Category Archives: Advice for Families
If you listened to the last episode, Cultures Revisited, you could tell that it was recorded while I was in a moving vehicle and you could hear some noise and children crying in the background. My apologies please! Let me explain: About 20 minutes before the scheduled recording time, an unplanned family matter needed my urgent attention. Luckily, I was able to get someone to drive the van so that I could sit in the back and record the show. As you know, this program is all about family and at that moment I had to attend to a family emergency and still keep up with the scheduled recording, a typical example of multiple tasking we face once in a while. I am using this opportunity to apologize for the poor recording quality of the last show. I will try to avoid such confusion next time.
In this episode, we looked at how culture affects marriage in our society. We will start with the negative impacts and if time allows, we will delve into the positives. Please listen to the replay and leave a comment on our website: www.amaracares.wordpress.com. Thank you.
For more information about upcoming courses, please visit www.drmotherlove.com.
Dr. Mother Love
P.S. You can share the replay with others at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctormotherlove/2018/02/01/lets-talk-about-family-cultures-revisited-part-2
Happy New Year!
Please listen to the replay of our latest episode, Let’s Talk About Family: The Roles of Other Family Members.
Please excuse the short interruption at the beginning of the call. These shows are live!
This is the last episode on this topic. We have discussed the roles of the husband, wife, children, in-laws, and have highlighted their positive and negative impacts on the functioning of the family. Now we will wrap it up by considering how other extended family members influence the family’s stability, identity, unity and success. We received a few questions and comments about in-law relationships. We will address these in this last episode. Then we will move on to other topics that affect the family in various ways: challenges that are caused by the changing trends and roles, expectations, and surprises in relationship and marriage matters. How family members are adjusting, coping, and hoping for a brighter future will also be reviewed.
Please join us in these interesting discussions. Questions, comments, and suggestions are always appreciated. Invite a friend to listen if possible. Thank you.
Dr. Mother Love
The replay is ready of our latest episode of Let’s Talk About Family: In-Laws!
-Dr. Mother Love
The replay of our latest Blog Talk Radio Show: Dr. Mother Love on Love–Let’s Talk about Family and the Woman’s Role is ready. Click here to listen!
Today, we start with woman’s role in the family, but first, this last comment about man’s role: Family matters are very dear to me and should be to everybody because family is where everybody and everything begins and ends. It takes a man, woman and kids to form the nuclear enclave and embraces the extended members to complete the healthy network that keeps the family sound, stable and successful, (the SSS code). It also takes a committed team to build a sound family, but just one bad egg can mess up everything. As we have discussed at length, the man, the natural head of the family, has the greatest responsibility for maintenance and balance. I hope he will continue to live up to this expectation.
Now comes the woman. Among other attributes, she brings into the marriage and her new family her natural gifts of wisdom, grace, patience and fairness to all in the family including herself. She is the neck that rocks the head and pilots the family on a daily basis. Are most women meeting these expectations? Yes and No! Just like men, women have flaws and challenges influenced somehow by upbringing, marital environment, culture and the society she finds herself. How she handles her situation is key to the success or failure of the entire family. Some cultures do not give women the credit they deserve but their role in the family has been vital from time immemorial. This reminds me of my great-aunt’s advice about marriage: “Go there and kill every family member with kindness; that it takes only a devIl not to reciprocate.” She did not know that there are almost as many devils as angels to go round. Such is the reality of our human society.
Let me narrate my meeting with the wife of the man I talked about in the last episode. He claimed that he used silence and indifference to “protect himself” from abuse and disrespect from his wife and children. So I promised him that I will have a chat with his wife, and I did.
Here is the summary of our discussion: I introduced myself, summarized my encounter with her husband and asked for her honest response. It took some time to get her to open up, with tears flowing down her cheeks. Right there, I could see a frustrated, disappointed and broken woman.
Slowly, painfully, reluctantly and cautiously she gave me a short history of her life in this family.
