Saturday, March 5, 2011

Welcome New Countries - March 5, 2011

We'd like to welcome the following countries that have joined our growing list of readers over the past week: British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Kuwait, Oman, Peru, Slovakia, Tajikistan!

Please check out The Story Behind The Upbeat Dad to find out what we're all about! Also, at the top of the page, look for the section: Check Out Our Most Popular Posts to see the stories that our readers like the most. Each Friday we do an Upbeat Dad of the Week feature where we highlight a father whose involvement has made his kids' lives better.

We encourage you to become engaged in our conversation by posting comments to the posts you read. Also, join us on 
Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

You'll enjoy and share our excitement about fatherhood. Everybody's welcome - dads, moms, kids and anyone who believes strong, involved fathers help make strong kids.

Come back often. There's always something new!

Have an excellent day!

The Upbeat Dad

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Have You Ever Experienced Domestic Violence? by D. Brown, Guest Blogger

Today’s post is from our first guest blogger in the brief history of The Upbeat Dad. Last week, I wrote Domestic Violence and Its Impact on Families. Many of you shared with me just how enlightening and encouraging that post was. Some of you have experienced the painful realities of domestic violence. Others of you have loved ones who have experienced it.
I like to give all who read our blog great insight into the different subject matters that I write about so I thought that hearing from one who was abused would help others – whether or not they are in abusive situations. If nothing else, when we are educated on a particular subject matter, we become empowered with that knowledge.
Our guest blogger, Ms. D. Brown, is a victim and survivor of spousal abuse. She now empowers others who find themselves dealing with domestic violence and its effects.
I encourage you to not only read this post, but to share it with others who you believe would benefit from the message. And if you’re in an abusive situation, just know that you’re never alone. I trust that wherever this message finds you, it would give you hope for a brighter tomorrow. As the expression goes, tough times don’t last – only tough people do.
Enjoy reading and enjoy your day,
The Upbeat Dad

