5 Tips for Mothers

In Child Development, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Research, Schools, The Family, Values on October 29, 2014 at 7:13 am

children and imaginationDiane Robertson

This is part one of a three part series on parenting. I have been reading through some new and very interesting research that is being conducted on mothering and fathering. I am going to start from a personal view as a mother of ten (amazing) children. Next I will focus on the biology of mothering followed by the biology of fathering.

I don’t often tell strangers how many children I actually have. It never ends up being a very comfortable conversation. However, the people who know me will often respectfully ask how I do it. I would have asked a mother with 10 children the same question back when I began my parenting journey too. In all honesty, I actually have no idea how I do it. One day at a time, I guess. But I do have five pieces of advice that have been useful to me as a mother and I think they will be useful to you too.

  1. The first and most important thing I think mothers need to know is to trust yourself. You will find all sorts of conflicting advice on how to get your children to sleep and how to feed them, dress them, educate them, etc. Your children are yours. You know your children better than any sociological or psychological expert. So don’t worry. Trust your instincts and your ability to parent your children because what your children really need most is you. And having said that, take the other 4 things less seriously.
  2. I believe that parents and children do best with a good solid religious foundation. Religious people learn to govern their own behaviors. As the world has moved away from religion, more and more laws have been formed to make up for the lack of morality religions offered. And as a perk, studies have shown that “teens who are religiously-affiliated are 40 percent more likely to graduate high school than their nonreligious counterparts, and 70 percent more likely to enroll in college.”
  3. I think that reading makes family life happier. Parents should read and read a lot. Reading leads to successful people who know how to communicate and use their language well. Parents will be their children’s biggest example. If you want smart, successful kids then let them see you with a book and let them see you put down your book to read to them.
  4. In today’s world, I would say that kids need more playtime and less structured time. Kids learn best through play. And quite frankly, it’s a lot easier to tell your kids to go and play than to take them to several organized activities. So give yourself and your kids a break and send them off to play.
  5. And finally, I have learned that chores are good for kids. Helping your kids to learn the value of work will benefit them for the rest of their lives. I’ll be the first to admit that it is often easier to just clean it up myself than to battle my kids to get it done, but whether or not a child learns to work hard can make or break them in the future. And let’s face the truth, if you had someone pick up your coat each time you tossed it on the floor as you walked in the house, would you want that to change? Kids will resist, but truly, teaching them to work will eventually benefit you too.

Women as Breeders?

In adoption, Child Abuse, Child Development, Courts, Divorce, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Gender, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Parental Rights, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, The Family, Values, Women's Rights on October 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

gays and childrenNathalie Bowman

As same-sex marriage becomes legal across the country, same sex parenting is entering the picture now more than ever. What is the long term effect on children raised in the LGBT world? What of the women who are used to grow babies and sell them to same-sex couples?  Although some gay couples have children from prior heterosexual relationships, many are now wanting to adopt babies specifically produced by other women for them. Is there a possibility of women being turned into breeders so gay men can raise children?

 The following article, written by Rivka Edleman, a woman who was raised by a lesbian mother, gives us insight on the subject:

 Ruthless Misogyny: Janna Darnelle’s Story and Extreme LGBT Activism

by  Rivka Edelman

Janna Darnelle’s recent Public Discourse essay, “Breaking the Silence: Redefining Marriage Hurts Women Like Me—and Our Children,” reveals what is behind the heartwarming pictures of gay families from a mother’s point of view. As someone who was raised by a lesbian mother, I would like to weigh in. I will comment not only as a former child who was once all smiles in those pictures, but also as an academic, a woman, a mother, and a feminist.

Darnelle’s essay struck a nerve and went viral. It is not surprising that, within a few hours, LGBT activists had taken up arms against her. Keyboard warriors manned the ramparts. Soon, the usual thugs took up their clubs and pitchforks.

For those of you who avoid the subterranean landscape of online same-sex parenting debates, it is useful to be introduced to Scott “Rose” Rosenzweig, a virulently misogynistic LGBT activist. As soon as Darnelle’s essay was published, Rose went into action, darting from the blog Good As You to other sites in an effort to destroy her personally. (Rose’s obsessive internet commenting has attracted attention at other news outlets as well.) Darnelle’s ex-husband even weighed in. A helpful fellow, he left her personal information in the comments section of several activists’ blogs, including her full legal name.

Janna Darnelle wrote under a pen name in order to protect her family. Unfortunately, her ex-husband’s comments helped Scott Rose embark on a campaign of harassment and intimidation. As I will discuss below, Rose was not content to confine his character assassination to the internet; he has also contacted Darnelle’s employer in an attempt to get her fired.

