April 27

Gladiators

#10: Gladiator

This is phenomena that I have been following the last few weeks. I haven’t done any studying, but have used the experience of having 4 kids who play on 8 different sports teams right now. Moms are treating their children as their personal gladiators. They push and push their kids to do better and better. This doesn’t sound bad on the surface. We should all like our children to pursue excellence. The problem is that it seems to be very comparative in nature. Women are constantly looking for their hero. Go out to any dating sight and you will see headlines referring to knights and heroes. Now this is a phenomena that seems to exist in all women and their children, but it is decidedly stronger in the single or divorced mother. What I have seen is women, particularly those with weak husbands or no husband begin to drive their children to perform better and better. This doesn’t only apply to sports. You will see this in school, the arts, and other areas where kids can be compared. This also isn’t just their male children. There are plenty of women driving their daughters to perform for the sake of being the best. All you have to do is turn on TLC and watch some of those _______ Mom’s shows. I don’t think this is a new phenomena. My reading of history tells me that any society that life has become to easy, and that the wars that are fought are far away begins to have this. Just as women used to give men something of theirs to have when they fought as knights, mothers see their children as fighting for them on the pitch or grid-iron. Somehow they feel like they are a part of it. Language can give this away in some nuanced ways. I used to get caught up in saying we had a bad game like I played. I never was that emotionally involved, but the language was there. I have realized over the last year of separation that my language has changed. Hers hasn’t. Its like she is a part of the game through them. I do think that this is worse in a world where these women don’t have men as heroes. Dads and husbands are not important in their life, or don’t exist. These women have displaced the adult masculine archetype with their little gladiators.

Another driver is the constant comparison that women do. They compare husbands or boyfriends. They compare houses and schools. They compare kids. They want their kids to be the smartest, fastest, strongest of all their friends. They will get angry, actually angry when their little one gets beat by another kid on the field. They aren’t just being overly critical, but are having a visceral emotional reaction to the event as if they experienced it themselves. Their champion isn’t the best. I see this as my wife isn’t happy unless my kids play on the best teams. They are good athletes and normally can play with whomever they like, but I have no desire for them to constantly be seeking the next best team. I was an athlete, and the relationships with teammates and coaches ultimately is far more important to me than being the best. I want the kids to learn and develop not only in their sport, but through their sport. I see very little of this from the moms. They seem to be looking for wins. An example that I see right now in my life is my oldest daughter. Her coach has pushed the team up a division. She wanted to test them, and see some different competition than the last season. They were a .500 team in the lower division. They haven’t won a game yet. The testing is working though. The division is small, and so they get to play most of the teams twice. So far they have played better games against each team they have played twice. They are becoming stronger and more skilled. They are also learning to overcome adversity of a stronger opponent, and get to see the results by playing the same teams again. I think it was a good choice. My STBEW does not. She was furious last week when my daughter was asked by her coach to help with a lower division team right before her game. She said something along the lines of “She is one of her best players, what is she thinking wearing her out before her own game.” I like that if my daughter wants to play she gets to. She is a good player, but at this level of play the best player changes from week to week, and that is how it should be. That is how they get better.

The craziest thing I have seen happen, and its creeping into my STBEW’s arsenal, is punishing for poor performance. Not taking them out for a promised treat. Actually being angry at a kid for not being their best. Making them feel bad about having a bad game. They feel bad enough. The best kids already take on the weight of the entire game on themselves. Sports in my opinion serve many purposes, but ultimately the kids aren’t going to learn most of those if they aren’t having fun. I have only punished my kids for things that happened in sports when they disrespected a coach. The rest of what happens on the field is up to the coach. I will talk with and partner with the coach on solutions for ongoing issues. Poor performance in competitive sports is generally punished with less play time. The kids learn quickly that if they do what the coach wants then they get to play. Now my experience is competitive sports. My opinion about recreational sports is that the parent may have to discipline poor behavior more, because play time incentives are hard when every kid should have equal time. Performance should not be a big issue in recreational sports. Many of the same lessons can be learned, but the intensity is very different.

