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Raising Davis: Sometimes fighting that protective instinct is better than fighting

Before I was a Mom, I would stand
beside parked cars in the summer
and wait for the owners to return
to their overheated dog that they
left inside. I find it hard to just
stand by and do nothing.

So you can imagine how I might
be with my own kids when I’m
willing to stand up for strangers’
dogs! I have to bite my tongue at
Davis’ soccer games when a big
kid starts pushing him around.
Thank goodness my husband is
there to assure me that he can take
care of himself. My husband is
right. Davis is a tough kid. He can
get knocked around and get right
back up.

I will also get my back up when
I hear he was excluded from a
game or teased. I will file that
classmate’s name away in my mind
and follow up with Davis weeks
after the initial incident. Davis
will look at me like, “what are you
talking about?” He has long since
forgotten whatever happened and
has moved on. I have to move on as
well and purge that child’s name
from my mental fi ling cabinet.

The reason I get so worked up
when I feel Davis is under attack
is that I was bullied in primary
school. I want to save him from
the meanies, people who are rude
and self-centred. I didn’t stand up
for myself when I was a kid and
have vowed to stand up to anyone
who mistreats me or my family.
Can you picture a big, grizzly bear
with my face on it? Grrrrrr. I can
actually be mean if provoked.

I’m learning that Davis is not
me. He is not as sensitive as I am
and he can handle himself really
well. I don’t need to fight his
battles. He has even told me about
times when someone has bothered
him, and then puts his hand on
mine and says “Don’t worry Mom,
I got this. I will sort it out.”

The funny thing is, Davis does
have it and he will sort it out. I
would like to think he has learned
some of his ability to stand up for
himself from me, but he is better
at it than I am. He sorts out his
issues in a kind, gentle way and
lets things go.

I need to take notes from Davis.
I am trying to calm my inner
grizzly. However, if you do leave
your dog in the car on a hot
summer’s day, I can’t make any

Expert Advice – Sara Dimerman says:

Even the most mild mannered mom amongst us is easily provoked
by anything or anyone that presents a threat to her young (and
even older) ones. Perhaps our brains are hard wired to move
our bodies as we jump into action or maybe, as the most evolved
beings among all living species, its just instinct to protect our
offspring. When the urge to fight occurs, step back, if only for a
few seconds, to consider how your involvement might help or
hinder your child’s ability to solve his or her own problems.

To read more of Meghan’s Mommy Diaries, visit or follow her on Twitter @raisingdavis.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013.

a man carrying two children

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