A Mother Far from Home

on becoming supermom


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The difference between protection and over protection

The Difference between protection and over-protection

Perhaps it’s because I am neurotic, paranoid about my children’s physical safety or just because I think too much about things, but the term over-protection has grated on me. I would think “how can you over-protect?” Then, it hit me, when people speak of others – negatively – as being over-protective what they really mean is that the children are being sheltered. Because, after all, protecting our children from harm is a god-given and natural instinct.

Here’s what I think about the difference between protection and over-protection.

PROTECTION IS ABOUT:

1) Health and safety. It is our job to teach our children how to stay safe, remain safe, and act wisely. This will encompass many different things from their infancy to their adulthood. At first, we teach them not to climb on bookcases, the sofa, walk into the road or play with knives, the hot oven or the neighbor’s mean dog. As they grow older we teach them about strangers, how to ride a bike, good driving skills, which neighborhoods to avoid, etc. In the training aspect, I believe we can focus on this fairly heavily, though not to the detriment of other areas of training. Continue reading

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What to do when your children act like they don’t like you

A Mother Far from Home

Because, let’s face it, they will. They’ll give you a dirty look like you aren’t the one who incubated them, delivered them, fed them and changed their dirty diapers. They will act like this one thing – this one little thing that is not even good for them but that they are too young to understand – is enough to wipe out all those acts of love and service.

What do we do when our maternal heart crumbles {or gets angry} because our children act like they don’t like us. Whether for a few minutes, a few hours, or a day or more, the methods are much the same.

1) Be sure that you are paying them enough positive loving attention. In order to effectively weather the storm of “my child hates me…what is the point of it all?” one must be sure their children are not acting out in anger because they feel left out, neglected or not special. Are you spending alone time with them, even as little as 15 minutes a day? Are you speaking to them with positive smiles, positive words and affection? If you are, and regularly, then carry on to the next step.  Continue reading


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“Nurture Shock” book review (children and lying)

A Mother Far From Home

I’ve already familiarized you with Nurture Shock in this article. The authors, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, have reviewed research concerning various behaviors children exhibit to see whether our first instinct (or what society say is the best thing to do ) actually works. Why children lie is a great chapter. I won’t give away all its glory, but this chapter goes into research and studies where children and teenagers have been interviewed and do surveys on how often they lie to their parents. You’d be shocked. I would too if I hadn’t already blocked it out in denial.

Thoughts on lying and your child.

1) It’s actually a developmental milestone. While all of us want to think our children are perfect angels and will never commit a sin from the day of their birth until the day they die that is just not how it is. Lying is a developmental milestone because it shows that their mind has matured to the point where they understand that reality is not the only thing operating here. Their words can create a reality of their own, if you believe them. It shows their brain is working, functioning and growing. Now, that doesn’t mean lying is okay. It’s not okay at all ever (at least in my book). But, now you know that when your child kicks, screams, lies, or throws themselves on the floor, that these behaviors are in fact, perfectly normal.  Continue reading


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Are you Afraid to make your Children Angry?

A Mother Far from Home

I agree. No one likes to have an unhappy baby/toddler/child. I’m not talking about the kind of frustration that comes from being hungry, sick or teething. I’m talking about when our kids get angry because they don’t get their way. When they pitch a fit because they’re told no. When they throw a temper tantrum because you won’t buy them a toy. I don’t mean a one time occurrence. Let’s face it, asserting their will is a developmental milestone and we should be happy our children are growing up and starting to have opinions, preferences and desires. However, lying is also a developmental milestone. Just because we can expect it does not mean we should ignore it, or worse, condone it by lack of intervention. Continue reading


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Independent Play (Children Playing on their Own)

One of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever applied (from Babywise) was giving your baby independent playtime each day. Independent playtime is – as the name suggests – a time where the baby/toddler/child plays in a safe area alone for a certain period of time determined by you. Babies may be on a play mat or in a playpen (do they still call them that these days?) while toddlers and children can be in their room. When they are young it will be for a smaller period of time but by around 18 months they will be able to happily play alone for an hour. I know because my toddler does it. This single activity in my schedule allows me to do things like clean, work, check emails, rest, get dressed and simply to have a few moments to myself. And, it isn’t just for you, it’s great for them too.

Here’s why.

1) They’ll learn to problem solve and start understanding cause and effect. The toy is stuck, they try to get it out. They throw their doll out of their reach and now they are one doll down. This is a time where they explore – on their own without your hovering or interruption – a little bit about life. Instead of everything happening to them (ie, when family members play with them and take them around, give them toys, etc.) this is a time where they determine their own course. Some days I’d go in and my girl would be sitting with about 30 books around her quietly reading, pointing, and laughing. Some days I go in and the room is still spick and span and she has been trying to climb into her crib. One time she climbed onto a small storage container and got stuck. Eventually I figured out she was stuck and came to the rescue, but she didn’t climb on it again. She learned her own lesson. Instead of us constantly solving their problems and making things simple, this is a time where they can start to figure out their surroundings and take control of a small area, if only for a short time.

2) When you aren’t hovering, they start to use their imagination. My grandmother said it best. “Boring people get bored.” Your child needs a chance to work their imagination because it is crucial for future problem solving and decision-making skills. If we as mothers over hover (a big tendency for me) then they aren’t left with the time and space to go into their own mind and make up a fun world. Dolls become princesses and rugs become race tracks. I never leave too many toys around, just a few, and this urges my daughter to really dig into whatever she’s doing. I hear her laugh, talk (or babble more like it) and move around. I can see her trying new things, fitting blocks into holes and stacking things around. I believe this is a time that encourages them to explore and discover a little without us.

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