At age 19, she got married 18 years ago to her high school sweetheart, her first and only love, the oldest son in a family of ten. He was 25, vibrant and full of life and hope. The first few years were great until the kids started coming. “After the arrival of our first two daughters and a third one on the way, my husband changed into a monster, irritable, impatient and demeaning in words and deeds. Our kids became ‘your girls’. He cared less and teased all of us with utmost meanness. Gradually the girls became withdrawn, avoided him and used me as their only shield. To protect these three innocent girls, I had to become a different woman, bringing out the worst in me, talkative, insulting, insensitive, critical, ungrateful, defensive– you name it, all in self-defense. He would take off for days and come back with no explanation or apology.
I had to abandon the virtues I was raised with and took on a thick skin to protect myself and the girls from emotional abuse from him and his family especially his mother who saw my daughters as unwanted strangers because of their gender.”
She burst into heavy tears and I had to stop her from talking and consoled her.
Both sides of the story left me with many thoughts and unanswered questions about relationship, marriage, family and cultural influence on value system.
These give us enough issues to think about till the next episode when we will try to make some sense of this problem and see how women deal with their realities in the family.
Please continue listen or visit our Facebook Group: Positive Family Front, and post your comments and questions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PositiveFamilyFront/
Dr. Mother Love.
This is the content of my last monthly Blog Talk Radio show, ” Dr. Mother Love on Love: Let’s Talk about Family. It is all about Love, Relationships and Family Matters. We started a few months ago with analyzing the basic make up of the family unit, that is members and their roles in making or breaking the family fabric. We have been talking about the man, the natural family head, and supposedly the provider, protector, and role model as ordained by the Creator.
Love is a MUSCLE that must be flexed correctly by all members to keep everything going well. How are we flexing this love and kindness muscle? I just wonder! If time allows, we will conclude the role of the man today so we can move over to the woman’s role, otherwise we carry it over to one more episode.
How is the man handling his family? He may surely be providing and protecting but is he also role modeling? Will his kids always want to be like Dad? It all depends on the feedback they are getting from Dad’s lifestyle.
Unlike the media that usually portrays the negative sides of stories in order to catch people’s attention and interest, (you know that bad stories make news), this show brings out both sides of every story in fairness to all concerned. Undeniably, most men are doing their best to keep the family going, but in many cases, some of the family members’ sanity and prestige are torn down by the very head that should be building them up. This can be done intentionally or ignorantly by the choices he makes. When I claim that I have a soft spot for men, I am not kidding. This is because most men are innocently clueless about what really keeps a relationship alive and healthy. Man’s nature of simplicity and lack of intimate communication skills put a burden on relationships. To some extent, one can blame this on nature and nurture: how men are wired and how family and society have conditioned them by expectations and orientation as males in contrast to females. On the other hand, women’s tendency to over-analyze issues and worry unnecessarily are equally problematic. So we must find a way to balance things in order to benefit all.
An ideal family man knows when to pay attention to little but vital details about his family matters. He knows when and how to maintain the sanity and integrity of family members by his words and actions. This is where most men have challenges. Material provisions are vital but emotional support of every member and stabilizes the family fabric and ensures allegiance, trust and respect for the man. It baffles me to find out how clueless some men are about what goes on in their families and have no apologies about this. To a great man of the family, all things matter, especially things affecting the sanity and functioning of members. Sometimes, cultural influence plays a major role in distorting man’s roles in family and relationship matters. This is where redirection and value clarification are most needed for damage control before it is too late. The resulting crisis and confusion are breaking up families and destroying relationships. In some cultures, men are taught to be physically strong, show little emotion, and be very stingy with dishing out compliments, especially to women and children. Most of the time, this shuts men down and keeps their true feelings bottled up within, only to explode in violence when it reaches its limits.
I had an opportunity to interview one of such men dealing with this kind of trapped situation: He told me that keeping quiet was his safest strategy to avoid being accused, blamed or insulted. His wife scolds him like a child, in front of their children and so they have no respect for him, though he continues to be the breadwinner. He is very angry, frustrated, disappointed and discouraged and rightly so, and so should any man be in a similar situation. Doesn’t this sound familiar in many families? We need to prevent such ungrateful attitudes that scare young men away from marriage. This is just one side of the story. The other side needs to be heard too! Every family has different challenges though; some common factors are handled by adult members make or break the family.
