MOTHER: THE FIRST EMOTIONAL ANCHOR
As a young mother, I took parenting very casually. My focus was just on instilling values, giving the best of everything to my children and discipline them.
At that age, I didn’t realize the challenges of good parenting, I had no idea about handling the children in a kind, calm and patient manner and I didn’t have much of guidance.
My world revolved around my children, though.
I have had my moments of frustration but I can proudly say that I have raised two emotionally balanced and financially independent individuals who can take bold strides to venture into any sphere.
The excerpts of the following poem have always inspired me:
Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed;
And tears of sweet affection shed?
When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
Mother…the first caretaker, the first emotional anchor, the first teacher and the only real Angel in the life of a child.
She has to live up to all these expectations.
As a baby opens his eyes, it is the mother’s face that fascinates him, it is the mother’s heartbeat he can hear, it is the mother’s tender touch that she can recognise.
With her unconditional love, intuitive understanding and selfless sacrifices, she makes an indelible impression on the minds of her children. She is the sustaining force of a home and fills it with color and candor.
Guided by God Himself, she possesses divine instincts and therefore a mother’s influence is eternal and infinite.
“It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!”
― Ezra Taft Benson
Tips for being a good mother:
- Be gentle and soft, as a child can understand the caresses more than a usual touch.
- Speak softly to convey the power of loving messages.
- Never yell at your child for your frustrations and disappointments are beyond his grasp.
- Be firm and stand by your decisions.
- Never argue or fight with your spouse [in the presence of a child] as it undermines your self- esteem.
- Be positive and honest in your dealings.
- Don’t pamper but discipline lovingly.
- Spend quality time with them.
- Let them take their own decisions when they want to.
- Be the best guide, without forcing anything down their throat.
- Infuse confidence in their dark moments by adopting a positive attitude.
- Respect their opinions and independence.
All these responsibilities, which have been assigned to a mother are so gigantic that she has to work round the clock to nurture her children. As they grow older, she looks after their needs every moment, nurses them, reads to them, builds up their confidence and serves as a role model.
A mother’s debt can never be repaid. So…
“Love your mother. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. … Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness.”- Elder Ballard
Picture credits: Rishika Jain.com
DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT BY PROVIDING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT
Emotional Quotient [EQ] is the ability to handle our emotions in such a way that we learn with each step, each experience and move ahead, without getting emotionally scared or charged.
Children learn the initial lessons of life from observation and interaction.
It is the mother who appears to be most loving and caring; it is the father who appears to be cooperative and supporting. Children pick up these emotions instinctively.
LAY STRONG FOUNDATION:
Parents can lay a strong foundation of EQ only if they themselves are emotionally balanced and strong. A calm parent can pass on positive emotions to children in a spontaneous manner, even in their formative years.
We have to be receptive to the little demands of children and fulfill them, without any delay. If a child is delighted at the sight of a storybook she likes, it’s a good idea to read it as many times as she wants.
FOCUS ON YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE:
Children learn to respond with identical emotions, without making any conscious effort if they are in the company of well-developed emotional quotient. So we have to focus on our own EQ too.
“It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.” David Caruso
It is imperative to be sensitive to the feelings and needs of the children to make them emotionally sensitive. Each child thinks differently, reacts in his own way and has his own potential and capability.
We must respect their thoughts and reactions. We must empathize in order to understand our children to build their self- esteem.
Emotionally intelligent children have greater resilience and persistence but it does not come in a day. It is picked up slowly from the environment that we provide to our children.
We should never snub any fear or anxiety of our children. The right way is to encourage them to face them, accept them and deal with those emotions. It helps them to understand that fears, frustrations, anger etc. are natural emotions and can be overcome.
We must train our children to handle their little battles in their own way. We can soothe them, calm them down and encourage them but eventually they have to deal with them.
Emotionally charged moments should be handled very cautiously. It is better not to raise your voice, stay calm, express your viewpoint and let your child distinguish between good and bad.
We must give them the liberty to take their own decisions to become emotionally strong. Emotionally balanced parents lay the foundation of successful relationships.
Emotionally impaired individuals fail to express what lies in their heart and their relationships lack affection and warmth. Emotionally starved children become insensitive to love, respect and care.
As parents, it is our duty to provide a healthy environment for holistic development of emotions.