Grace is Behind the Thanks: Just Ask Mom

This Thanksgiving Day is dedicated to feeling and expressing gratitude for our blessings. Are you grateful for who you are and the roles you have?

Two Mothers

Two mothers, Tina and Katy, are watching the ball game of their oldest sons. Their boys play for the same team. Each mother has other children busily running around on the sidelines as well. Each mother attempts to support her ball-playing son by watching all his plays on the field, while also trying to keep her other children from causing any problems for onlookers or officials.

Tina’s 5-year-old daughter walks up to her 6-year-old son and says something. The son punches his sister. She whines to Mom to get her attention. Immediately, the son whines to Mom as well. Each are crying that the other did something mean to them. Tina ignores the situation and hopes it will go away so that she can see the game.

The children stop whining and start a new game. The game started by the son is “Truth and Dare.” He says “truth or dare” to his sister. No matter what she says he punches her. This goes on for a few minutes. The girl finally cries louder than before. Tina pulls the children aggressively by the arm and walks the whole family off the field. Now no one gets happiness. The son in the game no longer has his family as an audience, the mother doesn’t get to support her son, and the younger children don’t get to have play time.

Katy has two twin boys that are running around on the grass. One boy gets his foot tangled in a net and trips and falls because the other boy wouldn’t move out of his way when playing. The fallen boy cries in panic because he can’t get his foot out. The other boy whines that the other boy stepped on him.

Katy walks over to her children and helps the son get his foot loose from the net. She gives him a hug and begins to talk to the children. She walks back to her seat on the bleachers with her children each holding one of her hands. They sit next to her, on either side. She has corrected the problem, they seem calm, and she’s instituted a consequence. Katy’s able to continue to give her ball-playing son the attention he needs. Everyone is happy.

A Grateful Heart

Each situation explained here was caused by the selfishness, or meanness, of one child toward another. Each situation required a mother’s attention and correction. Each situation ended with a mother walking with her children. But, only one situation involved a grateful heart.

The situations contrast each other in these ways: Katy acted immediately on the situation, while Tina initially ignored the problem with her younger children. Because she ignored the situation, the mean behavior of Tina’s children increased. Katy remained calm about her crying children. Tina became emotional. Tina seemed annoyed that she needed to do teaching and correcting for her whining children. Katy’s children all got what they needed and ended up happy, while none of Tina’s children got what they needed from their mother and ended up sad. Katy was able to walk back to the game, but Tina had to remove her family from the game.

There’s one big difference between these two mothers. It’s the major reason why their similar situations ended so differently: the hearts of the mothers. Tina feels that these moments are the worst part of being a mother and feels annoyed. Tina takes the bad behaviors of the children personally because she doesn’t want to deal with it.  By contrast, Katy is grateful for these moments she has to teach and correct her children. Her gratitude is a type of grace she has for her children. She credits God for helping her be gracious when a problem needs her attention. She’s blessed with the power of a grateful heart.

Grace in the Gratitude

The words grateful, gracious, and grace all come from the Latin word gratia, which means “out of good will, kindness, virtuous disposition, meekness, humility, patience, faith, [and] the free unmerited love and favor of God.”

When a person is grateful for blessings or for people, they’re acting with grace. When a person is gracious in life’s variety of situations, they’re also practicing grace.

To have gratitude is to be filled with grace. It’s a holy disposition that encourages kindness and patience in action. To feel gratitude is to feel a small piece of the love God has for us. No matter what evil we do, He always serves, loves and corrects us with patience and understanding.

For many, Thanksgiving Day is a day dedicated to feeling and expressing gratitude for our blessings. Are you grateful for who you are and the roles you have? A feeling of gratitude for your roles — whether parent, child, sister, employee or neighbor — changes your happiness level. To be grateful for who we are helps us develop a willing heart to do what is required of us because of who we were made to become. Gratitude is a step toward grace.

Katy, like so many gracious mothers, patiently helped her children overcome their problem, lovingly corrected them, and even allowed them to learn through consequences — but she did it all through grace with a spirit of gratitude. She chose to have this gratitude long before the soccer sign-ups were open. She deliberately taught herself early on that being a mother was beautiful, not torturous.

