parents being responsible" ... so I didn't vote.
ps ... I understand that tension, anger, dissapointment, and maybe even hate flows from custodial parent to non-custodial parent in abundance, but know that your child is absorbing all of this negativity, with no ability to process it properly ... you are hurting them even more.
Parents make mistakes, all parents. If one parent is doing something that doesn't make sense, doesn't seem wise ... even seems stupid ... the other parent must pick up the slack ... just as you did Sherykah. The bottom line is that each parent must TEACH their children how to love, respect and forgive BOTH parents ... so their children's children ... will know how to love, respect and forgive them.
Failing to teach our children to love and forgive is negligent.
Great Topic Nia
Destee I think you're right on the money...I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...
Destee, Sherykah and ZeroGravity.
Great responses, and I agree with you as well Destee, though I have another opinion as well. My option that says it should not be the responsibility of [only] one of the parties would probably fit your response, I think. I do have one question though, suppose the non-custodial parent (NCP) feels it is his/her child's responsibility and/or that of his/her ex- to initiate and maintain the contact? Then, is it again the custodial parent's (CP) responsibility to take up the slack there as well, or perhaps the child's responsibility to take up the NCP's slack?
I pose this question after having heard from yet a THIRD father that it is his child's responsibility to get in contact with him on a regular basis. I would like to expand much further, but will hold the remainder of the story until further responses are made to the question/poll. Thank you all again for your feedback on this.
Hey ZeroGravity ... thanks for the shoutout!
By the way, I'm waiting for some of your topics ...
Nia ... okay thanks, I didn't see that option up there.
If you have a parent that is doing as you've described above, let's say they've done that for the majority of the child's life ... my response would still be the same ... teach the child to love, respect and forgive that parent. This responsibility will fall on the custodial parent and it will be a challenge since they've been left to do everything else ... but it can be done.
A parent can't "make" their child love someone, but you can teach them how, encourage them to love and forgive, tell them how important it is to their spirit and well-being ... in spite of circumstances ... so that the child can grow up to be a very well adjusted young man or woman ... without issues of hate or overwhelming disappointment. If you do this, not only do you get a well adjusted child but the chances are great that the child may have benefit of the love and nurturing of that absent parent sometime in their life, even if it does come late. The child deserves it and should have it. The custodial parent can work from the inside, to keep the avenue always open. If the custodial parent fails to do this, allowing the child to hate, then they too are negligent ...
Please understand, I'm not suggesting that the custodial parent spend extra money and time trying to setup meetings for the child and other parent or make excuses for them ... I'm strictly talking about helping the child to emotionally and spiritually process the experience positively ... finding the good in it (might have to twist it, turn it, shake it up and down) ... which will, if nothing else, aid them in the many life experiences that require the same type of processing.
simply da parent.................I 110% agree wit ever word from
destee it's the parent who should step up and make it all
happen for that child to hold da life he or she so due.
As a mother of 3 boys, I agree that the responsibility lies with both parents. Yet as the custodial parent, I've learned over the years that I can't control the relationship that the children's father has with them. I can only ask him to be positive and uplifting for their development into men. I've also learned that I, as a woman, cannot teach them to be men nor him to be a "man", especially since I've never been and never will be a man, nor understand exactly what it is to be a man. This is my most important concern. The absent parent must be willing as much as the custodial parent. And when that's not possible, the custodial parent is responsible for bringing opportunities of development into the life of the children.
I believe that regardless of who is the custodial caretaker that it must be a mutual agreement to stay in touch with thier children.
If a father is willing to stay in touch by choice as opposed to force then so be it. Moreover, one thing is obvious that when a non custodial parent refuses to or does not want to have any intervention with thier children there is really nothing that can be done legally to make him/her want to change this.
My thoughts are that *The creator made me strong, willing, loving, and able to reach tall buildings at a single bound, I am more powerfull than a locomotive and I believe I can fly.
With this in mind I send my request to my ancestors, prepare my child for the loss and lack of support(emotional) from his/her missing parent and do all that I can to be there at all times leading and encouraging until they leave the fold.
It is up to me to lead my children, allow thier missing parent to be who he is and allow him to know that when he is ready the door is open. However, my child will never hear me discuss his/her parent in a negative manner as this behaviour will only serve to distance children from both parents and eventually serve to polarize later communication.
I also do not believe in using crafty technique to make a non-custodial parent feel guilty because I know that there is already a certain amount of guilt.
This I know because of my former work as a prison prog dir. and there is nothing more disheartening than to hear am man or woman say..***I am so sorry for not staying in touch with my son/daughter, I wish that I had been a better parent.
Explaining absence and why a parent does not visit, or cannot visit, etc etc. can be very touchy and this is where parents would do well to be honest, open and forthcoming at all times in a tactful manner
Natukae na ndugu
Wow... very powerful responses. I thank you kindly for contributing your input to this question, Alkebulantaazar, onelove1soul and my other Family members.
It is good to read others' opinions on this issue.
Just one question though, exactly HOW does one explain to a child why his or her other parent does not initiate any contact (or worse, rejects contact when the child attempts to contact the absent parent)? How do you explain to a child why they neither hear from nor receive anything from their absent parent on the child's birthday or first day of school, Holidays, etc.?
Separate names with a comma.