Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More of What Dads Do

Thanks for giving me an opportunity to pitch in my two cents . . .

I view my relationship with my daughter as a balance in her life - maintaining the yin and yang (female and male) balance.

My daughter is 13 years old; her mother and I have been separated/divorced for 6 years. These are some reasons that I think it is important that my daughter spend time with me:

- Her mother is sedentary. I am active - some things I do with my daughter that her mother doesn't do:
Take her to church on my weekends (every other weekend)
Enroll her in Sunday school/Confirmation classes
Take her to many different public activities (even to the extent of her being interviewed on camera for the local news)
Enroll her Writing classes that she wanted to attend

- I'm also re-married and her Mom isn't - this isn't a judgment on whether or not she should be married since it's up to her, but because of that, my daughter is exposed to a family setting in the house and sees how a man/husband should treat a woman/wife (and vice versa). This is modeling for my daughter.

- My daughter sees me bicycle to and/or from work (25 miles each way). As she matures and reaches middle-age (I'm 48, myself), she'll know that an adult can be active throughout their life (I laugh when her friends call me "Old Lance"!)

- I teach her to use tools and do other tasks around the house (upgrading TV equipment, mowing the lawn, assembling miscellaneous items)

- Ultimately, I want her to know how the man in her life should treat her - I want her to know that she should be treated at least as well as I treat the women in my life.


Here are some examples of what I do:

1) I have lunch with my daughter at her school at least once a month and spend at least two full days at my daughter's school interacting with her, her school mates and the school staff. Even though I pay child support and pay 100% of the cost at my home for myself and my daughter, I believe it is important to take time off of work to spend with my daughter at her school.

2) I have chosen to remain single and date rarely, so I can portray to my daughter that she is number one in my life.

3) I have contacted the school when I have considered another child's (unfortunately boys) behavior toward my daughter to be abusive: swearing, threats or hitting. I have only done this twice in four years. I know kids can belittle each other, so when she complains to me, I weigh what she is saying carefully.

4) I have confronted boys in my neighborhood when they have made derogatory comments to my daughter or flipped her off.

5) I have been up early in the morning tending to my daughter when she has been sick.

6) I schedule my vacation time from work to coincide with the additional time that I get to have with my daughter during the summer and winter breaks from school, so we can be together and go swimming, camping, skiing, etc.

7) I help and/or review my daughter's homework when I have her on a school night, and I have her read to me.

These are just several examples. I can add more if you would like.


I am not a doofus dad, and I'm tired of seeing this bullshit in the media. I'd love to submit a story about how I've taught my five-year-old daughter how to ride a skateboard, and how she brags about it to all her friends in her kindergarten class. She also tells everyone about all my tools (really, just a small kit of craftsman hand tools) and how I fix her bike, skateboard, etc.

This is the same daughter who was ripped from me for 26 days in September, 2002, when she was an infant, because her mother and I had an argument related to my being unemployed back then. As a result, and in spite of there being no actual violence committed, I was thrown out of my home, arrested, fingerprinted, photographed, and lectured by the municipal court judge. Naturally, the "domestic violence" TRO was rubber-stamped. My crime? "Terroristic Threats."

Of course, now that I'm back to making $70k, and paying for my daughter's private school as well as health insurance for the three of us, I'm OK again.


I'm a grandmother in TX. I recently came across your site while searching for help for my son who has been devastated by the biased, corrupt judicial and family court systems in TX for the past 4 years. I know of at least 52 men that have also been
discriminated against in our area (San Antonio. All caring fathers that have
been alienated from their children by a biased, corrupt system).

My son was falsely accused of domestic violence by his wife in 2003. She was
mad at him for trying to stop her from spending all their money on meth and
cocaine again. She rubbed her neck and made red marks, and when the officer
arrived he asked, "What happened to your neck, did he try to strangle you?"
She said "Yes, he tried to strangle me" which was a blatant lie.
That was the beginning of a nightmare that seems like it will never be over.

My son was pressured to accept a guilty plea and was given a year probation
and other things. He filed for divorce and his son and step-son (her son
from a previous boyfriend) went with him to our home. She was too involved
with drinking, doing drugs and sleeping with other men to care about them.

Things were OK until a couple of months later when she attacked him while
high on drugs, trying to bash his brains in, knocking his glasses off and
mangling them. He was nearly knocked out and all he saw was stars, and
reflexively threw his arm up to block another blow, accidentally making
contact with her while she was coming in for another attack. He connected
with her totally by accident while nearly unconscious- all he saw was stars.

When the police arrived they ignored his injuries and arrested him. He tried
to ask them why he was being arrested when she was the one that attacked
him, and was told "It's not up for debate so be quiet." They only took her
statement, which was lies, and refused to even take a statement from him,
assuming he was guilty automatically because he's male.

