What does it take to be a good mom?

Isobel - posted on 11/26/2010 ( 61 moms have responded )

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(Inspired by another thread)

Is love really enough? Or are there other requirements?

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[deleted account]

Wow A Lorraine Bretzin! I know God, love God, and follow Him to the best of my ability (most of the time... I am human after all) and my relationship w/ Jesus Christ is EXTREMELY important to me.... as many of the women here know, I make no apologies for my beliefs, but you are being extremely rude and disrespectful. Yes, God IS love, but that doesn't mean that people that don't know Him are incapable of love or incapable of being excellent parents.



As for the OP... I do believe that love is the most important ingredient of a good parent, but it certainly isn't the only one. Being able to provide a safe and stable (as stable as possible, in some circumstances) environment, providing for your child's basic needs (even if needing assistance for this at times... at least get it done), taking care of medical and educational needs, etc... are all important. Now, because of MY beliefs, I also think the spiritual education/church exposure is critical, but I also understand and respect that not everyone agrees on that issue.

Krista - posted on 11/27/2010

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Loving God, if you don't love God then you don't love.

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Besides, what would you know about love? If you have love in your heart, you do not judge others. And for you to sit there and say that those who do not share your faith are incapable of love? Extremely judgmental. You've got some thinking to do, lady -- you've got so much pride in your heart that you've crowded out any room for actual love.

Amie - posted on 11/26/2010

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To be a good mom does require more than love.

You need to be a good listener, especially when they are older. If you don't know how to listen, you can not communicate effectively.

You need to know how to mend wounds, physically and emotionally.

You need to know how to guide and teach, without being a total dictator.

You need to know how to let go bit by bit, trust in the lessons you have taught them.

You need to have good arms for hugs and cuddles.

You need a sense of humor, not all things (especially child rearing) need to be taken seriously 100% of the time.

You need to be flexible, not everything can be scheduled in.

You need to be open minded, one day your child will challenge your ideas with their own.

You need to know how to cook, it does not matter if it's a gourmet meal or just a few recipes. Kids need sustenance.

You need to be organized, if you know where everything is life runs smoother.

You need to have that air of magic, your children think you can see through walls and have the power to make all things better with a hug and a kiss.

You need money, money provides the roof over their heads, the clothes they wear, the food on the table, the heat/water/gas running.

That's all I can think of right now. I'll go read some replies and see if I think of anything else.

Isobel - posted on 11/26/2010

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A. Lorraine Bretzin, I beg to differ...the moment my children were born I knew love...I need no fairy tales to teach me that...and I agree with Amanda, it takes more than love to be a good mother.



Many terrible abusive mothers love their children...not knowing how to take care of them is something different.



*edited for a silly typo

[deleted account]

Of course there are other requirements to being a good mom, just like there's got to be more than just love to a marriage. Love doesn't pay the bills. It doesn't keep the house clean. It doesn't keep everyone happy all the time. If we could live entirely off of love...well, that'd be a perfect world. I don't know exactly what makes a mother a good one, because I haven't had the experience yet, but...

I dunno....

Huh, I just read the first page comments...Wow, that first poster was kinda silly, I think...No offense, I'm all for Christianity and all, but...Kinda rude to say people who aren't Christian can't love. Really makes me want to be a Christian even more, seeing a Christian talk like that...

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[deleted account]

ps ... if you love your kids... you will do what it takes to give them a good and stable upbringing, which includes basic provisions such as food, education etc. So, if your talking about real love, love is enough. Because love is a motivator and backbone of all the other important parts of being a "good" mother :-) I guess because everyone has a different view on exactly what love is, we wont all have the same answer. Depending on your version of love, depends on weather or not it is enough. My version of love is enough. Coz its a doing word not just a saying or feeling word. i hope that makes sense :-)

Gina - posted on 12/02/2010

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Wow, A.Lorraine Bretzin,Just wow. Laura I love your answer, I agree, but I also think love plays a huge part,and patience. Surely when your 12 year old is doing everything you told her not to to do, and she gets grounded, when she yells she hates you and slams the door, isn't the fact that you didn't sell her on E-BAY prove you're a good mum? lol

Sal - posted on 12/02/2010

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having just read through the answers i an in shock......if you don't believe in god your not a good mum.....OMG is this 2010 or not???? if god is important to you that is wonderful, if it is where you get your insperation and find your peace and moral guide great, but please don't try and tell me that with out god i suck as a parent!!!! i know some wonderful people who are faithful and regular church goers, i know some wonderful parents who never set foot inside a church and i know some complete arsewipes who go to church and think that passing on their bigoted views and medievil opinions onto their children is good parenting- they are wrong....religion ad being a good parent are not interchangabe, they are independent choices we make...love, common sence, practical skills and the desire to teach your children what they need to grow to be great adults is what it takes to be a good parent, Am i a good mum? i have my days and i hope that i will have enough of them to makes wonderful kids in the long run,

