Parenting is a team effort. There is an old African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. While a child is influenced and shaped by the entire society, there are no two individuals who play a more pivotal role in this than the parents. Both mom and dad play important and different roles in parenting. Let us not confuse “parenting” with “responsibilities of a parent”. The “tasks” of raising a child can be divided equally and interchangeably among both parents. But parenting is much beyond these tasks. It involves promoting a child’s well-being, by supporting his/her physical, intellectual, emotional and social development.
Read on to understand the different roles a mother plays to effectively raise a child.
Click here to read about Fathers’ Role in Effective Parenting
Mother Is The First Teacher Of A Child
A child is the greatest blessing of God to the parents. But along with this angel, comes the responsibility of nurturing and growing your child. This is not an easy job and requires a great amount of patience and perseverance. Children have highly impressionable minds, and they watch and copy just about everything. Raising happy, positive children is a shared responsibility of both the parents, but as we all know, a child ends up being with the mother more often and most part of the day owing to needs that only a mother can fulfill. Since a mother spends the maximum time with her baby, therefore she becomes the first teacher of her child and the child believes her and follows her completely.
Mother As A Nurturer
No offense to the Dadas out there – but mommies are slightly more important to the child’s nurturing than daddies.
Mothers have an instinctive ability to be sensitive with their children. Mothers read the signs better – right from the time her baby is born. And there is a strong emotional connect between a mother and a child that a dad cannot simply emulate. As mothers, you need to keep your eyes open and observe the children for any emotional, physical or behavioral changes. This way a mother can recognize any problem early on, without waiting for it to turn into a “situation”.
Mother As A Secure Anchor
A baby starts recognizing the mother’s scent and face merely days after birth. From that moment on, the mother’s presence, her touch, her voice are all a secure base for the child. “I want my mommy” is often the first reaction to anything that upsets the child. This is why it is important for the mother to work on strengthening this trust bond between herself and her child. Unreasonable anger and impatience, spanking and public shaming are some of the ways you can lose this trust easily.
As a mother, you have to make your child feel safe and secure – this is often taken-for-granted role, but it is nevertheless important as insecurity can lead to many emotional and psychological problems in your child.
Mother As A Confidant
Just as easily as a mother can read her children from their expressions and body language, she can also easily talk to them about what they are going through. Mommies are more verbal than daddies, because, well, women generally talk more than men. They are also better listeners and children find it easy to open up to their mommies when they are troubled. Even if there are no problems brewing, mothers are always interested to know more about their children. They ask more questions, and they are better at getting answers.
As a mother, you need to keep this communication channel open and live, till they become adults. As the child grows, they tend to confide more in their friends than parents. This is why you need to be their friend, have daily interactions and share a good laugh – not just start talking when there is trouble.
Mother As An Emotional Anchor
Women and their emotions are often the butt of men’s jokes, but it is her emotional facet that helps her connect at deeply with her children. A mother can easily hug a child or cry with him/her in public – something daddies tend to avoid. Mothers can talk about feelings better with their children and hence they are better equipped to teach the children how to deal with emotions better. A mother is the one who understands the needs and moods of her child. She knows what her child wants even when the child has not spoken much. This gives emotional security to the child. This, combined with her role as a nurturer, helps a mother improve her child’s emotional intelligence and sensitivity to others.
Mother As An Educator
A mother is the original pre-school! Mommies are more likely to engage her child in various learning activities – from singing a rhyme out loud to solving a puzzle – than the daddies. This is because, as we said earlier, mommies are better at communication. They are also good at being playful and more importantly, they are patient with her child’s pace. They are also very good at teaching children soft skills. As mother, you need to interact with your child as much as you can and help them learn initially and help them be organized when they are more independent.
Mother As A Disciplinarian
A mother has to maintain a balance between ‘being strict’ and ‘pampering the child’. She has to inculcate a sense of responsibility in the child. She is the one who makes him learn the first lessons of his life. She is the one who makes her child understand what is being said. He learns to follow her instructions smoothly. She gives him toilet training and teaches him how to express his needs. She makes him mentally strong to face the outer world when he first leaves home to join his school
Many of the above roles can be taken up by daddies too – however, women are genetically wired to be better at these than men. So mommies, you are THE most important person in your child’s life now. It is your duty to be available to them, listen to them, solve their problems and make them feel safe. Follow your “mothers’ instincts”because you are their true knight in shining armor!