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“One Nation under Godlessness”…ya think?

In Abortion, Child Abuse, Child Development, Cohabitation, Courts, date rape, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Drug Use, Education, Families, father, Free Speech, Media, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Religious Freedom, Schools, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values, Violence on November 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Godless or God?My husband is a judge. On a weekly basis he sees youth in his court who are delinquent, unmotivated, and often times defiant. These young men and women are most often accompanied by a frustrated parent. At some point in the conversation my husband asks the parent, “While you were growing up did you attend church?” Nine out of ten answer in the affirmative. Then he asks, “Are you taking your son (or daughter) to church?” The answer is always, “No.” “Why?” he asks. “I’ve just got out of the habit,” “I never think to,” “I don’t know why I don’t,” are most often the responses. He then suggests that their son or daughter may do better in life with the moral compass that religion brings. His heart goes out to these kids who have no purpose and direction to their lives.

We are so grateful for those who recognize what is going on in our nation and for their courageous voice. We combine our voices and pray…yes, we pray, that parents will wake up to what happens when God is not in our lives.

 

Michelle Malkin said it so well in her article “One nation under Godlessness.”

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

Historic Interfaith Conference

In Cohabitation, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, father, Gender, Grandparents, Homosexuality, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Religious Freedom, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on November 19, 2014 at 6:51 am

vaticanDiane Robertson

With marriage and natural family relationships in decline, Pope Francis invited leaders from different faiths around the world to gather at the Vatican this week. This historical interfaith conference titled, The Complementarity of Man and Woman brought religious leaders from 23 nations, and representing 14 different faiths together to discuss something they all agree on: the natural family.

We hope that this conference will assist religious leaders around the world in strengthening marriages and families everywhere.

These are some of the wonderful things spoken about during the first two days of the conference:

Pope Francis opened the conference calling the family one of the “fundamental pillars that govern a nation.” He urged young people not to “give themselves over to the poisonous mentality of the temporary,” but to “be revolutionaries with the courage to seek true and lasting love, going against the common pattern.”

The Pope declared that:

“Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis.

The crisis in the family has produced an ecological crisis, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection. And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology.”

Discussing the complementarity of man and woman, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, said, “The difference between man and woman [is an] essential element to understand the human being and his journey towards God… The human body, in its sexual difference, is not a chance product of blind evolution or an anonymous determination of elements.”

On Tuesday, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Lord Jonathan Sacks, declared that “the family, man, woman, and child, is not one lifestyle choice among many. It is the best means we have yet discovered for nurturing future generations and enabling children to grow in a matrix of stability and love.”

Henry B. Eyring, from the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that unselfishness is the key to “complementary marriage between a man and a woman,” and that, “we know what we must do to help create a renaissance of successful marriages and family life.”

“We must find ways to lead people to a faith that they can replace their natural self-interest with deep and lasting feelings of charity and benevolence. With that change, and only then, will people be able to make the hourly unselfish sacrifices necessary for a happy marriage and family life.”

 

A SAD STORY

In Child Development, Cohabitation, Divorce, Drug Use, Families, father, Grandparents, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, stay-at-home mom, The Family, Values, working mothers on November 14, 2014 at 7:16 am

latchkey kidsMaddi Gillel

Beverly was six or seven when her parents divorced. She had a brother just 2-3 years older and 2 sisters older than that. Her mother, of course, had to go to work, and just as important, find a new man in her life. So Beverly and her brother went home after school to no one to help with homework, talk about their day, drive them to music and or sports etc.

When Beverly was 19, she met a man at work, and they were soon living together. They were married a few months later. Four years later, they had their first child, a girl. Beverly’s husband was a drug addict, but was able to keep a job in construction. When their daughter was 2 ½, they had another baby, this time a boy. Soon after that, Beverly began doing drugs and she and her husband were both doing heroin. Finally, when their little boy was almost three, and their daughter 5 ½, they split up and sobered up. Beverly gave her husband full custody of the children, and moved two states away.

NO ONE could believe that a mother could do that!! HOW?!!! WHY!?!? Thankfully, her husband wanted the children and managed to keep them and care for them with the help of his family.