Sal - posted on 12/01/2010

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sometimes i think the best tool would be a hearing aid, it really is the noise that gets me down,,,,,

Leah - posted on 12/01/2010

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It takes a lot to be a good mom - not just the roof, clothes, shoes, and food...it takes a lot more! Patience, Love, Kindness, Understanding - you have to put your kids before anything else...there needs are met before your own! I do not go anywhere without my son. Being a good mom is hard work and time consuming! I wouldn't change my job for anything!

Being the best mom you can be at all times. Be supportive, providing, loving, & have as much patience as you can. Most of all GIVE them alllll the love you can each day!

Patricia - posted on 11/30/2010

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I LOVE my kids unconditionally no matter what they put me through growing up...that love was always there just as it is now...however do they really truly know HOW MUCH I love them...Hmmm? Thats the question of the century! lol
OK Moms here it is.....I say what I mean and MEAN whatever I say....so here it goes!! lol
I am convinced that while my children were at the age of depending upon me....my "LOVE" was enough! But now that they have families of their own...only call when they need their battery jumped...help I need money....or Mom I feel sick....I am now convinced they will only realize exactly how much we have sacrificed for them and HOW MUCH we truly LOVED them....when we are 6 ft under.....sad but the way I see it.... :-(
( not sure if that was in reference to this question but I feel better I got it off my mind...lol )

Meghan - posted on 11/30/2010

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I am going to say respect is a big thing too. I don't let my son rule the roost, but he is a human being and deserves to be heard, acknowledged and appreciated for the individual he is.

Nikki - posted on 11/29/2010

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Do you think I can say LOVE any more times in one paragraph! lol I think I might love her a little!

Nikki - posted on 11/29/2010

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Love on two different levels for me, loving my daughter unconditionally and loving being a mum, I love being a mum so much that above all I will put everything I can into being a positive role model and ensure she grows up with the best possible start in life. Patience, understanding, respect, autonomy, empathy, nurturing are all part of the love I have for her and for being her mum. Everything I do stems from love, so in some respects, for my situation I think that love is enough because it gives me purpose.

[deleted account]

omg I can't shut up. it does not take money to be a good mom. many people live in poverty and are able to parent well and pass on healthy values, beliefs and ethics to their children. hey, I'll bet some of them don't even believe in 'god.'

[deleted account]

sorry not the point laura...people that practice the jewish faith believe in god. not criticising cause I get where you're coming from and the point and I LOVE it. I guess all muslims are bad moms. and a million other religions too. now I say pardon me for interrupting.

[deleted account]

Love, trust and honesty. And I think believe in your own ability is important. To not let others get you down. Everyone is different and have different beliefs, understandings, homes, families etc. I personally don't think that religion makes a person who they truly are. I know plenty of people who say they are religious but do things to defy that all the time. But I think mainly my first line. If you are happy, your child(ren) are happy, then you are a good mother/father. ^-^

Veronica - posted on 11/29/2010

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I think Love is the backbone to being a good mother. We grew up with tough love -- I wouldn't say my parents were strict - persay -- but they were very firm about rules, dos and donts, what we couuld and couldnt do - it wasnt to deprive us of stuff, or to humiliate us, or keep us guarded from anything --- they made the choices they did, because they LOVE us.
I'm the same with my children - I take every day - day by day -- I deal with the scenario at hand.
I make the decisions i make, based on whether or not something will be beneficial to my children. Food - what is the healthier choice? Clothes - where are we going, what is appropriate?
Discipline depends on what happened - do i spank, time out, talk, take away privelages?
Communicating: This one took me a bit - but now, i do a lot of listening, and talking with my kids. I pay attention to their needs more and more, and it makes it soo much easier!
We have values and morals - and I want my children to grow up with these - If they choose to believe in something else as adults, Im fine with that - but for now, I feel I am responsible for building that foundation with my kids - same with our beliefs/faith -- I will build a foundation of our believes -- if our children decide later to search/seek out something else, that will be their perogative.
Everything we do, the decisions we make, the actions we take - are all based on our love for our children - for their safety, well-being. I feel this is the base for everything we do. If you didnt love your children, i dont see how the rest can really follow -- i think even good foster parents/adopters - have some type of love - maybe not the same love as a bio. mother has for their own child -- but I think they have the love of a child at heart regardless, or the love of taking care of someone else.

