Recycled Moms-Sharing Across Generations

Good day Recycled Moms and everyone who cares for children and seniors in particular. In our quest to care for our kids, we cannot forget our elders. Grandparents Day is coming up on September 8th and I think we can make this the best one ever. My hope is that every person who reads this blog post will reach out to a grandparent and let him or her know they are not forgotten. If your own grandparents are deceased, you can “adopt” a grandparent. Nursing homes, retirement villages, senior citizen centers and the like can put you in touch with a lonely person who needs love.

I just have to tell about my own paternal grandparents who were such unique and special people. They lived high in the mountains of North Carolina in a little cabin that Grandpa Nelson’s own father built by hand. There was no electricity or running water and Grandfather even drove his horse and wagon to town when he went in for supplies. This way of life was all they knew and they loved this simple, uncomplicated world that was swiftly passing away. This was in the 1960’s when such a thing was almost unheard of, a time when technology and new society values were sneering at the old ways.

Grandfather had been injured and walked on crutches. He would hobble to the woodpile and sit cross-legged while he chopped wood piece by piece with a hatchet. We children would help carry the wood onto the porch where it was easily accessible for the fireplace and wood stove.

Grandmother Myrtle raised chickens for eggs and for food, made her own soap from lye, churned her own butter and kept perishables in the spring house where the ice cold mountain water maintained their freshness. She taught me to make hominy from corn when I was about eight years old.

Both of these precious grandparents have long been deceased but I still miss them every day. The lessons I learned about life, living and loving were jewels more valuable than any queen’s crown. I only wish I had paid more attention at the time.

Recycled Moms are grandparents of course. We all must reach out to one another, pay attention to what we can learn from others. Some of us feel alone on this path we are walking and crave a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear. Every senior, every grandparent has volumes of wisdom held inside and longs to share that with another person.

A place I have discovered (actually they discovered me) is Caring Across Generations which is an organization that works to unite and bring people together and support one another in many ways. They are hosting a huge Grandparents Day party which we all are invited to attend. Visit their website at www.caringacross.org/GPDay to learn more. You can send a card to grandparents from that website, share “granecdotes” about your own grandparents and much more.

Make Grandparents Day 2013 the best ever for the grandparent you touch and for your family. Remember to share the campaign also so we can love as many seniors as possible on this special day. Who knows? You just might find a new family member and at the least will have made someone feel loved again.

Precious Memories

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Inside My Child

   We live closely with our children. Other than a spouse, no one is more intimate in our lives than our little ones. But how well do we really know what is going on in their minds? We are Recycled Moms and Kinship Caregivers but sometimes forget they are Recycled Kids. Just as we lived through a trauma that brought them into our lives, they were in the middle of that emotional and often physical war. That leaves a deep impact, a post traumatic stress they must learn to cope with. Counseling and therapy help of course, but as each human being has a personal responsibility, our precious kids have to use the tools we give them and work it all out inside themselves.

Our children are tiny buds opening to life

Our children are tiny buds opening to life

 The natural changes in personality that occur as children age is another concern. These must be guided in the way we want them to go so morals, values and character are not compromised. King David said of God in Psalm 16: 28, “You make known to me the path of life.” So we parents, grandparents and caregivers must open the eyes of our children to the life path before them. Everyone, regardless of circumstances, can have a happy, productive and successful life.To so guide a child, we must know who they really are, what they think about, like and dislike and what they want for themselves.

Some ways to do this are very simple. Habitually spend quiet time with each child. Take him or her to the park, sit on the bed at night, ask questions and patiently wait for answers. Do NOT use this time to reprimand, point out consequences or anything negative at all even if a comment surprises you. This is trust time.