Let’s take a closer look at Beverly’s early life. Her dad left, then her mom left (to work and date etc.). She was on her own with only her siblings. Her lifestyle deteriorated in her teen years and she started having random sexual encounters. Studies prove that when you begin using drugs and/or get into sex, your emotional development STOPS !!   So Beverly was basically a mid-teenager when she got married and then divorced.  Without a realization of the problem and some type of treatment, her life story will remain the same – she still lives with a guy and makes other poor choices.

Marriage and parenthood are not for the faint-of-heart NOR the immature! Anyone who is in a marriage and has children will testify that even when everything is as it should be, it is challenging.

I feel for Beverly. Under the circumstances in which she was raised and the choices she made, it’s no wonder she could leave her children and not look back. Marriage and parenthood overwhelmed her as it would any teenager. She sees her children about once a year.

This is my story. Beverly is my ex-daughter-in-law. We have been raising her two children for five years. We are in our mid 60’s. It has been the hardest thing we have ever done. We love these children dearly and would not have it any other way, under the circumstances, but it would have been so much easier- AND EFFECTIVE- to have one, loving, engaged, hard-working mom functioning in their home.

To moms: 100 TIMES YOUR WEIGHT IN GOLD could still never replace what you do in the home.

 

Mom Shame

In adoption, Birth Rate, Breastfeeding, Child Development, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, stay-at-home mom, The Family, Values, working mothers on November 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

  busy mom  Rebecca Mallory

We thought there was pressure raising our four girls during the 80’s. All four girls are now very busy wives and mothers but believe me, my life was cake compared to theirs.  In the 80’s my diaper bag said “Safeway” on it. We bought an $80 crib that we used for all four kids until the last baby karate chopped the spindles on the bottom so she could simply roll to the floor to escape. It was not required to have a designer diaper bag, a $200 blinged out cover for the car seat (Heck! We didn’t even have a car seat!) that matched the high chair, stroller, toddler seat, crib and the partridge in a pear tree.

Whew! It’s expensive, and exhausting to be a mom today. Another “must” are clever 4×6 glossies printed for the baby shower invitations and cutest shower deco that matches the car seat, diaper bag, and decked out nursery. Nursery?! A Pinterest original, of course. And when mom arrives at her own shower, she can’t look stressed, tired, haggard, huge, or miserable. She must be perky, fun and at all times joyful.  What’s worse though, beyond this perfect personae that most mommies can’t afford let alone master, is the shame or judgement that moms fling at each other. Why is it that many opinionated mothers seem to grow mother claws as they have children. It’s their way or the highway. I recently read an article by Stephanie Barnhart about this very subject that really struck a cord with me. Here’s my take on some of her insights.

No doubt you’ve heard all the hubbub about breast feeding especially in public. To breast feed or not is very controversial in the mom community. My girls were all bottle fed. Not one grew up to be an ax murderer. Pretty good, huh? If you’re a breast feeder aficionado, congrats. But before you pass judgement on a mom bottle feeding her baby, consider this. What if she tried for weeks and just couldn’t do it? What if the baby requires a special formula? What if this mom had breast cancer and a double mastectomy? Maybe she simply chose to bottle feed? What if?

Snacks and eating habits. I’ve had to seriously consider super glueing my lips shut on this one. To see the kids eat an entire bowl of “Goldfish”, chips, or some other equally “fake” substance makes it hard not to blurt. But here’s the deal. My kids didn’t always… no they never…. ate totally balanced meals nor followed the four food groups 24/7. In fact if we were on a road trip, we’d lay the seats down, spread a few blankets, load them up with chips, candy, and other yummy but tooth-decaying items just to make it to our destination without fights, whining, and screaming while maintaining an iota of sanity. And yes, you read that right. No seat belts. Those were the days when saying “Be careful!” was enough, I guess.

Dress and fashion. Ok, we all need to back off on this one. “Mom jeans” to you, may not be “mom jeans” to her. Maybe that’s all she has, or can afford. Maybe she thinks yours are “mom jeans”! Looking perfect is in the eyes of the beholder, right? Let’s judge each other the way you want other women to judge you. Fair enough?

Lots of Parenting Styles

Discipline and parenting styles. All of our girls and their husbands have different parenting styles. It’s fascinating to watch them parent; especially having grown up in the same house with the same parents and rules. But as we choose a spouse we become “one” with them in almost all decisions which is an awesome blessing! (Ok maybe not totally awesome…) We have one daughter whose husband has been pretty stern with the kids. Result? They go to bed perfectly, eat their broccoli, and sit quietly in church.

