Pumped Up Parents

Developing Confidence

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: PUP

Program Code: PUP000010A

00:01 Daddy said that he was coming home soon.
00:03 He said that he is getting a new trial.
00:05 Do you know when that will be?
00:06 He said that he is looking for another lawyer.
00:09 As soon as he finds one good enough,
00:10 he's coming home.
00:11 Even then, that could take years.
00:13 Daddy said that you would say that.
00:15 He said that you'll be negative.
00:16 You just don't want him to come home.
00:18 Your father has no control over when he comes home.
00:21 He said that he is coming home soon
00:22 and I could go with the Millers on their family vacation.
00:25 Wait, I've already told you,
00:26 you're not going on that trip with them.
00:27 But Daddy said I could go.
00:29 Every time he says I could do something,
00:30 you'll always ruin it.
00:31 Who are you talking to first of all,
00:33 I said you're not going,
00:34 it doesn't matter who said anything else,
00:37 I said you're not going, you're not going.
01:23 Well, Lauren seems very frustrated in that video.
01:26 She is. She is really frustrated.
01:29 So what has happened since the last session?
01:33 Well, her grades are failing.
01:34 She's always complaining,
01:36 she seems like she's almost depressed.
01:40 Just the other day, he called
01:42 and he said he was coming out again,
01:44 you know, and it's like, well, he doesn't know that.
01:46 So she stayed up all night asking,
01:48 "Is he really coming home?"
01:50 And I had to just walk her through that.
01:51 It's just so frustrating and I am so exhausted.
01:54 Yeah, it sounds exhausting.
01:56 How many times have you done that now?
01:58 I would say at least five. Okay.
02:00 And each time she waits up, she thinks he's coming home
02:03 and he doesn't come home,
02:04 so we repeat the cycle over and over and over again.
02:07 All right, is it just limited to his coming home
02:10 that she's left holding the bag expecting from him.
02:14 No, I mean he promises her things that he can't keep.
02:16 He says, I'm gonna send her something,
02:17 perhaps someone else send her something
02:19 and it never comes.
02:21 So again, she's back to crying, she gets attitudes,
02:23 and she gets attitudes with me too.
02:25 And that's the thing I don't understand.
02:26 And I tried to explain to her,
02:27 when he promises things
02:29 that it didn't happen last time,
02:31 so don't expect that this time.
02:33 But she still has hope
02:34 and it just causes her to have problems
02:36 every time he disappoints her.
02:38 So, yeah, I saw in the video, where she was saying,
02:40 that dad said you would be negative.
02:42 Do you think that she actually
02:44 meant that dad said you'd be negative
02:46 or do you think that she is just kind of saying
02:51 that to get your ego maybe?
02:53 No, I think she believes that.
02:55 I think that he tells her that every time
02:57 he says he's gonna be there, you know, she believes it,
02:59 and he's saying that I'm just so pessimistic.
03:02 He's always saying whatever I...
03:04 Everything I say, I guess for the most part,
03:06 he just says the opposite.
03:08 So, you know, it just seems
03:09 like he's pining her in between the two of us
03:12 and she has to choose, and she chooses him
03:14 because he says what she wants to hear.
03:16 Okay.
03:17 And so you're feeling like you are the bad guy.
03:19 Yeah, I'm always the bad guy. Okay.
03:22 And so you kind of left with, who's your support system?
03:26 I really don't have one.
03:27 And I think a lot of my frustration comes out
03:29 when I do speak to him because it's so bottled up.
03:31 And we rarely talk to him, and when we do,
03:33 every time it's a empty promise
03:34 or I need something so I'm just always frustrated
03:37 and I think that's the only way I probably
03:39 let my emotions out.
03:40 Okay, so it's by expressing frustration.
03:42 Yeah.
03:44 So did you notice anything on the video
03:47 that you may be doing that may be causing her to feel
03:50 a little bit more frustration or anxiety?
03:54 Well, I know I'm not really supportive,
03:55 you know, when she does want to really do something.