I will address the wife’s problem when we get to women’s roles. For now, my point it that there is no smoke without fire and the best thing is to get to the root of the problem to know how to address it. Family is the fabric of every society and must be protected by all means. We cannot ignore problems threatening its survival.
In the next episode, we will conclude on man’s role and start with the woman. Please join us. We appreciate comments and feedback.
Dr. Mother Love
Welcome to the show!
In case you missed it, please listen in to the latest episode of Let’s Talk About Family.
Love is a muscle, and the man is a provider and protector, but also a role model in the family.
Dr. Mother Love
As we keep analyzing manhood and man’s role in the family, I would like to echo Eric Metaxas’s view about manhood. He is a Christian biographer and his two important questions are:
- “What is a man?
- “What makes a great man?”
His answers relate to our subject matter: man’s role in the family. His views are are reflected in this discussion.
As many people would agree, the very concept of manhood has changed and fallen into confusion in the last few decades. I was raised with a notion of man as next to God in the family hierarchy, but these days, that notion seems questionable, leaving me more confused, disappointed and somehow skeptical. I wonder whether I was brainwashed about manhood and manliness. No matter how confused, I refuse to give up on my values and beliefs about men, without a fight to defend, justify, or at least critically analyze them to an extent. Many people who know me well (especially my fellow women), wonder why I am so stuck with trying to justify men’s actions even when those actions make no sense.
My explanation has always been that men by nature are “innocently” clueless about relationship matters and must therefore be given some benefit of the doubt, and I do not rush into their condemnation. That is why one of my passions in life is to get the trust of men so they can open up and get help.
Having given my reasoning about loving men, let me continue my take on men and family. So what is it about men that was instilled in me as a child? In addition to being providers, I was assured that men use their toughness, strength and thick build (naturally big, huge and muscular), to protect the weak. In my generation, women never went to war or participated in tough physical activities, sports, or jobs, and I could understand why. Men were always tough and strong but never bullies who hurt people in any way.
In my opinion, these qualities make men great, desirable and attractive. Their presence anywhere, especially in the family arena, should be reassuring and representative of God’s presence to watch over His creation. Is this the feeling of most family members about the men in their lives? I just wonder especially with the escalating trend of domestic violence! If not, why not, and how can we restore that secured feeling of “blessed assurance”? Could this missing factor be the root of the current decadence in family and society at large?
Having men as role models and heroes has always been important historically until very recently (unfortunately). Why does a man not give up his family name, while in most cultures, a woman does and assumes her man’s name instead? Who wants to assume the name of a man who has negative impact on family and society? Men’s lives should be great and worthy of emulation, and should be a vital way of helping a new generation know what it should be aiming at. Somehow this concept has changed in recent years. What really happened? What went wrong? Where have all our good men gone, and if they are still around (as I am sure they are), why are they so silent and ineffective in positively influencing the family and society as we expect?
Part of what happened is that we have adopted the idea, ( especially in the civilized world), that no one is really in a position to say what’s right or wrong. So we adopt the “less affair” attitude of “who am I to judge others?” Even when vices like Infidelity and Related Sins (I&RS), are destroying the family and society, we look away! We have become suspicious of authority and leaders in our quest for freedom and advancement. We seem to have lost confidence (and sometimes justifiably so), in governance, even at the family level. We are therefore suffering the resulting consequences and challenges of personal and societal irresponsibility. We have been programmed in taking pleasure more in focusing on the negative aspects and weaknesses of our leaders at all levels, starting with the man’s leadership of his family. No wonder we seem to have little or no patience and no confidence in whatever he does or how much he contributes to his family. Instead of gratitude and encouragement, most of us (through our words, actions and omissions), tend to weaken the man’s zeal and ego, rendering him even less effective as a role model for his children. In some cases, we are justified, but I feel that we should give men more of a chance, help, and benefit of the doubt, instead of being quick to condemn them. In such situations, most men give up and flee. This creates a vacuum and virtuous cycle in generations to come. I am not supporting irresponsible behavior but rather pleading for patience with them as we find solutions.
