Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Senator Mike Faulk Triumphs for Breastfeeding

Senate Bill 83 was signed by the Governor on April 21st. Mothers have the right to breastfeed their children in public without the threat of the state's indecency laws. This law takes effect July 1st.

I sincerely hope that this is one small step towards more mothers choosing to breastfeed their children. May we all return to the root of our existence and find the normalcy in doing as Mother Nature and God intended. In hopes to extinguish the wildfire of childhood obesity and diabetic storms thrashing through Tennessee, I implore more mothers to not hide behind closed doors for fear that someone may (gasp!) see them feeding their child.

Thank you to all my readers who have followed this journey with me and taken part in this change. Thank you Sen. Faulk and Rep. Brooks for taking the time to address an issue that may seem so unimportant in the scope of our world today to most leaders. Thank you to my husband who listened to me relentlessly every step of the way. Thank you Shelly for allowing me to join with you. Most of all, thank you Smarmy, Bean and Monster for molding me to the mother I am today,  I never would have imagined myself here today.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tennessee State Breastfeeding Laws May Soon Change

In July 2010 I wrote a letter to every Senator/Representative in Tennessee. I implored them to change the law protecting breastfeeding mothers in Tennessee. Why? Several reasons for the change in the law, but why did I write the letter? First of all, after participating in the Carnival of NIP at NursingFreedom.org, I began to realize that legally I wasn't protected to nurse my 3 year old in public in TN.

I complained, of course, to my husband. He complained about several work related things to me, and frankly, we were just complaining too much. I was tired of complaining. If I was going to complain, at least I wanted to be able to say I did something about which I was complaining. Being a breastfeeding advocate, of course my first step was in that direction. Did I think anything would be accomplished? No, of course I didn't. Honestly, with the state of TN, I fully anticipated nothing to change and if anything I would be told how "abusive" I was just by breastfeeding my 3 year old.

Yes, that's a true story. A school-teacher (though not in TN, but in WV) was brass enough to accuse me of sexually abusing my child by breastfeeding. This shattered me, of course, being a child molestation survivor. I experienced emotions that I cannot begin to describe. I would never harm my children. Breastfeeding my children is the furthest thing from abusing them. I was saddened to know that this elementary grade teacher was not only the most influential figure in 20-30 children's lives everyday but possibly, in the poverty stricken  area she teaches, the only educated adult figure in some of their lives.

Again, instead of complaining, I wanted to do something. But what? What could someone as insignificant as I am do to change something so huge? Surely someone with no Master's Degree, someone of a meager upbringing, someone of so little, could not accomplish something so big.

So I did what I do best. I wrote a letter. I worked on that letter for a while and as I clicked the send button, I knew I would not receive a warm response, I just knew it. The first response I received nearly knocked my socks off. Here's what Sen. Faulk had to say:

Thank you, Lisa, for your informative e-mail. As I recall the discussion on this bill, there was no discussion of a longer period of time, shorter period of time, or any time constraint whatsoever.

By sending a copy of this e-mal to my administrative assistant, Deana Guenther, I am asking her to forward your e-mail to the State Commissioner of Health for comment.

Once I've heard from the Commissioner, I'm certainly willing to consider an amendment to this law to extend the period of time breastfeeding is protected.

Mike Faulk 

I was giddy with receiving, not only a response, but a positive one! Then the other shoe dropped and I received a response from Rep. Ramsey that wasn't positive or negative, but wish washy. Another reply, this time from Rep. Ben West, but alas, he says he's retiring and unable to further *my* ideas. 

Months go by and I hear nothing. Nada. Zip. In the meantime, I am directed to another TN mother who is campaigning for the same thing I am and we join forces; shes' in the capital and more in-the-know about the legal proceedings and the progress behind the scenes.