A few months later (while my son was in jail and the children were still
living with us while she continued to party) a women's violence place here
told her they would give her cash and other benefits if she would claim she
"feared for her life" and get a restraining order, so she did. They paid her
to lie! When it was produced for my son to sign he explicitly asked if it
would affect his rights to his son, and was told it would not but was only
to stay away from her, which was another blatant lie.
This organization was the same one that was contacted previously by my son
asking for help with the violence and drug use by his wife. They told him
they don't have any help for men except as an abuser.. They told him if a
male comes in there looking for help as the abused, they tell him to leave
immediately, they can't help him. We soon found out there isn't a single
place for males to get help with an abusive female in their lives. All
programs are only for women and against men. It was surprising considering
at least one-third of abuse victims are men.

The protective order took everyone from these children's lives, their father
as well as us grandparents who were caring for them while she partied. She
was not interested in caring for them and was not even capable of caring for
them, but that didn't matter to the biased, corrupt system. When we had to
deliver them to her my little 3-year-old grandson ran down the center of the
street crying and screaming for us and there was nothing at all we could do.
I cry still when I think of the pain he felt. His mother didn't even have
the wits about her to comfort him but just walked away. We stopped of course
and comforted him and then had to hand him to one of the men she was with.
The system killed us all that day.

We learned a few days later that she had left them with a heroin addict. We
tried to get help from CPS but were told she can leave them with whoever she
wants since she's their mother. We told them of other abuse and neglect we
knew of. A few weeks later we contacted them again and asked them if they
were investigating. They informed us that she had moved so they could do
nothing. We learned later that the women's organization had financed her
move to another state, so that CPS could not investigate her. We didn't even
know where they were for over a year.

The laws pertaining to domestic violence assault accusations are bizarre and
confusing to say the least. There seems to be no time limitations on how
many times the one charge can be brought into court, or the number of
warrants and bonds issued, where the accused doesn't even know about it
until he's arrested again.
My son has been through court settings 3 different times in two different
courtrooms, and it has been dismissed 3 times, only to be brought back and
started all over again. He didn't hear anything for nearly two years and
then it was back again, right when he was making some headway in getting
some rights to his son. There has now been 4 separate warrants and 4 bonds
paid, and numerous court dates in different courtrooms on this one charge
over the past 4 years.

He has not been allowed to have contact with his child for over 4 years,
except for 5 months when he had temporary custody when the mother abandoned
their son. He did great with his father and was happy, healthy and very well
cared for.
The mother regained sole custody as soon as the women's organization went
back to court with her claiming my son was allegedly violent. This
organization took up her cause to get what she wants at any cost to my
grandson and everyone else. They provide free attorneys and all expenses
paid for, while my son has to pay all his own expenses. My son has fought
for parental rights in family court but has none. The judge once even told
him he was too obsessed with seeing his son. It has taken everything we all
have, financially and emotionally, but he still has no rights at all. He's
always been a loving father and there's no sane reason his child should
ever have been kept from him.

We also learned the biased family court judge that refused him rights,
regularly participated in fund raisers for the organization that provided
her pro bono attorneys and all expenses. In return the organization donates
thousands back to the judge's re-election in order to keep an anti-father
ally on the bench.

We have proven there has been severe neglect, abuse and abandonment by the
mother, yet my son has no rights to even protect his own child. Everything
from my grandson being absent or tardy from school much of the time (she is
fined and jailed for this but nothing else), to being taped up and tormented
by her boyfriends, to a drunk guy staggering into their bedroom in the
middle of the night and passing out in a pile of his puke on their bedroom
floor, to being abandoned while she spent a week with her boyfriend in the
city-and there's a lot more! They just don't care!
My entire family (especially my son and grandson) have been destroyed,
emotionally financially, physically and spiritually. We live in constant
depression, anxiety and sorrow- terrified for my grandson's safety, praying
my son can cope and not have to resort to suicide. At the very least we know
all our lives have been forever shattered.

In June my son will finally get the hearing he has been requesting for 4
years. Four years of being threatened and harassed by the prosecution, told
they will make sure he doesn't see his child for a long time unless he
pleads guilty. The prosecutor has worked alongside his exes attorney to keep
him from having any rights, all because they're pissed off that he had the
nerve to ask for a trial instead of taking a guilty plea like other falsely
accused men do. Like he did with the first false accusation.

He was told 4 years ago they will wait as long as possible to give him his
trial. Told they know how to manipulate the jury to do what they want,and he
will be found guilty even if he's not. They use my grandson as a pawn,
jeopardizing his life and safety just to punish my son for not accepting a
plea to something he's not guilty of.

