SUPER KIDS: should christian parents censor mainstream media?


For almost the last 3 weeks straight, my son has been wearing an aqua cot-sheet that I made into a superhero cape some years ago. It has gotten dirty and stretched at the seams from over-wear. He sleeps in it; he eats in it and confidently wearing it, he accompanies me shopping, on errands, riding his bike and playing outside.
He even answers when I call out to, ‘Batman’.
My sweet little 3 year old boy is leaping from our lounges and flying around our house.
He is watching cartoon batman episodes, he wanting to watch more and wanting to watch often.

As I see my little man fly around my lounge room in a cape, making his own super-flying sound effects and rescuing his toys from certain peril, I think,
little dude, you are awesome.”
Then as I see him watching enthralled in his hero Batman- when he is beating up some bad guy with fly-kicks and punches to the face, I think,
 “uh… ok this feels not so awesome.”

Is this appropriate for him to watch?
Should I shelter my children from any negative influence, especially at young ages?
Do I censor his interests? Do I stop him from playing the super hero? Can he still want to play superheroes without any outside-media-based-understanding of what they are?
Can I raise my kids without influences that I am uncomfortable with?
Am I right in being uncomfortable with this?

I find, in general, there is absolutely no safety in classification ratings.
There are few heroes (male or female) that come from mainstream-media to which I say, YES! That’s it! Here kids, this show reinforces our family’s bible-based values.
Just taking Disney heroes and heroines for example (as a widely understood media targeted at children and not for because they are particularly good/bad). Their main characters are a mix of defiant teenage mermaids, Lions preaching animism (tribal/earth religion), thieves who only steal ‘what they need’ and lie to gain affection and esteem, a little jungle boy who runs away. No matter the end result, these are the examples our children are absorbing.
The family movies aimed at ‘family’ viewing depict siblings who tease and belittle each other, speaking of each other with dislike, disobeying parents and calling each other names.

I am not asking, to where can we turn for positive influences on our children?
The answer to that is simple, turn to the Bible. Let our children dwell on Bible stories, pregnant with truth and the presence of God in each story. Here our heroes are flawed human as well, yes, but they are examples God has given us in His Word for a reason. They are deliberately part of His story of redemption and He is an ever present reality in their lives.
We can also turn to the many resources that are available to families for children entertainment, also great resources on inspiring missionaries, on the Church Fathers, on positive, believing role-models. We do in this time; have the ability to provide for our children alternative media for consumption.

My question is;
do I make a cleaning sweep of the majority of mainstream media and protect my children from its influence?
If not, what should I do with this uncomfortable feeling I have when my kids engage in worldly media?
What do I do with these worldly influences and
do I need to make a general rule about TV, Movies and Books?

There are three main ways of looking at the media which we invite into our homes.
 Is it only entertainment? What is the influence? What is being taught?

If we think that media is pure entertainment without any effect then we are choosing to be satisfied in the momentary gratification that TV/Movie watching can provide for the long-day of parenting. And it is satisfaction indeed – I am the first to put my hand up and say I cling with desperate appreciation to my kid’s TV hour each day.
It can be entertainment without understanding; I do understand that many aspects of TV entertainment go over the proverbial head of most children. That may 9 times out of 10 solve the momentary issue but does not change my aversion to seeing them soak it in.

TV as pure entertainment says that children are not going to turn to Witchcraft from watching/reading Harry Potter and they are not going to be morally bankrupt from watching the Barbie material. They will not grow to be violent from killing Zombies on the Wii nor by watching the Teenage Mutant Turtles. Their family values will not be corrupted from the example to given them by the Simpsons, nor will they think to place their value in outward adorning because they were influenced as such by the Bratz Fashion show and dolls.

I do not think that media is purely entertainment.

Any parent who has heard their Aussie kids playing out in the yard with a thick Californian accent or watched their parody of some recent Disney storyline will know that if it passes before a child’s eyes – it can have and probably has already had some impact – be it major or minor.
It is exactly because I think media is not purely entertainment (nor safe to watch regardless of content), that I censor which shows are appropriate for my children’s viewing. If I consider the impact of a show to be something I would not promote to my children, then there is no way I will condone it being promoted to my children via media.
I do not think that media is purely entertainment but neither do I think it is completely without value for my children’s enjoyment.