She finds out that Sen. Faulk has drawn up a bill. That bill soon has a companion bill in the House. I am more than happy, I am downright ecstatic to hear this news. Sen. Faulk is kind enough to contact me to let me know that he has had an overwhelmingly positive response to the bill and he believes the bill will indeed pass. He also mentions that he will be bringing the bill before the Senate-General Welfare, Health and Human Resources Committee and that the proceeding can be viewed online. I wait, on pins and needles.

SB0083 was heard before the General Welfare, Health and Human Resources Committee. While the companion bill in the House passed quite easily and relatively fast, the Senate Bill provoked much discussion.

You can view the video here
It gets very interesting when Senators Stacey Campfield, Ophelia Ford and Randy McNally begin discussing breastfeeding older children.

Senator Campfield suggests we cap the age at 3 years as no one really wants to be disturbed (as Sen. Ford says) by breastfeeding an older child. I was very happy with Sen. Faulk's response.

Anyone who has any qualms about how much skin a breastfeeding mother shows, can see that even breastfeeding a 36 lb almost 3 year old can be discreet. If I were sitting next to you, breastfeeding him, you would never know, unless, of course, you stared.
In June of last year when I first contacted the entire House and Senate, I was quite disappointed with the responses. Sen. Faulk went above and beyond in his duties and I am proud to say that he will have mine and many fellowing breastfeeding mothers continued support. This bill will save money, save lives and cost virtually nothing. As you can see in my photo, breastfeeding an almost 3 year old is not "gross" or "disturbing". There's absolutely nothing sexual about it and has nothing to do with "my" enjoyment. I'm assuming that anyone who believes that has no children or has never attempted to breastfeed. Breastfeeding, at times, can be equivalent of holding a kitten to my chest and proceeding to allow it to claw me continuously. Sound fun? Not really. When toddler-hood strikes, the twiddling that comes natural to most children can be hair raising. Having my own Cirque du Soleil show each night while attached to a body part is not my idea of "fun" or "sexual". Breastfeeding my children gives me enjoyment in only the aspect that I know I am giving them nourishment and protection that they cannot receive anywhere else. Formula cannot and will never compare to the live antibodies naturally present in a mother's milk. My children will have a dramatically lower risk of childhood obesity, my daughters and myself have reduced our risk of female cancers    

In the end, it does pass on to the General Senate with 7-1 Stacey Campfield abstaining. 

It passes through the Senate with 32 ayes and none against. The House bill is on the calendar for March 31st, so if you haven't written your Representative, NOW is the time to do so! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Support TN Bill to Remove Age Limitation on Protection of Breastfeeding Rights

This post is also featured on NursingFreedom.org

I first researched Tennessee's breastfeeding laws during NursingFreedom.org's 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public. I'm not a Tennessee Native, so I had never given it much thought until NursingFreedom.org encouraged mama's to learn about their states' law, and to carry the law with them for protection (assuming the law protects breastfeeding pairs). 
Upon reading the laws for my state, I realized that since my son was nearly 3 years old, we would not be protected from indecency laws if we needed to nurse while in public. I had many emotions, but the one that stands out the most was sadness. I was deeply saddened that the state I lived in thought it only necessary to protect mothers who were nursing babies younger than 12 months. How would this affect a mother who wasn't entirely comfortable nursing to begin with? Would this law affect her decision to nurse beyond one year, or worse, to nurse at all? 
I'm a huge fan of "Be the change you want to see." Instead of being astonished and leaving it at that, I decided to take action. I began an internet search for history on this particular law and came up with scarce results.  My next step was to compose a letter to my representatives You can read that letter here
I didn't have high hopes. I never anticipated a single return email. I never expected other moms in my state to respond and write their own letters. The response was overwhelming. I can only imagine what  the Senators and Representatives thought the next morning when they checked their email. 
My imagined morning email check from an unnamed Legislator:

"Diane, what are all these emails about breasts in my inbox?"
"Sir, did you say breasts?"
"Yes, I did. I have 5,698 emails all about breastfeeding. Can you email them all back for me?"
"What should I say?"
"Tell  them something, anything, just be nice. I don't want to be squirted in the eye."