This is similar to the previous one. Women are always looking to climb. They are much more likely to push their kids to change teams to find a better opportunity. Men seem much less likely to do this. They understand the value of the camaraderie of a team. I like the idea of my kid being on the same team for a long time. They develop lifelong friendships there. They can be a part time mercenary, if they want more games, meaning they can go play with other teams anytime they want. Kids who change teams constantly may be better at the sport than the other kids, but they are mercenaries. Just like the military has very little respect for the mercenary, even when they need them, so does the team that brings on a mercenary for a season. That kid will not be accepted, because everyone knows that he will be gone next season or next year. My daughter is on a team with her cousin. It is a good team. There are some moms trying to convince everyone that the coach isn’t very good. They are disrupting what is a pretty good thing for most of these girls, and especially good for a couple of girls I love. She wants her to change teams to a more prestigious coach. She has never seen a team he has coached. He just has the right credentials to be impressive to her. All her arguments about the team my daughter is on now, and why it is bad, also apply to the group of girls this guy is supplying. The icing on the cake to try to convince me to let her move is that another coach is going to allow his superior athlete daughter to play on the team. She misses the point. Its not actually about winning more games. Winning more games when they are young demonstrates development. I like to push my kids. This daughter already plays on a top division with team an age group up with this same girl. The problem is all these moms are missing the reality of who their kids are and what they have right now as they look for the bigger and better deal.

The final thing I see moms do, and this one is particular to the broad category of “single moms” is the tendency to try to imitate fathers. A harsh word from a father is taken differently than the same harsh words from a mother. As much as the world wants to deny that men and women are different, and that we fill different roles in our kids lives, it is true. They end at screaming at the kids for every technical detail of their play. I know some dads do this, and coaches tend to have a chat with them. The truth is the coach may have different desires. I find that I have stepped back. Having been a player and a coach, I have insight. Its not insight he needs during the game. I cheer, I encourage, and sometimes I have something to say about general game play, but I let the coach do the details. I can always talk to him about details on another day. I hear moms literally threaten punishment for poor play. I know the the quintessential overbearing dad shown in movies does this kind of thing, but I rarely see him. There is no more than one per team, if that many. Now I see multiple moms doing this. They are almost always “single moms” that are imitating what they think a father brings to the game for the kids.

My words to any mother who is in a situation where the father is not there, whether its a co-parenting situation, dad travels, or a true single motherhood, you are never going to be dad. Don’t try to replace dad. When dad isn’t there, the kid needs his mom to be the best mom she can be, and she can’t be that while trying to be a good dad to. Sure throw or kick the ball around with them, but coaches, male teachers, and neighborhood dads are going to give him a better dad experience than you are. Don’t force who gets to do this for your kids, especially boys. Sure guide them, but let it happen. If you are truly being a great mom, they will choose wisely. Now I say this with a forked tounge, because I don’t find that most women end up without the fathers around by making the best choices for their kids. If they did, then the father would be there in most cases. I do hope there are a few women who have turned around, and recognized the past mistakes, and are trying to do things right from here on out. This message is for you. You are not a dad, and can’t do it any better than I can be a mom. Dads are important, but a mom cannot be the missing dad. Being the best mom will soften the blow of not having their dad. I say this as a man who constantly is telling his kids that I am not your mother. I will not try to be your mother. I am your father, and I will continue to be your father for as long as I live. Your mother is your mother, and if you need your mother right now, I will do everything I can to get you to her. I do this with an ache in my stomach mourning that my kids are not in a two parent home where mom and dad are there together. I then go on and act like a dad. I hope my STBEW does the same, but I know she doesn’t. She tries to act like a dad, and my sons respond to her in ridiculous ways. She then calls me in a panic to get me to handle the problem she has created, if only she had been the mom, and handled it like a mom, or called me as the dad in the beginning to handle a situation that required a dad.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

April 17

I am infuriated

the opinion ... Thomas Knight, who killed Miami couple and a prison guard, executed (Posted on Tuesday, 01.07.14) ...item 3.. "Faith, Food, Friday" Hosts Conversation On Justice (Jan 07, 2014) ...

Today my son chose to skip a class. This isn’t what has me infuriated. It was bound to happen some time. I wish it wasn’t in sixth grade, but he is going through a lot of shit. That of course has forced me and his mom to stop his sports for the remainder of the year. He didn’t have what he was supposed to have and didn’t want to face his teacher. He chose instead to go to the nurse, and then when she released him, he dug through his locker. After not finding what he needed he chose to wander the school until the next class. Obviously intolerable behavior.