03:58 If he even tells her he's gonna do something,
04:01 I just always shut it down,
04:02 I don't even really think about it.
04:04 I just naturally say no because he said yes.
04:07 I guess, I could be a little bit more supportive I guess.
04:10 So in the sense, you kind of pitying her too.
04:14 Does that make sense to you? I guess. I guess.
04:17 I guess, I don't know.
04:19 He is taking advantage of her being a little girl by saying,
04:22 yes, yes, yes, which maybe he really thinks
04:26 he can do these things maybe,
04:28 or he really believes it's going to happen.
04:30 Maybe, I don't know. Okay, you don't...
04:32 Has he been known to lie?
04:34 Well, he just makes promises he can't.
04:36 I don't think he really thinks through a lot of stuff he says.
04:38 Again, he just says stuff to make her happy right then
04:41 when she's on the phone,
04:42 and says he's not there to see
04:44 what happens afterwards when he lets her down,
04:46 it doesn't bother him.
04:47 He doesn't see it, so he can't correct it.
04:49 And so I'm left with picking up the baggage.
04:53 So, you know, in just a few ways that she's changed,
04:55 you said that this is affecting her.
04:58 You say that her grades have come down.
05:02 Is there anything else,
05:03 you think she's a little depressed?
05:05 Yeah, and she gets into fights at school sometimes,
05:07 you know, especially when the kids make
05:09 fun of her about her dad.
05:10 So I know she's kind of defensive about that too.
05:12 Okay, so the last time she had a fight at school about this.
05:16 Yes. Tell me what happened?
05:17 Well, she just said a little girl came up to her,
05:19 somebody that she had known before,
05:21 but I guess because she had share with her
05:23 about the situation at home,
05:25 she maybe just was upset with her the time,
05:27 decided to talk about her.
05:28 So she basically pointed out her dad was in prison
05:31 and her mom just stays at home all day
05:33 doing nothing which is so not true
05:34 because I work my butt off all the time.
05:37 Okay.
05:38 And so what was Lauren like when she got home after that?
05:40 Well, she was upset, you know, she felt embarrassed.
05:42 A lot of her friends have both mother and father in the home,
05:45 here her dad is not there,
05:47 he says he's gonna come home and he doesn't.
05:49 I think she was really frustrated.
05:51 And so, I mean, I didn't know what to do about the situation.
05:53 Yes, I punished her, but at the same time
05:55 I understand that she's frustrated.
05:58 Okay. You punished her for what?
06:00 For getting into the fight.
06:01 Yeah, she shouldn't have hit the girl because of that.
06:03 Oh, okay, all right.
06:06 But it is understandable. I do. I understand.
06:09 So she was provoked. I guess you could say that.
06:12 Okay, all right.
06:13 So that may have made her feel
06:17 little bit more alienation away from you
06:20 because she's not being protected,
06:23 anywhere, really, not from her father who's...
06:26 I mean you can't really protect her from him
06:28 because he's an adult and you can't tell him
06:31 what to say and what not to say,
06:32 and you really can't protect her
06:34 from the people out there
06:35 who are saying mean things to her.
06:37 Yeah.
06:38 So I wonder how she's feeling about,
06:39 what was her take on getting spanked
06:43 for standing up for herself or protecting herself?
06:47 I don't know, I didn't ask. Okay.
06:49 I just didn't ask. Okay.
06:51 Yeah, it sounds like everybody
06:53 is pretty stressed out at this time,
06:56 you know, he in prison and he's wanting to get out,
07:00 maybe they are saying to him, you're gonna get out this time,
07:03 or maybe they are saying
07:04 you're gonna have a new attorney
07:05 and then they don't care,
07:07 you know, they just say this stuff
07:09 then just to get you out of the hair.
07:11 I mean, get him out of the hair.
07:12 And then you're frustrated because she's coming to you
07:16 saying these great wonderful things
07:18 and then you look like or feel like,
07:20 I'm the worst person ever. So, you know...
07:24 So how are you feeling as a parent right now?
07:26 Like a failure. Yeah.
