Category Archives: opinion

Unto the third and fourth generation; what are we doing to our children and grandchildren?

In the UK now something like 1 in 10 children are dx with a mental illness of some kind. The problem for what is labeled generation Y, is so great some have suggested it has reached beyond crisis to a state of emergency. The figures are pretty stark even if you take into consideration the shocking over dx and overuse of prescription medication for children.  These are the children of my generation. Those of us born in the early to mid sixties are the first of Generation X coming after the baby boomers, who are now in their late 60s and 70s.

There’s a separate but linked issue with the dx of ADHD and ADD which I might look at later but not in this post.

This confessional article on the way love was ditched in the search for so-called free love in the ’60s, tries to shine a spotlight on why love was ditched. Jermann writes;

My generation made a mess of love. We lost its very meaning to an emotionally appealing ersatz replacement based on a self-congratulatory “I’m okay, you’re okay” mentality, even as the growing debris of dying human relationships proved otherwise.  We have left our children so deep in the muck that they no longer see a sky blue but accept a dull overcast gray as the normal light of day

The comments expand on the article pointing out that it wasn’t just the hippies seeking “free love” who turned away from real love, plenty of otherwise descent respectable folk did the same. I have been surrounded by so many people of about my age who were either abused, neglected or basically ignored by their parents.  Even in families that on the surface looked in tact and functioning I have heard stories of confusion, distant relationships and deep loneliness from the now adult children.

Most of these people (myself included) never saw a baby, and so when we had our own. we were left to struggle and work out by ourselves how to deal with having children of our own.  For so many of my generation the only guide was “I wont do it like my parents.” But as my generation have bought into the idea that what adults want is way more important than what children need, the lovelessness goes on.

Adults have been so stunted they have no idea how to maintain loving relationships with one another, and can’t face the demands of dependant children. Even otherwise good parents will allow their children to behave in self destructive ways simply because they don’t know how to stop them.

There has to be a solution as we face the curse of the grandparents visiting the third and even fourth generation. And there is.

In the cultural desert, hard working and genuinely loving people have set up little oasis of hope. One comment under the article is from a man who teaches Bl. Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body to teens. He says they are enthusiastically taking it up. They know they have to shun the sexual example having suffered the results themselves.

The knowledge and willingness of couple,s of many Christian couples – not just Catholics – to embrace an open to life marriage, using NFP when serious reasons require it, is spreading like wild fire.

More and more women in particular are sick of the damage to health, particularly breast cancer, to marriage and the water supply done by contraception and they are turning back to natural methods that respect women’s bodies and the family unit.

There’s a growing number of mothers who are practicing what has been termed “attachment parenting”. Now, the pendulum can, and always does, swing too far the other way. The media doesn’t help. I have rarely seen a TV programme about normal attachment parenting, it’s always the extreme end, with as weird as possible families.

Ignoring the mainstream media, (something I highly recommend), there are plenty of stories out there of families who are finding a better life by conforming to the natural law and especially in treating women as wives and mothers with the respect due their human dignity and role.

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The collapse of the Greek economy has strengthened families.

As we would have no internet while on holiday I had downloaded some podcasts to listen to while I made picnics and cleaned the kitchen. One of them was an interview with a man who was well versed in what is happening in Greek politics and economy. He painted a pretty desperate picture as the wealth has almost vanished and more and more people are barely making ends meet. The elderly can’t be cared for by Government systems any more and the health care coverage is seriously compromised by the lack of Government funds.

But in this otherwise bleak picture this observer noted that there are signs that Greek culture is making a come back. Families are pulling together and pooling resources. Elderly parents are living with their adult  children and extended families are living and sharing together. From this he sees some hope for the future of the country.

Families wont have as much “stuff” any more. They will be poorer, and there seems no end in sight for that situation at the moment, but many Greek people are rising to the occasion. They are taking back the rights and responsibilities they had too willingly handed over to bureaucrats and are trying to build things from the family and local community up.