So what then?
If it is not purely entertainment and it isn’t pure evil either,
then how do we evaluate its influence on our children?

I was once encouraged to know, that I (along with my husband) am the leading expert on my children, and there is never cause to doubt it.
Such liberating encouragement.
So, that means that all the advice from other mothers, onlookers, psychologists and extended family can be used as a resource to better my parenting skills, but I do not ever need to (nor should I) release the responsibility of my motherhood to someone else just because their voice is louder or sounds more authoritative.
I will not try to tell you exactly which media to protect your children from. I know the shows that I have banned from my own children, the ones I’m iffy about, and the ones which I desperately hate (and kinda hope you do too).
But the only children whose eyes I will shield- are mine. For I know how they will be influenced and how best to shield them.
Just as you do with your children.

Here is an example from two daughters,
My eldest daughter is easily snared by beauty and the trappings of instant flattery. From her heart I will shield from her the things which will teach her that she should indeed find her value in outward appearance. I will steer her from media where the heroine uses her beauty as a weapon, or shows which depicts those less ‘pretty’ in negative light. I need to guide her from a path which judges her beauty and gives her cause to value others on the same merits.
I need to do this because the world will teach her a different concept.
But the Bible teaches truth.
My youngest daughter needs to be protected from hurtful words of disrespect. From her eyes which laugh so readily, I do not want to teach her that the world says laughter can readily come at the cost of others. I will shield her from the temptation of easily quoted words used to belittle others for self-gratification.
I need to teach her this because the world will not teach her this truth. The bible does.

Influence is also affected by saturation.
Firstly, obviously if your child is obsessively, daily, continuously watching shows that are promoting alternate religions, a world without God or a worldly doctrine of self without ever coming up for air then… Yes. The influence and impact of these shows will be great. Duh.

But your children have a mother who is herself walking in the light. A mother who loves the Word of the Lord and impresses it upon her children. A mother who covers her children in prayer and guides them to cover others too. A mother who ministers to her family by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in her, pour out from her and drench her home in Gospel truth. A mother who models humility, fragility and an honest human dependence on God.
Let your children be saturated in this.
Into this culture, allow the media of the world to provide entertainment.
Into this family, bring things that are questionable…
…. then use the opportunity to give an answer.

To my son, I asked why he loves Batman so much.
I asked him what makes Batman a hero.
I asked him about his perception of Batman, was he good? Was he justified in his actions?
What about the ‘bad guy’? Was the bad guy always bad? Is there nothing good about him? What makes him bad? Is Batman ever bad?
To my three year old son, I was able to have an age-limited but very valuable discussion on many topics. On sin, on bad guys always being bad guys… and whether God sees us this way.
I talked about good and evil.
I talked about standing up for what is right.
I told him (well… I preached… a little) that Jesus is the ultimate definition of a hero who provided the ultimate salvation. I talked about all the differences between Batman and Jesus.
I told him that I loved how he dressed up as Batman and wants to save people, I told him that God wants us to have hearts which care for others above ourselves.
I told him he is never allowed to fly-kick anyone.
And then with good conscience, I let him watch his Batman show on TV.
I do so ready to have the same conversation again and again and again.
In detail and episode-specific.
I do so ready to change my mind if I later I feel I’ve misjudged.

My belief is that media is not purely entertainment without impact.
 I do think there are shows which are dangerous for our children to consume and should not be allowed into our homes.
I think that the influence of the world will always be pressing in on our children, threatening to be a louder voice in the ears of our children. I do not think we should ever let it be this, (while they are under our authority). I think that a passion for godly example and a readiness to witness will trump legalism and rules most every time.
I think that the influence of media can be measured and curved by the diligence of our parenting.
I think that we can redeem entertainment to have good conversations with our kids and that we can teach them to be discerning consumers.

I think that you are their mum,
and with the help of the One who in His wisdom ordained your children to your care–
you will make good choices
and you will be given the chance to redeem your regretful ones.

I think you should extend that same grace to the mums you know.

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The Other Side: An open letter to the anti-smacking community


I smack my children as a form of discipline.

Generally though, I am not in the habit of publically promoting the use of smacking or spanking when dealing with children. I am voicing my thoughts now simply because I am tired of a one-sided view, an un-equal debate and the growing sense that parents who smack should not publically admit the fact.