Have You Ever Experienced Domestic Violence?
By D. Brown

Have you or someone you care about ever experienced domestic violence?  If you answered yes, you are certainly not alone.  If you haven’t, please do not go looking around at others believing you may be able to see tell-tale signs.  Chances are you might, but it is a distinct possibility that you may be hanging out with someone who is an abuser, victim, or a survivor, and never even know it.
You see, domestic violence does not come with a specific ID or a particular “look.” A  man or woman may be abused in a number of ways and become such an expert at hiding it, that you may know them very well and never know it.  Let me talk to you from the point of view of a survivor of domestic violence and abuse.  Yes, a real honest to goodness survivor, who had seen some very dark days, and survived some brutal physical battering and assaults.  A woman who has taken her life back, and is using every resource she can to empower the lives of others.
So, you want to know who I am?  Let’s put it this way, I am not an average Jane.  I am a professional woman, trained in several careers, but I enjoy being a nurse.  I am a mom, who protects her child fiercely.  I am one of the lucky ones who made it out alive, thanks to my strong maternal instinct.   I had to get my child out of that abusive environment.  
I count my many blessings every day.  When I look in the mirror and a black eye or bruised cheek, or gashed brow does not stare back at me, or I walk or move, and don’t feel pain in every muscle, I know that I am blessed. My faith is what sustained me through the whole messy ordeal that was my life for years, as a victim of domestic violence and abuse.
I used to wonder sometimes why I, an extroverted, rather assertive, intelligent woman, never got help sooner.  The answer is no different from many others – I was too embarrassed to let anyone find out that my life that looked so normal on the outside, was such a living nightmare behind our closed doors.  If you’re in an abusive situation, just know that you’re not alone, and there are many just like you and exactly how I used to be. 
Some people never get it, even when you confide in them because while you walk with a limp, or find it difficult to chew, you manage to exhibit the biggest smiles on cue. Meanwhile, on the inside, you may be dying a very slow death – the death of your self-esteem, the death of all your aspirations and dreams that you have for you and your children. 
Some people refuse to believe you could be the victim of domestic violence and abuse.  So a friend or neighbor becomes crippled, or dies before they get help.  Yes, some people reach out for help, but no one believes them.  Sometimes even worse, they believe but do not take it seriously enough because it’s something that’s the norm in some cultures.
Do you ever wish that you could run away and leave everything behind, but check yourself because you have no money to feed yourself or your children if you do run?  My situation was a little different.  I was the one who had the higher income.  I was made to believe that I had control of my money but it brought me no joy, as I was stuck in a new country with no family except my husband. 
My idea of marriage was ‘until death do us part,’ so I was always forgiving and believing that things would change.  Do you see yourself doing that too?  Take it from someone who has, like the saying goes, “been there, done that.’ It will never change unless YOU change.  Oh yes, you can bring about change in your own life. 
“How,” you ask?  Get Help! Start confiding in someone else. Yes, it is embarrassing and degrading, but it is better to be embarrassed and lose face than end up dead. You don’t have to do anything drastic or dangerous.  Just make a resolve to change your life and reach out for help.  There are lots of resources for all victims of domestic violence and abuse, especially if you live in the USA.  Even in your neck of the woods, you can do some discreet research to find support for your situation.  You have to want it badly enough to help yourself.
If you leave your abusive situation, try not to think about going back.  It will be very, very difficult especially if you still love the person who was abusing you.  Let’s note something here: Being a survivor of domestic violence brings on feelings that are really sometimes not much different from being a prisoner who has been released after a long period of incarceration.   You may feel lost and not know how to function.  Some prisoners feel that it is better for them to just go right back to prison, and they find ways to land themselves back there.  People, more often than not, gravitate to the life they have grown accustomed to – even if it is a life filled with pain and suffering from domestic violence.
Some people for years were never able to think for themselves.  They were always told what to do, how to do it and when to do it.  Some were even told when to go to bed and when to get up, just like prisoners. They got punished even if they did the right things, so they become unsure of how to operate, how to function independently.   Were you so brainwashed that even though you are out of the abusive situation, you find yourself missing your abuser? You are not alone.  
I have spoken to so many people, men and women, who felt like that after they got out of the abusive situation. Many of them returned and left again several times before they were able to finally make a complete break. I was tempted a few times to let my spouse come back, but I had to protect my child. My ego or my needs were secondary to her needs.  I had to keep her safe at all cost and keeping him out of my life was the only sure way to keep her safe. I also did not want her to grow up believing that living like that, was ok, or worse, normal.
So, don’t feel badly if you feel like going back or did go back. If that happened with you, just get your support system in place discretely, so that you can leave for good next time.  That is one reason why you are encouraged to get help as soon as you can, so you do not begin to feel lost and return to the only familiar thing you know, the abuse.
Talk to someone understanding.  The counselors at domestic violence shelters in the USA are usually pretty understanding.  In the USA you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline   1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. There are local shelters in communities throughout the USA and around the world that have trained counselors and advocates who will guide you to self-empowerment.
Do not continue to suffer alone in silence.  Remember your kids if you have children.  They are watching and waiting for you to make your move.  Believe me, they will be your cheerleader if you decide to get help, and stay away from danger.
Children learn what they live.  You did not cause your abuse; you could not change your abuser. Your kids will eventually learn that, but they can certainly learn from you, that you do not have to suffer through abuse.  They should learn from you that they can leave and go to safety.  Show them that you have some resolve left.  Give them some hope. Take your life back.