I wonder how things will look once the financial situation improves (presuming it does). Will there be more subsidiarity and less Government for Greece? Could other countries move the same way? Or have our cultures been so broken for so long that we couldn’t do as Greece is doing? Are we too busy, too wrapped up in our own tiny worlds to see what’s beyond the immediate? I hope not. God can make straight with crooked lines, and the history of the Jewish people shows a people who gather together and call on His Name when economic and political matters look likely to crush them. We must surely do the same.

Are Stay at Home Mothers wasting their education or using it to the enth degree?

This article in the Daily Mail was brought to my attention. One of the mothers mentioned is home educating her children. There was a time when such a deeply stupid question would never have been asked, but we have sunk so far from the days when motherhood was regardless as a great calling, a great vocation, that mothers who do not hand their children over to institutions or strangers soon after birth must defend themselves.

There are a number of strange issues with the article, not least the fascinating way the photos have come across. The first two mothers look happy and settled, attached to their children, while the woman in the red dress looks like she doesn’t want to be with her son. She in fact is the one who astonishingly said she is bored “watching Cbeebies all day.” I bet her son is bored too! If someone who is supposed to be highly educated thinks being a parent means sitting in front of the TV all day, what is the definition of “educated” I have to ask?

It’s a sad fact that the culture today has so massively undermined the important role of motherhood, and almost eradicated the role of the father, that this question is asked as though it is a sensible question. It seems to me this is all part of the undermining of the Sacrament of Marriage that began in the early years of the 20th Century.

Mothers and fathers who stay home and don’t put their babies and toddlers into institutional care are trying to ensure their children have a healthy attachment which will mean they have the opportunity to acquire language and then learn it fully; to learn early social skills while being happy and safe and are then in a good position to better cope should they go to school and have better life outcomes in general and especially mental health. Those of us who are doing this with and for our children are not wasting our education, we are using and fulfilling it.

I did face the “But you’ll be wasting all that education and all those skills,” mantra when I began the process of giving up nursing to try and be home more, because my children needed it. I was even shunned. I remember being at the park with the children with my husband when someone who knew us both met us. On learning that I was now a stay home mother he simply ignored me for the rest of the conversation. No eye contact – nothing.

If I can teach my children not to treat other people based on their job prospects (as Jesus actually demanded) but to treat all people with respect, I will have done something good!

Our children are the future of the country we live in. Even from a purely political point of view, well brought up children who are able to hold down a job and show a sense of responsibility has to be worth something to the economy.  The fact that Mrs Thatcher didn’t want to support stay at home mothers is indicative of the astonishing shallowness of thought and economic understanding of politicians.

There has been plenty of written reports from as far back as Victorian times that show the importance for child development of a bonding between babies and their mother and having a mum and dad around for you. Mothers in particular were recognised as having a fundamentally important role in the forming of children so that they could grow healthy as possible and able to attain their potential in adulthood.

Back when I had to work for money, it was very difficult to be there for the children whenever they needed me. It was very difficult to be there when they were ill and I was constantly torn between my responsibilities to my children and the responsibilities at work. I really don’t envy any mother who goes through this – and I would seriously wonder at the conscience of a mother who isn’t pained by these situations.

We really need to fight for a return to the proper respect for mothers, especially those who also care for elderly or vulnerable relatives. Margaret Thatcher’s refusal to support such hard working, solid women, without whom this country would have collapsed a long time ago, is simply a sign of how uneducated she was (and most Oxford grad politicians are no better).

Do our children really need a University degree?

When my son Alex decided he would not go to university there were some raised eyebrows. Some people thought this was simply a ridiculous notion and that all “good” children go to Uni.

Having taught in a University, I remember thinking as I walked those hallowed halls, “God forbid any child of mine ends up here!” If parents knew what went on in these places (mostly at parental expense) they would, or at least should, be appalled.

