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Fourteen Percenter, December 2012 c

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  • Don Mathis
    Vol. 15, No. 9                      The Fourteen Percenter                   December 2012 A publication for parents on
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2012
      Vol. 15, No. 9                      The Fourteen Percenter                   December 2012
      A publication for parents on the wrong side of the standard possession order.
      – I see my child two days out of every fourteen; 14%. That's not enough. –
      The First Five Minutes of the First Father's Day
      Up the stairs, around the corner,
      and through the doorway

      I can see the little warrior.
      His features are set
      in a serious sort of sanguine,
      and suddenly it’s a sin
      to see him as anything but wonderful.
      For the briefest of moments
      we just eye each other,
      me and the little warrior,
      arrayed brilliantly
      in a Mickey Mouse pajama top
      and a Pull-Up,
      because it's a historical fact
      that barbarian tribes
      between the ages of two and three
      fight bottomless to intimidate the enemy.
      His fists are clenched
      not around the familiar foam rubber
      facsimile of sword and hammer.
      The weapons of war-play
      have been stowed away,
      and his fingers grip instead
      tools more suited to diplomacy.
      If only then you saw what I could see,
      you'd think my words a crippled description
      of the little warrior,
      careening at top speed before me,
      shrilly demanding my eyes
      to see his battle flag fluttering
      in the self-made wind behind him.
      An ugly tie, green,
      emblazoned with geese,
      soaring over a map of the mid-east,
      and a clean white sheet of printer,
      scrawled over with the life's blood
      of a handful of Crayola markers,
      the image sort of resembling
      the scrambled eggs in my chest
      where my heart used to be
      before I looked at it.
      As he lifted his arms
      in the toddler's universal request
      for acceptance
      I acquiesced, scooping him up
      moments before his mother appeared
      wearing a knowing smile,
      and I remembered that a while ago,
      these are the things that I asked for,
      when she'd wondered what I wanted
      for Father's Day.
      William Richardson, gulfharmony@...

      The Fourteen Percenter is an international newsletter that seeks to promote equal parenting rights in the US, the UK, and worldwide. We welcome feedback, as well as any article, poem, or review relating to the child-parent bond. Send your letters to fourteenpercenter@.... For other issues, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCP-TX-Grayson/messages
      The members of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children dedicate ourselves to the creation of a family law system and public awareness which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by issues of the modern family. See http://www.acfc.org/ for more information.
                  If you have a problem with an attorney (and who hasn't), check this out - http://bargrievance.net/
                  Joint Custody, From a Distance” is an article in the New York Times by Pamela Paul. Read this informative article at http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/fashion/joint-custody-from-a-distance.xml .
                  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an article entitled, “Malachi Dads turns inmates into fathers.” Read how a program “will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" at http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/georgia/malachi-dads-turns-inmates-into-fathers/nTCTs/ .
                  Peter G. Hill, Media Spokesperson for The Fatherhood Coalition, recommends that all fathers see this and forward it to all of their friends and families: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8uOMeRX008 . A small screening will take place on December 13 at 9:00 pm at the Milky Way/Bella Luna in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
                  “Fixed Interval” is a poem by Devin Johnston. Learn how the ages can offer introspection. Read it at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22795 .
                  Teri Stoddard, Program Director for Stop Abusive and Violent Environments - www.saveservices.org, asks, “What Happened to the Presumption of Innocence?” The DV industry is telling Congress that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) must be reauthorized during the lame duck session. We need to make sure they hear our message that VAWA should not be reauthorized unless it respects the presumption of innocence.Call both of your Senators and your Representative at 1-202-224-3121. Even if you called last time, call again today. Just say, "Don't pass the Violence Against Women Act until the presumption of innocence is restored!" Learn more at http://www.saveservices.org/camp/presumed-innocent/  
                  It appears Texas Workforce Solutions is the newest participant of the Child Support Industry. Read how “Workforce solutions helps child support offenders get back on their feet” at http://nbclatino.com/2012/11/27/workforce-solutions-helps-child-support-offenders-get-back-on-their-feet/ .

      Real Nightmare
      I had a nightmare not too long ago that (somehow) they had appointed me as a District Court judge, and it was very vivid, but horrible.
      The first day, the usual parade of cases came before the court, and I had to let everyone go.
      Gun license crime – had to dismiss and let the guy go, because licensing a constitutional right was wrong. 
      Driver’s license violation – Not guilty.  It's unconstitutional to impose that requirement, plus it's a crime against the state, not against any person or property.
      Possession of Class D substance (marijuana) – Not guilty. It's a vice, not a crime. Shouldn't even be a law.
      Restraining Order – Yeah, right. I just froze, horrified that I had to make that decision.  I couldn't issue one of those in a thousand years.   
      I twisted and turned, tormented in my dream, knowing I would be ejected that day as a judge, because I could not conform to what they do day in and day out – find the innocent guilty, punish persons whose only crime is a vice or was against the state, not against a person or property, enabling those who abuse restraining orders, etc.  
      I woke up gasping and terrified. I'll just keep fighting the REAL criminals, thank you.
      Gregory A. Hession J.D., greg.hession@...

