The Role of the Mother (Part 5)
Strengths of a Mother
The following qualities need to be acquired by all mothers.
Awarenewss of Responsibility
Motherhood is a career, and those who take it up must try and excel at it. It is the duty of every mother to look into better techniques and strategies of parenting. A wide variety of material is available about parenting. Reading these from time to time helps increase awareness and vision. When a mother reads about problems that parents face, she is comforted by the fact that she is not alone. That is very reassuring as often parents assume they are the only ones having difficulties. Also, reading about solutions used by other people, or advice given by psychologists etc. helps broaden the choice of possible tactics in dealing with children.
Setting Clear Goals
A mother has to know what she expects from her children, and then explain that to them. It is not enough to want good children. The children must know what exactly is expected from them, and what the mother wants them to do. Sometimes a mother tells the child to lay the table properly. Because it has not been explained to the child what properly means, he does it the way he thinks it right. The child may consequently be blamed for being sloppy, lazy etc. for not setting the table right.
The frustration and heartache could have been avoided if the child knew exactly what was expected from him, rather than a vague order to lay the table. The same can be applied to all chores, behavior with others, academic achievements etc. The mother must have definite goals of what she wants, and make them clear.
Encourage Children according to their Potential
Each child comes with his own distinctive potential. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said: Human beings are like mines of gold and silver. Children have abilities that could lead to great achievements. Some show skill and interest in a certain area, while others prefer a different one.
Apart from not trying to compare children with one another, a good mother tries to bring out the best in each child.
She makes the child develop his skills in whatever area he is good at, as well as remedy the weakness in each child. If one child is very shy, for example, the mother should not demand that he socialize and interact with others the way his siblings do. Some mothers unwittingly put their children through a great deal of embarrassment and humiliation. The child must be taught to overcome his shyness. Some books on shyness may help. Or the mother could give practical suggestions of what the child could talk about to others. A mother's gentle guidance can remedy many a flaw and weakness in the character of the child.
1. Fortunate is the person whose mother is chaste and virtuous.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
2. Each one of you is a guardian, and each one of you is responsible for his charges . . . so the man is a guardian over his family, and is responsible for them. A woman is a guardian over the family of her husband and his children, and she is responsible for them.
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