07:28 You know, we don't talk.
07:29 She's disrespectful, she's rude.
07:31 She's there,
07:33 but it's like we're there in the house together
07:34 but really it's not a home.
07:37 I just hate being at odds.
07:38 I feel like I'm always fighting her.
07:40 Yeah, yeah.
07:41 It sounds like you are always fighting her,
07:43 and she's fighting everybody, she's fighting the world,
07:46 you know, she's fighting,
07:48 you know, you which is her world.
07:50 And I don't know how she's...
07:52 How does she do with dad
07:54 when he's talking to her on the phone?
07:55 Are they really good buddies?
07:56 Or has she started saying to him,
07:59 "Oh, you're not going to do that."
08:00 Has she started feeling like that with him?
08:02 No, I think she's still in that hopeful phase.
08:04 For me, personally, I wish she'd get out of it,
08:07 I'm more of a realist.
08:08 But now she still is happy when he calls.
08:11 I think there's, you know, because he doesn't call often
08:13 there's a lot of time for her
08:14 to kind of forget about the stuff he didn't do,
08:16 and so when he says he's gonna do something else,
08:18 it's like all new again, you know.
08:20 And so she just goes back into the hopeful stage,
08:22 happy when she gets off the phone.
08:24 Okay. And he doesn't deliver.
08:26 She's crying, you know, she's frustrated,
08:28 she has her mean streaks, her tantrums,
08:30 so it's just one big cycle and I am so exhausted.
08:33 Yeah.
08:35 I almost just was, step out of your life
08:37 and into a whole different space of life
08:39 for just for a few seconds and get it out,
08:42 pull it out together some kind of way.
08:44 So what have you tried to resolve the problems
08:47 between you and Lauren?
08:49 Oh, I guess not much of anything other than...
08:51 You know, when he does promise her things,
08:53 she does come back telling me.
08:55 She doesn't do it as often anymore
08:56 because I'm always like, well, no, it's not happening.
08:59 No, he's not getting out when he said he's getting out.
09:01 I mean I'm just trying to be real with her.
09:03 The reality is, he doesn't have a saying when he gets out.
09:05 And so he keeps telling her over and over again
09:07 that he's gonna get out this time.
09:09 So for me, I guess I just tell the truth,
09:11 he's not getting out, he's not gonna do the things
09:13 he said he's gonna do,
09:15 maybe he will when he gets out,
09:16 but there's no point in holding your breath about situation.
09:18 Okay, yeah, I saw you say right there in the video too
09:22 that he doesn't have a saying when he gets out,
09:25 maybe it's not what you're saying,
09:27 but do you think maybe if you could change how you say it.
09:31 You think that might make a difference.
09:34 What I see in Lauren from the video
09:36 that she just braced herself,
09:38 she was already ready for you to say was not gonna happen,
09:41 and why it's not going to happen,
09:44 she already has an argument prepared for you.
09:46 So she's expecting...
09:48 Maybe we can do the unexpected so, you know, have you tried...
09:53 You do understand that,
09:55 ultimately, this is not a problem
09:56 between you and Lauren,
09:58 but this is a problem between you and your husband
10:00 that needs to be resolved.
10:01 Yeah, I think so.
10:02 What have you tried to do with him?
10:04 Well, he doesn't listen.
10:06 You know, I mean we're on the phone, right,
10:07 so when I get frustrated, I hang up,
10:09 when he gets frustrated, he hangs up,
10:11 so we really don't talk much.
10:14 We argue a lot, so when I do tell him,
10:16 "Hey, you know, at least can you be considerate it,
10:19 she's waiting up at nights for phone calls
10:20 that you said you were gonna make
10:22 and you don't make them."
10:24 He's always full of excuses
10:25 or he just simply just doesn't want to talk about it.
10:28 Before he went to prison, was it the same...
10:30 Was he full of excuses,
10:32 not wanting to talk about things?
10:34 I would say he was working on it.
10:37 We talked about these same things before.
10:38 It just seems like it's been a whole lot worse
10:41 since he's been in jail.
