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Archive for the ‘father’ Category

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.

The Wheately Conference: The Supreme Court Decided, Now What?

In Abortion, Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Constitution, Courts, Democracy, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, father, Free Speech, Gender, Government, Grassroots, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Parenting, Religious Freedom, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Sexual Orientation, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on October 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

marriage equality and supreme courtDiane Robertson

Yesterday I had the unique opportunity of attending a 4 hour long conference hosted by the Wheately Institute and titled: Family is Crucial: Views from Law and Social Science. Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, Mark Regnerus, and Jenet Erickson spoke. These speakers have all vested a lot of time and resources to help form the marriage debate. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to recap a few of the important points as well as some fascinating scientific and statistical information presented in this conference.

Two weeks ago the Supreme Court made a decision about marriage, simply by remaining silent. Many people have either been celebrating that the debate is over or they have been wondering if there is anything else that can be done. This question was answered in a couple of ways during the conference. Ryan T Anderson discussed how the pro-marriage movement needs to look to the pro-life movement as its model. He reminded us that when the Supreme Court handed down Roe v Wade, pro-lifers could have gone home discouraged. Instead, they got to work. Pro-lifers began relying on scientific and legal arguments.

Through the science of ultra sound imaging, pro-lifers proved the pro-abortion movement wrong. Through psychology and statistics, pro-lifers taught about the stress of abortion on the mother’s mind and body. Through compassion and love, pro-lifers set up pregnancy centers to help women with crisis pregnancies. Now the younger generation is more pro-life than the older generation, and there have been more limits on abortion passed through state legislatures than ever before.

Ryan Anderson suggested that we continue litigating in circuit courts, because we don’t know what will happen. The Supreme Court did not hand down a Roe v Wade ruling. As religious freedom, freedom of conscience and even churches are attacked and forced to accept gay marriage, we can still continue battling through litigation and even state laws.

One of the hosts, Jason Carroll, suggested that we need to be positive. Do not be against same sex marriage, be for the family. Marriage has been broken not only by the advancement of same sex marriage, but by the acceptance of pre-marital sex, no fault divorce, co-habitation, and the acceptance of single parenthood. All are at fault and all are enemies to the family.

Be confident. When people see your confidence in your stance, they are less likely to attack that stance. Be really good at what you do. Always do your best and always know your facts. Mark Regnerus only kept his job because he was thorough and careful with his research and statistical report.

The Supreme Court decided, now what? We just keep going. The fact that children do best with their married mother and father has not changed and will not change. The fact that a society is most prosperous when it offers sincere freedom of religion has not changed and will not change. It may seem like we are fighting a losing battle, but we are not. The world needs children and the world needs freedom. The war may be long and hard. Chin up. Be confident. We are on the right side of history.

39: It’s Time to Reflect

In Child Development, Courts, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, father, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Schools, Sexual Orientation, Single Mothers, stay-at-home mom, Supreme Court, The Family, Values, working mothers on October 15, 2014 at 5:41 am

reforming-sexDiane Robertson

I turned 39 today! Yup, that’s right. Today is my 39th birthday. Next year, I will be the big 4-0. A lot has happened in my almost forty years. I remember how in the fourth grade I was asked to draw a picture depicting something that would happen in the future. I drew a telephone with a TV screen so people could call and talk face to face. I’m pretty sure the telephone part was corded. We have that technology now, though no cords, and it fits in our pockets. It is funny how things have turned out. Most people, including myself would rather text or send an email instead of talking. Video chatting isn’t as exciting as my 10 year old self thought it would be. With a text, I don’t have to worry if my hair is combed or if my make-up looks okay. Texting is good with me. I like that change.

When I left for college, the internet was just beginning to come to some of the larger cities. Most households did not have personal computers yet. Within a couple of years, that would change. I welcomed this change. I felt like suddenly the whole world was opened up to me. If I wanted information about something, I could find more than just a small paragraph in an encyclopedia without having to wait for a book or an article to come through the inter-library loan system. I could suddenly contact my friends and family without having to pay anywhere from 10 to 25 cents per minute. (I tried to explain that to my teens. I’m still not sure they get it.) With the internet, people and information became much more accessible. I liked these changes, a lot. I think a lot of people did. It’s really nice to have a question and get a million answers in seconds.

But those have not been the only changes. As a child growing up, it was pretty obvious that the sexual revolution had already begun to take its toll. The poorer kids usually came from homes without a father. We just casually knew that if a kid was always in trouble in school it was because his parents were divorced or he never had a father to begin with. We didn’t talk about it. We just knew. We heard stories and even had assigned reading about latch key kids. Some of us, even happened to be those, but most of us had a mom there when we got home from school.

That has changed. With forty percent of children being born to single women, nearly half the kids don’t have a strong father figure. But you still know who those kids are.

The first time I voted, there was an old man standing outside the room asking people to sign a petition to stop what was probably a non-discrimination order that would include sexual orientation. My dad signed it right away. I read it through, and said no. My dad looked a little embarrassed. But I had gay friends. I thought they ought to be left alone to live their own lives. I didn’t know it wasn’t about being left alone to live their own lives. I did not know that the next phase of the sexual revolution was just beginning.

It was several years later that I gave such things more thought. I went to college, got married and had three kids pretty quickly. My days were spent worrying about small children problems and home organization. And then something happened. Gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts. At first, I was like, who cares? If two people of the same gender want to get married, what does that matter? But my husband didn’t have the same attitude. He was really worried about it. He signed up to receive emails from several pro-family sites. Every now and then he would get me to read something that was emailed too him.