Be blessed.
D. Brown
(Ms. Brown is a former high school teacher, a nurse with the Veterans Administration, Web Designer and public relations officer for a community non-profit organization, Family & Friends Connection, Inc, http://www.famfc.orgShe is also a community outreach volunteer who founded South Florida Connects - She is an advocate for those affected by domestic violence.) 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Correction: Words Can Hurt Me

You may have heard it said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” I’d like to suggest a correction to this statement. It would go something like this, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can hurt me more.” From experience, I can tell you that this is true.
During childhood, it’s amazing the silly games we played and the seemingly little simple sayings that we had. I never thought much about this one – about sticks and stones. But you know what? Even though I’ve never really been beaten with sticks and stones, some words have hurt me to the core. And as I have my eyes and ears open to what happens in schools across the world, I know that kids from every background encounter the reality of hurtful words each day.
And it doesn’t even stop during childhood. Last week I wrote about Domestic Violence. I spoke with someone who read the post and she shared with me that she was emotionally abused during her former marriage. And interestingly she said to me, “I would’ve preferred if my husband physically abused me because the wounds would have healed. But when he scarred me emotionally with his hurtful and belittling words, those affected me mentally and it took years to overcome.”
I write this post today to say that as parents, we should be aware that our growing kids encounter so much as they go to school each day. We ought to be aware of the fact that they are vulnerable to the pressures of growing up socially. Certainly if they get into physical altercations, we could easily identify those with the bruises that they might get. But we don’t always hear about the harsh words that kids exchange with each other.
As you may know, kids can be wonderfully sweet. But they can also be cruel and very hurtful. Sometimes they hurt each other to the point that the recipients of the hurtful words take drastic measures in response. Some become depressed to the point that they inflict harm on themselves – taking drugs to escape their reality or even taking their own lives.
Then others strike back by inflicting harm on those who they feel hurt them or even innocent persons. How many times do we hear about an incident such as what happened at Columbine High School in Colorado? Let me make this point clear. There is never a scenario in which it’s acceptable to resort to the violence like what happened at Columbine. It’s not acceptable by any means.
Still, sometimes when you listen to what the perpetrators of these crimes say, you often hear them say they felt like outcasts and they got tired of being ridiculed so this was their way of getting even. It’s a very wrong response to such a situation. There’s no excuse for it but I think it’s important to understand the mindset of those who take such actions.
As a parent, I hate to think that either my son or daughter could go through some of the hurtful experiences that I had. While in high school in Houston, Texas, for instance, one of my nicknames was “The Lone Ranger.” I had very few friends and I was usually alone. I stuttered. I was what you might call a social reject. I just didn’t fit anywhere. I was never bullied during that time frame but some things were said to me and about me that really shook my confidence. I remember when I graduated I said to myself, “I will never give any of those who ridiculed me the satisfaction of seeing me fail.”
As it has turned out, now that I am more aware of who I am as a person, I am in a much better place. Even during my college years at the University of Texas at Austin, I made more friends from my high school there than I did in high school. My entire perspective was quite different. And when I went to my 10 year reunion in the late 90s, it was as if I was just another popular guy who everyone knew. Few remembered the stuttering guy who was always alone.
My point in sharing this part of my life is to say that I can relate to kids who feel hurt by words others say about them. I know what it’s like to feel rejected and ridiculed. I know the harm that some words can inflict. My message to parents of children who experience such hurts is that you love your kids and help to create a loving environment at home. I also encourage parents to tell their kids to always do the right thing no matter what others say or do to them.
If people use hurtful words, those words can only damage them to the extent that they internalize them. If someone says, “you’re ugly” or “you’re stupid”, those words only become a reality when you take them to heart and believe them to be true. You can deflect the negativity by having a positive outlook on life. If we take that approach, it can work wonders for us.
How did I go from being what some might call a high school loser in a school of 2,000 students to being very popular at a university of 50,000 students? Much of it had to do with my internal metamorphosis. When I internalized negative words that were said to me or about me, that caused me nothing but misery. But when I saw nothing but the best in me, regardless of what others saw, that’s when I started to see different results. I’m still the same person on the outside but my inner perspective is vastly different.
There’s a lesson in this blog post for many of our kids. I encourage you to share it with them. It can work wonders in their lives. They are special in so many ways. Shower them with love and help them to know that despite what others may say to them or about them, they can accomplish anything in life. Do you think that Microsoft founder Bill Gates was always popular? He was a skinny “geek” who probably didn’t win many popularity contests. But do you think he cares about that today? His life is just fine and so will your kids’ lives if they have the right perspective.
My point in all this is that as parents, we should help our kids to embrace the wonders that they are. And if they take that approach, the hurtful words that might be thrown their way can be rendered powerless. They can have the last laugh – not a laugh of revenge but rather a laugh to say that everything is just fine. Be sure to share this message with them. It will change their lives.
Enjoy yourself today.

