By Valeria Vilar, MA, BEd, LMHC
The month of May gives us the opportunity to honor and value the importance of the mother figure in the family dynamics, and in her relationship with her kids.
Why are mom’s kisses like magic to heal a kid’s wound? What is the reason for a child’s sober to be calmed down with a mother’s hug? Why do midnight fears go away when a mother rubs her child’s back?
A mother’s warm smile, the way she looks and values her kids, her encouraging words in hard times, even her listening attitude, produce an amazingly positive effect in a child’s personality. This translate in a higher self-esteem and an embracing sense of comfort.
Is there a reason why the maternal figure generates a state of safety, protection, and comfort in kids? May it be that the mother provides the basis for her kid’s healthy development into adults?
That mysterious power in mothers has been studied by psychologist John Bowlby, who formulates in his “Attachment Theory” three basic headlines to identify the relevance of the maternal figure:
- When an individual counts on the presence or support of a figure of attachment whenever needed, he will be much less likely to experience chronic or intense fears, than a person without that kind of confidence.
- Trust is gradually acquired during the growing years and tends to be maintained for the rest of a person’s life.
- The diverse expectations regarding the attachment figure’s ability to be accessible and capable to respond, during a child’s development years reflects the kind of experiences this individual has had with her mother.
According to Bowlby’s theory, the emotional bond a child develops with his mother provides him the emotional stability required for a good development of his personality.
The attachment generates emotional safety in a child: a feeling of being unconditionally accepted and protected. This is also true in various species of animals and has the same consequences: the expected proximity with the mother that is base to the protection and continuity of the specie.
The attachment theory has universal impact. The importance of the constant contact with the baby, caring for her, and being sensible to her needs are factors present in every parenting model, adapted to each cultural environment.
“A child who knows his attachment figure is accessible and sensible to his needs has a strong and penetrating sense of safety and is encouraged to value and continue the relationship with her mother”. (John Bowlby).
Scientifically speaking, we can conclude that mothers do posses a power. They are, without a doubt, the facilitators for a healthy strengthening of a child’s personality. They generate a balance in the family dynamics among the kids as individuals and in relation to their siblings and their paternal figure.
Her presence, her arms always ready to hug, her understanding heart in hard times, her strength in weakening situations, and the sweet look in her eyes, that goes harder only when a constructive boundary is needed, are the qualities valued and celebrated by kids and dads in this time of year.
I invite you to allow yourself some time to think about the magical power your mother has in your life and show it to her affectionately, by celebrating her day.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!!