I am happy these past 10 years that we have featured stories about families from around the world. But I would also like International Family Magazine to be a voice. I don’t want it to be just my voice or the other authors that contribute to IFmag. But the voice of many families. So, I have begun in the September issue of IF mag to put some current event interest stories on IFmag to see if there is a voice, or voices that comes from our family here at IFmag. So, let’s start with the teen calling the police because he or she didn’t want to go on a family vacation and wanted the legal authorities to stop them or there to be consequences for that type of parent abuse “forcing a child to participate”. On the one hand I have a very clear memory of my own. From 2012 to 2013 my oldest son became a teenager. Those two summer vacations looked and felt very different. In 2012, before fully hitting the hormonal impact winds, my son came on our European vacation and was a participant. No one had to asked, he just behaved as always in our family as though he were a player. Fast forward to the next summer and he curled into a fetal position towards the door and sighed heavily unless someone gave him a device to contact his peers. Yes, he had become a teenager. If he had picked up the phone to call the police to our house to have me dragged away and he taken to social services over our California highway trip, I would have worried that something in our family dynamic had gone haywire. For me, that type of usurping my parental authority not just be ignoring it, yelling at it, doing what he pleased, but engaging the authorities to put me in trouble, would have for me, made the ground I walked on fall away. Something about that would have worried me that my child felt he had a power in which once enabled made him more of an adult, less in need of my parenting and ready as it were for emancipation. I might have challenged him by allowing social services to take a suitcase and go with them. Then, go on our vacation without him while he experienced foster care for 2 weeks till the home visit and interviews to see if we were fit could be arranged. I say that, but I am sure I don’t know what I would have done. But I reflect these days on the children of this generation that seem to feel they have outgrown the need for their parents, speak it loudly and disrespectfully as they take our money and rides. Yes, teens go through a muddlywump. But are some of the teenagers these days taking it too far? Even worse, have we as parents enabled them so much in their pre-teen years to be all, be winners, express themselves that we never saw the backlash coming? Something to think about. Maybe IFmag has a conversation on it. As they used to say on a comedy show in the U.S. “talk amongst youselves.”
The summer days are counting down here in Florida for the boys to go back to school. This is about the time, a couple weeks before school starts that everyone gets restless for a routine, structure. Yes! Even the kids, I promise. I watch my children leave the school year exhausted just like their mama, a middle school teacher. Too many end of year tests!! But at this point in the summer, they crave routine, structure, their energy isn’t being used up as their brains have turned to mush!!!!!!! We have moved down here to Coral Gables Florida to rejoin Daddy who was job hunting down here. Mama did the single parenting thing for a year and God Bless anyone that does it for more – almost did me in!!!!!!!!! Luckily my separated husband and I remain dear friends and I need him as a co-parent. So, in two weeks, we look forward to Ponce De Leon Middle School in Coral Gables Florida and their Magnet IB Gifted Program to do the trick for my restless teen and pre teen!!!!!!!
After 8 years of teaching to the students on Hilton Head Island, Catherine Wayland is ready to get her doctoral degree down south. “I am excited about this new opportunity to synergize all my learning as a teacher and put it down in a paper that I hope will become a teaching workshop book for teaching ESOL (Second Language Students).” I’d like to finish the PhD and work with teachers so we can get the model to the right fit for everyone.
After 8 years of teaching in Beaufort County, Catherine Wayland editor of International Family Magazine moves further south to work on her doctoral degree. Wayland knows this is a big move for her family. As a teacher in Beaufort County, Wayland was often emotionally moved by a student’s essay about the impact of a move on their life. So, Wayland is taking this move from Beaufort to Miami very seriously for her two sons. Wayland began to prepare her sons a year ago. Their father had left the Beaufort County area to look for work in New York and Miami. As very amicable co-parents, Wayland and the sons’ father decided Miami would be the best for everyone. Catherine Wayland and her sons don’t have family in Beaufort County. So it has been a wonderful eight years but a stop on the way back to family. A lot of Wayland’s family has moved south in the last five years. This was a positive for her sons. Especially, that their father had agreed and found a home near the neighborhood Wayland targeted close to the University and the boys’ middle school. Also, the sports is very active in Florida. So, this blog will journal a family’s move. Catherine Wayland wants to make sure to take the treasures she got in Beaufort County, and bring those gems with her family. A geographic adventure and new home can be an exciting time for a family if it is planned well. But, always expect the downsides as well, and accept that it is part of life. If Wayland’s sons get sad at leaving friends, she is prepared to make sure they connect with their Beaufort friends on vacations and three day school holidays.
