Monday, August 17, 2009

Nervous and Sad

A couple weeks ago, Greg and I filed a petition called a CHINS (child in need of supervision) petition. The purpose of this petition is two-fold. Since Irene is a minor we are still financially responsible for anything that she may do. This petition will help protect us. Also, the petition provides services for children in need of them, ie. counseling, drug testing, etc. Essentially what will happen is that we will go before a judge and explain why we filed the petition and what concerns we as parents have about our child. Then Irene will have an opportunity to express her opinion. Finally, the judge will rule on what he thinks is best for Irene. She will be placed on juvenile probation and required to abide by all court instructions, including whatever services they deem necessary for her. She will most likely be ordered to come back home and to abide by our rules and expectations in a respectful manner. If she runs away again, is caught lying to us, skips school, misses her counseling sessions, or in any other way violates her probation, she will go back to court where the judge will determine a juvenile detention sentence of up to ten days. Repeated or severe offenses may result in her being placed in a residential treatment center or group home. The judge may decide to send her to a treatment center right away if he thinks it will best benefit her. We are expecting her to be angry and defiant, but have been assured by the probation officer that the kids in this program eventually resign to cooperate.

We learned yesterday that a member of our church works at the same place as the mother where Irene is staying right now. Apparently this church member has openly shared her opinion that she feels we are too strict with Irene and completely disagrees with the way we parent her. This makes me so sad... I am so weary of people passing judgement on how we parent our children. Have they walked in our shoes? Do they know the whole story? Do they know even a quarter of it? If I chastise my daughter or speak harshly to her, does that automatically make me a bad parent? Am I not human? Could there be more to the story than what is being seen by others? Do children generally come with an instruction booklet that tells parents how to handle perfectly each and every thing that comes up? If so, I appear to have lost ours. We are in general so thankful for our church family, but there have been a couple instances of judgement like this and it is beginning to make me want to keep to myself. Feeling so discouraged.

And all this is happening the week before my due date.


Katie said...

HUGS ,, you are a great mom . I will be praying !!

Anonymous said...

Sharon, you are in our thoughts. Don't let others get to you. You are doing what you feel is best, and that is the best you can do. Hugs.

reaping joy said...

I know full well the anguish of trying your best with an unruly child & being judged harshly for we did nothing, we'd be blamed as bad parents; if we discipline, we're blamed as bad parents. It's a no-win situation with a lot of people. Anyone who has walked in the shoes of those with a child who refuses to walk down the right path no matter what you do can empathize & does not pass judgment. Oh, the stories I could tell...
A book that I have found extremely helpful is Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control by Heather Forbes & Bryan Post. It has helped me immensely in dealing with our son. There is also a yahoo support group for parents implementing the strategies in the book. I have learned a lot from them.
If you want to talk, vent, or just know that someone understands where you are, please email me. reapingjoyATyahooDOTcom
I'm so sorry that it has come to this for you & Greg and Irene.

I'll be praying for your family,
Hugs & love to you,

Eileen said...

Michael and I are thinking about all of you this week (as if you can't guess from the 10 times a day we talk....) - I can't wait to get there so I can help out with some of the stress!

Love to all


Rhonda said...

You are an awesome mom and in today's world you have to parent with "tough love". THe path they may take w/out that intervention is a whole lot worse than having to "conform to rules". Sending many hugs and prayers and so sorry you are having to deal with this and now of all times.
Blessings, Rhonda

Alexandra said...

Oh Sharon. That struggle in life that God puts before us. Tsk Tsk :) Frustrating. I hope your family finds some peace.

Rebecca and Shannon said...

Sharon, you are an amazing mom. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Hug my Irene for me.