Updated: May 15
It used to be that Father’s Day bore the brunt of negative mid-June emotion with deadbeat dad syndrome sweeping across Fatherless America. But today, the tide has shifted and swallowed up both parents. The next wave of madness has arrived: Mother’s Day has been banned.
A New York Post article reported on a movement in public schools to ban Mother’s Day to “protect children’s feelings.” The Daily Mail reported that preschools and daycares would change the term to “Parents’ Family Day” in an effort to be more “inclusive."
One principal banned kids from making Mother’s Day cards and apologized for offending some members of their community with past Mother’s Day celebrations in an effort to “address any hurt from the past.”
A 2nd grade teacher in Tennessee inadvertently disclosed the agenda on marginalizing traditional families with her non-Mother’s Day celebration. Instead of making “I love my mommy” paper doilies, students read aloud a story about a girl with two dads. (Parents, if you have kids in public school, this is the rhetoric they’re being taught. Talk about it at home, or better yet, exit the system and join the education revolution.)
Friend, moms matter. Across every generation.
Though it’s shockingly un-PC to say it today: Maternal attachments are vital for the socio-emotional wellbeing of children. A Stanford University study of 14,000 preschoolers found that for one significant reason, preschool increases the likelihood of behavioral problems including fighting, cruelty, and destruction of property. The reason? Maternal deprivation. The earlier the care age-wise, the more the negative effects, and the longer the care, the more negative the effects: Kids who went to preschool 3 hours a day without their mom experienced negative effects, and kids who attended 6 hours a day saw a doubling of those effects.
Likewise, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found in a longitudinal study: The more time kids under 4.5 years old spend in non-maternal care, “the more behavioral problems they developed.” Problems included defiance, talking back, tantrums, and refusing to cooperate. Cortisol, the stress hormone, rises in children when they are placed in non-maternal scholastic centers outside the home. The study even showed that kids who spent more time in childcare were rated as “less socially competent by both their mothers and their kindergarten teachers.”
And yet, we persist in systems of socialization that do not have the best interests of the next generation at heart. This is one of the reasons I’m an advocate of home education and why Chula Vista Christian University is built on a home-education-driven holistic model that includes rather than excludes family support. This is why our PK program in all of our models across the US are parent-directed. Humans are embedded in social networks, and when those networks are healthy, we need to support them, not sever them.
When my generation was growing up, the word of “wisdom” from the larger culture to new mothers was that nursing a baby was inferior to feeding that baby synthetic formula. Crazy, right? Yes, this “truth” was pushed as a cultural norm, and many babies missed out on not only the natural attachment fostered by nursing but also on the antibody transmission that comes from nursing.
The secular wisdom of the day had one goal: to push an inferior product on unsuspecting parents in order to increase profits for formula companies. Never mind that God perfectly designed the mother’s body to produce the baby’s exact nutritional requirements, milk that literally changes in composition to meet the needs of the babies growing body and brain.
Finally, someone spoke up and reversed the negative media agenda, the false narrative. Now, a disclaimer is required to remind moms that their milk is best.
The same system of lies that befuddled a culture of moms in the 1970s persists today. “You’re not good enough. Let someone else train up your kids. You will ruin them. Leave them to the experts.” These are all lies birthed of the same father, the father of lies. Just as someone spoke up in the 1970s, we need to speak up today for the sake of the next generation. Why would we willingly set our children up for failure instead of success? It's time to stop normalizing nonsense.
Moms, you are the most important equation in the formula.
The early years of life are crucial to our development, as there is a time-release developmental process that occurs throughout the lifespan, a critical period where certain life lessons seem to form a mindset, a “working model,” as Bowlby (1969) called them. From ages 0-6, our attachments form. From ages 0-13, our worldview forms. These are critical periods of development that require our focus and attention.
What if your rationale for hating on Mother’s Day is because of relational fractures. Maybe you had a traumatic or fragmented relationship with your mom growing up. I did. And in adulthood, we were able to address those issues, forgive, and move on. What if, like mine, your body took ten years to heal, and you waited, year after year, one negative pregnancy test after another, for that first baby to arrive?
I understand. It’s hard. But at some point, we have to stop allowing our own lives to be stuck in the present because of the wounds of the past. This is resilience, and every generation needs it.
Unforgiveness, whether towards ourselves or others, is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person. As Bono, McCullough and Root found (2008), forgiveness is a key component to psychological well-being. They measured fluctuations in avoidance and revenge and found that the absence of these characteristics equated with more satisfaction in life, a more positive mood, and fewer negative physical symptoms.
In one of all-time favorite studies, psychologist Harry Harlow (1958) assessed social isolation in rhesus monkeys. He demonstrated that without a base of maternal love, baby monkeys would not feel secure enough to perform normal monkey behaviors such as warding off threats or exploring their primate worlds. Our nervous systems are not just psychologically but also physiologically attuned to our closest relationships.
These studies echoed findings from John Bowlby’s (1950) work on the “secure base” as well as the maternal deprivation studies at the Aspen Neurobehavioral Conference, The lack of maternal love in the early years can result in long term cognitive and socio-emotional challenges later in life. It’s that simple. We sometimes forget that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
Maybe you came from a home that didn’t value attachment. I understand that. My mother and father married and divorced seven different people, and my life was anything but stable growing up. As a result, I had to learn and heal and be mentored so that I could pass on secure attachments to my children. If I can do it, you can do it.
The number one predictor of socio-academic success is an involved parent. Period. The larger culture tries to tell us that children outgrow their parents’ influence as they reach milestones like potty training, letter formation, or bike riding, but the exact opposite is true. The more intentional time we spend with our children, from kindergarten to college, the more successful our children will be in every sphere of life! If there’s one singular action that has the latent capacity to shift the culture of our nation, I believe homeschooling is that agent of change. Because at its core, that’s what homeschooling truly is: an invitation to relationship. It’s academic discipleship, and with a refocus on faith and family, I believe we can shift the culture.
Friends, we’ve got to get back to basics and stop allowing the anti-faith, anti-family government school system to rewrite reality. Whether you’re a mom of toddlers, tweens, or teens, whether you’re a mom or grandmother in the present or the future tense, let me say to you today what is now impermissible in the public arena:
Happy Mother’s Day.
Dr. Lisa Dunne is a lifelong homeschooler, author, academy founder, and the president of Chula Vista Christian University. She is on a mission to help parents break free of the traditional education system. She has written several books, including her latest work, Outsourced: Why America’s Kids Need an Education Revolution. Her radio show airs every Saturday at 10:30 pm and her podcast is The Communication Architect. She has been married to her British husband, Adrian, for 32 years, and they homeschooled their children from kindergarten through college. Learn more about her work at CVCU.us and her corporate coaching at DrLisaDunne.com.