I am tired of the slew of blogs, quotes and Facebook likes and shares of pictures, depicting a small child, with fear clear on her face, writhing from the clutches of a mother whose arm is raised in full-swing ready for a beat down. She has malice and violence in her countenance. With slogans like ‘abuse’ and ‘violence’ attached.

I smack my children.
I am not that mother.

I am tired of smacking being referred to as ‘beating’. I heard a friend refer to a mutual acquaintance recently as being a strict parent… someone who has rules and if the kids doesn’t obey then you belt em and belt em until they submit.

I smack my children. I smack them more than once in given situations.
I am not that parent.

I have heard the argument that “spare the rod & spoil the child” is the Biblical foundation for physical punishment as discipline, that this proverb is the only leg us ’child-beaters’ stand on.
I do not subscribe to this view. I do not smack because I view this verse as a biblical command to physical intervention in behaviour.
Firstly, the proverb should not be taken literally, since in obvious translation it would require physical discipline by the use of a ‘rod’ or stick. In this instance, the proverb is saying that sparing a child from consistent discipline (however it is administered) will lead to a child without boundaries or a ‘spoilt’ child.
The verse is advocating the use of discipline in parenting.
So why do I choose to use physical punishment?

The Bible is clear in my responsibility as a parent.  One of the responsibilities as a parent is guiding your child in character, which leads to behaviour. I need my children to understand the consequences of their behaviour, I would like them to grieve their sins and I try to place the weight of their decision upon their shoulders.
Sometimes this is achieved through conversation- shedding light on the ramifications of their actions. When my 6yr old consistently sharpened her pencils on the floor, I took her aside & explained how her inability to listen to me, to consider my request had hurt me. I told her that I felt hurt that she was leaving mess for me to clean up, disrespecting my role and hard work as homemaker. She understood, I could tell she was sorry, I could tell the lesson was learnt.

Sometimes it is time-out, the loss of a privilege or something is taken away. Sometimes it is a smack. When my 4 yr. old goes out of boundaries, I call her back and remind her. When it happens again, I will smack her. Why? Because I need her to listen and respect my rules and boundaries. I need to her to learn that it is not ok to disregard them because it will have consequences.
Can she understand that the consequence may be the neighbour’s dog? The cars on the side-road? The snakes in the long grass? No, although we have discussed it, it is beyond her momentary reasoning to understand. She knows not to go out of bounds because Mum will see & she will get a smack.

SMACKING IN EXCLUSION
Now, I am not blind. I know there are other forms of discipline. Very good ones.
I use lots of different forms depending on situation. I note the impact of discipline in my children and order our lives respectfully. With my 4yr old you have to be very careful about explaining the impact of her behaviour on others – she will hold onto such guilt it is heartbreaking. I need a form of punishment with her that does not burden her unjustly.

I resent the general implication that because I smack my children I am an un-thinking and un-creative parent. That I am mindlessly hitting my children when they do not fall into my imaginary line.

SMACKING IN ANGER
I can get angry at the behaviour displayed by my children at times… but anger does not have an active role in my parenting. I am committed to not yelling at my kids. I do not speak in haste, especially when hurt or angry. I am committed to an endeavour not to speak words which will scar little hearts entrusted to me. I will never speak to my children about a lack of moral character, degrade their importance or I pray, give them reason to think I am disappointed with their part in my family.
If I am careful with words, does it not also follow that I would be careful with my hands?
If my children required any discipline, they are told as much. If I need, they are sent to time-out whereby I can take time for self-control. I never smack (or discipline) without explanation. I never smack without restoration and I am confident that my children are not in fear of me, my temper or unsure of my reaction.

I do not smack in anger and I resent the general implication that smacking is for my benefit, my pleasure or as a result of my emotions.

SMACKING FOR BLIND OBEDIENCE
There are specific behaviours that, in my house, call for smacking. And yes, one is disobedience.
If there is wilful and defiant disobedience from my child, they are punished.
Obedience seems to be perceived as a negative quality in a child these days? That somehow obedience as a character trait is evident of a broken spirit, a crushed imagination, of forced inferiority or regime-style parenting.
I don’t get this, for one; Ephesians 6:1-4 and also….Christ calls us to trust and obey. I do not obey my Saviour and God out of blind fear. I do not obey as a mindless robot, from a broken and crushed spirit.