The Upbeat Dad

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Absentee Dad Living at Home

From time to time I ask my daughter to give me ideas to write about on this blog. And she has some really good suggestions. Last week, it was she who gave me the idea for How to Develop Good Relationships Between Stepparents and Kids. Last night she gave me another brilliant idea and though I had in mind to write something else today, I want her to know her input is highly valued so I let it take precedence over mine. Ladies before gentlemen, right?

She told me that many fathers might be living in the home but still they’re so uninvolved that they might as well be absent. We often hear about absentee fathers and those that are missing in action in the lives of children. But many dads are missing while living right under their kids’ noses, as the expression goes. Therefore, that’s the subject matter that I’ll write about today.
When we had our Upbeat Dad Community Forum 3 weeks ago, after the event, I was speaking with our guests. One lady, in particular, stood out to me. The theme of the event was Where Are Our Fathers? We spoke about fathers who are nowhere to be found. We also spoke about fathers who were once involved in their kids’ lives but when they divorced their wives, they also divorced the kids and became absent.
Then came this lady. She was likely in her late 60s. From her manner of speaking, it was quite apparent that she was well educated. She told me that she grew up in a “well to do” home.  She was quite privileged. Her parents were both well educated. Her dad was a corporate executive and she had all the amenities that a child could desire. Then she said to me, “We had it all but my dad was so committed to making a success of himself in the business world that he was emotionally disconnected from me. So, in a sense, I had an absentee father. We never developed a bond and it only got worse when I grew older.”
That statement got me thinking. There’s a segment of our population that we don’t talk about too much. With fathers missing in action in our homes, we are often so focused on those that we don’t think of those who live in the home but are so distant that they are not much better than those who are physically absent.
Our goal as an organization is to get fathers and mothers to realize the important role that each parent plays in the lives of children. I don’t believe that kids can be the best that they can be without the positive influence that a mom and dad can provide. For the most part, mothers are the ones who are nurturing and have a close bond with the kids. Fathers generally are the ones who focus more on providing for the family and ensuring their financial well-being.
Over the past 100 years or so, the lines between the two roles have become less rigid as women have increasingly important roles in the workforce. And correspondingly, some fathers have assumed the role of the nurturer. Even so, fathers are more often than not the so-called bread winners in our homes.
As a man, I know the importance of providing for my family. I know that in order for my wife and kids to live comfortably and for us to meet our financial and life goals, I need to give my very best effort to ensure our success. I don’t believe that our dreams will come true by simply wishing and hoping with our fingers crossed. It will take much hard work, no doubt.
While I recognize that it will take hard work to live the life that we desire, I hasten to say that if my goal is to do what’s best for the family, I must also recognize that they need me to be very present in a tangible way. What would it profit me to gain fame and fortune and great notoriety yet become emotionally disconnected from the ones who love me the most and who I should love the most?
Many adults today are just like that lady who spoke with me after the forum. They grew up with a present absentee dad so they never knew what it meant to play catch in the backyard or do some of those simple tasks that might appear routine to adults but mean the world to kids.
If you’re a dad – especially if you’re a fairly new dad – I implore you to think of your kids in your pursuit of happiness. How bittersweet it would be if you become the managing partner of your firm and can afford to live in the best neighborhood with the most expensive car on the block yet your kids prefer to spend time at their friend’s home because they don’t know you.
On this blog, I often write about divorce and divorce related matters. But this subject matter of the present father who’s missing in action is also one that needs our attention. What it also says to me is that our overall vision of having more involved, active dads in the lives of kids ought not only be shared with dads who are not in the home. Dads in the home need to hear the message that it’s not enough to be present; they must also have a presence that endears their kids to them.
I wrote Cats in the Cradle: A Lesson for Working Parents to address the importance of being actively involved in our kids lives, even as we pursue our dreams. I encourage you to read that post as well.
If this post has spoken to your heart and you realize that you need to make some changes, I encourage you to do so. Your kids will thank you for it. If you’ve been missing in action, though present, it may take them a while to warm up to the “new you.” But still, changing the way that you approach your relationship with them is an investment that is sure to reap a lifetime of dividends.
Please know that I am always thinking of ways to make each of us more actively present in our kids’ lives. I’m thankful to my daughter for inspiring me to write this post because I believe it’s a lesson that each of us can learn from. I hope that it’s been beneficial for you and your family.
Enjoy your day. And whether you’re a mom or a dad, always be excited about the privilege you have as a parent because it’s certainly priceless!

