Mother’s Influence on the Child’s Personality Development

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There is no doubt that the mother is not only the first but also the most important educator, the central figure in the mental development of the child. Immediately after birth, the child re-enters into close physical contact with the mother: she breastfeeds it, carries it, holds it close to her chest, bathes it, changes its clothes, kisses it. All these physical contacts with the mother give the child a feeling of comfort. It connects that feeling to its source, to its mother. That is why the child perceives the very presence of the mother as a pleasure. The mother is the first person the child comes in contact with. As her presence gives it pleasure, the child begins to experience its first exit from the cocoon of absolute egocentrism and experiences its first social relationship as a pleasure. This fact is unusually important for the socialization of the child. The presence of the mother, her care for the child and tenderness towards it allow her to experience the first beginnings of socialization with positive emotions. This acts in the young person as a motive for expanding interpersonal relationships and for building trust in people.

We have seen that the main characteristics of children who develop without a family are emotional coldness and asociality. This is caused by the absence of maternal love in the first years of life. When the instinctive need to make the first social contact begins to awaken in such a child, it does not respond. Instead of tenderness, a child without a mother encountered indifference or even rejection. Then its sociability was suffocated in the child when it was a baby, repressed before it even managed to show itself. It is understandable that then, it can never develop in a somewhat normal way again.

These facts indicate the need for a mother not to avoid physical contact with her child while it is still quite young. Breastfeeding a baby in the first year of life benefits not only the physical but also the mental health of the baby. If it is fed from the mother’s breast, the baby will progress better in growth, it will be firmer and more resistant than the one that is fed artificially. But from the mother’s breast, the child also receives the first wholesome spiritual food. Here it best experiences its mother’s love and the pleasure of intimate contact with another person. That is why a mother ruthlessly damages her child’s psyche if in the first days of life she leaves it in the care of strangers or denies it breastfeeding.

As much as breastfeeding is absolutely necessary for the proper physical development of the child, it should not last more than a year, because then breast milk no longer meets the child’s needs for food. This is rule number one on the psychic plane. Close physical contact with the mother is the starting point for the proper mental development of the child; but excessive continuation of such contact will tie the child too much to the mother, and will hinder the development of its independence. The mother must never forget that in parallel with the development of the child, its emotional needs change: what was useful for the psyche of the infant is no longer useful for the psyche of the small child. This is not to say that an older child does not need a mother’s tenderness. It is needed by the young person throughout their developmental age, but in such a way that it gradually changes its shape. The older child also enjoys physical contact with the mother, but it should become more and more discreet over time, limiting it to occasional hugs. Just as she left breastfeeding at the end of the first year, so the mother should stop washing or bathing her child, regardless of its gender. This, of course, also applies to the father, i.e. other educators in the family. If the mother continues after puberty with excessive physical contact with the son, for example in the form of kisses in the mouth, washing the genitals and the like, there is a danger that the boy will be erotically attached to his mother. And that will later make it difficult for him to get along normally in his sex life. Analogously, too close physical contact between a father and a daughter can impair her psychosexual development.

At no age should a child be kissed on the mouth. While small, it is easily infected with germs that adults often carry in their throats, noses and mouths without getting sick from them themselves. In an older child, kisses in the mouth can arouse erotic desires prematurely, which also cannot benefit it. As soon as a child grows up enough to be able to wash itself- and can do so as early as the age of five or six – it should be taught to do so without the participation of adults. They should especially refrain from washing their children’s genitals. Although children’s genitals should be kept clean, they should not be overdone. It is helpful for the child to learn to wash their genitals as soon as possible. Otherwise, if the mother washes the child’s genitals two to three times a day, it may become so accustomed to the pleasant stimulation of these parts of the body that it later repeats it in the form of masturbation, which can become a real passion.

So, a mother complained that her five-year-old son was constantly masturbating. He does so without any hesitation and in front of strangers. It turned out that the boy had an overdeveloped foreskin that covered the tip of his penis (phimosis). Therefore, the mother was advised to rinse the boy’s penis in a potassium permanganate liquid, several times a day to prevent inflammation. The mother took the advice. Since then, the inflammation of the boy’s genitals has not recurred, but the toddler has started masturbating. By acting upon our advice, the mother took the boy to undergo surgery to remove the foreskin from his penis. Then the need to wash the boy’s penis every hour disappeared, so he soon stopped masturbating.

From the first day of life, the child should have its own bed. If it gets used to sleeping with its mother, it will have a hard time getting used to it later. Close contact with the mother’s body during sleep increases the child’s sexual curiosity and arouses erotic fantasies in it ahead of time, especially when it comes to a boy. This can introduce a certain soreness into his emotional relationship with his mother, which will make it difficult for him to have a natural relationship with the other sex.