What has me so mad, is my STBEW went to a counselor to prime him for seeing my son again. This is a man I have trusted. He has a simple way of looking at things. She managed to get an appointment at a time when I would be tied up with the the girls, getting them to and from their practices far enough apart that I shouldn’t be doing it alone, but she seems to never be available to help with this. She went to the counselor and somehow when she left he had recommended all the things she thought was the right thing to do for him. She is supreme manipulator, so that may be the case. I find it suspicious that he would recommend anything before seeing my son and talking to me. She came over and yelled and screamed at him while I was out, and then everything was calm when I got here. She had decided that it is better that he be with us alone, and separate from his siblings. I think that this is going to be incredibly destructive and is why I recommended that we do what we were doing. I have been very liberal in allowing him to stay with her when he and she asked the past couple of weeks. I also didn’t give him much choice about going over to her place for the weekend. I didn’t want to have the knock down drag out fight in front of him, but I find it incredible that she made this decision without talking to me first. The counselor according to her also recommends that he be medicated for his impulse control issues for his own safety, and that he should see a psychiatrist as soon as possible.

The thing that I find amazing is that his behavior isn’t just a little different with me, but completely different. He is a different kid. He doesn’t have any impulse control issues with me. I fear for his future. She is going to fuck him up bad. He will be a mess when this is all over. I have to prepare to file for divorce, and ask for immediate custody of him. I will have to be aggressive. I need to start collecting evidence of her emotional and verbal abuse of him. I hate to think about doing this, but I believe she is going to destroy him beyond repair.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

April 16

Observations over the weekend

White Knight

This weekend was a busy one. One of those crazy run all over town my kids are doing too much kind of weekends. I had 3 kids in 4 tournaments in 3 different places. This presented some time to take in the world. As I ran around, I spent a lot of time with different people in different situations. So here are three things that struck me over this weekend.

I was chatting with a mom at the batting cages. I didn’t know much about her situation. I know that the STBEW had been talking to her the day before. She opened the non-baseball talk with something along the lines of “Its great how you and her can work things out for the kids sake.” Now understand that was referring to us getting along well enough to get the 4 kids to their activities. She then went on to explain that she has been a single mom since her youngest was four and a half months old, and how their Dad wouldn’t always take the kids to everything on the weekends he had them. I listened as she finished with “Its all about them isn’t it” meaning the kids. First if it was all about them, I would meet far fewer women like her, because they would have figured out a way to stay with the Dad. Most of the time men are easy to keep. There was a time not long ago, I may not have judged the man harshly, but I would not understand why he wouldn’t take his daughter to both a softball game and a soccer game on the same day. Now I see it with a different set of eyes. This man has his kids every other weekend, that’s it. She moved from a town 30 minutes away, leaving him there. He chose not to pick up and leave. This happened to me, and I made a different choice, but I can understand not following her around. Mine wants to move again, and I will probably stay where I am at, so my kids can have some stability. Now if I only had my kids 4 days a month, I think that I might choose to filter their activities such that I got to spend more time with them. Now she painted this picture without saying the words that made him seem like a dead beat of sorts. She told me I would see him at the game. I found this woman attractive before she started talking. I lost some of that shimmer for her as she spoke. I found myself saying “that’s too bad” a lot during the conversation. She probably thought I was agreeing with her sentiment, but the truth is I meant that its too bad that this man was missing out on his kids life for whatever reason. I watched this man at the game. Not hard for me to do at a baseball game. I don’t like baseball much. He came with a daughter from another woman. He obviously had her full time or close to it. He interacted with her and his other daughter as a very genuine father, who knew that people had already judged him. He talked to no one else at the game except one of the coaches. I also watched that he multiple times gave this woman a chance to engage him, and she chose not to. I feel this man’s pain. I am forever changed by my experience, and I know what torture he must go through knowing that he does not have the right to protect his children as a father should.

