A Mother’s Loving Tribute to Her Children

Usually Mother’s Day is about the moms of the world, thanking them for the great job they have done for you and telling them how you appreciate them.

This post is about a mom appreciating the children of the world.

Here’s a thought.  We are all somebody’s child.  We all began as a twinkle in someone’s eye, a thought, a desire, and one day, we emerged as this happy little bundle of joy!

well, most of us.  Some mothers weren’t made to be moms.  Some of us grew up wondering if our mom really did love us.  As time went on, and the detachment grew, resentment of our mothers also grew, until one day…  Although deep down inside we really do love this woman that brought us into the world, it is easy to hide in discomfort and disdain.

When you hate someone, the only person who is affected is you.  Sure, the person you hate may feel sad and left out because you have nothing to do with them, but in reality, the hate grows in you, not in them.

Love the person that made you – you.  The person who gave you a place in this world. A world where you wouldn’t exist without your mother.  To hate your mom is to hate yourself.

To love your mom is to appreciate her for the life you have today.  You wouldn’t be you, you wouldn’t have the sorrows and joys you experience today without one person.  Your mother.  Yes, fathers also play an equally important role in our existence on this earth, but since this is a Mother’s Day tribute, we will talk about our moms.

"If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty."

These are the first four lines of the poem, “Children Learn What They Live” by Dorothy Law Nolte written in 1954.  Her words ring as true today and they did 70 years ago.  If you were criticized, treated with hostility, ridiculed or shamed as a child, chances are you have become critical, hostile, shy and guilty as an adult.  And who do we blame for these feelings but our mother.

Mothers are usually a child’s primary caregiver from birth through the formative years.  Children learn how to attach, how to interact with others, and how they feel about themselves, because of their first human contact – mothers.

If she lacks parenting skills, if she lacks the ability to love and nurture, children learn to cope on their own. Children who are left to their own means grow up looking for love in all the wrong places.  Wrong places, like bad intimate relationships and questionable friends.  Resentment grows because mom didn’t give them what they needed:  Love and security.

When you look on your mother’s life when she was a child, most of the time her coldness toward you is easily explained.  Women who are sexually abused have a difficult time attaching to their children.  Women abandoned by their moms abandon their children. It is expecting too much to expect a woman to be a perfect mom when she battled a lack of love and care from her mother.

If women who had difficulties in their childhood did not have children, the world would not be so overpopulated today with messed-up people.  Up until now, we did not understand how abuse passed on from generation to generation.  Abuse is not generational with just behaviors, but it is imbedded in the DNA and genes.  If you have a history of slavery in your past, then there are traces of that slavery in your body.  were your great-grandparents, or grandparents massacred?  Did they witness a horribly traumatizing event?  Those memories lie in your genetic make up.

There is a lot said for being barefoot and pregnant.  Don’t upset the mother because you will upset the baby.  Keep mom stress-free as much as possible so the baby will be happy and healthy.  It is not an old wives’ tale that a fussy mom will give birth to a fussy baby.  Now we know scientifically that if a mom has high cortisol levels when she is pregnant, the baby has higher-than-normal cortisol levels. Higher cortisol levels in the fetus means an enlarged hippocampus, which is the emotional control center of the brain.  The part of the brain that registers condemnation, anger, shyness and guilt.

If you feel these things, don’t be mad at your mom.  It is what it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not excusing the behaviors of drug addiction or alcoholism, and I am certainly not excusing the woman who left you.  What I am saying is she had no business getting pregnant and having you, but she did, and her behaviors are not 100%-percent her choices.

Forgiveness is divine.  You’ve heard it before.  Forgiveness is not for the other person, but for you.  To forgive means to let go of your hurt and shame.  To forgive does not mean absolving the other for the wrong committed to you.

There is no such thing as a perfect mother.  She is human and she makes mistakes.  Some of those mistakes made you homeless, angry and afraid.  She might have brought bad men into your life, men that abused you.

If you have children of your own, do not repeat her mistakes.  Learn about your mother’s past, how generational oppression has affected you.  Acknowledge and accept.  If you can’t tell her you love her, at least thank her for bringing you into this world and making you the strong, resilient person you are today.

There is more to the poem:

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to have confidence.

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship -

he learns love is in the world.

Teach your children well.  Treat your children well.  Try not to make the same mistakes your mother made.

Forgive your mother.  She did her best, even if you don’t think so.  Maybe you do better, maybe you don’t.  Your child will be the judge of that.

If you set a good example and show your children respect and forgiveness, they will respect and forgive you.  You raise these little bundles of joy with the hopes they will bring you joy for the rest of your life.  They look to you for guidance.  How you treat your mother is how they will treat you.  These little devils watch everything you do.  They soak up everything you say like a sponge.  They store all these impressions in these busy little minds of theirs, and one day, those impression emerge in their relationship with you.