Have yourself a calm and grace-filled Thanksgiving and Christmas! Click here to see how you can qualify for free calmness cards and a free calmness audio class to help you with your gratitude goals.

Native American Fatherhood & Families Association

NAFFA, the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association is an organization the world should take note of. They are preparing to change society through the strength of Native American families.

This last year at the Conference on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York City,  I met Albert Pooley, founder of NAFFA, and his two daughters Amy and Karra. They were presenting on the importance of creating strong fathers and supporting fatherhood as part of a women’s movement to value the role of fathers and mothers as key stakeholders and influencers in society. Of course, WOW immediately resonated with the NAFFA group and their message because WOW is also about creating strong families of all nationalities and faiths, and we honor fatherhood and motherhood as sacred callings.

NAFFA recently held their annual conference on the Fort McDowell Indian reservation in Arizona, and WOW was there to see the excitement and reverence created for the roles of father and mother among the native populations of the United States. I even got to do a presentation about the Cultural Parenting Revolution that is destroying those roles around the globe, and share ideas for what parents can do to counter the dysfunction in homes.

WOW was impressed at the boldness of NAFFA! NAFFA is not afraid of saying that The Creator is who every other true principle is built upon. Native American culture has vital traditions that involve honoring The Creator and following true principles. They know that good parents are a vital part to the Creator’s plan for the happiness for His people. NAFFA un-apologetically affirms these basic traditional principles of the Native American people and the Native population is taking notice.

At the conference held October, 30, 31 and November 1, at an elegant convention center, Native Americans gathered from all over the Untied States. There were attendees from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, California, Louisiana, and many more. Hundreds of leaders of tribes, schools, and organizations gathered to learn about increasing family identity, providing hope, improving communication, and strengthening family relationships.

NAFFA has trained facilitators around the nation who do vital trainings on and off Indian reservations for families who need help or rehabilitation in some way to get their families back on track. What a powerful movement.

If NAFFA keeps spreading the hope and goodness, then in the future the Native American families will be a strength in the nation that the caucasian population will want to follow. Albert Pooley said that selfishness is a big problem in families today and that his facilitators bring hope and principles for the people to focus on that strengthen their families in powerful ways. Truly, the group of facilitators, citizens, and national leaders were empowered to live better lives and to look forward and think forward for their families and societies in order to conquer the ills of our modern days.

To find out more information about NAFFA visit their website here.

 

Heathen Mothers Cause Conflict Over The Judgement Seat

“There is no more war in my classroom, and there is no more war in my home.” Those were the words of a teacher from Kenya this summer. It was part of a parenting training I attended designed to teach Catholic leaders how to teach their families self-government skills and good communication.

In the 19 years I’ve been teaching parenting self-government skills, I’d never heard the word “war” used for a classroom or home. I suppose we soften terms used for domestic conflict and child rebellion in the United States to make them seem more commonplace. I suppose we think of disrespect and selfishness as normal stages of development, even though that hasn’t always been the case.

Last week’s youth paved the way for yesterday’s teenager, who has now empowered today’s young children to disrespect their parents by making demands and even telling their parents what to do.

A Righteous Judge

Historically kings, queens, judges, priests and parents sat in the judgement seats of the land, churches and homes. Today there are “wars, and rumors of wars” in our nations, states, communities, churches and homes because the righteous judges aren’t being upheld. It has become popular to try to take over the judgement seat by telling those in authority what and what not to do.

Taking over the judgement seat has always been attractive for power seekers. Throughout history corrupt or power-hungry individuals have usurped the power of the judgement seats of other lands. England would hardly have a history without stories of family feuds over titles and lands, taking over church leadership and controlling worship of families. Likewise, the Old Testament is full of contentions, wars and righteous and unrighteous judges.

A righteous parent, king or judge desires in their heart to follow the ways of God. In homes around the world, judgment seats are being taken over by children who aren’t concerned with the ways of God but with the ways of the world. The scriptures say, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)

Child Rulers

Why are children taking over their homes and parents? First, children are disconnected from home and family because they are too connected to social norms, peers and digital devices. Second, families are falling away from righteousness. When parents embrace their own ideas as ultimate truth, children follow suit and think their ideas are also the ultimate truth. This naturally leads to family conflict. Only when a family follows God’s ways will they be unified in purpose and action. Third, parents are second-guessing their authority.