At first, I could hardly believe what I was reading: kindergarteners being taught about homosexuality and a dad arrested for asking that his son be opted out? Fertility doctors sued for transferring lesbian patients to a different doctor? Really? I began paying attention. I realized that this wasn’t about gay people just wanting to quietly live their own lives and let everyone else quietly live their own lives. This was much, much bigger. Marriage laws affect many, many more laws. I realized that if the family is the fundamental unit of society, and it is, then marriage laws are foundational laws, and they are. I could not remain quiet and be content anymore. Because I had the internet, I easily got a lot of information from both sides. I began studying the issues and I knew where I stood.

And now, just 8 days before my 39th birthday, the issue of gay rights and gay marriage was basically decided. But the topic is not closed. Just like how the school kids in my day knew that the troubled kids were troubled because they did not have a dad, the kids of today and the kids of the future will know that the kids who live with their married mom and dad have an advantage. They will just naturally see and feel that a mother and a father are both important. They won’t need to talk about it, and it’s not very likely they will be allowed to talk about it. But for these kids, it will be pretty obvious that the next phase of the sexual revolution is taking its toll.

Born to “Stand for the Family”

In Courts, Democracy, Education, Families, father, Free Speech, Gender, Government, Grandparents, Homosexuality, Marriage, Parenting, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on October 7, 2014 at 9:04 am

family holding handsNathalie Bowman

Yesterday was a normal day. OK, it was not normal, it was my birthday! But I did the routine thing and took two of my teenagers and three other teens to school 25 minutes away. On the way home, I did something out of routine. I turned on the radio. And I heard the news. And I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. The Supreme Court of the United States of America denied hearing the cases of 5 states with their man-woman marriage laws overturned by lower federal courts. As a consequence, the domino effect is happening, and soon gay marriage will be legal in 30 states. The ramifications are huge.

I said a silent prayer, “Really, God? Did this have to happen on my birthday? Couldn’t you have delayed it at least one day?” But then I realized I was born for this. And you were too. We were born to love and protect our families. We were born to learn and become educated about this issue and share the truth with others. Our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers need to know what’s really going on, and we can share the truth with them.

Last night my sisters, parents, and I had a conference call to discuss articles we had read about the state of marriage. My dad sees the bigger picture of what the government is doing at the highest levels to destroy families and our country. He wondered why we would waste our time sitting around talking about this issue. “What are we going to DO?” he asked.

Here is our opportunity to DO something.

First, take care of your own families. Love your children, serve them. Find the solutions to your relationship issues with your spouse and children. Make your relationships about your family members, not you. Every individual family can be strengthened.

Second, educate yourself. If you’re reading this, you are already doing that. Make sure you research and understand what’s at stake here. Sometimes it’s not very fun immersing yourself in the likes of this information, but it is necessary and worth the knowledge!

Third, share your knowledge with others whom you trust. Talk to those who are on the fence and don’t see any harm in how a same-sex marriage will affect traditional families and our society as a whole. By this time, you have the knowledge of what’s really at stake for soicety. It’s time to share.

Fourth, as your knowledge increases and you share with others, be aware of what is going on in your state, who your government officials are, and what bills are being put forth that may continue this downward trend. Communicate with your lawmakers and remind them of the importance of families. Sending emails and making phone calls to state legislators does make a difference.

Yes, yesterday was my birthday. I felt punched in the stomach. But it doesn’t have to last! Hooray that we can love our families, educate ourselves and Stand for the Family! I encourage you to keep reading and studying. Once you do so, you will not be able to keep quiet. There is too much to learn and share! Thank you, my friends for standing for families!

DO I HAFTA?

In Child Development, Education, Families, father, Grandparents, motherhood, Parenting, The Family, Values on October 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

family workingMaddi Gillel

Yes, you hafta !!!!! How many times have we as parents, heard this from our children when we ask them to clean their rooms, practice the piano, mow the lawn, take out the trash? This article is for you parents who need some encouragement to keep on and also to provide you some ammunition to tell these children.

There is a study by George and Caroline Valient of Harvard University regarding the value of work. They found that more than social class, family problems, or intelligence, a child’s willingness and capacity to work was the most important factor in predicting his or her mental health as an adult.

In “On Rekindling a Spirit of ‘Home Training’: A Mother’s Notes from the Front”: the following: “Without parents’ humanizing work, children may be quite smart, well-educated, and successful, but so selfish, self-centered, and uncaring as to be essentially uncivilized – not able to live in a spirit of community with others.”

I would think that the ‘humanizing’ in the above quote, would mean mom and dad making sure the chores are done every single day with few exceptions – and I know from personal experience, this takes a spine of steel and some swallowing. The crying, moaning, theatrics, and playing sick that ensue would cause the strongest among us to quit.

Here are some more great quotes:

“No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual, and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.” – Booker T. Washington

“The more we do, the more we CAN do.” William Hazlitt

“A man who gives his children habits of industry provides for them better than by giving them a fortune.” – Richard Whately

“The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success, hasn’t been asleep.” – Wilson Mizner

“It is the height of absurdity to sow little but weeds in the first half of one’s lifetime and expect to harvest a valuable crop in the second half.” – Percy Johnson

“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice, – no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.” – John Burroughs

“No thoroughly occupied man was ever yet very miserable.” – Letitia Landon

“No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

“The fruit derived from labor is the sweetest of all pleasures.” – Lux de Clapiers

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,

But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sometimes I get so busy doing what is required of me as a wife, mom , and grandmother that I begin to think I’m drowning. Then I decide to go out in the yard and do some serious gardening or I decide to attack a cupboard, closet, or room that is out of control and it is a boon to my morale and my soul. I love work – good, physical, engaged work.

This seems to be a dying art. Children learn their work ethic (another topic) from their mothers – who are with them most of the day and who know what needs to be done and which child needs to be thusly engaged.

Thank goodness our mom understood this perfectly.

 

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