Ok, that may have been a bit extreme, but I tend to over-analyze sometimes!
I received a few responses, surprisingly enough, ranging from "I'm retiring," to "no change needed," and finally "let's take some action." I was certain the latter email was a bluff. 

You can read about Rep. Ramsey's response regarding no incidents mean no change is needed here

Sen. Mike Faulk returned my initial email the very next morning. He said: 

Thank you, Lisa, for your informative e-mail. As I recall the discussion on this bill, there was no discussion of a longer period of time, shorter period of time, or any time constraint whatsoever.
By sending a copy of this e-mail to my administrative assistant, Deana Guenther, I am asking her to forward your e-mail to the State Commissioner of Health for comment.
Once I've heard from the Commissioner, I'm certainly willing to consider an amendment to this law to extend the period of time breastfeeding is protected.
Mike Faulk

This was the email I was sure was a bluff. All smoke and no fire. I was very wrong. 
I recently had a nice surprise in my email from another mom I had joined forces with earlier. Her boss alerted her to a proposed bill in the Senate that removes the age limitation in the law permitting mothers to breastfeed in public children who are age 12 months or younger. You can view and track the bill here.  
I admit, when I saw the bill, a little rush of excitement, and a huge Oh My Gosh moment washed over me. How exciting to be even slightly involved! But then I realized, the hard part has only begun. 
Now we have to rally our efforts and call and write even more than before so this bill will also be introduced into the House, and then it can be voted on. Then, and only then, will we make a difference. 
Even as I write this I know my time nursing is soon coming to an end. My son is now 3.5 years old and only nurses once a day. I will not give up, even if he weans before this is over. It may not affect me, but it could affect my children's children. If not them, this law could discourage another mother from giving her baby the best start possible in life. It's for those babies, for those mothers, that the law matters the most
Now, we need your help more than ever. Call and write your Legislator. Let her/him know that you are in favor of this bill! 
You don't know who to call? No problem! Follow this link to find your Legislator and their contact information. The more interest in the bill, the more likely it will become part of the law. 
Not from Tennessee? It doesn't matter - if you ever visit Tennessee or are planning a visit to Tennessee, we still want you to call or write. You can find a list of all TN Senators at this link.

When you call your Senator, you can say something as simple as this: "Please protect all breastfeeding pairs by voting for Senate Bill 0083. We need to remove the unfounded age restriction!"

When you write your Senator, here is a simple letter you can add to and edit:

Dear < insert name>,

I am writing to ask that you please show support of Senate Bill 0083, so that it may pass and be signed into law. With an abundance of research in favor of breastfeeding beyond the 12 month mark, we, as a state, need this bill to encourage mothers to continue breastfeeding as suggested by the World Health Organization. May we begin to reduce our state's obesity rate by aiding mothers to give their babies the very best start in life, and protect them while doing so. 

Thank you for your time and effort into this matter. 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Senate Bill #83 Proposes to Remove the Age Restriction

Almost 6 months exactly from my first letter to my legislators regarding the Breastfeeding Laws in Tennessee, I was delighted to see that a bill was introduced in the Senate to have the wording in the law changed. Senate bill #83 was introduced by Senator M. Faulk to have the 12 months age restriction removed from TN's Breastfeeding Law regarding Nursing In Public.

My first letter to our Legislators can be found here. I received a reply from Sen. Faulk the very same day. Here's what he had to say:

Thank you, Lisa, for your informative e-mail. As I recall the discussion on this bill, there was no discussion of a longer period of time, shorter period of time, or any time constraint whatsoever.

By sending a copy of this e-mal to my administrative assistant, Deana Guenther, I am asking her to forward your e-mail to the State Commissioner of Health for comment.

Once I've heard from the Commissioner, I'm certainly willing to consider an amendment to this law to extend the period of time breastfeeding is protected.


Mike Faulk

Now, we need your help more than ever. Call and write your Legislator. Let her/him know that you are in favor of this bill! 