I use to believe in our system, now I feel I've been deaf, dumb and blind to
the truth all these years. There are many men in the same position, and many
innocent men are jailed and have their lives destroyed by the bias and
corruption in the system. Many of these men have children that are ripped
forever from them, many left in the sole custody of very violent unfit
mothers, as my precious grandson is. It's a horrible travesty that never
should happen in America.

We've learned it's useless to hire an attorney as none want to fight for the
rights of fathers/men when it's not popular to do so, and they face their
own repercussions from the prosecutors and judges if they try.

This may sound far-fetched but every word is true and there's nothing we can
do about it. All we can hope for now is to get the truth to others so they
may be able to avoid the nightmare we live in. It's so hard to even go on,
no way to escape the terrible pain.

I hope someone reads this that may truly care what is happening to so many
good men in our country, as well as the thousands of innocent children this
corruption destroys.

Thank you.


What did my dad do for me can be described in one scene from my childhood. At about 10 years old my dad started to teach me to shoot.

We had an air rifle, a BSA Meteor .177, that he first taught me to respect then, under his close supervison taught me to shoot. We had a long garden that backed onto open fields and he set up a catch box at the bottom of the garden with a cane in front of it. The top of the cane was level with the middle of the box. In the top of the cane he set a razor blade edge on.

We went up to the top of the house to a window that gave us an excellent oversight of the target and the surrounding area so that we could see easily anyone entering the taget area. From this distance you could see the cane but not the blade. We each fired several shots at the target and I was pleased that I nicked the cane, at least once. Then we went down to the box the see the results. I was amazed to see split pellets in the box.

I of course asked him how it was done - his reply was simple "practice".

My father gave me someone to look up to, someone to play with and someone to admire.
He was human and respected by his peers in a way that meant something tangible.

When he spoke, others listened.

To this day his opinion and advice are always welcome if not always followed as today I am a dad myself and the one thing he taught me was that everything, including standing on your own two feet, takes practice.

I dont always agree with you Glenn, but I see you for what you are - a man who stands on his own two feet.


I have good memories of the many ways my father made me and my three siblings feel happy and secure as we were growing up. The time he spent with us during family hour after a long work day was his way of showing both his love and his need for us. The attention he gave to me and my brothers and sister as we struggled with life's challenges probably took more patience on his part than I appreciated at the time. I'll always feel grateful for his guiding presence during family vacations and holiday gatherings. He set many good examples that helped me and my siblings in
immeasurable ways: a solid work ethic, sensitivity to the needs of others, honesty, patience, and a keen devotion to family and friends, especially family. Although his demanding administrative job took him away from home at times, he always kept his focus on our personal needs and well-being. I'll remember the care and concern he showed to my mother when she was ill with pneumonia, as well as the time he spent with my younger brother when he was sick in the hospital. Little things made an impression during childhood, like his comforting words to me as we sat together on my first ferris wheel ride. There was the time he helped me with a class project in
fifth grade and came through for me when I really needed his support. My father taught me to respect myself and others. He made mistakes at times like we all do, but he was always there for his family.


There are so many things that dads do best, that it's hard to know where to start. They play with babies and kids in a much more physical way than mom, which eventually teaches kids about self-control. They teach kids about taking good risks and exploring the world around them (we moms tend to hold our kids close). A dad's involvement is often the better indicator of a child's performance in school (most people think it's the mother's). Dads teach their sons how to treat women and teach their daughters what a good man is. And most of all, an involved dad teaches his kids that they are valued and precious to him, which does more for their self esteem than any peer group or outside influence when they are faced with issues later in
life such as alcohol and drug use.

If you would like to learn more about getting dads off to the right start so that they can prepare for this "role of a lifetime", please visit our web page - www.bcnd.org - or take a look at one of the attached articles about the program.


About 5 years ago, my younger brother, John, applied to become a police officer in our small town. My brother had dreamed of being a police officer since he was young, but life got in the way and he had been on a different career path. Finally, in his mid thirties, he decided he was going to pursue his dreams. Due to his age, he likely had only one chance at getting a position.

Because the police department was local, John knew several officers. He passed the written part of the exam and had only to pass the physical test. He knew he had a great shot at getting the job as his friends inside the force had been advocating for him.

John was confident as the day of the physical exam drew near. Holding black belts in 4 martial art forms, his physical abilities were excellent. The evening before the test, he explained to his 11 year old son and 6 year old daughter that he may soon become a police officer. Needless to say, they were proud of their Dad.

On the day of the exam, John woke up with a swarm of butterflies in his stomach. Although he had been supremely confident, he was tense as the pressure of fulfilling a lifetime dream became palatable.

