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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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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Why you don’t Reason with Small Children

Reasoning with small children is not a good habit to get into. While babies, toddlers and younger children can be fairly logical – i.e., if I cry mom will come, if I smile I’ll get smiled at, if I scream I’ll get what I want, etc. – they are primarily emotional beings. Because they are emotional and into instant gratification, attempting to rationally and logically reason with them will not work. It will leave you both frustrated.

Whether you consider your house government a democracy, dictatorship, a constitutional monarchy or a theocracy is not the issue. I am not saying be authoritarian and ignore your child’s feelings. I’m not saying ignore their likes, dislikes and preferences. I am referring to those times when they challenge you to a duel. The one-on-one battle of the wills. The times when you realise that the result of this face-off is far more important than the actual physical issue. These are the times, parents, when you must be steadfast and avoid retreat. Ultimately, of course, you are on the same side. But sometimes, just every now and again, you will receive friendly fire.

Some thoughts on reasoning:

1) By reasoning you will lose your authority. There will be times when you ask them what they want and you give it to them. Then there will be times when you have required them to do something and they are trying to get out of it. If they have effectively engaged you in a power struggle then they have already won. Before the struggle gets fully under way, you must act in a way to curb it. A power struggle goes something like this, “Do what I say and follow my instructions, I’m the boss” to which they repeatedly reply “No, I don’t want to. No”  or even more annoyingly, they scream. If they aren’t convinced your word is the final authority then something is amiss. What if your boss at work had to pathetically try and convince you he was boss? What would you think? I know what you’d think. You’d think, “He’s a crap boss. I should have his job.” Well well well, there you have it, my friends….

2) There is a difference between giving them a choice and getting into a power struggle. Choices are a good thing. They teach decision-making skills and how to deal with logical consequences. It is good training for them and allows them freedom of expression and individuality. Letting them choose their clothes, their snack, certain activities, etc. are useful and good. Allow them to begin figuring out what they like and don’t like, but not in a way that is disobedient to you. Continue reading


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Honor Respect + Authority

7 Secrets of Successful Families puts it like this:

“The parents who do not exercise righteous authority and require their children to obey and honour them aren’t only creating problems for themselves and society; they are also cursing their children with a life of problems….We must unapologetically begin to exercise righteous parental authority. It is an essential element for domestic success and survival. When proper parental authority is present, it creates the framework for lasting, loving relationships. When it is absent, it invites the most horrible influences from within and without to destroy one’s marriage and family.” 

Everybody answers to somebody. Even the President of the United States answers to others. We all answer to God. No one is an island! It is essential that our children know the value and safety that comes with respecting their parental authority. In fact, when they rightfully honour and obey their parents they are taken care of, provided for, and trained in a way that allows them to blossom and contribute positively to both society and their own future families.

Parents, by position, have a certain authority. They know more, they are the breadwinners, and they birthed the baby. This is not a master/slave relationship, but more of a mentor/mentee relationship. Part of a parent’s job is to teach, train, discipline, grow, and shape the little human into the big human they will become. However, human nature rears its ugly head oh-so-early and little ones think they know it all. No, I don’t need to eat. Yes, I need to stay up until 3am playing xbox. No, I don’t need to do my homework. Yes, I need to talk on the phone for 13 hours.

Part of our role as a parent is to show children the wise way, the way that is good for them. That won’t always be the thing they want to do, in fact, the younger they are, it will often be the exact opposite. When children respect your authority and position and learn that you mean business, they will – if reluctantly – follow your lead. By doing this they’ll grow in self-control and after experience up on experience they’ll begin to see that maybe – just maybe – you know what you’re talking about. (If you, in fact, do know what you are talking about).

Some points on honouring, obeying, and respecting authority:

1) Parents run the house, not the children. The dynamic of the home with children and without children will surely be different, but this doesn’t mean a child’s whim reigns supreme. Meal time may be earlier (and wake time, for that matter). The home decor may take on a bit more of a, um, plastic primary colour scheme. Routine that best serves the child will be followed, and so on and so on. However, a house where the parents “wear the pants” will be one of order. Plans won’t change and a child doesn’t get to determine the path just because they cry, throw a tantrum, give the silent treatment, or lock themselves in their room. This is not to say that parents don’t take into account their children’s wishes. Of course they do. But if everything drops at the first sign of a child’s discontent, there will be major problems when they hit teenage years. Contrary to what we may initially think, letting children make important decisions will only breed their insecurity. Inside, they know they are not as wise as you, they know you are supposed to be the boss, and they know that you have delegated your own authority to them. This will cause disdain and contempt in their attitude towards you. Continue reading