You don't know who to call? No problem! Follow this link to find your Legislator and their contact information. The more interest in the bill, the more likely it will become part of the law. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rep Ramsey says No Incident = No Change Needed?

Recently I received a reply to my letter writing campaign from Rep. Bob Ramsey (R). Here is what he had to say:
Legal did some checking on this. The statute was enacted in 2006 by HB 3582 by Lois DeBerry. It passed overwhelmingly, no amendments, no hang-ups. They talked with Judy Narramore since the bill went through Health. She doesn't recall any rationale for making it up to 12 months, other than that is when typically people stop breastfeeding. I don't see any reason why it would be a problem to remove the age restriction. I highly doubt that this is even a problem for any mother out there who is still breastfeeding after 12 months. If there are any incidents needing consideration, please contact your Legislative office and we will address it again. Thanks

I thought that deserved a reply of its own, so here's what I wrote. Feel free to write him and let him know how you feel!

Dear Mr. Ramsey,
I appreciate your time and effort into this matter. With recent news from neighboring states of mothers being harassed for breastfeeding their children in public areas, I would love to see the "12 months and younger" phrase removed from the statute.

With childhood obesity rampant in Tennessee, the first step we can to aid in healthier nutrition for our next generation. Breastfeeding can significantly lower the risk of life-long obesity.
With Tennessee ranking much lower than the national average on breastfeeding, we should encourage more mothers to do so. If a mother is faltering on the decision whether to follow her instincts and feed her baby the best way or wean, we, as a society, should promote breastfeeding, not put such a young age limit on it.

As part of the medical community, I know you are aware the health benefits for mother and child are numerous. I'm sure most people will agree that is not the issue.

This is a problem for me. I know several other mothers who also feel it is a problem. The age restriction is out-dated, and is refuted by the American Association of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization, both of which recommend breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age and as long thereafter as both mother and child are comfortable. By 12 months of age, it's true that most children will no longer require to breastfeed as often as an infant, but their need to nurse is just as important as a baby 12 months old and younger.

August 1-7th is World Breastfeeding Week. This would be a fantastic time to revist this statue and eliminate the age stipulation as it is no longer the norm. A bare minimum of 2 years is recommended by health officials. The American Academy of Family Physicians 2008 Position Paper on breastfeeding states that “breastfeeding at least until the second year of a child’s life is not considered ‘extended’ breastfeeding. Rather, breastfeeding until the bare minimum age of 2 years is the norm and anything less brings about detrimental consequences. With the current law, a mother may be compelled to wean prematurely, purely out of fear of consequences, thus having a detrimental affect on her child.

Please work with your constituents to normalize breastfeeding in our society so that our children and their children will not be faced by these issues.

Again, I thank you for your time and effort into this. I truly appreciate your hard work on my, and my children's, behalf.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tennessee State Breastfeeding Law Directly Refutes WHO and AAP

Please join me in writing to the TN state reps regarding a breastfeeding law that is outrageous! Feel free to personalize my letter below to your own situation.