The world has filled parents’ heads with plans to empower, inflate, entertain and be competitive with their children. Parents aren’t told to correct their children. In fact, when parenting gets rough, most parents just back off and join another sport, like online shopping. Parents have given up their parental authority, which is the same as giving up their judgement seat.

Without a righteous leader in the judgement seat, the people or family will perish. “Napoleon Bonaparte was accustomed to say, ‘the future good or bad conduct of a child depended entirely on the mother.’ ” (Character by Samuel Smiles)

Napoleon was a strong-willed child. It was said he was dutifully controlled by his mother, who taught him to value obedience. He knew she saved him from self-destruction as a child. Her influence must have been great because he noticed the lack of her influence years prior to the first French Revolution. When Napoleon “said that the great want of France was mothers, he meant, in other words, that the French people needed the education of homes, presided over by good, virtuous, intelligent women.” (Character by Samuel Smiles)

The first French Revolution showed what happens when children are neglected by their mothers. Samuel Smiles said of the time, “Morals, religion, virtue were swamped by sensualism. The character of women had become depraved. Conjugal fidelity was disregarded, maternity was held in reproach; family and home were alike corrupted. France was motherless; the children broke loose; and the revolution burst forth, ‘amidst the yells and fierce violence of women.” (Character by Samuel Smiles)

A Motherless World?

This description of the French Revolution is ominously familiar with modern times. Where are the mothers? Where are the fathers? Fathers also have a role in history, even though the examples used here are specifically about mothers.

Society has manufactured mothers, thereby negating the need for natural nurturing. In 1838, author Lydia H. Sigourney wrote that there were mothers and “heathen mothers.” These “heathen mothers” were influences that tried to control the minds and hearts of children. She questioned why “heathen mothers” were more dutiful in their mothering tasks than real mothers. The “heathen mothers” were always there for the child, taught, corrected, led and seemed to never tire. Why, Sigourney wondered, would a mother allow other influences to script the hearts of her children?

The world must have mothers. It must have judges to fill its judgement seats. We can’t turn over those sacred posts to unrighteous judges/children or “heathen mothers”/society. We must preserve and protect the role of parents in order to save the children.

Preserving Parental Authority

Dr. Gordon Neufeld observed, “For the first time in history, young people are turning for instruction, modeling and guidance not to mothers, fathers, teachers and other responsible adults, but to people whom nature never intended to place in a parenting role — their own peers… Children are being brought up by immature persons who cannot possibly guide them to maturity. They are being brought up by each other.” (The Collapse of Parenting by Dr. Leonard Sax)

Children are still born to parents and have homes and schools, but those homes, schools and sometimes even parents have different priorities. Modern parents are chiefly concerned with their child’s social life, self-esteem and enjoyment. In fact, many parents are still enjoying their childhood, too. Youthfulness is all the rage, even among adults.

“When culture values youth over maturity, the authority of parents is undermined.” (The Collapse of Parenting by Dr. Leonard Sax)

To stop the wars in our homes, schools and societies, we must preserve parental authority. Parents, especially mothers, have a unique opportunity to mold the hearts and minds of their children and the world. We can’t turn that sacred role and judgement seat over to children, peers, “heathen mothers” or the world. The first step in preparation for war is deciding who the commander is. With a righteous commander the war will end soon and favorably.

We live in a time of “wars, and rumors of wars.” The way to win the war is to claim the judgement seats in our homes so that we can raise a generation of righteous people to hold back the tides of selfishness.

Learn how to set up a self-governing environment here.

What Is Destroying Family Bonding?

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There is an international parent/child bonding problem. The world has never seen a global lack of parent/child attachment like this before. Of course, there are factors leading to this detachment, factors that the world has also never seen before. Are we experimenting on our families and children and calling it good leadership? Have we given up our roles in the family for social conformity, loss of identity, and cluelessness?