  1.  What was the happiest moment of this day for you? This allows you to know what the child sees as positive.
  2. What concerns or fears did you experience? Something we thought the child understood may have been an uncertainty in her life.
  3. Who is your best friend? Why? What do you admire in this person? We will know what the child looks for in a friend and what draws them to people. This knowledge can be utilized to protect the child from undue influences.
  4. What do you want to do when you are grownup? IF the child does not know, we can draw out their talents, gifts and skills to offer options and present to them a view of future success in a chosen profession.
  5. Is there anything you want to tell me, any secrets or fears you want to let out? Let the child know he can always tell you anything no matter how serious you feel it is. Do not promise to remove all consequences but do promise to support him and never judge or condemn him.
  6. If you could change anything at all about our family and lives, what would you make different? This allows the child to vent hidden frustrations, tensions, sibling issues or other matters that may concern her.
  7. What has hurt you the most in your life? Usually this is a friend who gave a cold shoulder or something simple, yet the answer may surprise you. Perhaps it is the fact that the child feels neglected or in other ways needs more from you.
  8. What things would you like to change about yourself? How can I help you do this? These changes are often eye-openers that let you know the child’s secret insecurities and fears.
  9. What is your favorite food? Which food do you dislike most? These seemingly ff questions are vital because we can use the information to provide that favorite or to make certain that most hated food never shows up on her plate.
  10. What makes you feel loved? Surprisingly, this may be a hug or a note in a lunchbox. It may be a beloved, bedraggled sleep toy, a pet or knowing that God is watching and is protecting always.

Regardless of the questions or the answers, you will gain a deeper understanding of just who your child really is. Such priceless information is a treasure that we can polish as we help our children grow in their innate positive characteristics and to drop ones that weigh them down and burden them.

Recycled Moms raising Recycled Kids are powerful and loving. We have already come so far on the path with these children, now we have fuel to reach the future hand in hand with them!

We are traveling with our children on the path to their future.

We are traveling with our children on the path to their future.

Child Sex Trafficking-A Growing American Issue

CAUTION-ADULT CONTENT

Hello Recycled Moms, concerned parents, caregivers and educators. This is a very serious and even dark post. It is about the protecting the innocence and safety of our children. Just the words make my heart skip a beat.

When most people hear about child sex trafficking, they think of Thailand and other places around the globe that are not restricted by moral and government legalities. But child sex trafficking is a growing concern here in America. It is easy for abductors to take a child across state lines in a matter of minutes of hours. There are no check points and no questions of an adult traveling with a child.

The average age of a child forced into street prostitution is between 12-14 years old. Traffickers who hold children captive, travel from place to place sell children of any age to the highest bidder. Little girls and boys as young as five years are sold over and over to adult men who use them for perverted sex.

These children are almost always abducted or passed from family member to family member, friend to friend until they become invisible to the public eye. But the older children are often manipulated into leaving home, having been carefully “groomed” by an experienced pimp. A child who is unhappy at home, who lives in a chaotic or violent environment is vulnerable to this type of person. They listen to the child vent her frustrations and unhappiness, buy her gifts, provide a shoulder to lean on. Then like a wolf, he strikes when the victim trusts him or is about to get away. Usually the child is taken to a different city but sometimes ends up working as prostitute just blocks away from home. Feel free to insert the word victim in place of prostitute.

The media is a friend of these evil men and women (yes women) who force children in to prostitution. Movies such as Pretty Woman glamorize life as a prostitute; the words pimp has become a commonly used word. Television shows make the word seem like it will increase value or improve the life of one who is pimped. Prostitutes  (victims) will not be rescued by a handsome millionaire who falls in love with them. They will be beaten, starved, degraded, live in misery and die young from disease or violence.

Girls are sexualized at a very young age. Children as young as 7 or 8 years old habitually wear eye makeup and high heeled shoes. Sexually suggestive words are considered as the norm for kids. “Shake your money maker” is one I have heard used.

Advertising is one of the most irresponsible Medias. A chain restaurant put “Make a late night Foodie Call” on their soft drink cups. This might seem like minor thing but all of these add up to the indoctrination of our children and to the corruption of their minds, values and conscience. Then when potential predators target them and use words like these, the child is not frightened; the alarm bells do not go off.

stop

How can we grandmothers and other concerned caregivers change these situations and save children from being defiled and living a life of misery?