10:42 So, yes, he would not come through on some things,
10:44 but then he make it up to her.
10:46 And I think right now he doesn't have
10:47 the ability to make it up to her
10:49 when he's in prison.
10:50 So it just seems like it's always happening,
10:51 you know, these letdowns. Yeah.
10:54 Okay, so it sounds like too that just a frustration
10:57 and aggravation is a constant in your life,
11:00 like they've moved in
11:02 with a whole suitcase of clothes,
11:03 they just change clothes every day and,
11:06 you know, when you wake up they're there
11:07 and when you go to bed, they're there.
11:09 So at some point we're going to have to deal with
11:13 how you manage that frustration and aggravation
11:16 because you have to be able to come to him calmly
11:19 and be able to come to her calmly.
11:21 It's kind of...
11:22 You're the pivotal point here, where you...
11:25 In this very heart,
11:26 it's not easy and at some point,
11:28 we hope there is someone else will be able to step up.
11:31 But right now is you have to kind of carry things
11:34 on a little bit for everybody.
11:36 Okay, so let's talk about a few strategies
11:39 that you can do to just kind of
11:41 get the ball rolling in a different direction, okay.
11:43 It may not fix everything
11:45 but it can be certainly be of good help.
11:47 What do you think about that? I think that will be good.
11:50 Okay, so you can talk to Lauren,
11:53 and you can explain to her,
11:56 help her to understand what the prison situation is.
12:00 In other words, he's not in control of his schedule,
12:04 and you have to say this on her terms,
12:06 so you can't say huge words, you may be able to say,
12:09 you know, how when you go to school
12:11 and then they tell you when to have recess,
12:14 and when to have lunch,
12:16 this is a situation that dad is in the exact same situation.
12:20 Other days when you really want to have,
12:22 you know, recess early as she might say,
12:25 yes, I'm sure she will.
12:26 Or when you just want to have recess all day,
12:29 and she, of course, will agree to that.
12:31 Then you say to her
12:32 but the teacher says you can't do it,
12:35 so there are people who say to him,
12:36 he's saying, well, you know, I'm coming home,
12:39 maybe they told him he was coming home,
12:40 but then the people might say
12:42 he's not coming home, he can't come home.
12:44 So you will need to help her to understand
12:47 he's not in control of that.
12:48 She's just a child,
12:50 so she doesn't really understand
12:51 when you're saying,
12:53 he can't say when he's coming home
12:54 'cause what she understands,
12:56 he's an adult and adults can say anything they want
12:58 and they can make it happen, right?
13:00 That stuff, and I think in a way your teacher
13:02 that by you when you say it to her,
13:04 I don't care what anybody else says,
13:07 what I say, that's what you're gonna do.
13:09 So I make this happen,
13:11 so she's probably feeling why can't he make this happen.
13:14 So that's one thing
13:15 and then you can normalize her feelings of missing her dad
13:19 and of being disappointed.
13:21 So it's almost like you miss some,
13:25 you feel disappointed that he's not here,
13:27 you feel disappointed
13:28 that he's not able to help the way you like him to help.
13:33 So says you're experiencing that
13:37 and in the sense it may seem like
13:39 you don't really want to acknowledge that.
13:42 When she brings that to you,
13:44 it's very hard for you to empathize with her
13:46 because you're setting that out for yourself, right?
13:49 But what if you agree with her?
13:50 The Bible says, "Agree with your brethren
13:52 as far as possible."
13:54 So what if you agree
13:55 instead of addressing what she's saying.
13:57 You know, there's a song that says,
14:00 "He looks beyond my fault and he saw my need."
14:03 So she needs those feelings validated that,
14:05 yes, you know, you are missing him,
14:07 she is supposed to miss him, right?
14:09 That makes her human,
14:10 that makes her almost Christ like, really, right?
14:12 Yeah.
14:14 So what if you said to her normalize that feeling,
14:16 normalize, you know, I know you're disappointed
14:19 when Dad says things that he wants to do.
