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Mother’s Day is here again, and moms from all walks of life are looking forward to crayola-smudged, home made cards, a half-burned breakfast in bed with cold tea, new plants for the garden, and sweet kisses that will warm up hearts inside and out.

But this year, I realize Mother’s Day is not all about biological moms or adopted moms. I think Mother’s Day should be about the many women who “mother” children in some way or another.

I believe mother’s day is a great opportunity to acknowledge the circle of women who shape and mold their lives, and mine. Women like the grandmas, aunts, neighbors, teachers, counselors, mentors, or special ballet instructors- all of them deserve recognition for their role of mothering.

Can any woman mother alone? Ask one, and there is a strong change she will tell you it’s impossible. It takes a gaggle, a village, a LOT of people to raise a child. For mothers, it’s be a source of pride, hard work, surrendering all egos, and reaching for the highest common denominator.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who dare to mother outside the lines.

Want a great new twist on Mother’s Day, which sure to increase your happiness levels and make you smile? Write a group email or pick-up the phone and call to all the women who have touched your children(s) lives, and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day too.

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Sometimes we can be so busy with our everyday jobs, and our personal goals, and changing the world, that we have very little to spend with our kids.

I can remember while attending Saint Mary’s Academy there was this very good friend of mine – who came from a wealthy family where his parents could buy him anything he wanted. But for some reason he always seemed down and sad. So, one day I asked him – why are you always looking to so sad? You know what he told me? He told me that the reason is so sad, is because the mother had gone off to the US to live. Confused, I asked him – what is his talking about? Because that same morning I saw his mother driving by? He said this is just my biological mom, but my real mom is our maid Jennifer.

I raised up in a relatively poor home, where my mom (a single parent) had to work two jobs in other for us to get by. But if one thing my mom made sure she did, is to have some quality time with each of us. She didn’t have a lot money to buy all the fancy things, but she showed us love in the little things she did, and thats what matters in life…trust me.

Well, just to clarify, I don’t kids. 🙂 But here are some ways I’ve found to connect with them on a regular basis:

Make a date. Set a weekly date with each child, so you are ensured some alone time with them. For example, I try to spend 2 hours every Saturday afternoon with my nephews.

Read with them. I’m a big fan of this. Read to them every day if possible. It’s great quality time, and one of the best things you can do to help them in life.

Play with them. Don’t be afraid to be a kid with them. Play video games, watch cartoons, play board games, have pillow fights, make a fort, play superheroes. Play at their level — don’t expect them to play at yours.

Talk to them after work. When you get home from work, instead of sitting down and watching TV, or taking a nap, or finding some other way to veg out after a long day at work … take the extra effort to sit down and talk with your kids about their day.

Just snuggle. Every now and then, just pull your child to you and hug them. Snuggle, be affectionate, and squeeze them tight. That kind of physical intimacy is important — and the day will come when they don’t want to snuggle with you anymore. Take advantage of it now.

What are your ways of connecting with your kids? Let us know in the comments.

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Photo By:Tatianasapateiro

This article was published in Chronicle Newspaper. Fri, 13 Jun 2008.

No one should underestimate how important it is to observe Fathers’ Day and focus our thoughts on the critical role fathers play in our society as they influence our children’s lives for the better or worse.

A father’s role in the upbringing of children goes way beyond providing the basis of food and shelter. The presence or absence of a father in a child’s home; how a father relates to child’s mother; how a father relates to a child and how a father interacts with other in society all have an enormous influence on the development of a child’s personality, outlook on life, and behavior.

Father’s Day is a day to acknowledge the positive influence of fathers on children, as individuals and collectively. But it is also a day to reflect on the shortcomings of many fathers in society and seek remedies for their negative influence on many children. Unfortunately, many children today do not have a father in the home, yet their need for the influence of a positive male role model remains as strong as ever.

Fathers’ Day reminds us to do everything in our power to celebrate and cultivate caring fathers who make positive, lasting differences in their children’s lives, form which the entire society benefits. Similarly, we must leave no stone unturned to reduce the numbers of fathers who abdicate their child-raising roles, or who are negligent, or abusive —those who create the dysfunctional families that negatively impact our society.

The future of any nation is in the hands of its children, and family stability — or the lack of it — is an important determinant of the children’s welfare. The presence and contribution of fathers in vital to family stability, which determines the welfare of the children who hold the future of the nation in their hands. Therefore, we should invest heavily in policies and programmes that preserve and strengthen the role of fathers.

Authorities worldwide recognize the disproportionate contribution of absent and bad fathers to broken, dysfunctional families and pervasive negative effects such families have on the educational prospects of their children. Many nations are in danger of reaching the tipping point when no matter how much they invest in education and despite the best efforts of schools and teachers; they will not be able to overcome the negative impact of broken and dysfunctional families.

On Fathers’ Day, it is essential to take stock of the growing phenomenon of absent and bad fathers and its deleterious effects on the family structure and the educational achievement family structure or community would often step in and help out children with absent or irresponsible fathers. Nowadays there seems to be general shortage of these positive male role models in society.

Of course, if society continues to produce more and more males who lack the qualities to become good fathers and positive role models, men in general will eventually lose their status. Sustained exposure to an increasing number of males with loose family ties over many years will change the image of the typical man in Dominican society. Instead of being that of an honest, hardworking, caring father who heads a decent productive family, the image of typical adult dominical will degenerate into something unrecognizable.

This Fathers’ Day, as we celebrate the positive, productive, protective dads our society has produced, let us resolve to redouble our efforts to ensure that their gifts are passed on to successive generations. Let us make sure that the wholesome qualities of our best fathers are imparted to all out sons, so that images of the typical father remains as powerful and positive as ever.

Here is to all Fathers’ – HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY

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