We have one daughter who has five little kids, the fourth and fifth are twin 1 year olds. Her biggest concern used to be shopping, getting her hair and nails done, and keeping up on “What Not to Wear.” Now she stars in her own “Survivor” episodes and hopes to make it to bedtime each night without any broken bones or something catching on fire.

One daughter speaks very softly in all situations and is amazingly patient. All three oldest girls have five kids each. Their baby sister has one and vows she will never have five. Our kids have crazy lives.

We’re all in survival mode

Stay at home or have a career? Another potentially heated topic. I had to teach school when our kids were little. I was overcome with guilt a lot of the time and wanted to be a stay at home mommy. We just couldn’t afford it and had four jobs between us at times.  So when you see a mom dropping her child off at daycare, don’t judge. Is she going through a divorce? Did her husband lose his job? And if you drop your kids off at daycare while passing a mom in her husband’s sweats, with a stroller and three other kids walking to the bus stop, don’t immediately assume that her life is boring and unfulfilled. Or vise versa. What good comes of that? Nothing.

I have two sisters who had horrible experiences with trying to have babies. They both adopted and then were able to have their own naturally. Go figure. I have another sister who was nearly killed in a tractor accident at age 14 which resulted in the heartbreak of her inability to ever have children. Yet she’s had to endure the stares and insensitive questions from non-thinking women. “When are you going to have a baby? Or “Why don’t you have any kids?” She even had to endure her seven sisters whining about the day to day stress of motherhood when she would have given a million bucks to be experiencing our pain.

So you get the drift. Most moms are in survival mode. We all yearn for love and acceptance. It’s such a boost when it comes from our peers. (I know we’re not supposed to care what others think; but darn it, we do!) Instead let’s all admit that parenting is the hardest but most rewarding job there is. But when those sweet kids get out of the bathtub and into their jammies with faces shining, and hair dripping wet, and throw their arms around your neck with an “I love you mommy” it becomes more than worth the daily wear and tear.

Let’s love each other for trying to raise productive and happy children. With so many people choosing not to have children, let’s applaud and lift each other up for our efforts in parenting. Let’s look for the good.  It’s right in your own mommy community.

 

Only Men Can Father

In Abstinence, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, father, Gender, Marriage, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Research, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, The Family, Values, Violence on November 12, 2014 at 7:59 am

father throwing daughterDiane Robertson

New Research being conducted on the differences between mothering and fathering has found that children need to the complimentary parenting styles from both genders.

Jenet Erickson, research sociologist and author for the Deseret News, presented research that is being conducted, and not yet published, during the Wheatley Conference. She has given me permission to summarize this research in progress.

Last week, I discussed some scientific reasons why only women can mother. This week, I will discuss why only men can father.

Although mothers and fathers both experience an increase in Oxytocin levels as they become parents, these hormones exhibit important differences behaviorally in mothers and fathers. Each study finds that men parent similarly to each other and likewise women parent similarly, making women mothers and men fathers. The compatibility of the two sexes in parenting contributes to the complete and normal development of children. When one parent is missing, children suffer.

Even with the emergence of stay at home fathers, mothers engage with, care for, and provide routine care for their children 3 to 4 times more than fathers. Yet the father’s influence and different ways in which he is involves himself with his children is very meaningful.

A father in the home improves the emotional, social, economic, and sexual outcomes of children.

The unique way in which fathers play with and hold their infants and children affects their children’s behavior and ability to form relationships throughout their lives. Jenet Erickson explains:

Mothers tend to exhibit unique capacities for emotional attentiveness and responsiveness, which facilitates the security necessary for the formation of healthy identity in children. Fathers’ involvement and closeness also appears to be related to almost every aspect of children’s social-emotional health, but fathers seem to distinctly influence children’s capacity for prosocial behaviors and healthy relationships. Play is a critical way through which children receive these important contributions from fathers. Consistent with the way mothers and fathers tend to hold their infants (cuddling vs. football hold), mothers seem to make distinct, even critical contributions to children’s identity formation, while fathers make distinct contributions to children’s capacity for healthy relationships with others.”

