USA – Dad, your son is struggling while you’re not around

For the original Article/Video click this LINK with thanks to Michael Ramos – USA – Salt lake city

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Dad, your son is struggling while you’re not around

September 3, 8:42 AM Salt Lake City Single Dads Examiner Michael Ramos

I recently had the chance to sit in at a local elementary school and monitor some students. 

In one of the classes I notice a fourth-grade boy, “T”, who is having a problem paying attention.

He’s sleeping in class.  His teacher, trying to show patience, wakes him up.  When the boy dozes off again, the teacher bangs loudly on his desk, hoping to startle him. 

To my surprise, “T” simply opens his eyes, looks up at the teacher, and falls right back to sleep.  He is moved to a seat without a desk.  “T” sits upright and snores away.   

The teacher sends “T” to the office and allows me to escort him and ask him a few questions.  What is the problem?  Why are you not paying attention and falling asleep?

He starts crying uncontrollably.  I listen as he recounts how he didn’t sleep at all the night before.  His mom wasn’t home so his sister threw a party that lasted all night.  I ask him where his dad lives, it’s out of state, but fairly close to Utah.  I ask if he ever talks to his dad, already knowing the answer before he tells me his dad doesn’t call.

He goes in to the school nurse’s office, asks to lie down, and proceeds to sleep for three hours. 

When he returns to his class he’s a completely different kid.  He raises his hand to answer all the questions the teacher asks.  He is polite to his teacher, his classmates, and to me.  Before he goes home, he completes all of the assignments that he slept through that morning.

After school I ask “T” if I can meet his mother.  He and I walk to the spot where his mom is going to pick him up.

And we wait…and we wait. 

“When she doesn’t come I just walk home,” he tells me.  It’s not a big deal to him.  He walks home a lot.  I ask him why his mom doesn’t show.  He tells me she’s probably off somewhere trying to get him some lunch money.  Before he leaves he shakes my hand like a grown-up, and walks away.  I try not to cry in front of the last stragglers finally heading home.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t meet his mom, the school might have gotten some complaints about someone who doesn’t even work for them.  I’m bothered by his mom, and by his sister for moaning all night in the next room while her ten-year old brother’s trying to sleep. 

But I’d really like to know what kind of father is so detached that he would allow this to go on and do nothing.  His teacher, the school counselor, the nurse, even the principal know about “T”‘s struggles.  Why doesn’t the father?  The principal said they have no way of getting a hold of him.

I wonder if he is at the club every night, enjoying a few drinks, “makin’ it rain.”  You deserve ten minutes in a room full of dads who wished they had custody of their kids.  You deserve to face these angry dads, alone, and in the dark.  That’s how your son goes to bed every night.

Whatever you deserve, you don’t deserve a son like the one who’s crying for you. 

Note:  You don’t have to have kids, to fill the role of a parent.  Check out Rachel Tobin’s article on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah.  Kids like “T” really could use a hand.

Questions?  Comments?  Email them to

Salt Lake City Single Moms


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