This blog has been created to discuss the topics covered in my book : Beyond Discouragement-Creativity.
My goal is to post relevant news articles which both reflect and refute my opinions and observations. As a visitor, your comments would be most appreciated. - Bienvenue. À vous la parole.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mothers Day

To vilify or celebrate - It's Mothers Day again.

It's interesting to read articles that various newspapers find appropriate to print regarding the value, intensity of, acceptance or rejection of today's mothering techniques. The Globe and Mail presents a full page and a half article about the differences between "then and now".   It is so bewildering to read common sense versus paranoia information. . . In Erin Anderssen's article a grandmother underscores the point of calm and efficient child-rearing practices based on tradition, values and not much worry about whether their children would survive their rearing or cooking abilities. That same grandmother today is helping raise her grandchild where notes on the fridge door WARN about the amount of fish and eggs eaten. Kraft dinner GOD FORBID!!!! Mothers look back on their own mothers and see that these women were calm and efficient and rarely raised their voices whereas mothers today raise their voices CONSTANTLY!!! Have I made my point? Parenting is now (it seems) filled with tension, worry and even fear. Calming down and being less paranoid doesn't seem to fit today's "normal". Following this particular article is another about "Kids Can Exercise Their Way To Better Marks" (Paul Taylor) Hello!!!! Is that science or simply basic common sense again. . .  Actually it's more a question of advertising and promotion. If kids were promoted the idea that what is "good for them" (and what everybody else does) is running around and having a helluva good time - then they would. (But then somebody would have to be making a profit for advertisers to care this much about the health of our nations.) And since healthy exuberant kids don't cut it in our commercially run societies, they stay on their butts playing video games rather than getting smarter and healthier and happier - because the healthy "bottom line" of our democracies requires us to be dependent, submissive and overweight. (Hey, we'll deal with our kids' heart problems and diabetes when it hits them - at around 11 or 13, or 14. . .)
Naturally, the Globe and Mail wanted me depressed today so  they added another article on how screwed up parenting is perceived to be these days. The article by Anne-Marie Tobin is enough to turn mothers off completely. . .  "A Bedtime Bottle At 2 Can Mean Obesity At 5" That's interesting. . .  All of the ills of the parenting world  are now relegated to the bottle (so what's new?) Ha! Actually, if that 2 year old is active and having a great old time being "physical" that obesity threat would be long gone by the time the rambunctious, exuberant, wondrously curious child of 5 hits his or her stride. Oh well, add another fear factor onto the parenting list. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY Moms! . . .  They're telling you your a rotten parent again! And all that just before Mothers Day. Wow!

I was therefore thankful when I began reading the 5 page article on mothering in La Presse, the Montreal French paper. (Sylvia Galipeau). I can't say that I agree with all of the mothering styles presented but I am MOST impressed with the idea that it was not a negative or positive article but simply a GOOD article extolling the virtues of independence of thought - of individuality and creativity in the area of contemporary parenting. Bravo for positivity! Bravo for encouragement being touted as a virtue rather than a non-existent part of life.

Naturally, my hope for a warm and fuzzy Mothers Day weekend was not to be. . .  Following this great stuff in La Presse, there was an article (Marie Allard) on where oh where does obesity come from?. . . (Les causes méconnues du gain de poids) Yeah. . .  Moms really need to read that right after a great article encouraging them to be the best THEY feel they can be. It's like saying to a group of individuals : "I love you. . .  BUT!"

The articles I refer to (above) are the following:  (as well as others to read on similar topics)
  •  Globe and Mail : 1970s The Golden Age Of Motherhood (Erin Anderssen) May 6, 2011
      •  Big Boys Do Cry - They Just Do It Differently Katherine Rossman) 
      • How To Get Your Teen To Do What You Want (Anthony Wolf) That's a no-brainer - Get him to do it at 2 and he'll do it at 15 without complaining.
      • The Secret To Being A Happier Parent? Don't Try So Hard - (Tralee Pearce)
  • La Presse : Mères et fières de l'être ( Sylvia Galipeau)
  • Les causes méconnues du gain de poids (Marie Allard) 
      • Est-ce normal? (Rose-Marie Charest) The eternal question of "normalcy" Please people. . .  Normal is nothing more than "what there is the most of". Other than that this measure does  nothing but legitimize conformity and submission to rules rather than values.
All of this notwithstanding : To Mothers everywhere: Have a wonderful calm and relaxing and non-paranoid Mother's Day.

PS: (Don't worry. The kids will be fine. . .  That duct tape on their mouths is soft and the silk ropes tying their arms behind their backs won't hurt them a bit. . .  They'll be OK for 24 hours or until Mother's Day is over. . . Til then: "Cheers!")

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