SO - to answer the original answer - I dont think Love is enough -- but I do think Love is the basis of all the rest.

[deleted account]

I agree with everything about patience and not being their friend. But i feel that all of those things come from love. So i do believe that Love is the most important thing we can give our children. Love though on it's own is not enough but again with out the love where would the patience,balance,Humility,Empathy,Tolerance,Kindness,Desire,Optimism,Understanding,Discipline and teaching come from?
IMO with out love we wouldn't be able to do all this for our children.

Tracey - posted on 11/29/2010

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Sometimes love isnt enough. Love isnt going to keep them safe,it isnt going to teach them between good and evil, love is a huge part but isnt the be all and end all. Of course you have to love them and it makes being a good mom easier but you have to do a lot more.

Jackie - posted on 11/28/2010

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my other comment got deleted. (it's ok I saw it coming) so I'll just leave out the 'shove it up your ass' part and say that I agree with Laura and Krista E :P

Jodi - posted on 11/28/2010

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There are so many things it takes to being a good mom! Being a good mom is doing the best by your children to the best of your capabilities. Having is patience is necessary, understanding, empathy and so so much more!
But, I agree with Carol, you don't have to have love to be a good mom...what about foster moms? They probably don't instantly "love" every foster child that comes through, but they supply everything the child needs, including empathy, a listening and understanding ear etc etc (or should anyways, there are bad foster parents out there just like there are bad biological parents.) I also think that sometimes, to be a good mom ALL it takes is love...that pretty much only applies to parents who give their child up for adoption...in order to give their child the best life possible.
There are many different ways to be a good mom!

Johnny - posted on 11/28/2010

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After reading this thread again, I am more certain than I was before that love (unconditional/agape love even) is not a necessity for good mothering. Obviously, almost all mothers feel this deep, undying love for their children, but it is definitely not enough on its own to make a good mother. The tiny percentage of mothers who do not have this connection to their child, may be capable of providing all the other support and care that has been mentioned in this thread as being part of love. Unconditional support, controlling negative emotions, good role model, good provider, good nurturer, and all of the other stuff mentioned. All of those tasks are entirely possible to successfully achieve without love.

It is very hard for me to understand, the moment my daughter was born, I felt the most intense, deep love I've ever known. It grows every day. However, one of my friends, a dear, sweet, and kind woman has completely failed to emotionally bond with love to her children. She has sought help for this "affliction", been medicated, psycho-analyzed etc. She is a fantastic mother. Her son is 7 and her daughter is 4. They are very happy kids, well-adjusted, confident, well cared for, and they are connected deeply to their mother. You'd never know it if you met her or saw them all together that she has been battling this demon since her eldest was born. It has been a dark and terrible road, and a couple people in whom she has confided have rejected her and think that she is a psychopath. If I hadn't known her, and discussed this at length with her, and known her kids, I might too think love was an absolute necessity for being a good mom, but now, I think it is a gift we get and should use well.

Amanda - posted on 11/28/2010

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WOW. What does it take to be a mom? I would need DAYS to answer to this question.

A quote I live by: "Your children will be come what you are - so be what you want them to be"

So for me, being a good role model is where it all starts.

Being a good mom doesn't mean you have to be perfect either. NO ONE in this world is perfect. The imperfect parts of humans is what makes us unique and individual.

Being a good mom:
Providing a safe, warm place to live that is clean
Providing good food (by good I mean not a lot of junk food.) Learning about food and what they should and shouldn't be eating BUT you have to follow this rule as well. Remember - role model. So telling your kids, sorry you can't have pepsi - and then you pop open a can...not exactly model behaviour.

Listening to your child. Loving the best way you know how. Doing what is best for your child (and many times is not what YOU want to do but you have to do what is best for them, and this sometimes may mean sacrifice on your part).

Stay in a continued state of learning. Learn about safer products, healthier products, the more you learn and know the better decisions you can make.