The Upbeat Dad

Monday, February 28, 2011

Should You Relocate After Divorce When Kids Are Involved?

I recently wrote Post-Divorce Parenting: Visitation vs Time-Sharing. In that post, I shared how in my state – Florida – the family law rules have changed recently and one of the significant changes is that the term visitation is no longer used; instead, it’s now time-sharing. The implications of this are huge, in my view. The Florida courts now promote the idea that kids have two homes in which they live – no longer living primarily with one parent and visiting the other every other weekend. The big winners in this ruling are the kids, as far as I’m concerned.

As I thought about this ruling, what came to mind was the fact that after divorce, when individuals are free to go on and live the rest of their lives, many parents make major decisions with the kids in mind. While others make those decisions with what’s best for them or their careers in mind. Yet others start new families and think more about that new family and less about the kids from their former relationship. So I thought that today I’d write about the relocating after a divorce when kids are involved.

Most couples, as they enter relationships, are on cloud nine, as the expression goes. They imagine a fairy-tale life of happiness. Then comes reality; when the honeymoon is over and life becomes life, it’s a big wake-up call for many. Still, they settle down and have kids and try to make the best of life, despite the fact that they’ve realized that the person who they married is not quite as perfect as the person that they dated.
Many couples make it through this phase and go on to live happily ever after. Sometimes they make it but only after going to counseling where they get professional help to straighten things out. But many couples do not make it – and that’s just the reality of the situation. Despite their best efforts, many of these relationships end in divorce.
I always say that when marriages and other relationships end, when there are no kids involved, no matter how bitter or nasty the process may get, when it’s over, it’s over and then the healing begins. There’s nothing further from the marriage to deal with. When there are kids, however, there is a lifetime connection that never goes away. As long as the parents and the children are alive, they all have to deal with each other, to some degree.
Some couples, during their divorce proceedings, work together to ensure that, despite the ending of the relationship, they both remain actively involved in the day to day lives of the children. So they agree to live in the same vicinity – whether in a formally written agreement or just by a verbal understanding. Others have no such understanding or agreement but still they end up living in the same area because they choose to.