The next one happened on Facebook. A girl I went to high school with posted one of those “support me, I have been wronged” posts I find that mostly single mothers post about the “son of a bitch” they chose to have kids with. She had sent her child to another city on an airplane to see their father. The father missed getting the child back on the plane in the morning, and she was incensed that not only did she go to the airport and not get her child, but didn’t get a phone call. She called and asked what the hell happened. He explained he thought the flight was in the evening not the morning. Now I saw the comments. Most from similar women saying OMG, and other trite things. They all called this man a pig. How dare he, blah, blah, blah. A few white knights stepped in saying they would kick his ass if they ever saw him. I am thinking to myself, why would this man call if he didn’t realize that the flight was at 5AM instead of 5PM. It would be hours before he realized the mistake. He acted completely reasonably, but everyone wanted to kill him. This again was a woman I once found attractive, but the shimmer was lost with posts like these. My new eyes made me see that this was the continuation of parental alienation. She would now have a reason and the support to deny the father of her children access to the kids they had together. He will probably now see them even less than he already does. I know from her posts that she moves around the country freely, which probably also complicates things for this man. I feel this man’s pain. I am forever changed by my experience, and I know the torture he must go through knowing that he does not have the right to protect his children like a father should.

The third is more personal. After my son won his soccer tournament. It was late, and I was ready to get my kids home. The youngest was tired and ready for bed. The oldest was just hanging out. The middle girl was at a friends and I needed to pick her up, and get some stuff she left in her mom’s car. The one who one who won needed to get his stuff from the car of his team mate’s grandma who had taken care of getting him from game to game over the weekend. I left with the three I had. Shortly after leaving I get an annoyed phone call from my STBEW. She had parked across the park in another lot. Something I would have no idea about, since she was there before I was. She was annoyed I hadn’t sent the boys or a boy with her to escort her to her car. She didn’t ask them to go. Somehow I was not doing my job as a man to think of her, and send a boy, and was also failing to train the boys how to properly treat their mother. If we were together, I would have known, and would have sent a boy with her, and we would have been going to the same home, so he would stay with her. Instead we are not together. My thoughtlessness should have been expected, because when she left my home and asked for a divorce, she also gave up my protection. I don’t understand how she believes that she should have my protection by proxy through the boys. I wasn’t going to argue the point with her. I also wasn’t going to agree to have a chat with the boys, because as I wrote before, chivalry is dead in Chivalry Lost. I see no reason to train my sons to treat women with deference, and their mother in particular. This is different than respecting her as a parent. Had she asked, I would have sent one, even though to get to her I would have had to make multiple u-turns and drive about 3 extra miles to get to the other parking lot. I struggle with how to handle this. I used to think that chivalry was something I should teach my sons. I used to believe that it was important, and it was my job to teach them that women were precious and deserved special care. The problem is the deal is broken. The social contract that was in place that chivalry was a part of him meant that women treated men with a certain respect for being men, and that her men were treated with even more deference. Now that she has left, she no longer has my protection. Our contract is broken. Why then should I train my sons to treat her in a way that I myself would not treat her any longer. Chivalry was taught from father to son mostly through interactions with their mother. Once you are separate that just isn’t going to happen. Now the other problem is that chivalry is something enforced by men for men. It is completely disrespectful for a woman to demand it, and to demand that I a man would teach it in the way she believes it should be done. Feminism has changed chivalry, something they were the beneficiary of but had no part in, into yet another female privileged they believe they deserve. I am sorry, but my sons will not be taught by me to treat women as princesses. They will get the respect they have earned and no more. They will get the protection and service my sons desire to give and no more. I will also teach my daughters that they do not deserve these things for just existing. Its sad the world is here, but surviving requires a new understanding of the social contract. It is time that the women in each of our lives understand that we know the social contract is broken, and they don’t get to write the rules all by themselves.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

April 2

I Guess I Am A Single Dad Now

Single Dad Laughing is a Vampire!

I have always loathed the idea that women who are divorced are single moms. Most share custody with a Dad, and they can hand the kid to the Dad with a little warning without issues. Most Dads I know truly would rather have their kids all the time, so willingly accept the kids on days that are not their days. Now by the definition of single mom, I must be a single dad. I could have been before. I had the kids half the time, but things have changed. I now will have my oldest during the week every day, and then he will go to his mom’s place on the same weekends as the other kids. I will have him 12 out of every 14 nights. It scares me a bit. I will have very little time to myself. My place is small, and so he will be on top of me a lot. I am excited, because I want nothing more than to have my kids with me all the time. I put up with their mom for so long, because I couldn’t imagine loosing time with my kids.