So the very idea of legitimate authority has been damaged at all levels starting from the family. We have gone from the extreme of being naive to the other extreme of being cynical. At the family level, we could say that we have gone all the way from foolishly accepting all man’s authority to foolishly rejecting it totally, like a person who was so wounded or betrayed by a member of the opposite sex that he no longer trusts anyone of that sex. This is a bad place to end up, and in our culture we are paying a harsh price or it in various ways ranging from dysfunction in the family to decay in the society.
People still need heroes and role models. There are still many lives that are good examples and we need to seek them out and use them to restore and strengthen the weakened fabrics of family and global society. This is the goal of these posts. I am still optimistic that we can find more of such good men who will inspire our future generations to emulate them. This is the true love of our human society.
In the next episode, we will define what real manhood is and explore how to instill these positive and vital values in young men for the sake of family and society. Please do not miss the next episode.
Dr. Mother Love
I’m excited to announce my next Blog Talk Radio show will be on 4/7/17 at 1:30 PM PST, 4:30 PM EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctormotherlove/2017/04/07/dr-mother-love-on-love-lets-talk-about-family-love-is-a-muscle
Join me as I discuss the following questions:
- How is Love a muscle?
- How should the man go about flexing the Love muscle?
- What do you think is the cause of violence (flexing Love negatively) in the family, with people hurting those they say they love?
- How can this be prevented or reduced?
Don’t forget to follow the blog here at www.amaracares.com and Like, Comment, or Share!
–Dr. Mother Love
I am proud to reveal the name of my new Blog Talk Radio Show: Let’s Talk About Family.
Why this name? No matter what I do and how much I try to venture into other areas, my interest, passion and energy always bounce back to family matters. This passion for family started a long, long time ago: As a teenager, my family and I spent three agonizing years in a refugee camp during the Nigerian Civil war. That’s when it dawned on me at that early age that family really matters. Once that vital family glue is disrupted in any way for whatever reason, dysfunction creeps in and destroys everybody and everything, from the family members to the society at large. This fact, evident in our present everyday life, is even more validated with worsening challenges faced by families. What is therefore more important to talk about than family?
Modern technology has narrowed the world into a small global village, making it easy to see and feel the similarities and differences in challenges faced by families everywhere. A non-intimidating platform is needed for exposing, analyzing and addressing these challenges. This is exactly what I plan to provide in this blog show and post.
Back in Nigeria in the 1980’s, I used to enjoy a popular weekly TV/Radio Show called, “Let’s Talk about Love”. The show provided a comfortable platform for dialogue about any and every aspect of love. The show appealed to both the young and the old in that society as it addressed issues that affected all. The impact on the community was positive and visible. I hope to use a similar approach to delve into family matters that affect all of us no matter where we were born or where we are raising our family.
We will no longer be silent and let the sleeping dog lie. It is time to talk about anything that challenges us to survive as families. Those factors that tend to tear down the fabric of the family will be dealt with appropriately. A major focus will be on culture and its impact on the family. From time to time as the issue arises, we will revisit some aspects of our culture with the goal to treasure the good ones, trash the bad ones and just transform those in between for every one’s benefit.
Since I was raised by men and still believe in the values instilled in me despite all valid reasons to change my mind, I will also use this platform to redirect, reignite and reassure men that they are still much loved, much needed and much appreciated by their loved ones and society. This damage control is vital in healing and restoring the ego of most males now traumatized by the current trend of “role reversal”, threatening to diminish their importance in family society. Hopefully, I will be able to use my message to meet men where they are and walk them back to where they belong for better life for all. Please visit my websites and look out for the schedules of topics of interest to you. Share the message and be blessed!
Please stay tuned for details about the first show.
Happy New Year!