Mandate for stricter sentencing for offenders. Protest when any man or woman is given a slap on the wrist for having sex with a child. Back in 2011 former NFL player Lawrence Taylor was arrested for buying sex from a 16 year old girl. The victim was being trafficked. Taylor’s charges were reduced to misdemeanors and he never spent a day in jail. He has remained a hero in the eyes of many and lives in luxury in Florida. His victim, who had been beaten before being delivered to Taylor is still living with the trauma of the experience.

We must maintain a close relationship with our children so we know what they are doing and who they are seeing and talking with. Many of these predators stalk victims online, in chat rooms and other social media. Most websites and places such as Facebook have a minimum age of thirteen to join. Respect those rules and do not allow children to flaunt them. These are safety factors set up to protect children.

Of course there are many more safeguards and cautions. There are a thousand ways for our kids to fall victim and ten thousand ways to protect them from harm. Think it won’t happen to your kids? It can, it does, and it just might. Recently a 13 year old was rescued from child sex traffickers. She was abducted when she was nine years old. The name of her “owner” had been tattooed across her eyelids.

Don’t let that happen to your child. This blog post is just a grain of sand intended to increase awareness of the issue. Investigate this awful threat and learn more how you can prevent, protect and stop this damage to America’s children.  Recycled Moms are powerful warriors in the fight for righteousness!

child

A Bitter Better Love

 My very precious and innocent grandson received a letter from his other grandmother. She is incredibly sweet, loving and intuitive. She finds newspaper clippings that she knows he will like, writes a cute note or letter and mails them to him on a regular basis. One came just the other day.

It contained information about things he loves, wild animals and scientific trivia that boggles the mind. He, at ten years old, understands and treasures each of them. He has a special wooden box in his bedroom where he keeps this sort of thing.

After S. read the letter and every word of the newspaper articles, he sighed deeply and said in a dreamy voice, “Grandma A. is the best grandmother in the world.”

Recycled Moms, I honestly must say that a sword pierced my heart and ripped into my soul when I heard those words. I am weeping right now as I write this. For a very brief moment in time I felt despair fill my heart and soul.

I sincerely do not resent her relationship with S. Indeed I am thrilled they have such a deep connection. I just wish I could do those things and be seen as the greatest grandmother in the world. That will never happen though because I am the one who makes him clean his room, scrub the toilet, do homework and am the one who rations out video games and computer time.

Yet the better part of this love is that I am the one he runs to when he is frightened or in pain, the one who creates stories and songs for him. Only I get to smell his little boy scent after he is sound asleep, holding his Baby Lambie tightly in those firm little sun kissed arms.

I am the one who makes his favorite foods and knows which brand of orange juice he loves. He gives sleepy good morning hugs to me and we have our secret silly sayings. “Right? Right….toe,left toe, big toe, little toe and don’t forget the stinky toe!

It is indeed a bitter but better love that we Recycled Moms receive. We do not and never will have the traditional grandmother/grandchild relationship but what we have is more precious than anything that can be measured.

We are the security that helps these children sleep well at night. We are the person they know will never leave. Though we must dish out discipline and structure, enforce rules and make them do homework, we are also the mother they crave. We are the father they never knew and yet long for. We are the one who is showing love and teaching them to love in return and are the foundation upon which they are building their lives and future.

For these beloved grandchildren, we are mother more than grandmother. We are familiar and not exciting; they trust us because we are forever here. The other grandmothers have a special place in the hearts of the children entrusted to our care while we have the chores and the privilege of raising a new generation, one that will be better than the previous one that abandoned God’s greatest gifts, These children, soon to become adults, will achieve more, will be a more productive member of society that never forgets the one who sacrificed everything to gain just one smile. That smile carries our heart forever and ever while we love them more every single day. As the years fly past, we age and youth departs quickly, leaving us scarred and pocked with memories. The cost never matters however, is never important but those arms that hug us every day matter more than the world itself.

It is difficult sometimes and the short sweet bitterness leaves an acrid aftertaste on a hurting heart but the payoff is stupendous. The road we walk is full of heart bruising stones yet we will never consider taking the easier path. This is a bitter, better love, one chosen intentionally and one that gives much more than it ever demands.

Scarred and broken but greatly enriched

Scarred and broken but greatly enriched