I know I’m not going to win many points with diligent, loving parents by calling them clueless. I’m not intending to be mean, but every day I see video after video that laughs at what parents don’t know. Comedians and YouTubers have never-ending fodder for their acts if parenting is continually equal to a joke. If parents are overly tough, people will laugh. If parents are passive, people will laugh. If parents are worn out and have attitude problems, people will laugh. Why do they laugh?

In the case of comedy acts, GIFS, or online videos, people laugh to fit in socially. They also laugh at comedy like this because they’re allowed into a shared joke. It’s like someone finally told the truth, or inside joke, to the whole room or online world, and everyone listening or watching felt like someone finally got it and allowed them to laugh at it at the same time. They both act like they finally met someone who had the same joke they were hiding inside.

This analysis of why people are only laughing at parenting nowadays doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of humor. I like a good laugh too. But, the fact that the sarcasm and promotion of parental cluelessness far outweighs the promotion of good, confident parenting is a sad sign for the future of our families and our personal happiness.

Gender Listening Session

Quite by surprise I was asked to consult the U.S. State Department at what they called a “Gender Listening Session.” This session was dedicated to empowering women and girls. As I listened to the other leaders of women’s and girls’ charities and initiatives, as well as leaders in our country, I noticed that I seemed to be the one voice advocating that strengthening the family can create empowerment, safety, and economic stability worldwide.

Each group attending works with people worldwide. These people they work with come from various ethnic, cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. Some of the problems, like sex-trafficking and sexual crimes against women, were seen in all countries discussed. We all agreed that these problems were of universal concern to all present. But, the ideas for solving these problems varied. Some organizations suggested giving women and girls more access to media and sexual services. Some groups were looking for strategies on how to get more women to be activists for equality so that they can feel empowered. But, I guess I saw things a bit different.

“What is the root problem and the root solution?” I kept asking myself. “Can money, programs, and activism really make women and girls of all countries happy and safe?”

No way. Safety comes from good leadership and self-confidence. Where does a person get these things organically? In the family. Who loves a girl more than her family? Who will risk more for a woman than her family? Who will support her more?

Young girls need a support system. The proven, best support system for them is their families. In almost every case, no one loves the girl like her family. No program or organization can ever replace a family full of love and understanding, as opposed to broad calculations and assumptions. We need to empower girls to turn to their families for learning and support instead of turning to the unfeeling, selfish media voices they’re inundated with. 

Recommendations to the U.S. State Department

What is destroying the family bonding that women and girls so drastically need for happy, productive living? Here are the five reasons I gave:

1. Instead of bonding to their family, they’re bonding to social media and the online world, including games. Women, girls, men, boys, and even babies are looking at digital devices more than conversing with each other. They’re sadly lacking attention from their family, nor are they giving their family attention.

2. They don’t know who they really are. What is a woman? What is a mother? What is a daughter? Understanding family roles is vital to the confidence and success of any person.

3. Parents don’t teach their children enough. If parents don’t constantly teach and correct their children, the child sees themselves as the parent. This creates entitlement and lack of respect, which ruins the leadership roles and function of the family relationships.

4. Parents lack skills for good parenting. Why didn’t parents prior to World War II seem so clueless about parenting? Between then and now we put the delights of the child as the center of the home culture. This is a problem. The parent should always be the center and leader of the home culture. They decide what is most important. Parents are the ones to give instruction and “No” answers. Parents don’t know how to do these simple things, and children aren’t being taught how to follow instructions and accept the “No” answers, among other vital skills. When parents have skills for family problem solving, they exude confidence and secure the respect of their children. Children really want to respect their parents. If the child is the center or boss of the family, then all the family bonds are destroyed.

5. Mothers don’t see themselves as economic engines in society. There is no more vital product a country turns out than its citizens. Child rearing is a cottage industry done best by a mother, who was literally given the life of her child to mold. Motherhood is becoming an after-hours hobby instead of a vital social role. It must come first, even if mothers are also involved in a career.

True Leadership for Today’s Families

These are the reasons family bonding is damaged. And, the solution to these problems are in the problems themselves. Good parents control media usage for themselves and their children, take time to make sure roles are understood and respected, lead children by teaching and correcting them constantly, learn the skills they need for parent confidence, and see the product of their parenting as the most valuable contribution a family can make to a society or nation.