14:22 And even at some point you're gonna make it
14:24 like a little jump,
14:25 "That's your dad, girl, you know, the situation,
14:28 he can't make that decision, right?
14:30 And maybe someone told him that,
14:32 but it's not because he doesn't want to be here
14:34 'cause he wants to be here so badly."
14:36 So maybe we can reframe it,
14:38 change the way she's looking at it,
14:40 and change the way you're looking at it.
14:42 What about that? Would that help?
14:44 That will help.
14:45 I'm just kind of stuck I guess
14:47 because I feel like part of that,
14:48 I'm just making excuses for him.
14:50 I mean, I really don't know the situation.
14:52 I'm okay with that
14:54 trying to make amends with that at the home,
14:56 but I just feel like, you know, there are times
14:58 when he's just really doing things to get back at me.
15:00 Okay, so have you asked him?
15:02 Have you said, "Are you doing this to get back to me?"
15:04 No, I mean, we don't talk. Okay.
15:06 You know, we're always arguing.
15:08 Well, then let's make that one of your strategies too
15:10 is just have a conversation about nothing.
15:15 Liz, what does he like to do?
15:17 I don't even know anymore. I guess I could ask him.
15:19 What did he used to like to do when he was out?
15:23 Well, he definitely like going to fishing.
15:24 Okay. So then let's talk about that.
15:27 Ask him, "Do you remember
15:29 the biggest fish that you caught?"
15:31 Now this is what you're doing when you do that.
15:34 It will bring up really good feelings for him, right?
15:38 And then he will feel good about having fish,
15:42 and he'll get into talking about that.
15:44 Get off the phone
15:45 before you wander over into Lauren in reality.
15:49 Okay. Okay, so we kind of...
15:51 All I want you to do is open the gate for communication
15:54 and not necessarily try to solve problems.
15:57 There is too many problems
16:00 and with you having a limited amount of time on the phone,
16:03 you can't really solve a problem,
16:06 you can only start one, start solving, okay?
16:09 Okay.
16:10 Now one more thing I want you to do
16:11 is ask him to play a game with you.
16:13 Once you kind of get
16:15 the conversation going on Lauren.
16:17 So you'd tell Lauren, "Lauren, listen, we're gonna practice,
16:20 you being disappointed."
16:23 So what we're gonna do
16:24 is tell dad to tell you something
16:25 that he knows he can't do.
16:28 And then he's going to tell you that he can't do it,
16:31 so you always set her up.
16:32 And then you tell him to tell her something
16:34 you know you can't do,
16:35 like I'm gonna home in an hour or whatever,
16:38 and we remind her, you don't have to feel sad,
16:40 you don't have to feel angry
16:41 because you know he can't do this right now.
16:44 And there's always a chance
16:46 that things are not going to happen
16:47 the way you want to.
16:49 And we have to learn just in life in general
16:51 that you have to learn how to accept
16:54 and accept disappointments in life
16:57 because it's going to be some.
16:59 Isn't it? Yeah. Oh, definitely.
17:01 Okay, so she's gonna have a healthy dose
17:03 and so we may as well you assist her being fit.
17:06 So let's all, let's play the game, maybe...
17:08 You know, how often does he call?
17:12 Maybe once a month. Okay.
17:14 And she can even develop a little saying for him,
17:17 "Dad, I know you want to be here
17:18 but if you're not, I'm okay."
17:20 And so she's talking to him and she's talking to herself.
17:23 What do you think about those strategies?
17:24 I think that will work. Yeah. Okay.
17:26 Well, let's have a brief word of prayer.
17:28 Our time is out.
17:30 And I know that it doesn't resolve
17:31 all your frustration and anxiety,
17:33 and maybe at some point
17:34 we can do some positive self talk
17:36 or maybe some other type of strategies, internally,
17:40 for you to help you manage some of your feelings, okay?
17:44 Okay, let's have a brief word of prayer.
17:47 Thank you, Father, for today.
17:48 We thank You for the opportunity
17:50 to see You work through us and to be healed.
