Monday Column: Mother and child bond

Opinion Sunday 08/January/2023 20:23 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday Column: Mother and child bond
Saleh Al-Shaibany

I often look back at my childhood when I am faced with greatest challenges. I am not sure why but I guess I look for an escape route to my current problems. Those days, problems are solved very easily. As a child, when a bully finished reconstructing my face, I just ran back home and straight into the arms of my mother.

I can still now smelled her perfume, the gentleness of her touch and the softness in her voice. Her bosom was a tiny paradise that offered endless comfort. Now I realise nothing would ever match the love of a mother. But it is very different for today’s generation for both mothers and children. The “bosom” children run to is a small illuminated screen of their mobile phones.

Why? Because their mothers find refuge in the same devices. The psychological bridge between mothers and children is not there anymore. It has been replaced by a barrier thick enough that children find it tough to go over it. The barrier prevents a stream of emotion flowing both sides alienating both mother and child.

I saw a mother throwing a band of plaster and a bandage when her seven-year old son bruised his leg because she did not have time to do it for him. The poor boy’s face turned red. He picked up the stuff and did the plastering of the wound with his head hanging over his shoulder. Such action does an irreparable damage to mother-son relation. No wonder children grow up to distance themselves from parents because the foundation was shaky from the very beginning. The void, and I am not exaggerating when I say, would stay in their children forever. I am not putting faults in the way young mothers raise their children these days but the evidence of that is everywhere.

No mother needs a textbook to teach her how to do it. It is basic instinct. If cats pickup their litter by the scruffs of their necks very gently and move them around lovingly then young mothers need to watch and learn. Animals abide by this natural instinct and they do not need to learn. I can only say mothers today suppress the motherhood instincts as they get busy with their own lives. No wonder children rebel by the time they reach the age of ten. It gets worse when they reach their teenage years. By the time they are in their early twenties, the bond is so thin it starts to crack up.

On the other hand, a mother then starts calling her children “ungrateful” forgetting her track record when they were growing up. I am not saying that children are faultless or there are not good mothers around. However, the umbilical cord mother and child share must last forever. And the effort must be asserted by the mother at the earliest stage. Perhaps someone must do a research to look into the lives of history makers and relation they had with their mothers when they were growing up. They have to be a link. I now wonder what kind of relationship detectors like Hitler had with their mothers.

By now you are wondering why I have not mentioned the father’s role in the raising of a child. I am convinced that fathers play only a supporting role but not a critical one. The mother is key to the future success of any child.