I expected this to happen. I didn’t know when, or the circumstances that would bring it about, but I knew that it would happen. She and him have a completely toxic relationship. They yell and scream at each other, and she projects a lot of her psychosis on him. He starts with angry and goes from there in every interaction with her, and she does the same with him. This past weekend was my weekend. She had asked for some extra time with the kids, or the ones who wanted to stay with her while she took care of her niece and nephew. I agreed. She progressively worked towards my oldest not being welcome. My oldest daughter had no desire to go. She wanted to spend the time with me. I as happy about that. She is a joy to be around, but she also takes a long time to get talking about anything, so time with her is important. Before I even get home from a soccer game, I get a text that she is bring my oldest to me. When she got there, she informed me that he got mad, and tried to jump out of the moving car. She left a rather nasty bruise on his arm grabbing him. In his anger, he said things like he would rather die than spend any time with her, and he wished she hadn’t grabbed him. I don’t believe he is a suicidal kid, but she believes the worst in him. I do believe that if things keep going the way they are going, he will become a suicidal kid.

She called me the next day. She had a plan that he would be at different houses than the other kids all the time, because of course the problem is how he interacts with the other kids. The idea of him not spending any time with his siblings was crushing my heart. I knew that I couldn’t wait for her to decide to kick him out. I needed to move now. I told her that I wanted him during the school week, and that she could have him on the weekends that she had the other kids. After some discussion, where she objected to being excluded from parenting and that I wasn’t reading things right. She accepted somewhat reluctantly that my desire is for their relationship to get better, and that less time right now might just let them cool off. I believe that with a rational person, this is possible. I don’t think it will entirely work with her, but maybe I can help him be more emotionally stable when engaging her. Her main complaints were that I didn’t focus enough on his school, and that he would likely fall behind with me all the time, and that I need to step it up. Which on the surface is correct. I have not been coming down on him as hard as he deserves about school. He has been dealing with our separation, a new school, and a mom who is constantly screaming at him. I figured she has pretty much covered anything he needs to hear about school and then some. I will need to develop better habits about following up with him on school issues.

I was tense last night. I yelled more than I like with the kids. They were snapping at each other more than usual. I am sure that the temperament was starting with me. Yes, unlike their mom, I realize that whether I try to or not, my tension spreads to them. I talked to my oldest about what me and his mom decided. It was interesting how he responded. He cried. He didn’t think it was fair that he wouldn’t see her as often as he saw me. I talked to him about trying to make the time with her better, and that with some bigger breaks maybe that would be possible. Then he stepped into something that by his response is a bigger fear. He feared that the other kids would bond more with each other, and he would be left out. To a degree, the same argument applies. They have been treating him badly based on how their mom treats him. I talked a bit about that with him. The hard part is, he knows what it is like to lose an entire family. He was our foster kid before we adopted him and his brother. He was old enough to recognize losing a mom, dad, and four siblings. His brother was enough younger that his primary bonding happened with us. His next fear was that his mom would realize that things were so much easier without him, and would not want to return to a schedule that included him after doing this for a while. This one was hard for me. I couldn’t tell him that I too believed this. That I believed that she was looking for a moment where this could happen, and that she was probably pleased that I asked for it instead of her throwing him out. I hope its not true. I will put up with this vile woman for my kids sake. They deserve a mom, and if a part time mom can have a healthier relationship with them, than a full time mom, then I hope that we get to a place where all the kids are with me sooner than later. I do believe that she will discard each one over time.

I have the major task of raising a man from a broken child. A child whose mother is constantly tampering with his emotions. She is still pressing to medicate him, and believes that he needs a full psychological evaluation. I don’t think so. I think he needs some love and consistency and understanding. All things that I will give him. I never asked for these challenges in life, but I willingly take them on for my kids. I hope that I can get a handle on this quickly enough to save this boy. He has so little of his formative years left. Soon he will be a teen, and will be moving towards being on his own. I give him a hard time about having to move out when he graduates high school or have a plan for the future that I can understand and support. I may have to give this kid a little slack there. He may need a couple more developmental years post high school.

Men, don’t marry. Don’t allow this to happen to you. Don’t get in a position where you feel helpless to the whims of your wife and the thugs of the system. I am fortunate in that my wife appears to not want to be the mother, but does not want to look bad along the way. If you want children, adopt them on your own without a woman. Raise them as they should be raised. The western world will devour you in one way or another as a man stupid enough to get married.

Ten-Foured,

JeD