Let’s say that the mother slept together with her son until he got married. Almost to that time, she washed him while he was bathing. And he hugged and kissed her every hour, almost in a loving way, tucking his hand under her dress and caressing her shoulders and muscles. Until his marriage, he kissed only older women, in them looking for a resemblance of the mother he was unconsciously in love with. And when he married a woman of his age, he proved weakly potent and quite incapable of creating a closer emotional relationship with her. Too intimate contact with his mother, which carried a strong touch of eroticism, did not allow this young man to adjust to a woman who had no resemblance to his mother or treated him in a maternal way. That is why he could not prove to be a full-fledged man towards that woman; he was hampered by the habit of painful intimacy with his mother. With his wife, he could not fantasize about his mother, to whom he only knew how to completely surrender. Therefore, he did not open up to the woman, neither emotionally nor sexually. It is understandable that his wife soon left him.

The cause of the greater importance of the mother in the upbringing of the child should be sought in the fact that she is a more sensitive being than the father. The mother is more able to give the child such attention, quite spontaneously and instinctively, and give it just as much tenderness as it needs in a given situation. In contact with the child, she is closer and more direct than the father. Her greater sociality – which is also a characteristic of the female sex – allows her to be more tactful towards the child, to understand it better, to adapt to it more successfully and to fully understand its needs than the father can. Therefore, children of both sexes are usually more loyal to the mother than to the father.

A mother is also a role model for a mature woman to her children. The daughter will use it for identification; she will incorporate many of her mother’s feminine qualities into her personality, taking over her attitude towards sexuality, towards the opposite sex and towards her own sexual role. And the boy largely generalizes his experiences of the mother and extends them to the entire female gender. That is why a mother who is a sexually organized person can greatly help her children to orient themselves realistically in their sexual life. With such a mother, the daughter will learn to treat sexuality in a natural way. The son will gain confidence in the other sex and will later approach women with a sense of security if he develops alongside the mother with whom he has built a healthy emotional relationship. Only a sexually groomed woman can treat children in a completely natural and constructive way.

On the contrary, a sexually timid, insecure and dissatisfied mother will easily raise her daughter to be a girl with a neurotic, deformed attitude towards sexuality. In relation to other children, she will be authoritative, impatient, irritable and cold, or too lenient, passive and sentimental. In the male child, this will instill a negative image of women in general. In later life, this man will find it difficult to get rid of a certain suspicion towards women and fear them, or he will take a repulsive attitude towards them in advance, which will prevent him from succeeding in sexual life and marriage.

In that way, a young man developed with an extremely neurotic mother who was always too strict, closed, inaccessible and emotionally cold towards him. The son always listened to her, obeyed her wishes and accepted her instructions. But he has a hidden aversion to his mother from an early age, the knowledge that he can’t get close to her, that he hasn’t been able to get to know her in detail. This led him to a reserved and restrained attitude towards his mother, and this made it even more impossible for him to get emotionally close to her. The young man unconsciously passed on his attitude from his mother to other women. Although he wanted many, sexually, he never fell in love with any of them. He longs for love, he fantasizes about it, but he is convinced that a man can never be mentally related to a woman, that she always remains a stranger and that it is better not to try to fall in love, but rather to limit oneself to sex with her. He married with such conviction; but again not out of love, but because his girlfriend got pregnant. He understood the woman as a housewife, the mother of his child and an object of occasional sexual gratification. This man does nothing to satisfy the woman emotionally, to build an intimate emotional community with her. That is why his wife is dissatisfied, frigid, irritable, aggressive and hypersensitive to every gesture of her husband that is not to her liking. That woman got married with a huge need to love and be loved. She tried to love, but found none in return, so she became emotionally cold. Her repulsive behavior towards her husband is an expression of her disappointment. In order to calm down mentally and enable herself happiness in life with another man, she initiated a divorce lawsuit.

Another woman – identifying with her mother – constantly annoys her husband with endless objections, criticisms and sermons. Every now and then she accuses him of something, constantly underestimates him or mocks him and blames him for everything that is not right in their life together. Her husband did not dare to divorce, he tries to silently endure his wife’s aggression because he has experienced that by provoking her he provokes even more severe attacks. But in addition, he diligently cheats on her with other women with whom he spends his free time and satisfies his sexual needs.

Much depends on the mother’s behavior towards her husband and his attitude towards the children together. A man usually accepts the child emotionally as much as he accepts their mother. Loving a woman means loving her children as well. That is why a father’s emotional interest in children and his ability to be a full-fledged parent depends greatly on how happy he is in marriage. And it is not only the husband who contributes to the success of the marital union, but also his wife. Therefore, the mother, while maintaining marital happiness, indirectly improves the upbringing of her children, because it enables them to find good educators in the father as well. On the contrary, a mother who neglects her marriage exposes her child to a threefold danger: an unhappy marriage acts on the child as a negative parenting factor, in marriage a dissatisfied mother finds it difficult to raise a child properly, and it is even more difficult for the father.