Obedience in my children is not blind.
I explain to them the reasons behind my rules, the need for my boundaries and the reasoning for my decisions as a parent. My 2yr old is entitled to ask me ‘why’ when I set a rule. I allow it. There are no rules for which there are no reasons. Some are simple, (don’t touch the stove, it will burn you) some are because I, as their parent, am uncomfortable with it (No we won’t listen to this song on the radio, I don’t think it is suitable for you to hear).

Do I also require obedience at my word – yes.
I need to know that if I call stop to any of my children, at any age. They will know to hear me, to listen and to obey with immediacy… because they respect my authority, my position and right to command their halt.
It may have just saved their straying onto a busy street, or getting lost in a shopping centre.
It may have just saved them from playing with scissors left out by a sibling.

I do not smack my children to instil fear into them, enabling blind obedience of my command. I resent the implication that I am a source of fear or terror in any of my children or that my desire to see obedience and respect from them is tyrannical lust for power and superiority.

SMACKING IS ABUSE
I smack my children. I do not use it as my main form of punishment, nor do I think it is a last resort.
I do smack to hurt them, why else bother?
I hurt them to teach them a lesson, to protect them from greater harm and to punish grievous and intolerable behaviour.
I do not smack for my own pleasure or a personal desire to inflict pain.
I do not smack to vent, out of frustration or thoughtlessness.
I do not smack because ‘I survived being smacked and a couple won’t harm em’ – because I have never thought of doing anything else or considered/researched forms of discipline.
I do not smack to ‘put them in their place’, to demean, demoralise or instil fear.
I do not think, in any situation, I have abused my children through discipline.

The case is argued, isn’t the right to physical safety something a child deserves? Yes.

They have the right to safe boundaries. They have the right to expect respectful and safe treatment from their siblings. They have the right to live in a household where they have no fear of physical abuse. My children do not fear me. At times, they mourn the need for punishment and I have seen them mourn physical and non-physical punishment with equality.
I provide these to my children through resourceful parenting, through techniques and strategies.
One of which is smacking.

So yes, in response to the trend of anti-smacking propaganda that is flooding the parenting circles, yes I smack my children.
But I resent the implication that I do not discipline my children with grace.
I resent the insinuation that I do not teach my children with compassion.
I resent the intimidation of words like, abuse, threats of lower IQs and warped personailities.

I resent the intonation that I have authority without love, method without thoughtfulness, boundaries without imagination, respect without relationship, obedience without trust and parenting without overwhelming love.

Such exaggerated and degrading portrayals of the parent who smacks… it hurts me.
Please consider that.

to sit or to stand?


To sit or to stand… No really…. that is a genuine question.

Me? I am shrugging my shoulders.

Like literally, I am shrugging my shoulders and mumbling ‘mmm’i-dunno” in a flashback to the communication of my teens.
Because I don’t know what to do or think.

My (nearly) 5year old, Evie came home from her kindergarten class, and exclaimed “oh my God” at the traffic on the road. I did not crash the car.. but breathed in & asked her who taught her this phrase. She told me that ALL the kids say it at Kinder. And it’s not naughty, cos so do the teachers.

Initially, we dealt with it by a simple conversation about how not-to disrespect the creator of the universe and left it be. To keep an eye on.

But then hubby and I were talking about how she is still going to be desensitized to these sayings. How she is not offended and is learning in our society, not to be. She is in danger of taking – the taking of the LORD’s name – lightly.
But what should we do?

I’ve spoken to her teachers, and asked if they could be mindful of teaching her about things like ‘good luck’, ‘bad luck’ and ‘karma’. Things that have been adopted as normal by our Godless society.
How far do I take it?

I drafted a letter, using the situation of Evie’s new phrase, to tell the parents of her class – that we are bible-believing christians. That these phrases are serious and offensive to our faith and the world’s God, and I asked them sympathise and have a conversation with their kids encouraging them to refrain from offensive terms.
Hubby looked over it and said he thought it was a good letter – well written (why… shucks.. thanks) but he had some genuine questions. I list them in his words as best I can; 

Is this something we should make a deal out of?
Should we take the stand – that perhaps causes offense to some parents? 
Should we be making this issue not a behaviour issue – but a faith issue?
Are WE coming across as religious fruitcakes – rather than letting it be the gospel which is confronting?
And if we are willing to say yes to the above questions.. is this the hill we want to die on? (I had never personally heard this phrase and got sidetracked over it for a minute or two) It means, is this even the issue worth making it all this fuss over?