The way in which fathers interact with their children correlates well with the educational outcome of children. Children who have an involved father, do better in school and are much more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and graduate from college. In fact, a father’s interaction with his children has a more profound effect on education than mother’s interaction with her children.

There seems to be three main reasons this is the case.

  1. Father’s physical play stimulates and activates children. This unique ‘destabilizing’ orientation corresponds with typical approaches in other father-child interactions that may play an important role in ‘stimulating children’s openness to the world’ by exciting, surprising, and destabilizing them (Palkovitz, 2012, p. 226). These unique characteristics have led researchers to describe a father’s relationship with his children as an ‘activation relationship’ primarily developed through play (Paquette, 2004).”
  2. Father’s interaction with children helps the children to develop independence. According to Jenet Erickson, “Daniel Paquette found from his research that fathers ‘tend to encourage children to take risks, while at the same time ensuring safety and security, thus permitting children to learn to be braver in unfamiliar situations, as well as to stand up for themselves.’” Fathers also tend to insist that children do things for themselves, while mothers will step in to help and explain.
  3. Fathers are more “cognitively demanding”. While helping with homework, for example, fathers will stand back and offer verbal cues without intervening, and mothers will actively help their children solve a problem and complete their tasks.

 

Fathers are an important part of sexual and gender development for both boys and girls. Maggie Gallagher summarized this well. She has said that:

What a boy gets from experiencing the dependable love of a father is a deep personal experience of masculinity that is pro-social, pro-woman, pro-child…Without this personal experience of maleness, a boy (who like all human beings is deeply driven to seek some meaning for masculinity) is vulnerable to a variety of peer and market-driven alternative definitions of masculinity, often grounded in…aggression, physical strength, and sexual proclivities…

She continued, “The importance of a father in giving a boy a deeply pro-social sense of his own masculinity may be one reason why one large national study found that boys raised outside of intact marriages were two to three times more likely to commit a crime leading to imprisonment. Similarly a girl raised without a father does not come to adolescence with the same deep experience of what male love feels like when it is truly protective, not driven primarily by a desire for sexual gratification. At the same time, fatherless girls may experience a hunger for masculine love and attention that leaves her particularly vulnerable to use and abuse by young adult males. Girls raised without fathers are at high risk for unwed motherhood.”

Boys without a father in the home are more aggressive and are much more likely to engage in anti-social behavior. Girls without a father participate in early sexual activity. Fatherlessness is the number one indicator for teenage pregnancy.

Closeness to both a mother and a father provides the best outcome for children in all areas of their lives. Mothers do not provide what fathers do and fathers do not provide what mothers do. The physiology of the separate genders primes each for complimentary roles as mother and father. The unique ways in which men and women rear their children provide them with an essential balance they need to develop emotionally, socially, educationally, and sexually.

Jenet Erickson concludes:

This review provides social science underpinnings for the intuitive sense and experience of those fathers. It is clear that there is much overlap in the capacities, skills and behaviors of mothers and fathers that enable children to develop and even thrive. But as this review demonstrates, mothers and fathers retain distinctive capacities, styles, and orientations that emerge as important, if not critical, contributors in children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and sexual development, as well as their safety and protection.”

 

References

Hart, C. H., Nelson,D. A., Robinson, C. C., Olsen S.F., McNeilly-Choque, M. K. (1998).Overt and relational aggression in Russian nursery-school-age children: Parenting style and marital linkages. Developmental Psychology, 34(4), 687-97.

Koestner, R., Franz, C., and Weinberger, J. (1990). The family origins of empathic concern: A 26-year longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 709-717.

Parke, R. D. (2012). Gender differences and similarities in parental behavior. In W. B. Wilcox, & K. K. Kline (Eds.), Gender and Parenthood (pp. 120-163). New York: Columbia University Press.

Palkovitz, R. (2012). Gendered parenting’s implications for children’s well-being: Theory and research in applied perspective. . In W. B. Wilcox, & K. K. Kline (Eds.), Gender and Parenthood (pp. 215-248). New York: Columbia University Press.

Paquette, D. (2004). Theorizing the father-child relationship: Mechanisms and developmental outcomes. Human Development, 47, 193-219.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Can Fathers Do?

