Monday, May 4, 2009

Culture Challenge of the Week? Minimalizing mothering.

While no one in his right mind would dare degrade moms during the week we celebrate Mother’s Day, the reality is that modern culture constantly attacks both the authority and honor of motherhood.

Mothers are increasingly expected to be benchwarmers in the lives of our children so we don’t get in the way of the “professionals.” Many public educators believe they know what is best for your son or daughter. But they can’t possibly understand the unique history, gifts and needs of each child shuffled through a system built for the masses. When moms do step in, they are often accused of “interfering,” being “overprotective” or “close-minded.”

Girls are most vulnerable when moms are shut out - some are given contraceptives, referred for abortions, and on life’s biggest questions, are taught the worldview of the “professional” in charge.

Many in pediatrics are intentionally driving wedges between moms and their children. During my own daughter’s sports physical when she was 13, the doctor asked me to leave the room so they could have a “private” chat.

When I refused to go, the doctor right there, in front of my child, said, “There are some things I need to talk to her about and you can’t be in the room.” I firmly responded, “I need to be here for any conversation you have.” A third time the woman ordered, “But you can’t. We’re going to be talking about private things and you have to leave.” I shot back, “She’s a minor. I’m her mother. And I will be in the room.”

The woman sat stunned for a nano-second, then turned to my daughter and said, “You’re getting to the age where girls are having boyfriends, and some of them will be kissing and doing other things. You have to do what is right for you.” When I interrupted and told the doctor that my daughter knows sex is only for marriage, she looked my precious girl in the eye and said, “Well, that’s what some people think, but you have to do what is comfortable for you.”

Another doctor later confirmed that such incidents are becoming commonplace.

Don’t ever give your authority or influence in the life of your child to someone else. It is you that bears the ultimate responsibility for shaping your child’s values and character. God chose you to be the mother - not the government, not the schools, not the doctors.

As I reminded my daughter on the way home the day my mothering was undermined, “If something bad were to happen to you, it’s not the doctor that will be here to help. It’s me and your dad that will always be here for you. She might be a ‘professional,’ but she’s not your mom. She is a bystander who doesn’t truly know or love you. Your dad and I love you more than anyone else in the world possibly could. And I refuse to let anyone interfere with my commitment to you, or with my ability to protect and teach you.”

Will you also pledge today to protect your children by standing up to those who would contradict your values or try to relegate you to the back bench? Children need to know that you are committed to them for the long haul, and that you will not leave them to fend for themselves. It’s been said that the most powerful word in any language is “mother.” May you show your children the depths of your love by exercising your power to the fullest.

Rebecca Hagelin is senior communications fellow for the Heritage Foundation and the author of “30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.” Have a culture challenge? Write to her at or visit her Web site at www.HowToSaveYour

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