Going into the physical exam, John was most concerned about the running portion of the test. Since this was the first test given, he would know soon enough if he had the stamina and speed to pass. Happily, John made it through the run with a few seconds to spare. He then cruised through all the other tests until he had just one more to go.sit-ups.

Sit-ups were a routine part of John's martial arts training. The police exam required sixty sit-ups completed in four minutes. As John rapidly began doing the sit-ups, his police officer friend held his legs in place. John quickly got through the first forty sit-ups without a pause. As he approached fifty, he could feel his stomach muscles beginning to rebel. As he hit fifty-five sit-ups, he was straining to pull his body up. With thirty seconds left, John had a mere one sit-up left to qualify for the police officer position. The police officer friend urged him on reminding him that he only needed one more. He never got there.

Upon failing the sit-up portion of the test, John rushed to the bathroom and vomited. As he exited the bathroom, his police officer friend pulled him aside and told him he was going to credit him with sixty sit-ups so he could pass the test. John looked his friend in the eye and told him, "No, I did not pass. The other people here did what was required and I do not want to become a police officer by cheating."

John drove home that day ashamed of himself for not realizing his lifelong dream. He honestly told the story to his family. He was embarrassed, but he felt it was important for them to know the truth.

I believe my brother's story is a great example of an intangible parenting event. He didn't do any laundry or cooking or bathing.he simply taught his children an invaluable lesson that hopefully will remain with them for the rest of their lives. All of this was delivered to his children in a matter of minutes, but without years having their Dad's presence in their lives and witnessing his sacrifices and believing in his integrity, the story would not have had the same impact.

The lives of Dads and children are littered with similar stories. When a Dad is removed from the live of his children, those children are denied the experiences and the wisdom of their Father. Society does not seem to recognize the invaluable contribution of Dads as it pertains to children witnessing behavior, and we all suffer for it.

John is now a successful business owner and his children are doing very well
in life with him as an example.

1 comment:

Todd Ender said...

My name is Todd, and I live in Michigan. I am a very loveing father of 2 kids. My son is 15 and my daughter is 13. Two years ago I was liveing in Iowa when I got a phone call from the child protection agency telling me that they were going to take my kids away from my exwife and wanted to know if I wanted custody of them. Of course I said yes. I did everything I was suppose to do, and was told all I had to do is get a place when I got back. Well The day I got back, (BAM!) everything went wrong. (I am going to change names, because I am still trying to fight this), some christian services agencey that suppose to repensent the kids in court screwed everything up. Because I am disabled and because I dident have a house in Michigan long enough, I wasent good enough to get the kids. They took the kids away from my exwife permantly because of abuse. The kids told them that they wanted to live with me also. Lets say her name is Cathy, the one who is in charge of the custody issue. I have done eveything that I was suppose to do but she did everything she could to ruin it for me and my kids. I have now had my house for a year. My parents have guardianship at this time, which isent working like it should. I am on full Social Security Disability. I am able to walk and play with my kids.

Things that I had to do to get them.

1. Get a house and keep it.
2. Take parenting classes. Was required at least one, took 4.
3. Spend more time with my kids (which is what I always wanted, but my exwife and her boyfriend always tried to keep me from them.)

4. Budget my money. (well my bills get paid, thats it for my money.)

And that was it. I did everything I was suppose to do, but it wasent enough for them.

As far as money go's if and when I get the kids, I wont have a money problem because besides my Social Security, both my kids get money off of mine plus they are both on SSI. So I would have plenty of money to support them.

Things I have done with and to help my kids.

1. Take them to their first ball game.

2. Help them with their school work.

3. Go to their school activities, *exp. concerts, school olympics, go on their field trips, (when possiable, because their schools dont allow parents to ride their busses), eat lunch with them, spend time with them is thier classes, while helping them learn.*

4.Helping them learn to ride their bike.

5. Take them to their doctor appointments.

6. Play and teach them how to play ball.

7. Commfert them when they are said.

8. Be their when they need someone to talk to.

9. Tuck them into bed and read them a bedtime story.

10. Most important of all, I just love them and show it at all times.

The lawyer I had refused to help me at all. It was one of those free court lawyeres. He just said that I had to go along with whatever they wanted. He wouldent fight to help me get the kids.

(P.S. If there is miracles out there, and your a lawyer or know a lawyer who would volunteer your time for me and my kids, I would forever be greatfull.)

I am a wonderfull dad who loves my kids, and Im not ready to give up on them. (my kids tell me that Im the best dad in the whole world all the time).

If you would like to write me, and know more about me and my kids, feel free to write me at toddender@att.net.

Thanks for reading this.
Todd

P.S. All names except mine has been changed.