In Child Development, Education, Families, father, Gender, motherhood, Parenting, The Family, Values, Violence on November 11, 2014 at 8:42 am

father wrestling with sonNathalie Bowman

“Dad, wanna play catch?” The morning was beautiful, the mountain air was crisp and clean, and playing catch with dad was the order of the day. We grabbed our mitts & ball from the camp trailer and off we went to throw the ball back and forth. There was not much conversation, of course, but our hearts were bound together as we played, sometimes teasing and sometimes serious. My dad was not much into sports, he was a nuclear engineer,  but he stepped out of his comfort zone, did something I enjoyed, and it was fun for both of us. Playing catch with dad became a tradition during our camping trips. Those memories are precious to me. At home, there was always more work to do, but while out in nature, we could relax and enjoy each other’s company, putting all other cares aside.

In this busy world where our desire for our children to do more, be more, and accomplish more, sometimes we overlook the most important aspect of parenting-spending quality, uninterrupted, unscripted time with our children, teaching them, learning about them, and creating memories together. Those times my dad spent with me had much more meaning than just throwing a ball around. Dad was sending me the message that I was important to him, that I was a valued human being and he wouldn’t want to be spending time with anyone else but me as we played together.

Fathers are busy people. After all, they spend most of their time providing for the family, working hard so the family has what they need and want. Is the father’s involvement personally with his children even important? The answer for most of us is obvious-of course it’s important for a father to be involved with his children. We know that, but with our busy lifestyles, spending time with children can feel like one more burden on a dad’s “to do”  list. Glenn Stanton, from “Focus on the Family” helps us out with this dilemma. He explains some differences that mothers and fathers bring to the family and simple ways fathers can bond with their children, in his article “The Involved Father”:

“Fathers are just as essential to healthy child development as mothers. Psychology Today explained, “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children.”1

Erik Erikson, a pioneer in the world of child psychology, asserts that a father’s love and a mother’s love are qualitatively different. Fathers “love more dangerously” because their love is more “expectant, more instrumental” than a mother’s love.2 A father brings unique contributions to the job of parenting a child that no one else can replicate. Following are some of the most compelling ways that a father’s involvement makes a positive difference in a child’s life.

Fathers parent differently.

Fathering expert Dr. Kyle Pruett explains that fathers have a distinct style of communication and interaction with children. By eight weeks of age, infants can tell the difference between their mother’s and father’s interaction with them.

This diversity, in itself, provides children with a broader, richer experience of contrasting relational interactions. Whether they realize it or not, children are learning, by sheer experience, that men and women are different and have different ways of dealing with life, other adults and children. This understanding is critical for their development.

Fathers play differently.

Fathers tickle more, they wrestle, and they throw their children in the air (while mother says . . . “Not so high!”). Fathers chase their children, sometimes as playful, scary “monsters.”

Fathering expert John Snarey explains that children who roughhouse with their fathers learn that biting, kicking and other forms of physical violence are not acceptable.3 They learn self-control by being told when “enough is enough” and when to settle down. Girls and boys both learn a healthy balance between timidity and aggression.

Fathers build confidence.

Go to any playground and listen to the parents. Who is encouraging kids to swing or climb just a little higher, ride their bike just a little faster, throw just a little harder? Who is encouraging kids to be careful? Mothers protect and dads encourage kids to push the limits.

Either of these parenting styles by themselves can be unhealthy. One can tend toward encouraging risk without consideration of consequences. The other tends to avoid risk, which can fail to build independence and confidence. Together, they help children remain safe while expanding their experiences and increasing their confidence.

Fathers communicate differently.

A major study showed that when speaking to children, mothers and fathers are different.

                                                                                                Read More…..

Only Women Can Mother

In adoption, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, father, Gender, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Research, The Family, Values on November 5, 2014 at 7:17 am

mother soothing babyDiane Robertson

New Research being conducted on the differences between mothering and fathering has found that children need to the complimentary parenting styles from both genders.

Jenet Erickson, research sociologist and author for the Deseret News, presented research that is being conducted, and not yet published, during the Wheatley Conference. She has given me permission to summarize this research in progress.

“A growing body of research exploring physiological changes in mothers and fathers has shed new light on how sex differences may predispose them toward distinctive contributions to children’s development” (Snowdon, 2012). (As reported by Jenet Erickson)

During pregnancy, labor, and after birth, women experience dramatic increases in oxytocin and oxytocin receptors. These hormonal increases are responsible for bonding between a mother and her infant. Even adoptive mothers show an increase in oxytocin. Oxytocin correlates with common maternal behaviors such as gazing, affectionate touch, and frequent infant checking.