Love and acceptance is also generational.  If you want a better world for your kids, you have to show them by example how to have a better world.  Families are forever.  If they are fragmented and dysfunctional, that dysfunction is passed on to the next generation.  If family members treat one another with love and respect, that too, is passed down to the next generation.

How do you want your children to treat you?  Will you want them in your life when they become adults?  Do you want family gatherings where everyone is genuinely fond of one another and not merely tolerant because all present is only being polite for a day or two?

No one is perfect, and neither are you.  If you cannot accept the person that gave you life, you are not very accepting of yourself.  Show your gratitude for the people who love you, your mothers, your children.  Never forget.  You teach them how to treat you. How do you want to be treated?  With criticism and hostility?  Or with acceptance and friendship.

The choice is yours.  It should not be too hard of  a decision….

If you like this post, I would love to read your comments.  How do you feel about Mother’s Day?

Peace and happiness,


Child Abuse and the Deep Blue Sea

“I told you to shut up!” shouts the mom in the store. The next thing I hear is a reverberating SLAP as she hit her 3-year-old daughter’s face.

The slap did not slow the child down a bit. She was just as unruly throughout the rest of the store as she was before. Obviously the slap did not mean anything to either the mom or the daughter. It was just a way of expressing anger – not even intended to discipline. Continue reading Child Abuse and the Deep Blue Sea

Power and Control Issues in Relationships

Signs of Partner Violence

Power and Control.  We all need it.  There is nothing wrong with wanting your way.  But when it becomes an issue where your partner insists on calling the shots, tells you what to do and becomes angry when you do not, then this is power and control out of control.

The only thing predictable about an abusive partner is their unpredictable behavior.  One minute they are pleasant, the next minute they are biting your head off.

Continue reading Power and Control Issues in Relationships

Functional vs. Dysfunctional Families


In many cultures around the world, the family is the cornerstone of society – and of the individual’s life.  Family means everything.

Look to the cultures that understand the importance of supporting family and you see people who are generally happier.  It is difficult to not be happy with love and laughter flowing around you.

The family structure was so instrumental in the Chinese culture, that when Buddhism was transported from India, the Chinese insisted that the philosophy change to meet the family’s needs.  Even today, in our fast-paced world, people travel thousands of miles just to be with family and friends for the Chinese New Year.  Watch this video to see how important family is to the Chinese people.

This bonding is essential for a functional family.  Absence does not make the heart grow fonder.  Connection with family members and friends makes one more connected to themselves.

“Filial duty” which is duty to one’s family members, is not stressed enough in American homes.  Rather, we want to be “independent” and go our own way.  The problem with that is we go so far on our way that we become isolated from our past and those who love us. 

Then when there are problems with life, we have no one to turn to.  No one to care enough to help.  The American family structure has crumbled to the point where children cannot wait to get out of their homes, never to return.

In a functional family, family members freely express their ideas and feelings without fear of recrimination and feel safe in this knowledge. A healthy family supports one another in good times, and troubled times, with warmth and understanding. Family members are satisfied and content, and compromise is easy.

A dysfunctional family environment is the opposite. There is coldness, fear of expressing one’s emotion, and children feel misunderstood by their parents. This distancing may not be a sign of poor parenting skills, but a lack of social learning on the part of the parent.

If individual family members can heal, the family heals. With healthy families comes a healthy society. A society where people are happy and productive, not depressed and violent.

How we can help families

    • Stop the talk and put words into action to  slow this cycle of violence our world has fallen into.
    • Begin a grassroots effort to make a conscious effort to practice kindness and compassion.
    • Implement programs that bring the family together.
    • Engage public officials to work together in finding ways to stop the violence in our communities.

The American Medical Association’s Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines on Domestic Violence state that,

“Family violence usually results from the abuse of power or the domination and victimization of a physically less powerful person by a physically more powerful person.” 

Unequal financial resources, unstable family connections , or troubling health status are situations in which the more powerful person exerts inappropriate control or intimidation over the less powerful person.

Any misuse of power, especially that which involves physical violence or psychologic intimidation, constitutes abuse.

    • A perpetrator is a person who performs or permits the actions that constitute abuse or neglect.
    • The term “batterer” refers more specifically to a perpetrator who engages in physical violence.
    • The most familiar constellation for partner violence is one in which the (current or ex-) husband or boyfriend is the perpetrator and the wife or girlfriend is the victim.
    • Men who are in homosexual relationships are often victims of partner violence.

Interpersonal violence and abuse, especially between relatives and domestic partners, are leading causes of morbidity and mortality.

Family physicians and other professionals who provide primary care health services must deal with acute presentations and chronic sequelae of this epidemic.

Many victims of abuse hesitate to seek help, while those who batter are often difficult to identify.

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