The strength of a nation runs right through the very fiber of its people, down to the last town, family and heart. Leadership is built into a social fabric. The family structure required to create a child also provides leaders for each child. False, misguided or clueless leaders will produce weak people. Likewise, a leader who is wise, confident and attentive to the environment they control will instill maturity, wisdom and self-mastery in the hearts of their children. These children will speak truth to the world because their parents, who were safe and good, trusted them with the truths they needed for success that only a family environment can provide.

Learn more about teaching your children self-government here.

Join WOW for Utah’s Mom’s March for America

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The Mom’s March for America is a national gathering of mothers that WOW supports. It’s purpose is to bring recognition to the powerful influence of mothers in our homes, communities, and nation. In addition, the event’s purpose is to help Moms, “raise the bar of decency, civility, and liberty in our culture”. The main event is centered  in Omaha, Nebraska, and broadcast live so you can join the march wherever you are, but cities across America are hosting local events in support. Utah’s event is located in Bountiful. Go to momsmarcusa.com for more information.

“This is not a march walking down the street, shouting and carrying signs. This is a Cultural March; a celebration of the biggest cultural movement happening in America – the march that mothers make every day in their homes, neighborhoods, and businesses as they nurture their families, influence their communities and shape our nation.” momsmarchusa.com

World Congress of Families Budapest 2017 – Report

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On the Buda side of historic Budapest in Hungary, the land named for it’s conquerer Attila the Hun, under the majestic Buda Castle, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban has his office, the eleventh World Congress of Families was held.

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WOW’s president, Nicholeen Peck, and a couple of her interns, which just happened to be her adult children too, traveled to Budapest to participate at the congress. 

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The first night of the congress started with a welcome that was truly a World Congress of Families FIRST, a flash mob. They had a family flash mob at the historic Liberty Square. Here is a video of the flashmob. 

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Mr. Viktor Orban invited Nicholeen to speak at the congress about The Importance and Sanctity of Motherhood as part of a panel of experts on the topic. 

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During the Demographic Forum, which was the day before the official start of the congress Viktor Orban spoke aboute the importance of Hungarian families having children because their population decreases each year by more people than their country lost during the whole Holocaust and they are concerned for their future. 

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There were many great speakers about the complicated demographic situation around the world. This slide was part of the presentation by Pat Fagan, who explained that children have better gains when they are raised by intact families who practice their religions. 

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As part of the congress it is customary to see cultural events. This congress was no exception. It was so much fun to see the native Hungarian dancing and singers. But, the best part was that the performers were mostly children. They are being trained in their national heritage, which is so imporant for them to develop strong identities. 

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We met people from all over the world who are busily engaged in trying to strengthen families identities and bonds, and who are working to safeguard policy in order to create sustainable countries based upon family values. 

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As a partner of the World Congress of Families, WOW hosted a booth. At this booth we gave away three free e-books to leaders and families. We gave links and copies to Simple and Safe, Before They Connect, and A Free Parenting Assessement donated by Teaching Self-Government LLC. 

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As always, we are honored to be able to participate at the World Congress of Families and feel like this year’s congress was especially good. It was unique in that there has never been a congress sponsored by a head of a country before. This was a first! But, Prime Minister Viktor Orban was happy to be the first because he wants Hungary to be the “Family Friendly Country.” 

Many meetings have followed the congress. Most recently Hungarian leaders met again to discuss solutions for their demographic crisis and how to safeguard families and children in their country. Clearly the congress has created some momentum in Hungary that should do some good. 

 

Freeing Fathers from False Identities

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The role of fatherhood seems to have been under attack for a good portion of my 42 years of life. When I was very young, I watched “The Brady Bunch.” It featured a smart and socially appropriate father whose children turned to him for wisdom. Other programs like “Little House on the Prairie” also had strong fathers. In that show “Pa,” or Charles Ingalls, was the wisest man in just about all of Walnut Grove. However, gradually fathers like Mike Brady, Andy Griffith and Charles Ingalls were replaced in pop culture media by weak — and eventually even dysfunctional — fathers who didn’t know enough to lead their families or navigate life’s problems.