Then there are those who believe that, when the marriage has ended and they get on with their lives, they are free to pursue their goals and dreams without consideration to their former spouse. I’d like to address these individuals with this post. Please note that when I write about subject matters that may be a bit sensitive, as this one is, I’m not really saying what individuals should or shouldn’t do. My primary objective is to get others to see the potential impact on the children when these decisions are made.
So the question at hand is: Do you relocate after a divorce when kids are involved? My thought is that, it’s not a yes or no question. There are so many factors to consider.
The first issue to consider is why one would want to relocate. Some people have such a bitter divorce that they want to get as far away from their former spouse as possible. Others just want to start over fresh and new in an area where no one knows them or their family. That way, they don’t routinely run into their former spouse or other people who know them. Those meetings can potentially reopen wounds that are supposed to be healing.
Then others want to move back to the community where they grew up because they know of the unconditional love and support that they are shown there. Each of these reasons is certainly understandable. I know, having gone through a divorce, just how meaningful it is to be surrounded with love when you’re going through such a difficult period.
Still, when there are kids involved, each of these choices needs to be looked into a bit further. I believe that kids need the love and support of both parents. Note that I didn’t just say that kids need both parents. This is because some parents are just not the loving and supportive type; their kids might be better off without them. But when parents lovingly support their kids, I believe that they ought to be involved in their lives.
One of the significant factors to consider when thinking about relocation is the age of the kids. For instance, if the kids are 2 or 3 years old, one’s thought process might be different than if the kids are 15 or 16. A young child who’s just growing and developing a bond with the parents might lose that bond if one parent moves away.
I have a college friend who divorced. Not long after the divorce, his former wife wanted to relocate to a different city within the same state. They had a 2 year old child. He fought successfully to prevent her from moving because his point was that the bond with his young child may be broken. A year or so after the divorce, he got the opportunity of a lifetime – a high paying executive position in his home country, halfway around the world. I don’t know how long he deliberated but he ended up taking that position. So now, instead of seeing his child multiple times each week, he sees her once or twice a year.
The other extreme is when divorced parents make the decision to live close together so that the divorce won’t be too disruptive for the kids. I have a friend who went through a divorce a few years ago. He and his former wife have 2 teenagers. One of the children has autism and requires special care. Both parents agreed to live in the same community so that together they could provide their child the special care that’s needed.
A very significant factor in making such a decision is whether the kids would be relocating with us or not. It’s one thing to move with the kids and have them with us all the time; but it’s a totally different consideration when we move without the kids, knowing that we’ll see them less frequently. And when we move with the kids, we also need to consider how that might affect the kids’ relationship with the other parent, knowing that they’ll see him/her less frequently.
So you see, it’s really not a yes or no answer when we think about whether or not to relocate. Life is really all about choices. And the choices that we make affect not only ourselves but others. I don’t think that we can simply say people should not relocate after a divorce when there are kids involved. There’s just too much to consider. In my view, however, kids should be considered above our own personal wishes and desires.
I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been affected in any way by the relocation issue after a divorce. I know that for some of you, reading this post has touched you deep within as you consider your own life and the decisions that you’ve made or that others have made.
I always try to get parents to think of the kids first. In the ideal world, we get married and live happily ever after. But that utopia doesn’t exist for everyone. I just encourage you to think of the kids in the decisions you make. You can relocate and be as close as ever to your kids. Or the same move could cause you to lose the essential connection with them.
If your kids are in a different city today, for any reason, give them a special phone call to let them know you love them.
Enjoy your day.

The Upbeat Dad


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Special Edition: The Great Wall of China and 15,000 Hits!

When we launched The Upbeat Dad blog last October, my vision was to share our positive message on fatherhood with as many people throughout the world as possible. What’s ensued has been nothing short of remarkable. The blog has been received on a global scale in a pretty amazing way, in my view. I’m so pleased that our message has found a resting place in the hearts and minds of people from different creeds, cultures and nationalities.

Last week I wrote the post Content Is King to tell of how our message has spread. It’s not about the advertisements on our blog. It’s not about creative means of generating traffic. It’s all about the content, nothing more, nothing less. At the conclusion of that post I wrote, “Where we are going as an organization is limitless. I have a great vision – one that is unfolding each day. Please know that whatever we may do, the content of the message that we share will lead the way.”
One of the highlights of my day each day is to get on to the administrative part of the blog to see the countries that visited the site within the past 24 hours. When I see a new country, I make a note of it and add it to a list that I’ve developed. Each week, if we have at least 4 or 5 countries, I write a post at the end of that week welcoming the new countries. If we don’t, then I wait until we get a few more and then write the post.
Today’s post, in my view will be the biggest welcome that we could possibly have! That’s why I’ve decided to write a special post. Along our journey so far, I have routinely seen new countries added to our list of readers. But there’s one significant one that seemed to have eluded us. All major countries in the world have been on board with us for a long time – nations such as Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Israel, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, France, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, New Zealand. And the list goes on.
Somehow, China stood out as the only major country where we did not have a presence. As you may know, that’s the single most populous country on the earth - with 1.3 billion people. It has become an economic super power. I know that – I live in the United States and it’s our government’s largest debtor. The manufacturing sector produces goods that are enjoyed all over the world.
China showcased its might on the world stage as it hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. I don’t know that we’ve ever seen or if we’ll ever see a more impressive opening ceremony than we saw in the “Bird’s Nest” stadium in Beijing.