To enhance the bonding, infants who are close to their mothers mimic the same increase in oxytocin and have low levels on cortisone (the stress hormone). Even more surprising is the fact that fathers who live with and have a close relationship to the mother of their children experience the same increase in hormones. However, fathers who are in a strained or distant relationship with the mother of the children do not have the same surge in hormones.

The increase in oxytocin effects the behaviors of men and women differently. Mothers tend to cuddle, caress, and speak to their infants in a soft voice. Fathers tend to tickle, toss their infants, or engage them with an object.

Mothers seem to be biologically primed to attach to their children. Mothers spend more time caring for and thinking about their children. They have a unique ability to “sensitively modify the stimulation they give to their infants. Through finely tuned perceptions, they match their infants’ intellectual and emotional state and provide the optimal ‘chunked bits’ of positive interaction needed for the child’s developing brain (Schore, 1994).”(As reported by Jenet Erickson)

In fact, the unique interaction between a mother and her infant positively effects the child’s, “memory, cognitions, stress tolerance, and cardiovascular, metabolic and immune function, as well as emotional and behavioral regulation (Kline & Stafford, 2012, p. 203).” (As reported by Jenet Erickson)

Without a mother, children tend to suffer from attachment disorders. Mothers are not the only adults, children can attach to, but mothers seem to be biologically oriented to creating positive attachments in children. Bjorklund & Jordan (2012, p. 68) explained that women are able to regulate their emotions better than men. Because of this, women are more capable of delaying their own gratification to care for children.

This unique attachment that children develop with their mothers is seen through all stages of life—even as adults, mothers remain the “preferred source of comfort in times of stress”.

Women are biologically predisposed to form needed attachments and interactions with children in ways that men simply are not.

Next week, I will discuss some of the unique ways in which men father and just how necessary fathering is to a developing child.

 

 

Resources

Bjorklund D. F., and Jordan, A. C. (2012). Human parenting from an evolutionary perspective. In W. B. Wilcox, & K. K. Kline (Eds.), Gender and Parenthood (pp. 61-90). New York: Columbia University Press.

Kline, K. K., and Stafford, B. (2012). Essential elements of the caretaking crucible. In W. B. Wilcox, & K. K. Kline (Eds.), Gender and Parenthood (pp. 193-214). New York: Columbia University Press.

Schore, A. N. (1994). Affect regulation and the origin of the self: The neurobiology of emotional development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Snowdon, C. T. (2012). Family life and infant care: Lessons from cooperatively breeding primates. In W. B. Wilcox, & K. K. Kline (Eds.), Gender and Parenthood (pp. 40-60). New York: Columbia University Press.

 

 

 

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….

 

Captured Moments—Cherished Memories

In Child Development, Education, Families, father, Parenting, Schools, The Family, Values on October 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

family in carBy Rachel Allison

Several years ago my husband traveled through France where he met a family who had just recently moved ten miles out of town.  This meant that the family’s two teenage daughters had to be driven to town each morning for school, and then picked up each afternoon for the drive back home. My husband asked the parents if they regretted the move at this busy time in the lives of their daughters.  “Not at all,” was the response.  Both parents acknowledged that they had drawn closer to their daughters because of those miles traveled together.  The father disclosed that his daughters would talk about things in the car that they wouldn’t necessarily share in any other setting.

Remembering that lesson my husband has taken every opportunity to willingly drive or pick up our children for school, gymnastics’ practice, scouts, piano lessons or any other activity in which they are involved.  He not only gives counsel and encouragement during these drives, he also listens.  He doesn’t allow the radio to be on.  That discourages conversation.  Cell phones and IPods are in the off mode.  He doesn’t want the interruptions.  There have been times when my husband has driven into our garage and he and our son or daughter have sat out in the car for five or ten or even fifteen minutes while their conversation was concluding.

Parenting is such a busy and time-consuming commitment.  Our attitude about that time can make such a difference in the lives of our children.  And it can create frustration or it can create wonderful and cherished memories.  As busy as my husband is, he has chosen to make cherished memories.

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