sen.tim.barnes@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.harrison@capitol.tn.gov, sen.micheal.williams@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.diane.black@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.raymond.finney@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.mae.beavers@capitol.tn.gov, sen.andy.berke@capitol.tn.gov, sen.diane.black@capitol.tn.gov, sen.dewayne.bunch@capitol.tn.gov, sen.tim.burchett@capitol.tn.gov, sen.charlotte.burks@capitol.tn.gov, sen.rusty.crowe@capitol.tn.gov, sen.mike.faulk@capitol.tn.gov, sen.lowe.finney@capitol.tn.gov, sen.ophelia.ford@capitol.tn.gov, sen.dolores.gresham@capitol.tn.gov, sen.thelma.harper@capitol.tn.gov, sen.joe.haynes@capitol.tn.gov, sen.douglas.henry@capitol.tn.gov, sen.roy.herron@capitol.tn.gov, sen.doug.jackson@capitol.tn.gov, sen.jack.johnson@capitol.tn.gov, sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov, sen.bill.ketron@capitol.tn.gov, sen.jim.kyle@capitol.tn.gov, sen.beverly.marrero@capitol.tn.gov, sen.randy.mcnally@capitol.tn.gov, sen.mark.norris@capitol.tn.gov, sen.doug.overbey@capitol.tn.gov, lt.gov.ron.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov, sen.steve.southerland@capitol.tn.gov, sen.eric.stewart@capitol.tn.gov, sen.reginald.tate@capitol.tn.gov, sen.jim.tracy@capitol.tn.gov, sen.bo.watson@capitol.tn.gov, sen.jamie.woodson@capitol.tn.gov, sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.armstrong@capitol.tn.gov, rep.judy.barker@capitol.tn.gov, rep.eddie.bass@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.bell@capitol.tn.gov, rep.stratton.bone@capitol.tn.gov, rep.willie.borchert@capitol.tn.gov, rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.kevin.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.tommie.brown@capitol.tn.gov, rep.karen.camper@capitol.tn.gov, rep.stacey.campfield@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.carr@capitol.tn.gov, rep.glen.casada@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jim.cobb@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ty.cobb@capitol.tn.gov, rep.kent.coleman@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.barbara.cooper@capitol.tn.gov, rep.charles.curtiss@capitol.tn.gov, rep.vince.dean@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.vance.dennis@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jimmy.eldridge@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joshua.evans@capitol.tn.gov, rep.chad.faulkner@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joanne.favors@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dennis.ferguson@capitol.tn.gov, rep.henry.fincher@capitol.tn.gov, rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov, rep.richard.floyd@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dale.ford@capitol.tn.gov, rep.george.fraley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.brenda.gilmore@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jim.hackworth@capitol.tn.gov, rep.curtis.halford@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ga.hardaway@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bill.harmon@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.harrison@capitol.tn.gov, rep.beth.harwell@capitol.tn.gov, rep.david.hawk@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.matthew.hill@capitol.tn.gov, rep.curtis.johnson@capitol.tn.gov, rep.phillip.johnson@capitol.tn.gov, rep.sherry.jones@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ulysses.jones@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.kernell@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.litz@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ron.lollar@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov, rep.susan.lynn@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mark.maddox@capitol.tn.gov, rep.debra.maggart@capitol.tn.gov, rep.pat.marsh@capitol.tn.gov, rep.judd.matheny@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jimmy.matlock@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.mccord@capitol.tn.gov, rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov, rep.steve.mcdaniel@capitol.tn.gov, rep.michael.mcdonald@capitol.tn.gov, rep.steve.mcmanus@capitol.tn.gov, rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov, rep.richard.montgomery@capitol.tn.gov, rep.gary.moore@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jason.mumpower@capitol.tn.gov, spk.eme.jimmy.naifeh@capitol.tn.gov, rep.frank.niceley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.gary.odom@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mary.pruitt@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bob.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov, rep.barrett.rich@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jeanne.richardson@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dennis.roach@capitol.tn.gov, rep.donna.rowland@capitol.tn.gov, rep.charles.sargent@capitol.tn.gov, rep.johnny.shaw@capitol.tn.gov, rep.david.shepard@capitol.tn.gov, rep.tony.shipley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.janis.sontany@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.stewart@capitol.tn.gov, rep.eric.swafford@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.tidwell@capitol.tn.gov, rep.harry.tindell@capitol.tn.gov, rep.curry.todd@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.towns@capitol.tn.gov, rep.johnnie.turner@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.turner@capitol.tn.gov, rep.eric.watson@capitol.tn.gov, rep.terri.lynn.weaver@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ben.west@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov, speaker.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.windle@capitol.tn.gov, rep.leslie.winningham@capitol.tn.gov, rep.eddie.yokley@capitol.tn.gov, Ann.cranford@state.tn.us