This attack on the role of fathers seems too intentional to be a mistake. Are fathers in the media portrayed as dimwit dads and bumbling or even savage idiots because dysfunction sells? Or could it be something else?

My family was featured on a BBC reality TV show in 2009 where two dysfunctional teens came to our very functional home to stay for 8 days. The world saw these two teens, who came from homes where a father wasn’t present, bond with our family — including my husband. The world saw a glimpse of a real, live functioning family life. By the end of this TV series, these two teens calmed down and ended up begging not to leave our home.

Today James, the then 17-year-boy in the program, always asks about my husband, Spencer, whenever we have had a chance to reconnect. He loved having a father in his life for a week.

This TV program, which showed the power of a functional family, became “the most-watched episode ever,” according to the BBC. So, it seems clear that function sells. In fact, people really enjoy seeing functioning families. Viewers commented that our program was “inspiring” and “gave hope to families around the world.”

Then why are more and more TV shows destroying the image and identity of daddy, if not all men? Why do some people only see men as sensual animals or brainless leeches on society when they used to be known for their strength and wisdom as powerful examples to children and communities?

We used to look up to men and honor them. What has happened, and what could that mean for the identities of young boys who are growing into men? Why would the media want to destroy daddy? Who gains from making daddy look like a doofus?

Since children aren’t in charge of the media, they obviously aren’t the masterminds behind daddy getting an identity makeover. In fact, children are the target of the media’s messages, not the instigators of the messaging.

Mommies who are busy taking care of children and spending their efforts building good characters and forming good boys and girls wouldn’t benefit in any way from daddy being attacked. After all, if mommy wants her boys to be good daddies, then she wouldn’t spend her days talking about how her boys were destined to turn out like bumbling idiots after all her years of work and teaching. She would talk positively about the father of her children to her children and others. 

And, of course, daddy would never want to portray himself as nothing better than the butt of people’s jokes. Grandma and grandpa wouldn’t talk bad about daddy because they are still mothers and fathers. They understand how vital it is to have strong, wise fathers — even if things at their homes turned out less than perfect.

I guess those in our society who are left to attack daddy’s identity and reputation are those who aren’t mommies or daddies. In fact, most of the writers of the modern daddy-dissing sitcoms aren’t actually daddies yet. This makes sense since it’s always easier to disrespect someone you don’t relate to. Of course, mothers are also disrespected, but that’s a topic for another article.

What a Daddy Is Really Like

In 2016, a Pew Research Center study concluded, “Dads see parenting as central to their identity. They are just as likely as moms to say that parenting is extremely important to their identity.”

Overall, daddies like being daddies and they develop special bonds with their children that mothers simply can’t duplicate. Children raised by both parents have much greater gains academically and in their overall success and happiness than children who don’t live with both parents. Fathers provide stability, identity, safety, wisdom, comfort, and a special kind of love only daddies can give.

Daddies Are Not Mommies

It has become increasingly popular for daddies to help with their children in ways that historically mothers only did. This is a good thing. It’s wonderful that daddies are wanting more time to bond with their children and create stronger relationships.

That said, it isn’t required that a daddy behave in a nurturing way to be a good daddy. Daddies don’t have to change diapers and carry babies in packs on their bellies to be good daddies. Daddies don’t have to cook with their children or know how to braid hair to be good daddies.

Daddies who throw balls in the yard, wrestle with the girls and the boys, tease a bit, work hard to provide for the family, tell jokes, and repair things are just as important as daddies who have tea parties and do face painting.

When people think about what makes their dad special, it’s usually simply the presence he had in their life. It’s that he was there to support them, even if he knew nothing about tap dancing or paper folding. Daddies provide strength to their children through a look, a kind word, a sincere correction, and a story from his past.

Daddies don’t need to be mommies. They actually never can be.

If daddies are devalued, then the whole family is devalued. Maybe that’s the point of all the attacks. Maybe the family in general is under attack, with the twisted thought that if the father’s main protector role in the family is diminished, then you can weaken the whole family. Weak families don’t have much positive influence on society.

