It was a near miss, but all part of the holiday fun.

Walking the bush track near our home on ANZAC Day the other week, we passed many families. Maybe it was because it was a public holiday, or because it was such a beautiful autumn day, but we had never seen so many families on the track.

Not too many seemed up for a chat, except one family.

After apologising for her son’s (aged about five years old) skateboard narrowly missing my head, as he attempted a flip off the embankment, we assured her that we were all fine: “We have four boys!”

“Oh,” she said, “Aren’t girls so different to boys, in every way?” We agreed quite heartily, and then she proceeded to launch into quite a lecture as she espoused the modern-day mum’s perspective on the differences between the genders.

Maggie Dent, she assured us, is the go-to fountain of all knowledge for Australian parents.

Here’s an example of one of Maggie’s Moments – “When Boys Muck Up”.


Maggie Dent, BA, DipEd, DipCounselling, has four boys of her own. Commonly known as the ‘queen of common sense’, Maggie has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators. She has a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience, and is an undisputed ‘boy champion’.

Maggie’s experience includes teaching, counselling, and working in palliative care/funeral services and suicide prevention. Maggie is an advocate for the healthy, common-sense raising of children in order to strengthen families and communities. She is a passionate, positive voice for children of all ages.

What a joy it is to listen to such a champion. Having raised four sons of my own, I appreciate her words of wisdom and her commonsense approach to the difficulties that boys face. Maggie’s YouTube videos have short clips on all sorts of things, but a few of those about boys are titled; forgetful boys, teen boys and anger, boys not listening and many more. Don’t worry, mums and dads, Maggie covers topics for girls too: moods, helping girls build optimism, raising girls in a sexualised world, teen issues and lots and lots of hints about every topic for raising children.

Another organisation that supports sons is called Mothers of Sons, grown-up sons this time, who struggle with injustice and unfair treatment, family court bias, feminist legal systems and false allegations.

Mothers have always loved their sons. Mothers strive to understand and stick up for their sons and are quiet observers as well as active champions through their struggles in life. I notice all the time the understanding that one of my daughters-in-law has for her boys. She is incredibly patient with the sensitive lad, teaching him how to negotiate his emotions yet able to challenge the younger daredevil boy to be honest as well as caring.

Often, but not always, there seems to be a special bond between mothers and their sons, as well as fathers and their daughters.

John Meyer’s song Daughters is a lesson to us all.

Fathers be good to your daughters

Daughters will love like you do

Girls become lovers who turn into mothers

So mothers be good to your daughters too.

Full lyrics here.

Hey dads, your mother loves you. She will always love you. She poured out her love for you by carrying you for nine months and then giving birth. Then she did her best to raise you for all those years.


Mother’s Day is next Sunday. As well as appreciating the mother of your own children, think of how you can love on your own mum.

Gifts are an option, but sharing a loving memory you have of her would make her day.

Write her a letter or card sharing a thought of appreciation for the mother she has been for you. I remember my own dear mother still had a card I had coloured in when she passed away at 95 years old. I remember that card, I remember how special it was when I gave it to her. To think that she kept that particular card, along with a treasure from each of her four children, is a very lovely memory.

Encourage your children to do the same. Get them to draw a picture, write a letter or card expressing some of the reasons they appreciate Mum.

She won’t forget it, and she will probably keep it forever.

Yours for lovely Mother’s Day Memories,
Alison Marsh


Photo by jonas mohamadi.

About the Author: Alison Marsh

Alison Marsh has been married to Warwick Marsh since 1975 and they have five children and nine grandchildren; they live in Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia.

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