But really it all just comes down to being their for your child and loving them. A good mom is always worrying about whether she's doing a good job :)

[deleted account]

depends on what kind of love.
the worlds kind of love is not enough. because it is based on feelings. and feelings are temporary and therefore subject to change. So that kind of love is not lasting. its on and off and depends on how your feeling that day. whats happening in your life, and how your kids are treating you.
this love fails. it is not enough.

but real love is called "Agape Love". This is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. this is all you need. because this kind of love...triggers everything else neccessary for being a good mum. this love is:
patient, kind, always willing to think the best of your kids, loves them enough to discipline when needed, consistently joyful even in hard times, not selfish, looking out for the needs of your family over your own needs or wants, putting kids first priority, not up yourself, not too prideful to admit when your wrong, peaceful not wanting to argue or cause strife but wanting to resolve things quickly. slow to anger, able to be self controled when emotions are high, organised, sincere, encouraging, affectionate and much much more.

of course this is all impossible to achieve if your living via your emotions or via the media's version of love. But if your living by unconditional love...then your love has become more than a fleeting feeling. it is a CHOICE. you choose to love. choose to love your children beyond feelings. one minute "aww what sweethearts, i couldnt live without them" the next minute "shut up you brats i cant handle this anymore, just piss off!" ....
conditional love. not enough, and damaging to your kids.

we all stuff up sometimes. to one degree or another, but if you have made a quality decision, and purposed in your heart to love your children for real. unconditionally and genuinely with nothing in it for you but all for them. if you have this heart towards them, you will rarely mess up... and when you do its a simple as an apology because your children know, without a shadow of a doubt, that mummy loves them.

Tara - posted on 11/28/2010

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I found a reply I made to a mom who asked a similar question a few months back.
Here you go.
I believe in being the "good enough" mom. To me this means:

I don't do everything for them, that I don't give them every minute of my time, I don't spend tons of money on them, I don't feed them a completely nutritious diet all the time. (the ones eating food that is!) I'm selfish sometimes, I listen to what I want on the car radio and I don't share dessert. I also don't kiss every boo boo or run when I hear them cry.
But.. This also means:
I care about how they feel, I talk to them and and help them learn how to make good choices, I teach them rather than doing things for them, it builds confidence and responsibility, I spend time doing things we both enjoy with them, I read to them, I provide a fun place to learn and grow, I allow for self-expression and individuality, I trust that my children will be good people because I set that example.

Being a good enough mom means balance. It means to remember that you are a woman and you are human and you are not just mom.
We all feel some ambivalence and uncertainty about our most important role. The key is to keep learning and allowing your child to be your teacher.

:)Tara

Tara - posted on 11/28/2010

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Being good enough.
Having balance.
Being a woman as well as a mom.
Being confident in your own abilities.
Humility.
Empathy.
Tolerance.
Patience.
Respect for other mothers.
Kindness.
Desire.
Optimism.
Understanding.
Discipline and teaching.
Love for self.

Chrystal - posted on 11/27/2010

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I think there are other requirements. Love is the number one requirement though. But I believe love, patience, understanding and definitely discipline and structure.

Nikki - posted on 11/27/2010

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It seems that A Lorraine has been scared off, obviously God didn't give her courage and determination to stand up for her own beliefs!!

Amie you said it all so well.

Lacye - posted on 11/27/2010

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To be a good mom, IMO you have to have patience, I know that is probably not the right way to spell that but I am a horrible speller anyways. You have to love your child, have faith in them, be able to support them, financially and emotionally. You have to put them first before all of your needs. You have to be able to teach them what is right and what is wrong. Take time to spend with them and also give them some room to grow as an individual. I also think God should be an important part of a child's life.

Rosie - posted on 11/27/2010

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i think A Lourraine may think she IS god. jebus that was possibly the most retarded answer (good choice of words carol) for the question asked.

i believe love is first, but without stability, consistancy, and the best interests of your children always coming first, it doesn't mean all that much.

[deleted account]

I've always put needs first. What a child needs is always more imprtant than what a parent needs. It's important to distinguish between need and want though. I don't believe a child's wants should always come before everyone elses wants.



We always try to provide a healthy deit, a safe home, chores, education, fun playtimes and family days out. Those things in themselves don't produce perfect moms, but they are good enough.



I don't think love on it's own is always enough. I've got no doubt that some neglectful parents love their kids, but for some reason they don't provide for their basic needs.

Tah - posted on 11/27/2010

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a glass of wine...patience, caring, understanding, a good sense of humor and i still vote for love. I also beleive in and Love God, i may not agree with other people's views and choices the same way they dont agree with mine, but i would never go as far as to say that they don't love their children.

Krista - posted on 11/27/2010

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What does it take to be a good mom?

Lots of love, lots of patience, lots of caffeine. The ability to keep remembering that your children are their own people, and not little extensions of yourself. A genuine desire to help them grow into productive, happy, healthy adults. A sense of humour is also pretty crucial.