17:54 Dear, Lord, we ask that You would be with her husband
17:57 that he will learn to be able to say only those things
18:00 that he's capable of doing.
18:01 Being with Lauren is very difficult for her,
18:03 Lord, we ask that You would send her guardian angels
18:06 that will watch over her and protect her,
18:08 and help her to understand,
18:09 dear Lord, send a Spirit of God to be with him.
18:11 In Jesus' name we pray and praise you always, amen.
18:13 Amen.
18:14 Okay, you have a great day, okay?
18:17 You do the same. Okay, bye.
18:22 Hi, how are you doing? I'm doing good. I'm doing good.
18:25 Hey, Honey, are you on the phone still?
18:27 Yeah, I'm still on the phone.
18:29 Okay. Oh, good to hear your voice.
18:31 How are you doing? I'm doing all right.
18:34 Not so great, I'm still locked up in prison
18:36 but I'm doing the best I can do.
18:37 Okay, that's all we can ask you to do, right?
18:40 So tell me how are things going now?
18:44 I didn't know I was causing so many problems,
18:46 but since you came out
18:48 and did some therapy sessions over me.
18:50 Now I find out that sometimes
18:51 I'm more in a way that I thought I was.
18:55 Okay, well, like the way, more in the way,
18:57 maybe that you were contributing to some stuff
19:00 that you didn't realize you were doing.
19:02 Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Okay.
19:05 And how about you?
19:06 Well, we do get a chance here
19:08 now to talk about Lauren's feelings
19:10 and how she was responding,
19:11 the affect that it had when he made promises.
19:14 But yeah, I think it's working out.
19:17 She now talk more
19:18 and I've been trying to be more positive for her too.
19:19 Okay.
19:21 I quit making all the promises though, you know.
19:23 I'm learning to do little better.
19:25 I wanted to have everything,
19:27 but I just can't promise it to her right now.
19:30 Very good. That's great.
19:32 Well, let's take a look at the video
19:34 we made in your home.
19:35 And I also want to say,
19:37 we appreciate the prison system
19:38 for allowing you to have this counseling session via phone,
19:42 and we really do appreciate that.
19:43 So let's go to the video right now.
19:46 I was talking to dad yesterday,
19:48 I told him all about Loana branding,
19:50 grandma getting her new teeth.
19:52 I see you feed him on all the family information.
19:54 I also told him about
19:56 the Millers and their family vacation.
19:57 You did? I did.
19:59 He said it probably wasn't a good idea to go.
20:02 Well, why did he say that?
20:03 Like you, he doesn't know enough about them
20:05 and if you said I could go, then I could go.
20:07 Yeah, I still don't think that's a good idea.
20:09 I asked dad, when he was coming home.
20:11 What did he say?
20:12 He said, he's not sure and it'll probably be a while.
20:14 So I should just stay focused on life and have fun.
20:17 I think that's a good idea. How about you?
20:19 I do too.
20:21 That was awesome. Yeah.
20:23 What changed? Well, we're talking more.
20:26 Okay.
20:27 We're not fighting as much as we used to.
20:29 Okay.
20:30 Just about things we may have a disagreement,
20:32 but we work it out.
20:34 So one of things too,
20:35 we following those strategies you gave us,
20:38 you know, with me trying to contact her first,
20:41 before I listen to what Lauren has to say
20:43 and trying to be a team together.
20:45 Okay, that's pretty great. So you're working together.
20:49 What is that feeling like right now?
20:51 Less confusion, less stress, I feel free,
20:54 and I have fun parenting.
20:57 Yeah. Yeah, I don't feel much stress.
20:59 I mean, stress being in here,
21:00 but not stressed with the family, like I used to.
21:03 In fact, sometime I get kind of sad thinking about
21:06 how I wish I could have done this sooner,
21:08 and maybe Lauren would had,
21:10 you know, a better life going.
21:11 Yeah.
21:13 Well, we won't spend too much time in the past
21:15 because we can't change that at all.
21:17 We can only change the present, that's today.
21:20 And the great thing is that
21:21 you are acting on what you've learned
21:23 on how to do better
21:25 and that's all we really can do.
