Friday, March 12, 2010

Sea Lion Momma...Parenting Tips from Animal Planet?

History Channel, Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet…these are the TV channels we watch when the boys control the remote. Last week my oldest son, and Killer Whale aficionado, recorded a show called Orca School. We watched it together until I couldn't take anymore.

In one part of the story, the savvy Orcas are hunting new born sea lion pups by charging up watery channels and practically beaching themselves to nab the defenseless pups. It was heart wrenching and quite disturbing because my son was giggling. He is awestruck, gleefully admiring the power of the ocean's top predator. They are fabulous creatures. The show chronicled how more experienced Orcas train younger whales to use this beaching technique that goes against every instinct. They are masterful hunters and excellent teachers.

Sea lion pups are fortunate to have a mother's care in their early days. One scene pictured a stubborn little pup trying desperately to get in the water. He was fought off by his devoted momma who pushed him plop for plop away from the water's edge. She could see the dark black dorsal fin of an Orca off shore and she knew what that meant. He barked at her and bit her neck and she barked back and pushed him away to safety. What a good momma! Then the camera shot widened to show another pup bounding alone for the beckoning waves. This momma turned over her shoulder and barked at the motherless pup but kept a strong stance in holding back her own baby.

Sure enough the Orca charges and the hapless unwatched pup is no more. More giggling, sheesh! I guess the reality is the Orca matriarch is not killing for the sake of killing. The pod needs food. Her baby weighs in at 400 lbs. The beach is her grocery store and she makes as many trips as it takes to feed the family. Mothering is a big job. You learn to pick up parenting strategies every where you can! (Click to Tweet)

Life Lessons from a Sea Lion Momma:
  1. Children do not always see what their parents see. We are larger and can see farther.
  2. Children do not always know what their parents know. Life experience has taught us to avoid certain situations.
  3. Sometimes "no" means I love you, I care for you, and I'm doing my best to protect you.
  4. When you see other kids doing what you want to do, be grateful that you are not left alone to fend for yourself.
  5. If you bark at me, I just might bark back...ha...I like that one.
  6. You will probably bite me some day, but even when you hurt me I will not abandon you.
  7. For as long as I am stronger than you, I will use that strength for your good and stand in between you and the danger ahead.
  8. You won't understand every decision I make but I hope you can trust that I am FOR YOU!

    Have you picked up any parenting tips from Animal Planet?
    How do you manage your protective instincts?
Photo courtesy of


Anonymous said...

O my goodness! That was an amazing list! We saw that same show and I loved your lists. You have a great way of words. I will have to tuck them away for myself too. Thanks.

DavidC said...

Love it! You are a word Master.