This is my hubby. He is wise and smart and biblical & he is questioning me.
So now I don’t know….

Am I that fruitcake mum? Who HAS to have a conversation about Jesus with her daughter whenever she is exposed to a different worldview? I have been teased for being so in the past.
I see every conversation as a chance to get theological… am I going into overkill? Is there overkill?
I started this thought process, thinking that I do not want my children to see these phrases as ‘lesser’ swear words. I don’t want them so influenced by society that the name of the God does not register when taken in vain.
I was thinking that this is the name of my God that is taken so lightly.
That this is something I could do, to say to the parents of Evie’s kinder…
“here is a family that follows Jesus”
“We are salt and light  – to flavour you and shine on you – not the other way round.”

I wanted to make a stand, for all the times I never make a sound…

And the name of the Lord God seemed a really good place to stand on?

Now I don’t know.
Do you?

No really, I’m asking.

Spiderman Undies & the Wrath of God


I live in very close proximity to my neighbours.
Like close… we share a backyard and if one of my kids opens the bathroom door while i am on the toilet. I can see right through their laundry window and into their lounge room.
Good morning Neighbourino’s.
I need to drink more water.

My neighbours have children the same age as mine. They play outside often. Often the girls congregate at my steps to play, chat and generally make their presence known. I pick up snippets of conversation as I carry on about my day. (not sitting on the lounge eating ice cream and watching oprah…whaat?)
You know, I bustle about with my general cleaning, mopping, ironing, baking and other domestic bliss things.

Once i heard them talking and my 4yr old pips up and says excitedly,
My dad LOVES spiderman! he has spiderman knickers Mumma got him!
Too much info, I make a mental note to laugh later at the mention of my hub wearing ‘knickers’. I am about to go have a word with them about appropriate conversation topics when I am cut short by Tash, our neighbour’s daughter,
MY DAD likes to tuck his shirt into his knickers.

Meh. Now we are even.

There was a time though, when the conversations between our daughters is tougher to deal with.
My child sent her friend home in tears once, having told her that her behaviour would make God angry. My neighbour comforts her daughter. She ensured her that God never gets angry. He never gets sad and we do not ever need to be scared of displeasing Him.

Something in my guts drop.
I disagree.

Every hour the girls spend together is locked in a battle.
My mum says God does get angry…
… my mum said He doesn’t
…yes He does!
No He doesn’t!…

I bring my debater inside, hoping the theological debates will fade into forgotten so they can play together again soon. Without battle.
I told her that she should not have told her friend that she was making God mad – rather encouraged her to do what was right. We talked about the importance and potency of our words.
It was a great chat – but she couldn’t let me go without wanting it in black and white.
does God get angry?
So I tell her that yes, our actions grieve our Great and Merciful God greatly. That his wrath is justified and that is the point of Grace.
I tell her that fearing God isn’t about being scared – but knowing that it is holiness and perfection that we are faced with. And knowing that that is a big deal.
so…. we are right and they are wrong?

that is what it is boiling down to?
What do I say to that?
My hub comes home to this mess that is tolerance, community living, unity in the body of christ… and the doctrine of grace explained to a 4yr old.
I heap my failing mess at his feet, o wise husband. Make everything ok. Glorify God our Father with what we teach our children… but don’t make the neighbours hate me!
What?! what do we tell her?
My Hub’s answer was profound and true.

“what does the Bible say?
If it is true and Biblical… we teach it to our children.
We impress it upon them
and live it by example.”

Oh.
That seems obvious enough. So why in the midst of it all… was I creating theology based in my life experience? Based on fitting in with my neighbours? Based on ‘what feels right’, ‘sounds right’ or ‘fits right’. Why was I explaining away the wrath of God, so I didn’t upset the neighbours. So we could let everyone win.

Why did I fling myself at the mercy of my husband’s human guidance, in total desperation and anxiety… when there was a shelf of the living, breathing… Word Of God… sitting there all the time?

please explain


the scene opens with the family sitting in the lounge room. waiting for the return of the hunter/gatherer (who had hunted for his car keys and was now gathering Red Rooster)
Out of lazy desperation, I switch the TV on to entertain the hungry brood in these long minutes.
Welcome into my home easy distraction. I love you.

