Tag Archive | dysfunctional families

Second Chances

Second chances are kind of special things.  I have a friend who lives the next town over who has been divorced for a while now, and I simply do not know how she does it.  She works and has four kids.  Two of the four are angels, but the other two are, well, hmm, I think “brats” is the nicest way I can think of to put it.  She struggles all the time and is constantly at her wits end.  Yes, they are that bad.

I just found out that she got engaged over the holidays.  I can’t even fathom how she had time to meet anyone, but I am glad she did.  I can’t imagine what type of a person is willing to take on the challenge of rebuilding that home.  Wow.  All I can say is wow.

I can’t think of a word better than “miracle” to describe what a father and husband will do for that home.  The hand of the Lord is most definitely at work here.  I wish them the best.

Protecting the Family

As my difficult son returned home, it created a lot a chaos in the home.  He does not get physically destructive, mostly just spiritually and emotionally destructive.  We knew things would be difficult for a while, but wanted to believe we could handle it.  We could not handle him, and he is currently out of the home, but in a very safe place.  There has been a lot of leftover emotion here and everyone tends to get a little too irritated a little too easily.  Far too much bickering and petty arguing.  Early on in the summer I wanted to do something to prepare for his arrival emotionally.  I knew of a book that we had studied from early in our marriage, and I wanted some of the lessons from that book.  It turns out that it has been rewritten, and is rather difficult to get a hold of.   It is called Strengthening the Family, and is put out by LDS Social Services.  It can’t even be ordered online, and everyone who knew about the book didn’t have a copy.  We had tried some other programs, but they just weren’t what we needed.  Finally last week we were able to get our hands on a copy through an unexpected source.

Yesterday we had our first lesson, and there was such a strong spirit.  This was exactly what we needed to re-hear.  I’d like to summarize what we talked about.

The chapter we focused on was called “Communicating with Love.”  We discussed the effect that our words have on those around us.  Even unintentionally it is harmful to use words that lecture, moralize, preach, interrogate, discount, placate, provide empty reassurances, judge, condemn, threaten, blame, criticize, ridicule, or ignore another’s feelings.  We recognized some of those phrases that have popped up in our home.  We recommitted to stopping those behaviors, and to pattern our communication after the Savior.  The lesson points out how the Savior chose to communicate.  He was slow to condemn, forgiving, compassionate, considerate of His family, willing to return good for evil, loving of children, appreciative, eager to serve, and willing to sacrifice.  We finished the lesson up by practicing using statements that start with “I,” and communicate how another’s actions affect us.  We practiced using these types of forgiving statements instead of starting out our sentences with “you” and using blame.  Most of the family caught on very quickly.  I am so happy we finally found this lesson.  I think we need it over and over again!

It has been 24 hours and there has not been a single argument, fight, disagreement, or unkind word spoken here.  It is amazing how a parent can know exactly what is needed and where to find it.  I only wish we could have found it a little earlier. 🙂




Lost Sheep

We are sending our boys off to a Father’s and Son’s camp out this weekend.  One thing we try to do when this yearly event happens is to keep an eye out for boys who would like to go, but have no one to take them.  This year is going to be a bit more work than we expected, but we are happy to make sure these boys have the opportunity to go.  With four extra boys, plus three of his own, I hope dear hubby is up for it!  Here are their stories.  They always make me grateful for what I do have.

  1. We have a family that occasionally goes to this event with us.  Dad is basically home bound.  Two of their boys have come with us a few other years.  This year they decided to not only let those two boys go, but also the autistic son.  We will have a challenge, but the boy will have a great time.  Add three to the campfire.
  2. My son is very good at finding people who others will not friend.  This year he reached out to a new kid in the neighborhood, we’ll call him Dan, who did not seem to have much in the way of parental support.  Add one more.  This one has a story with him.

As we were getting permission for Dan to come with us, we realized that we actually knew the family.  About 8 years ago I ran a state certified day care to earn some extra money.  Dan was one of the children I watched.  He stuck out in my mind because he was the one child I had decided there was really no hope nor future for.  The victim of a nasty divorce, Mom didn’t have time for him because she needed to go to school full time and work full time.  She finally paid Dad to take the child for a year.  Dad didn’t want a kid messing up his freedom, but decided that the extra cash to party with would come in handy.  Dan had severe emotional issues and somehow the decision had been made that medicating him would be the easiest thing to do.  He came to me a medicated zombie part of the time, and a violent, attention craved child the rest of the time.  He had already been kicked out of other day care centers.  I didn’t have him long before they moved on, but I did feel sorry for him.  I guess mom finally finished school, and remarried.  Step-dad, surprise, doesn’t want to do anything with Dan either, so we will take him camping with us.  I find it very interesting that my boy (who was too young to remember Dan from before), would be the one to find him and to reach out to him.  We may not be able to do anything about his home life, but we can at least take him camping this weekend!