I have set my sights on China for the past several months, wondering how or if we would establish a presence there. That’s a whole new market of potential readers in my view – 1.3 billion, to be exact. I have said to many persons over the past few months that the day we get China on board will be a good day. We will have completed a major milestone, gaining readers from the last remaining major player on the world stage where we didn’t have a presence.
I recently met a couple that visited China. I spoke with them about that great land, its history and its people. As the writer of a blog about fatherhood, I was particularly interested to know about the family structure and how it functions.
I have often heard about their one-child policy but didn’t know how it functioned. What I learned was quite interesting. The government implemented the policy to limit the population explosion that the country has had in recent times. Therefore, couples are permitted to have only one child. That policy applies only to Chinese nationals. Foreigners are exempt from this restriction.
So, being the curious and inquisitive person that I am, I asked about what would happen if a Chinese couple should have a child and then get pregnant again. What I learned is something that might be disturbing to some of our readers. I’m just relaying the information that was shared with me.
In such a case, the government either makes the couple to abort the child or should they insist on keeping the child, they would be given a fine. And it’s not a fine that some of us are used to – like a speeding ticket; the fine is so large that it’s approximately the equivalent of one year’s salary. So based on this fact, most couples comply with the one child limit. I asked the next logical question – what would happen if a couple’s child should die, whether as a baby or later on? At that point, the government would allow them to have another child.
I never get political on this blog – there’s no place for it, in my view. Politics can be quite divisive. But based on what I learned about the one-child policy, I do understand why some criticize China about its human rights policies and practices. At least, with this knowledge, we’re now more educated about how the policy is implemented.
To me, the message that we share on this blog has no barriers or borders. It’s for all nations – and can certainly apply to a nation with its own unique approach to managing its human resources. As I see it, no matter the views that each of us has, China is a force to be reckoned with in a growing number of ways.
Now here comes the highlight of this blog post! You might recall that during the Beijing Olympics, several journalists reported that some sites could not be accessed within China. The government restricts certain sites at its discretion. So I figured that based on the matters that I try to address through my writings - some of which are sensitive - the government may deny access to our blog. I thought, “Oh, that explains it. Oh, well.”
Well, this past Thursday was as magical a day as we’ve had since we launched.  Early that afternoon, we had our 15,000th hit. What a milestone that was! Simply awesome to accomplish that in 4 ½ months! Then later in the afternoon, I looked in the administrative part of the site and saw that WE GOT OUR FIRST HIT IN CHINA!!!!!! YESSSSSS!!!!!! No more barriers!!!!! THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA HAS FALLEN!!!!!!!
That’s reason to celebrate! Together, you and I have done it! Our message is indeed spreading to all nations of the world! Why do I say you and I? Because if you weren’t reading and sharing our blog with others, the word wouldn’t spread as it has; so I thank you!
And the wonderful thing that happens when we get new readers is that when they come to the site once, they read multiple posts. And furthermore, they come back often!! The same has happened with our new Chinese audience. We got multiple hits then and every day since then!
So we’ll see where we go from here. For now, I exhale because the great wall has fallen and the door to China is now open to us. We continually endeavor to share this life-changing message that has each of us so engaged. That’s a reason to celebrate!
Thanks again for reading. Have a wonderful day!

The Upbeat Dad