I know it seems crazy that people wouldn’t want the world to be a family loving place, but unfortunately, there are those who have very negative ideas about families. For whatever reason, there are those who think they might feel a little bit better if they can convince themselves that families are synonymous with dysfunction. Well, don’t believe it. Celebrate the family this year, even if yours is less than ideal, by celebrating good fathers as a source of strength for the family and our world. Happy Father’s Day to all!

 

Defending Motherhood

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Considering the consistent shouts for equality for women and the blatant attacks on motherhood, motherhood needs defending.

I’m fairly certain public school had a negative effect on me and my identity. When I was a small girl, I loved nothing more than playing house, taking care of my baby dolls, and babysitting. But, by the time I was in the fifth grade, even though I still requested new dolls for gift-giving holidays, I stopped telling my friends I wanted to be a mom. In fact, I was pretty sure it wasn’t cool to want to be a mom.

At school, teachers talked about all the great things women could do that men did, but being a mother and having a child was never one of them. I guess that’s because men can’t have babies and become mothers. The teachers’ message was that all boys and girls were supposed to be the same, and girls could only be happy if they lived like boys. Looking back, I see now that the special things my female biology enabled me to do were being completely disregarded.

On and off the playground some of my friends said things like, “I might have one child, but only if it doesn’t get in the way of my career.” Even though I always had some discomfort inside about these selfishly motivated comments, I gave in to peer pressure and started saying similar things.

As a side effect of disrespecting motherhood, I sometimes became disrespectful, even belligerent, to my “out-of-touch,” weak mother. After all, she was “only” a mother, while other women were changing the world in such great ways through their chosen causes and careers.

I disconnected emotionally, logically and physically from my mother. When I did this, I naturally disconnected from my father and siblings too. Everything I was working toward was all about me. What I know now is that to maintain a disconnection and to rationalize my judgement of my mother, I had to disconnect from everyone. I sadly ignored the fact that my mother was the heart of our home, and everything there seemed to acknowledge her value and the importance of her role.

Motherhood Hit Me Hard!

My husband and I have four children. Plus, we fostered many difficult children over the years. For 19 years I’ve been an at-home-mom and a homeschooler. I refuel by teaching and playing with my children. What do I refuel from? In my spare time, I’m head of an international organization called, “The Worldwide Organization for Women,” and I’m the CEO of my company, “Teaching Self-Government.” These responsibilities require I do a lot of writing. They also bring many speaking opportunities worldwide, including at the United Nations and the World Congress of Families.

I’m not sharing these facts about my life to brag. Instead, I simply want to prove a vital point about the value and importance of motherhood to me and to the world. Some people think the career part of my bio and speaking at the United Nations are my most important accomplishments, but that simply is false. The most powerful and important part of who I am, and the thing that best allows me to help influence the world in positive ways is my motherhood. That role has had an incredible influence on the meaning and purpose of my life.

One sunny Mother’s Day, when I was about 15, my negative views of motherhood suddenly changed during a visit to my grandmother’s home. One by one I saw my relatives take turns expressing thanks for the profound influence my grandmother had on their lives and the power she possessed in her community and among her family and friends. When it was my turn to share something about my grandma, my heart had found a truth my mind had been rejecting for years: mothers are more powerful than anyone else in our societies because they change multiple people’s worlds every day. I ended up declaring that I wanted to be just like my grandmother and have a family like she had. The real meaning and purpose of motherhood hit me hard that day!

Mothers and grandmothers are powerful. They form our characters, set the example for happy living, heal our hearts, point the way to happiness and truth, and nurture our identities. All greatness stems back to the hand that formed and taught the great person.

Mothers may not all become the great writers, painters, composers or thinkers of the day, but they write, paint and compose on the hearts of the future writers, painters, composers and thinkers.

Motherhood is Under Attack

Today, many believe motherhood is akin to a servant position, while “true power” emanates from women in corporate leadership positions. There are more corporate women in the world than ever before. In some countries, like Jamaica, St. Lucia and Columbia, women are more likely to be the head of a company. It seems women have clearly received the message that they can do whatever kind of employment they desire.

Then why are more and more articles creeping into the media declaring, “Motherhood is Not a Woman’s Most Important Job”? Why attack motherhood?

