Apr 9, 2012

Joint custody and joint parenting

Often when there’s a separation or divorce, the first thing to be resolved is the children. Who are the children going to live with? If you move, who is going to get the car and how will the children get to school? If there is a custody battle, are the children going to be divided up or stay together with one parent and who should that parent be? Separating from your children is hard. It does not mean because you are the father that you cannot be the parent they live with. It is all up to what is best for the children. That thought should be uppermost in your mind. A father does not want to be separated from his kids as he wants to be with them first thing in the morning when they get up and get ready for school and last thing at night to tuck them in before they go to bed. The best thing you can do right upfront is to decide to be civil about it and vow to have an amicable split.

Suggestions for an easy transition

• If you have children, don’t separate them. Each child will be suffering from the loss and will not be at their best. The news of the separation or divorce would be known already as kids know well when their parents are at odds and something is wrong. Explain the situation to your kids but do not go into detail about what this one did and what the other one did. Ask each child separately where he or she wants to be. Your child will need comfort and lots of attention so spend time with each child individually and assuage his or her fear. Children want both their parents in the same house. They might pine for a long time if how you explain things and what you do is not done properly.

• If you get on well with your soon-to-be ex spouse, don’t discuss lawyers and custody matters with the kids. If they are under a certain age they are best off with their mother, especially if the father has to travel all the time to other states on business. A sixteen-year-old son might, however, live with his father if he so wishes. The idea is that irrespective of whom the children live with that on weekends they will all be together with their father. You can encourage sleepovers if the children desire it.

• If neither your husband nor you want to move because it is easier for the children to go to school, and you have a double-storied home you might want to make alterations to the house and have your own separate apartments in the home. It can work if you want it to and if you can handle the very real possibility that one of you might take a new partner.

Joint custody is an option for many parents as they both want to be involved with the child’s upbringing; his values, his faith, his education and so on. Going through a separation or divorce is not easy, but you can make it work if you want to. It is not going to be easy and won’t happen overnight, but you have to know that things will become easier as you go along, and as you see your kids happy.


Water, please!

Water is one of the most important necessities of all things living. Without water we perish. We need water to survive, for animals, for plants, for industry, for times of drought, and for times of death. Water also plays a big role in many different faiths, and is particularly used for cleansing and cleansing rituals. In prayer, the Muslims use water to purify themselves and have ablution before prayer. It is important for the body and clothing to be clean at all times. Water is also important for the washing of the deceased before prayer. In Christianity, water is also used. After the resurrection of Jesus, he commanded his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). Water is used in Buddhist funerals where it is poured into a bowl which is placed before the monks and the deceased. As the water fills the bowls the monks recite “As the rains fill the rivers and overflow into the ocean, so likewise may what is given here reach the departed.” We can’t do without water.

Ritual washing

In Christianity it is believed that baptism is a symbol of liberation from the oppression of sin that separates man from God except for the Catholics who believe that baptism does not in itself cleanse one from sin, but rather a public declaration of belief in Christ and a sign of welcome into the church. The Catholics believe that a real change occurs at baptism and that it is at baptism that the stain of original sin is actually removed from the person.

Maintaining a state of purity

In Judaism there is ritual washing to maintain a state of purity and ablutions include the washing of the hands, the feet or total immersion in ‘living water’ such as a river or the sea. During those early times ablutions were practiced by priests and converts to Judaism as part of the initiation rights, and by women on the seventh day after they have had their menstrual period. Very much like the Muslims, one had to wash ones hands and feet before taking part in temple services. Washing of the hands is performed before and after meals and on many other occasions. The washing of the hands, face, mouth, hands and feet are also what Muslims do before they perform prayer.

Red Sea significant in Jewish history

The parting of the Red Sea, a miraculous event at the beginning of the Exodus is significant in Jewish history. The Egyptian army was chasing them and God parted the Red Sea to enable the Israelites to escape. The miracle was a reward for the faith of Moses and the Israelites, and this led to the term God’s Chosen People. The crossing of the Red Sea showed God’s power and that God had power over everyone, including the sea. Water here has a powerful meaning as it meant punishment for the perceived enemy and blessings for the Israelites. The above is only a drop of information in the uses of water and the importance of water in our lives.