Then there’s the cost. This blog entry sums up very nicely just why I want my children to be very cautious about Higher Education. It is indeed a matter of justice. It is grossly unjust that jobs with no possible connection, or a very mild connection to academic learning are asking for graduates.

Now that degrees have been made very expensive but actually not very useful. But just as most families are brainwashed into thinking all children must go to school to get an education – and this in the face of the astonishingly poor standards of education they get; they are equally brainwashed into the idea that all children need a degree.

But do they?

Children as blessings and how not to starve the elderly to death.

One morning at Mass I admitted to a friend that I was pregnant with what would prove to be my sixth child. She gave me a hug and at that moment another friend came over and we both told her. She put her arms around me and said, “Well, if you are good at something, you may as well keep doing it.” I think that was the loveliest thing anyone has said to me about the fact we have dared to go beyond the culturally acceptable number of children of 1.4.

The fact is we have had children in the teeth of the massive propaganda campaign against the lives of children. We are told they are eating up the planet’s meagre resources which should be preserved for the Al Gore’s of this planet. We are told that disabled children must be killed before they get the chance to be born. The Malthus myth is alive and well and heavily pushed by the media and it’s darlings.

Then there are the frequent children cost far too much so don’t have too many articles. They are often based on the assumption that there will be a huge chunk of a family’s income spent on “child care”.  This in turn must be a reflection of the isolation of so many families, so that there is no one but a paid stranger to help with the children. Families are broken up and scattered and each person looks after themselves.

When talking to a fellow Home ed mum last night, she told me how surprised she had been at Think Tank to see so many large families. Some mothers, she told me, had even more children than me! lol. She is expecting her fourth and I know this hasn’t been joyful news to some.

I told her that one of the joys of HE for me had been that with six children I was just one of the crowd. Home educators over all do seem to have more children, or if they only have one or two they soon end up borrowing some more from somewhere, either as helping a family or fostering. My friend wondered if we home ed partly because we just like our children.

My friend discussed her sadness of so many mums complaining to her about having to be with their children through the six weeks Summer holidays. One mother I met said quite clearly in front of her child that she didn’t think it was right for schools to expect families to cope over six weeks!!

Bare these astonishing attitudes by adults in mind when I tell you the next demographic doomalist projection is we will have too many old people – which they are calling the grey tsunami.

As the answer to “too many children” has been contraception and abortion and a call for infanticide (Singer’s view which is increasingly mainstream) what will be the remedy for “too many old people”?

It’s not a leap to see that many elderly will fall under the increasing calls of “obligation to die”, prettily wrapped in a right to die rhetoric at the moment and the misuse of the words dignity and mercy.

This may seem to have little to do with home education per sey but the near the surface of every call to ban home education throughout the world, to stamp out the inherent rights of parents and children to the freedom and obligation of education is based primarily on hatred of Christian doctrines on life. I don’t think I have heard or read a single arguement against home education that doesn’t warn against “fundamentalist Christians” keeping their children away from the secular (a)moral doctrine. Even here in the UK, where as far as I can tell there is a sizable non-Christian non-deist group, the “fundamentalist” label gets bandied about.

Recently I have heard that more protestant communities are turning away from contraception and abortion, having seen the devestating effect it has had on their communities. They are beginning to see that following Scripture means being completely pro-life in marriage as well as “politics”. I would be interested to know if many of these families and pastors putting aside contraception and letting God back into their marriage are or will home educate. Especially in America where many school options are very expensive, more children will probably lead to more homeschooling.

Turning away from the culture of death means embracing the culture of life, which logically, it seems to me, means welcoming, not just whatever children God sends, but whatever elderly or disabled relatives He might send as well.

When families take back and embrace the culture of life, we can avoid the pit that yawns in front of us from the utilitarian secularists (pushed by the BBC of course) and no one needs to be killedd.

Mums need help and should not feel guilty for it. Some responses.

