“All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother.” -Abraham Lincoln
“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” —William Makepeace Thackeray
Whether or not you believe in a higher power, you came as close to divinity as human beings can get when you took part in creating a new human being. You felt the life you engendered take root, grow and develop inside of you. You experienced its subsequent birth. You helped give rise to a new personality, a new individual with needs, hunger, emotions and free will. Perhaps you sensed the great potential of this child. You feel the warrior rise up inside to defend and protect this child. You love beyond yourself, hope beyond yourself, and work and serve like never before.
“The nuclear family is said to be the basic unit of society but is itself under extreme pressure,” say authors Gordan Nuefeld and Gabor Maté.” Many individuals and institutions agree that the family is indeed under attack.
What do you think that means? Do you agree? Do you see evidence of attack on the family in the world around you? What forces are attacking the family? For myself, I see symptoms of spiritual, mental and emotional diseases. I experience intrusions and obstructions that threaten to remove me from my priorities.
As mothers, we may not all agree on the reasons, or the intentionality of these forces, but we likely agree that we must fight to keep our families the top priority, to keep them vibrant and healthy, and keep our children safe and thriving.
One of these forces is the sheer constraint of time coupled with so many opportunities and activities. Distraction and not intentionally prioritizing our time can take us away from our children, or draw them away from us. Allowing other people, institutions or entertainment to essentially “raise” them is concerning considering the “values” espoused and taught by others may not align with our own!
Another force attacking families is technology in the form of social media and video games. Welcomed into our lives as a valuable tools and entertainment, this recent technological addition has massive consequences on self-esteem, mental health, relationships, perspective and priorities--the enormity of which we are only beginning to grasp.
We now know that those who designed and introduced these concepts did so with the clear intention of producing addictive behavior. Yet we continue to think that we are stronger than these forces, and that our young children are somehow stronger as well. We would do well to exponentially increase our response and defense to this attack on our family.
Gordon Neufield and Gabor Maté recently updated their book Hold On to Your Kids to include two chapters dedicated solely to what they term “the digital revolution bent out of shape.” In these chapters, they offer a unique perspective about why digital ”‘connection” is ineffective and empty. They outline the effect it is having on the psyche of the human race, especially children. I highly suggest this read!
The habits and values we instill in our children by intentionally using our time with them and for them, responding proactively to social and other media, and avoiding ignorance, selfishness and ill-choices by intentionally growing our own hearts will ultimately improve and preserve our families and society.
Mothers are one of the most powerful forces in the world. The work we do for our families in our own homes as imperative as is working together in this vital role. Together, we can change the world.
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