Readers will recall that Darnelle’s essay discusses her divorce from her ex-husband and her struggles as a single mother to provide a sense of family. Although her conclusions are controversial, her story is well-written and articulate. Sadly, the hate-driven response from extremist LGBT activists and bloggers confirms what many women are beginning to realize. While these activists laud the ex-husband for “living his truth,” they hold women and children in such contempt that they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Janna’s account of her difficult experiences as a mother. Although they purport to represent the disadvantaged, certain wings of the LGBT-rights movement function as all-white men’s rights groups. In our contemporary climate, these men are allowed to do great harm to women and children with impunity.

Erasing and Exploiting Women

On the most superficial level, what Darnelle described could have parallels in a heterosexual divorce. In most cases, a woman’s standard of living drops significantly after a divorce, while men’s goes up significantly. So, in that sense, there was nothing surprising in Janna’s story: the judge favored the husband, who had a steady high income.

The bloggers and activists who comment at Jeremy Hooper’s Good as You blog have used this judge’s decision to suggest that Darnelle was an unfit mother. Darnelle’s piece did not give details about the family’s custody arrangement, but I have confirmed that the mother has 60 percent custody of the children. This indicates that she has not been found to be “unfit” in any way.

The “unfit mother” trope is very important, because it helps justify taking women’s children, eggs, or the use of their uteri. Darnelle is right. Many families headed by gay male couples are built upon exploitation of women.

Read more….


The Choice My Mother Didn’t Have To Make

In Abortion on October 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

Mother's loveEach life matters and the loss of any human life diminishes our own.

By Kristin Wahlquist

It is impossible to calculate the value of a life; things learned, people touched, and memories created. Each life is both incredible and irreplaceable. Every life begins when two microscopic cells unite. Although these special cells cannot be seen with the naked eye, they hold so much potential. Society as a whole places a high value on life and what one can accomplish during their few short years on Earth, yet more than twenty-one percent of pregnant women choose to end the very lives they have just created. The contradiction here is mind-numbing.

Some may challenge biology saying that destroying an unborn fetus is not harming a human life, but research indicates otherwise.

  • The cardiovascular system is the first major system to function. At about 22 days after conception the child’s heart begins to circulate his own blood, unique to that of his mother’s, and his heartbeat can be detected on ultrasound.
  • At just six weeks, the child’s eyes and eyelids, nose, mouth, and tongue have formed.
  • Electrical brain activity can be detected at six or seven weeks, and by the end of the eighth week, the child, now known scientifically as a “fetus,” has developed all of his organs and bodily structures.
  • By ten weeks after conception the child can make bodily movements.

Considering the facts listed above, it is difficult to ignore the evidence that a baby is a human being—even before it is born. Each human life begins this way, gradually progressing—first, inside the womb then independently. Life is life, regardless of how simple or dependent it may be. No life is perfect, not you, not me.

Yet, some still argue that a fetus’s birth defects should be ground for terminating that child. When some parents find out about chromosomal defects and other ailments with their baby, it can lead them to get an abortion. Human anatomy explains the complexity and functions of the human body. There are multiple systems functioning at the same time and there are times that something will surely go wrong. So why then, when every body is imperfect, would we take away the chance for another imperfect human to live? An imperfect life is still a life worth living.

Even when a fetus appears to be healthy, some opt to end the life of their unborn child due to their personal health, financial reasons or completed family size. When my parents found out they were pregnant with me, they had each of those “logical” reasons to get an abortion. I am the fourth child in my family. To some, four children would seem outrageous. Not only that, but my older sister had just been born and adopted into the family—less than a month before. My dad was already working hard to pay the bills and provide a moderate life for his wife and three children. My mom was busy meeting the demands of a newborn baby and caring for her two other young children. But regardless of the emotional stress of carrying and bearing a child, the physical labor and love that would come throughout the rest of their lives, the money spent on everything from diapers to college, and the fact that they would have two daughters a short 8 ½ months apart—the thought of an abortion never crossed my parents’ minds. Rather than choosing an abortion, they choose to be responsible for the choice they had made and let me live. To them, it wasn’t really a choice at all. The value of life was far greater than any hardship I would bring.

Because of my mother’s choice, I have been given the chance to live. I have traveled the world from the ancient city of Rome to the great Niagara Falls, from the beautiful west coast to the rainy streets of London. I have learned to create, to sew and bake. I have learned to be loved and to share that love. I have gained much knowledge and been touched by countless friends and created millions of memories. Without the choice of my mother, none of this would be possible.

Life is not just about a seemingly “perfect” human body. It is about truly living, and no matter our bodies or our circumstances we can all truly live, but first we must be given the opportunity. It is impossible to calculate the value of a life. Taking away a human life for personal convenience, health, already completed family size or financial stress is an assault on the value of every human being’s life.

Kristin Wahlquist, baby photoKristin Wahlquist, photoKristin Wahlquist is  junior studying Marriage and Family Studies major at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She’s the middle child of a family of seven kids – one boy and six girls.  She loves families and truly believes they are the basic unit of our society and is excited to share that understanding.   “Human life is the greatest creation of all and needs to be protected at all stages.”



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