21:26 Is that right?
21:28 What changes are you seeing in Lauren?
21:30 Do you still think she is depressed maybe?
21:32 Oh, no, she's more open.
21:34 She talks a whole lot more than she used to talk.
21:36 Before, she just come home and just stayed in her room.
21:39 She's actually talking to me.
21:40 We talk about school, we talk about her friends.
21:43 And other thing is she just wants to be able to spend time
21:46 with both her mom and dad,
21:48 and so what we try to do now
21:49 is instead of me just handing the phone over to her,
21:52 we have like a conference call,
21:53 so I put him on speaker when we talk that way.
21:55 Oh, okay.
21:56 I'm just thankful, has more respect for her
21:58 'cause she was getting little out of hand for me,
22:00 you know, but now she's kind of calmed down
22:02 and respecting her mother and me as well,
22:05 so I appreciate that.
22:07 Well, how was she showing you disrespect?
22:10 Just by lipping off, you know, she knows that
22:12 I can't touch her being in prison,
22:13 so she gets something to say about everything
22:16 I was talking to her about but things are changing.
22:19 Okay.
22:20 All right, that sounds pretty good.
22:23 Which parenting stress did you find to be most helpful?
22:27 Well, just the open communication.
22:29 Open communication. Open communication.
22:32 And her knowing that we are partnering together
22:35 to parent her has been a big deal for her.
22:38 Even times when, you know, she may try to steal side,
22:42 one eye versus the other, parents against each other,
22:44 it doesn't work as much anymore,
22:46 you know, we just kind of laugh at it, you know,
22:48 on the phone just saying,
22:50 yeah, she's trying to ask you the same question.
22:52 So it doesn't work as much anymore.
22:54 Oh, okay, so little bit of humor helps,
22:56 and a lot of communication.
22:59 What about you, dad?
23:01 Well, I try to keep my positive conversation
23:04 going with her instead of being negative,
23:06 and then I don't say anything about
23:08 what I'm going through
23:09 'cause that's not her concern as a little kid.
23:11 But I'm trying to talk to her
23:13 about what's going on in her life.
23:15 Let her know that she can be anything that she want to be,
23:18 you know, and not to look at my mistakes
23:19 as something that's going to affect her
23:21 too much in the future,
23:23 just deal it with herself.
23:25 Did you guys try the phone,
23:27 I mean the game where you told Lauren before
23:30 that dad's gonna tell her some things that she can't,
23:33 there is not gonna come to etcetera, etcetera,
23:35 did you do that strategy at all?
23:38 We did.
23:39 Right, and so of course, you know,
23:40 it took her a while because hearing him say,
23:42 you know, "No, he can't do it,"
23:44 it was kind of shocking, right?
23:45 She was so used to him just saying
23:47 this is what I'm gonna do and support you.
23:48 So it's kind of helping a lot of ways
23:50 because there are things around the house, you know,
23:51 I made plans and I can't really fulfill them
23:54 because of time constraints, and I had to tell,
23:57 "Look, we're not able to do this."
23:58 Well, she's kind of adjusted a lot more.
24:00 Before it was like tantrum this, tantrum that,
24:03 but I think because we play that game,
24:05 it's not only helping with just us parenting
24:07 but it's helping with me deal with,
24:09 you know, telling her,
24:10 "Look, things come up and I can't do that."
24:12 So she's not as disappointed anymore with things.
24:14 Or maybe she is,
24:16 but she's just not having the tantrums.
24:17 Okay, so were you finding that you were doing things
24:21 that you really couldn't do
24:23 because you didn't want to deal with the tantrum?
24:25 Oh, no, no, no, not at all. Okay.
24:27 But it was more, so I guess we just couldn't do them
24:30 because of time constraints, you know,
24:31 and afraid to really tell her knowing
24:34 what was going to happen now for us.
24:36 All right, but you would tell her.
24:37 I still would tell her. And it would be attained?
24:39 Oh, yeah, it would be attained. Okay.