Dear Sirs and Madams,

I am writing to contact all of you today about the breastfeeding law in Tennessee.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-58-101 et seq. (2006) permits a mother to breastfeed an infant 12 months or younger in any location, public or private, that the mother is authorized to be, and prohibits local governments from criminalizing or restricting breastfeeding. Specifies that the act of breastfeeding shall not be considered public indecency as defined by § 39-13-511; or nudity, obscene, or sexual conduct as defined in § 39-17-901. (HB 3582)
Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-305 (1999) requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity. (SB 1856)
I applaud your efforts to protect the rights of mothers to feed their children as God and nature intended. I am currently breastfeeding my 32 month old son. I am very disappointed to see that the law that has been passed in our state discriminates against the right of a mother to breastfeed her child in a location where she otherwise has a place to be because that child has passed his first birthday. The exact portion of the law that I am referring to states:

"A mother has a right to breastfeed her child who is twelve (12) months of age or younger in any location, public or private, where themother and child are otherwise authorized to be present."

I feel that this age limitation is arbitrary and contradictory to the current recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, theAmerican Academy of Family Physicians and the World Health Organization.

"Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth. Infants weaned before 12 months of age should not receive cow's milk feedings but should receive iron-fortified infant formula. Gradual introduction of iron-enriched solid foods in the second half of the first year should complement the breast milk diet. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired."

"The AAFP recommends that all babies, with rare exceptions, be breastfed and/or receive expressed human milk exclusively for about the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods throughout the second half of the first year. Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired."
American Academy of Family Physicians Policy Statement

"As a global goal for optimal maternal and child health and nutrition, all women should be enabled to practice exclusive breastfeeding and all infants should be fed exclusively on breastmilk from birth to four to six months of age. Thereafter, children should continue to be breastfed, while receiving appropriate and adequate complementary foods, for up to two years of age or beyond. This child-feeding ideal is to be achieved by creating an appropriate environment of awareness and support so that women can breastfeed in this manner."
World Health Organization, The WHO/UNICEF Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

I cannot find enough words to voice my displeasure at the direct refusal made by the state of Tennessee to protect the rights of a breastfeeding mother simply because her baby has passed her first birthday. The notion that babies should not be breastfed past one year is one that has been pushed by formula companies because most formula fed babies are switched to cow's milk at one year of age.
Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, is a strong advocate for breastfeeding. With her "Let's Move!" campaign, she hopes to eliminate obesity within a generation by promoting breastfeeding and healthy food choices to children. While obesity is a raging problem in Tennessee, ranking second in obesity rates of the United States, shouldn't we condone, not admonish, mothers who are feeding their children breastmilk which combats childhood obesity?
I am making a plea to all of you to correct this law to protect the rights of all breastfeeding mothers, regardless of the age of her baby. I appreciate your time and consideration in this matter. With an abundance of research in favor of breastfeeding beyond the 12 month mark, please revisit this law to aid in encouragement for mother's to continue nourishing her child without the discouragement from a law such as this, which is in direct opposition from national and world organization as listed above. Just because a baby passes the 12 month mark does not mean that he will not require to nurse any less than a child younger than him.

Thank you for your time and effort into this matter.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

...Reaping the Joys of Happiness...

Our daughter's birthday celebration brought to my realization how wonderful our children are. They're abnormally well behaved. They listen, well the girls do. Little man is two so some non-listening can be forgiven.

Birthday girl was exquisite at mini-golf. Even the Bean liked it after an initial resistance. Little man was in heaven. I realized I am not a very good mini-golfer. Even when the birthday girl was enticed with misbehavior, she chose the better path, the path of fairness and thoughtfulness which makes me an even prouder momma. As a six year old, this was huge.

When, as parents, we see even our smallest children make good choices, we feel a small sense of pride that we must be doing something right. Allowing our children the opportunity to make such choices can be harrowing at times. Did we teach them well enough? Did we instill those values that we believe so strongly? Could we have shown them a better path some other way? The answers to those questions are never easy.

How do we, as parents, guide our children along to make those choices of good behavior, good habits, without inducing a feeling of being controlled? I'm not sure. I'm still learning.