Dear IF readers,
Some of us are starting back to school soon. As a family, not just the kids go back to school, but so does Mom. I am ready actually. At the beginning of the summer we are all ready to sleep in and have no schedule. At the end of the summer, the lack of schedule, staying up late, and sleeping late, the money spent on entertaining the “bored” children, sends us flying back to our schedules, and school lunches. Amen, Cat Wayland, Mom, Editor and Middle School Teacher
Hello dear friends, today starts my campaign as co-chair for this year’s Low Country Autism Foundation fundraiser. It will be held at the Hilton Head Country Club in HHP Plantation on Sept 11. What better way to honor a day that this country lost so many than to look to help those that are in need. So, I am getting people to come to an evening of Deaz Guys, dinner, drinks and dancing for $90 per person. Life is short, I worked in Wall Street before becoming a teacher, and right before 9/11 I was going up in the Twin Tower elevators and I thought, “someday this elevator is going to bust, or a fire break out…and I better do something meaningful….” 9/11 happened shortly after and I was not in the Liberty building or the Deutsche Bank building because I had left full time work as an analyst to work contract and decide what was next. I was at 18 and 5th at the City Bakery and I watched the devastation in horror and then thought, “God must have heard my prayer…I better do something meaningful.” So, I gave birth to two beautiful sons, stayed home with them for 7 years, went back to get another Masters, this time in Education/Special Education and became a middle school teacher. 800 students later, I want to further challenge myself to do more charitable work. So here goes…if you have ever had a moment of clarity as I did in the Twin Tower elevators…that your life might be more about helping, giving, creating something magical with the gifts you have….jump on board for this year’s wonderful LAF (Lowcountry Autism Foundation). I am looking to sell tickets, I am also looking for groups to take a table, I will be building a table, and I know a few companies that are taking people out and writing it off with the non profit tax id. I am looking for auction items, vacation rentals, chefs, massages, tennis or golf pros, art, clothing, jewelry, symphony tickets, music lessons, theatre tickets, gift certificates, and door prizes that are $25-$50 retail baskets to promote local businesses, and finally yes CORPORATE SPONSORS!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s dance, laugh and help someone who needs you! http://www.lafinc.org/
Hi IF readers, It is an evening on July 2nd. I just took my oldest son Jax up to the Highlands of North Carolina for his first time away from home at sleep away camp. He will be 13 in 2 months and this is really his first time away from me for more than 3 or 4 days with his father, or another family member. I have been very protective, but I have also enjoyed my children very much. But, it was time for him to be on his own a little. Jax has grown so much physically this past year that at 5 foot 8 at age 12, he has looked like a high school kid, and the pressure of it has been tough. The girls especially. So, a few weeks up in the mountains at our church camp at “The Mountain” which is owned by the Unitarian Church, with great people, great counselors, will be great. Even if it isn’t great, it will be a learning of self, away from the nagging of parents. I went away to boarding schools and camps at age 12 never to return because the family that adopted me, my mother got ill emotionally and physically and could not care for my sister and I anymore. That was too much, too young. But my Jax, he has been soo loved and so cared for, and he is ready for a little time to know himself, and then come back and integrate that back into a very close knit, loving family that wants him to grow up and strong so he can leave someday to become a young man, at the right time for college or a job. I can’t call him to hear the stories, but I can send him emails, he has been gone since Sunday, it is Thursday, and I have written him 2 long emails, trying not to overdo, trying to tell him how loved he is. The great balancing act of love, it is a daily exercise in discipline and abundance, the great paradox of life. Well, dear IF readers, I will post a picture or two, and upcoming blogs about my work with Lowcountry Autism and a fundraiser in the Fall, great reading, Cat Wayland, Hilton Head, SC