24:41 So I'm now instead I've been doing, you know,
24:43 trying to be helpful, I try not to be the hero,
24:47 you know, like I was trying to be the hero to her
24:49 by saying I'm gonna do this and do that.
24:51 Well, I realized I can't do all those things.
24:54 So I just encourage her to listen to her mother.
24:57 She's the one that's way to right now
24:59 and just do what she says.
25:01 She loves and wants the best for her.
25:03 So that's one thing.
25:04 And the more united we are as parents,
25:07 I have to come to realize that the more successful
25:10 our parenting efforts are gonna be,
25:12 that's really been helpful to us both I think.
25:15 Man, I mean we have like a 180 degree turnaround here.
25:19 So what did you find it to be
25:21 least helpful of all the things,
25:22 what is the least helpful thing that you have tried?
25:31 I wouldn't say least helpful,
25:32 but more challenging, the most challenging.
25:34 That's good thing.
25:35 Probably, you know, just having more time with her,
25:41 you know, you're so used to not having that time
25:43 because you're filling that time with,
25:45 you know, the frustration, the stress, the anger,
25:48 you know, words that are exchanged that shouldn't be.
25:51 Now I have this time
25:52 and it's like, well, what to do with the time, right?
25:54 So now I'm filling that time with good positive things.
25:57 So that's been a challenge for me I think.
25:59 Okay, so what's been the most challenging for you, dad?
26:03 I'm still trying to work on this one,
26:05 trying not to feel guilty about not being there for,
26:08 you know, but like you have told me
26:10 in one of our therapy sessions,
26:12 don't feel guilty about my parenting skills,
26:15 I'm still her dad,
26:17 even though I'm still in prison.
26:19 But that's really been a challenge for me
26:21 'cause I do feel guilty sometimes,
26:23 but I'm learning to get over that
26:24 and just think about what's best for her.
26:27 Okay.
26:29 I'm really glad that we found
26:30 some helpful strategies for you guys.
26:32 And if you don't mind,
26:33 I like to have a prayer for you all before we leave.
26:37 Is that okay with you, dad?
26:40 Yeah, prayer is always good, you know,
26:41 I keep in touch with the Dare to Dream network
26:44 while I'm in here.
26:45 Is that right?
26:47 And then some of the churches come by and visit,
26:48 bring us some stuff, you know, snacks and things.
26:51 So I appreciate prayer too.
26:53 Okay, so let's bow our heads and have a brief prayer, okay?
26:57 Most honorable Father,
26:58 we're just so grateful for Your wisdom
27:00 and for Your willingness to heal families, dear Lord.
27:03 We just praise Your holy name
27:05 that sometimes these problems seem to be so big
27:08 and it's just such a simple solution.
27:10 Lord, we just thank You so much.
27:12 And, Father, as we move forward
27:14 and we're looking for today coming home soon at some point.
27:18 We ask that you would continue
27:19 to hold this family in Your hands.
27:21 Keep them bound together with love and above all things,
27:24 Lord, that each of us be ready
27:25 of thy soon Second Coming to return home
27:28 with you and with all of our children,
27:30 in Jesus' name we pray, amen.
27:32 Amen.
27:33 All right, so we're gonna be very...
27:35 I'm very grateful that you guys are doing so well.
27:37 I'm just gonna praise the Lord for you
27:38 and keep you all lifted in prayers.
27:40 Please do.
27:41 Okay, you guys, have a great day.
27:43 You do the same.
27:44 All right, Honey, I'll talk to you later.
27:45 All right. All right. Bye-bye.
27:49 Adjusting to the return of an absentee parent is hard,
27:52 but it's not impossible.
27:54 Remember, the goal is to support each other
27:57 as Christians and lead your children to Christ.
28:00 It takes teamwork.
28:02 When parents are divided, the family won't survive.
28:05 Work together, remain calm, and support each other.
28:09 Mistakes will be made, but forgive yourself,
28:12 and forgive your spouse
28:14 and continue to strive to be united.
28:17 Remember, press together.


Revised 2019-10-21