In a recent article in Harper’s Bazaar, which caters to fashion-conscious women, columnist Jennifer Wright said that motherhood is “not the most important job there is… It is more like a very demanding volunteer position that you can never, ever get out of… producing a younger person is not necessarily the main contribution people make to the world.”

Not only are these statements misleading for women and grossly biased against functioning families (who rely heavily on a mother to unify and strengthen the whole family), but they also simply aren’t true. There is no greater contribution to the world than creating a good, secure, hard-working person who is willing to sacrifice for the greater good. Mothers do this every day by lovingly raising their children. Mothers either create greatness, or they don’t.

Greatness comes from knowing who you are. Parents teach that; it’s called identity. Loving parents give each of their children an identity in a family setting. They also lead their children to the truth about God, as well as the child’s role in His plan for the world. This in turn creates an identity with God.

Why Attack Motherhood?

Motherhood has always been attacked by the godless and the sensually minded of the world. Motherhood is as near to divinity as a person can get. A mother literally joins with God in bringing a soul to the world. A good mother trains her children to love goodness and to have a desire to devote their lives to making the world great, while at the same time helping others find their greatness. Children trained well by their mothers possess public and private virtue that sets them apart from an increasingly virtueless and selfish world.

It stands to reason that motherhood must be attacked by those who want to continue manipulating and having power over societies. To help them achieve this unrighteous dominion, they must keep mothers “in their place.” If popular opinion and negative sentiments about motherhood can be perpetuated, then mothers lose some of their positive and moral influence in societies.

I find it encouraging that articles such as the one cited above are being published. This means that for all you devoted mommy bloggers and proud mommy Face-bookers who keep talking about how much you love being a mother, it’s working. The world is getting the message. You are having an impact! These negative motherhood articles are rebuttals to your positive motherhood messages. This also means that the tabloid magazines (the ones that keep talking about what celebrity is having a baby next) are actually doing something good. Having a baby will always be one of the most exciting things to talk about. It’s such a miracle and a wonder!

It is interesting that sentiments against having children often end up making children look like they are bad for society. If motherhood is bad, then children, the product of motherhood, must be bad too. These messages are manipulative for our whole society.

An increasing number of women are discovering the negative lessons they learned in their youth about unhappiness in motherhood aren’t true. Recently I met an influential career woman on an airplane who heads a pharmaceutical company. We talked about life and our families. When I told her about my four children and introduced her to my daughter she said, “I wish I would have had more children. I kept thinking I would take the time to do that. I had the one, but he grew so fast, and I didn’t stop to enjoy it. If I would have had another baby, I would have stopped working altogether to enjoy the time for motherhood.”

As the president of the Worldwide Organization for Women, I see claims that some countries are doing better because statistics show they have a higher percentage of women working, while the United States is not doing as well because so many women are stay-at-home mothers. The conclusion of those studies is all wrong. Many in the United States continue to value home, family, motherhood, and child-rearing — while some other countries encourage their families to send mommy away from her family and off to work. And many mommies who choose to work (or who must work) oftentimes choose less demanding jobs with less hours so that they can have more time with their children. This is good prioritizing; not failed progress.

This isn’t to say that motherhood isn’t valuable to women who work. It still can be valuable. I work. Don’t forget that I own and run a business and lead an international nonprofit organization. I also write books and speak. But the center of it all is my motherhood. My identity as mother is more important than any other identity or title given to me. The way I spend my time reflects the deep commitment and honor I feel and cherish being a mother.

If you enjoyed reading this you will really enjoy “Roles: The Secret to Family, Business and Social Success” also by Nicholeen Peck

Protecting Children Digitally and Sexually at the United Nations CSW Parallel Event

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This year at the UN CSW [Conference on the Status of Women] WOW hosted a parellel event for world leaders called “Family: The Girl Child’s First Line of Defense in Health & Education.”

The first part of that presentation was all about educating parents about digital dangers they might not be aware of and what they need to know to keep children safe as digital citizens.

Here is WOW Vice President, Yvonne Averett, talking about digital citizenship and the new WOW Before They Connect: Mini guide for parents. 

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See other speakers from the parallel event here.