There were a couple of responses on the mums need help blog that I thought were pretty worrying. One woman, who presumably is in a comfortable, financially secure situation, with all the help she needs and no seriously ill person to mess things up, insisted that mothers should never have to work because a sensible woman would not marry a man until he could show his ability to provide adequately for a family. Now, I think I get where this view comes from. A man should be working and have a living wage before he can marry However we now live in a situation in the UK and increasingly in the USA  I believe, where having a wage that can support  family is very difficult indeed. Having any job at all is getting harder and harder. Many of the dads I know who have been providing the single income for their families are either now out of work, or facing impending unemployment. One comment on the blog pointed out that her husband had become disabled at work and now she was the bread winner. These things happen.

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Care of the elderly – it requires a pro-life pro-family culture

My oldest, Josh works as a care assistant in a large home for the elderly. I too worked in homes when I was trying to find a way to work and be at home as much as possible.  I also worked with long-term mentally ill elderly people (mainly dementia) in a hospital setting.

I remember back then (1980’s) that those who had family did tend to be visited by them. Not always, some had no family to visit as they had been brought up in care and then moved straight into the psychiatric system. But I do remember families visiting.

By the time I was working in the homes that sprang up everywhere under Mrs Thatcher’s horrendously cruel “Care in the community” money-saving gimmick, things had changed. I was working more and more with people who never saw a visitor from the moment they were admitted. What happened in the 1990’s that made the change so definite? Why were so many nursing  homes springing up to be filled with fairly well elderly people? Why is it that fifteen or more years later, nothing has changed and even the media is making more of a fuss about the lack of care for frail elderly people? There has been occasional flashes of concern for carers who may be so exhausted that they are starting to abuse the old person they are caring for. When investigated it is found that the carer is the only person taking on the full task; that they have no help or support from the rest of the family, largely because they is no more family. 

The roots of this problem go deep into the family, where we now accept that the frail, sick and old must be put away from our sight and that those who care for them should be treated as failures worthy the least possible pay and conditions.

Demographics is the root of this, and the demographics we have are our own fault. There aren’t enough children and grandchildren to care for the elderly. The anti-children culture of the 60’s and 70’s welled into the anti-family anti-life culture we are wading through today. This anti-child attitude did not just manifest itself in the fact that people stopped having children, but in the fact that so many of the children they did have were ignored, neglected and abused. More than one adult child of a resident confessed that they couldn’t bear to be near their own mother because of the deeply unhappy life she had given them, or that she had been practically a stranger to them.  This is a scandal and a tragedy, not just for those wounded individuals, but because it seems so common. On top of this Dr Ray has talked a lot about the ingratitude of children to their parents who have done their very best, sometimes in very difficult circumstaces. In some cases it’s probably a bit of a mixture.

This deep seated “Me first” (called by many the unholy trinity of Me Myself and I) attitude has not lessened with the next generation. A friend of mine told me how her daughter had spoken out about her life at home – and ordinary life with a single mother. One of her fellow students had said, “I wish my mum loved me like that.” It is shocking how little we respect our children, how little they feel respected. But it is hardly surprising when for the last forty years or so we have called children “a burden” and sung the praises of avoiding pregnancy and being able to get rid of those burdens as soon as possible.  Where are all those children who would care and love the elderly? Perhaps they never conceived or were thrown away. Christians are just as deeply sunk in this toxic mess as anyone else.

I really don’t believe that the media answers of throw more money at it, is the answer. We need families to stand together, to make sacrifices for one another and to show love, the real kind, not the sentimental kind. I have no idea how this is possible without God, so we had better turn back and try to do it His way for once.

As it happens thanks to the internet in many ways, the message of Life is getting out there. Many people of my generation who were denied the teachings of the Church in our youth, are finally getting it. America has some terrible problems, but from there, the English-speaking world is finally getting the full authentic teaching of Christ and His apostles and we are able to hand it on to our children. The pro-life movement is a movement of families and they will not deny God a place in giving children, nor in caring for the elderly.