      Rosalind Sedacca Writes –
      Top Benefits of Joint Physical Custody Over Kids – By Jeff Miller
      While not always possible, joint physical custody of children (where the children spend equal time with each parent) offers a lot of important benefits. If you're lucky enough to be able to work out a situation where each parent can share equal parenting time, you should strongly pursue joint physical custody as it's beneficial for all parties involved.
      To be clear, physical custody involves the parent's right to have children reside at their home. Joint physical custody means the kids have two residences, one with each parent. While you might worry about creating a stable environment for kids as they transfer back and forth between homes, there are a lot of benefits that this type of child custody offers.
      Here are just some of the benefits of joint physical custody.
      1. Kids get to enjoy healthy relationships with each parent--With joint physical custody, kids get to spend plenty of time with each parent. They get to see each parent on a regular basis, allowing them to spend "normal time" with each parent. It's important for kids to be able to build relationships with each parent. It can help to prevent the children from resenting one parent or the other, and it brings a sense of balance to their lives.
      2. Children benefit by seeing their parents work together--Divorce is already difficult enough on children as it is. The last thing they need to see is more fighting after the divorce. By agreeing to a joint custody arrangement and working together for the good of the children, you set a positive example for your kids and help prevent them from developing the notion that your fighting is all their fault.
      3. Kids don't feel rejected and unloved--Divorce is really hard on kids. That's all there is to it. A lot of times, children feel rejected and unloved when their parents split up. This is especially true if they don't get to spend quality time with one of their parents. With joint physical custody, the child sees each parent for about the same amount of time, and this prevents the child from feeling rejected, neglected, or unloved.
      4. Child support is likelier to be paid on time--This is a pretty interesting point, actually. Did you know that with joint custody, child support is paid fully and on time 75% of the time? In solo custody arrangements, it's only paid fully and on time about 46% of the time? This means that children stand to benefit materially from joint physical custody arrangements, ensuring they are always provided for and taken care of.
      There really are a lot of benefits that you should consider as it relates to joint physical custody of kids. Of course, this arrangement isn't right for every situation and might not be possible with your particular Florida divorce.
      Talk to your lawyer to determine if joint physical custody is a possibility for you.    
      Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a relationship seminar facilitator and author of “How Do I Tell the Kids ... about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love!” The ebook provides fill-in-the-blank templates for customizing a personal family storybook that guides children through this difficult transition with optimum results. For free articles, coaching and other valuable resources on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com/. 

      Recall D-A-D Acrostic Dictums – by Don Mathis
      Duel Across Decades – By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right; he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. – Charles Wadsworth
      Difference At Distance – For thousands of years, father and son have stretched wistful hands across the canyon of time, each eager to help the other to his side, but neither quite able to desert the loyalties of his contemporaries. The relationship is always changing and hence always fragile; nothing endures except the sense of difference. – Alan Valentine
      Devoted And Despised That is the thankless position of the father in the family - the provider for all, and the enemy of all. – J. August Strindberg
      Duty And Dedication – Father taught us that opportunity and responsibility go hand in hand. I think we all act on that principle; on the basic human impulse that makes a man want to make the best of what's in him and what's been given him. – Laurence Rockefeller 
      Dowers Are Desirable – Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance. – Ruth E. Renkel

      Remember This – Speaking to Our Sons – by Diane Sears
      I met a young man this morning.  He is someone's son and a member of the Next Generation of Husbands, Fathers, and Leaders.  Although he is someone's son -- he is really OUR son -- OUR future -- OUR bridge to the future. 
      So, how did I meet this young man and what is this story all about?  It was a chance meeting. Had I left home earlier and caught an earlier bus, our paths would not have crossed.  We disembarked from the bus at the same stop.  .I got up from my seat and as I exited the bus, I heard footsteps behind me. So, I casually looked to the side so I could see who was walking behind me. 
      It was a young man, about 5' 7", wearing a hoodie with a backpack strapped to his back.  There is a charter school about one block away.  So, he was on his way to school.  For some reason, we both found ourselves waiting at the corner for the red light to change to green.  There we were standing side by side.
      I turned to the young man and said, "Have a good day at school."
      He turned around and flashed a big smile and responded, "Thank you."
      "So, what grade are you in?" I asked as we walked across the street.
      "Twelfth," he said proudly as his chocolate brown eyes sparkled.
      "So, you're going to graduate from high school this year," I responded.
      "Yes," the young man said as he looked at me with eyes that sparkled and a smile that illuminated his face.
      "So, are you going to college?"  I asked.
      He hesitated for a moment and then said, "Well, yeah, I mean, I'm trying to."
      "Take care,"  I said as I smiled warmly.
      We both went in different directions.  He was off to start a new day and a new week at school.
      The most striking thing to me -- and what I will remember most from the very brief conversation that I had with this young man -- is his reaction to someone -- an adult -- speaking to him.  An adult who acknowledged his presence.  This young man who is not only someone's son… but our son… wants and needs affirmation.
      I learned a valuable lesson from this young man.
      What did I learn?
      How vulnerable our sons really are and why it is so very, very necessary that we begin "speaking to OUR sons" -- the young men that we encounter as we go about our daily routine.  ."Speaking to OUR sons" is simple.  It can come in the form of a simple "Good Morning" or "Hello, young man".
      We must start "speaking to our sons" with words of caring, love, and affirmation.  We need to take a minute to step out of our world and into the world of OUR sons.
      D.A. Sears, 2012 International Men's Day - United States Coordinator (www.international-mens-day.com); Member, University Council for Fatherhood and Men's Studies Program at Akamai University (www.akamaiuniversity.us); Member, The Boys Initiative National Affinity Network (www.theboysinitiative.org); Managing Editor - IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) (http://globalfatherhooddialogue.blogspot.com)

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