On the TV this night was Meerkat Manor – you know the show that follows all the Meerkats and gives them names like Flower, Romeo and… I cant think of any more…
Anyway, they have names.
Its like Animal Planet meets Bold and the Beautiful.
And my daughter is enthralled by it. She is getting excited and wanting to know what these creatures are, where they live and can we get one. She then asks for an explanation, and I respond;

No honey, they are not all boys… those are their tails.
why are their tails standing up like that?
that’s just how they run…. with them sticking up like that
why don’t people have tails?
God didn’t make people with tails, so we mustn’t need one
why do meerkats need their tails?
i don’t know – maybe balance
why don’t you know?

The dialogue goes on. Most of it is Evie asking why and me, well, not really knowing why.
It is amazing how interesting the world is, and how we get to explain it to our kids.
There are a lot of questions they don’t ask though
Things they just accept because they don’t know any different.

My family, my beautiful children are going to have a difficult life in some ways. A lot of unknown things will rise before us, unsettled periods, 6months in Australia, 3years in mission… It might be a shock and a witness to my friends that we will pick up and move overseas to serve God.
It might be a witness to my neighbours that we do not value possessions, that we worship God and go to church.
But to my children, it will be all that they have ever known.
So… what I am saying… is that I need to take time to explain to my children.
I need to ground them in the truth of the bible – that they will rely on that throughout the turmoil of the mission lifestyle, I need to explain to them why it is important for us to go to church and why we do it.
I need to explain and remind my children that though they know no different – we are different.

I hope to always have dialogue with my children about our life.
About the decisions we as parents are making for them.
I pray that they understand and find joy in our sacrifices and blessings.
So that our faithfulness as parents will be transparent,
and effective in strengthening theirs.

I won’t date you


 

Ok, so I am not particularly against Date Nights themselves.

I am just not convinced on the whole – separating your marriage from your parenting – thing. I just wonder, how much of this ‘protect your marriage’ and ‘don’t let your kids get in the way’ idea is healthy for your family? Now, I am all for getting out with my hubby and spending quality time together. We have done it before and I would do it again. (I have experienced 24hour room service now… and I loved my 3am chips and gravy.
But that isn’t my point.)

…mmmm…chippies…

No… back on target.

If we have the attitude, that to make our marriage thrive = we have to take time out from our children.
Then I think we are in danger of having a skewed view of our children for one (that they are inconveniences, hindrances or even worse – stumbling blocks or adversaries of a good and happy marriage); denying them the example of a loving relationship ( a model for their marraiges and relationships in the future) for two and putting the ‘steadfastness’ (unsure if that is using that word correctly?!) of our marriages down to getting ‘time out’ or ‘romantic dates’.

I am not writing this as the perfect wifey of the perfect hubby who exist in a perfect marriage – Heck no! We had a mexican stand-off last night over Hot Chocolate. That is not marriage-maturity people!

But I am a wifey who is married and has kids. That is the stage we are at in our lives.
We are a family.
When we want to spend time together – we all go out together – we spend time all together.
Now, I believe I am a wife first, and that my first responsibility is to my husband. He is my other half and I am ‘cleaved’ to him. I am not talking about having a marriage that is solely about raising your kids, I am talking more against the world’s advice… that your marriage is a measured on your ability to make time away from your kids.

I think you can talk to your husband over pushing a swing. I think you can snuggle up and watch a movie with your kids. I think the depth of your marriage can go beyond your children’s understanding or a G rating – without having to make a distinction between when you are a wife and when you are a mother. I am ALWAYS somebody’s mum. Trust me – even at inappropriate moments, even at 1am, even when I went away for those 5days with my hubby. I was still inescapably – a mum.
But I am always wifey…even when my hubby isn’t home, even when he leaves his wet towels in the bed or is explaining some exceptionally boring story about trusses and steel frames. I might rather go and play play dough at those moments but I am wifey first.

I want to honour my husband, I want to value my children and I want us as a family to honour God.
I don’t think that these should be divided up and done separately.
I don’t think the strength of your marriage is measured by candlelit dinner, movies or weekends away. I hope that I am a loving, respectful and attentive wifey – and that this is modelled to my children.

I think the way I am a wife to my husband – is an important role in raising my children.