Charlie - posted on 11/26/2010

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A. Lorraine Bretzin -. I just believe if you don't believe in God which God is LOVE, than you don't know Love

That is probably one of the most ridiculous , narrow minded things I have ever heard .

Jenny - posted on 11/26/2010

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I also loved Laura's list.



I'll add not being obsessed with being your child's friend. We have to make unpopular decisions and stick with 'em.



Ensuring your child knows, no matter what, there will always be one person in life who ALWAYS has their back.

Johnny - posted on 11/26/2010

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Well, I am not entirely certain exactly what does make up a good mother, but I am not certain that "love" is actually a requirement. I know that sounds strange, and I personally love my kid beyond reason, but I think that someone can be a good parent without it. A person who provides all the necessities of life, nurtures the child's heart and soul, provides solace and support, good moral grounding, and tender care can do all of those things without love. Most moms feel their love for their children so deeply that it is next to impossible to imagine that a good mother could do without, but I do think it is possible.



Love, is also, quite often, not nearly enough.



I am absolutely completely and totally certain however that belief in God is in no way a requirement for being a good mother. On that, I have no doubt or equivocation and I believe that may be one of the most retarded and offensive comments I've read on COM in quite some time. A belief in God is likely a support and a guide for a good many women in being good mothers, but I imagine that even most deeply faithful people would agree that if they lost that faith, they would not lose their love for their children.

Charlie - posted on 11/26/2010

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I also want to say love is FULL of good intention but isn't neccissarily always the best for the child , yes it is essential but geeze some of the things parents do to their children in the name of love is crazy good parenting also should include logic and empathy .

[deleted account]

I like your response Laura. I certainly think I'm a good mom (definitely a lot of areas that need improvement, but like I said... I'm human). I don't color w/ them and I HATE laundry and some of the other things Amanda mentioned, but my kids are well loved, well fed, have clean clothes in decent condition, go to school and do their work... and do it well, go to the doctor when they need to, etc... I don't 'do' a lot of fun stuff w/ them. I have no problem admitting that I am not a 'fun' mom, but I DO make sure they get to do fun stuff w/ plenty of other people that also love them. That's about all I can think of at the moment, but it certainly isn't all. :)

[deleted account]

WOW! THAT was funny.....do you think she'll be back? I just had to comment so I can follow this thread. I'll be back with my thoughts tomorrow. Another good one, Laura!

Isobel - posted on 11/26/2010

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The original question was actually "what makes you a good mother"

my response was

The fact that I want them to grow to be everything that they can be.

The fact that I believe that their rights are just as important if not more important than mine.

The fact that I sacrifice to make sure that they are warm and fed AND educated.

The fact that want them to become productive members of society.

The fact that I want them to be able to CHOOSE the profession which makes them whole as an adult.

The fact that I encourage them to learn about ALL things in the world and disagree with me if that's where their education and beliefs lead.
..................................

when I returned the question her answer was that she loved her children.

so...what makes YOU a good mom?

Amanda - posted on 11/26/2010

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I think that every mom has to have unconditional love. They also have to love to color, can sit through a cartoon of the childs choice, they have to be able to crawl through teeny tiny kid sized tunnels. They have to love chicken nuggets and french fries! They need to enjoy bubblebaths and wet floors! They must enjoy laundry as well as smudged walls and dirty floors. They need to touch up on their basic school subjects for homework time, and they need to memorize nursery rhymes! I think that's what makes a good mom! I love doing everything and anything the kids do! I love being creative and making up stories and plays with them! I love video games with my son and dress up and hosue with my girls! I think that any mom who gives her heart and soul and does whatever she can to keep them happy is a good mom! It's not about what you spend on them financially but how you spend time emotionally!!!

[deleted account]

I agree with everything Teresa said...about loving God and about what it takes to be a good mom.



Love is number one. But there needs to be some sort of common sense, consistency, stability thrown in there too.

Isobel - posted on 11/26/2010

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it was the end of the home schooling thread...somebody asked me why I thought I was a good mother, after I gave all my reasons, and I asked them the same in return she said that she loved her kids...happy reading

ME - posted on 11/26/2010

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Wow...Okay...

I think love IS enough; I actually don't buy the idea that abusive women "love" their children. Abuse requires a level of pathology and narcissism that precludes love ...but I think that parents who possess a specific set of skills, and knowledge can be extremely beneficial to a child/family.

A. Lorraine - posted on 11/26/2010

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Keep following your fairy tails : ) and at the end I guess we will both come to our tail or tale !

Have a goodnight : )

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