The MOTHER Phenomenon
Published: April 30, 2009, North Shore Outlook
Updated: September 16, 2009 5:18pm
There are many Hallmark cards telling us the virtues of mothers around Mother’s Day. So what is it about a mother’s love that has the card makers singing their praises? Simply put, it is all about attachment.
The attachment relationship that is formed at birth onwards keeps us connected to the one we depended upon for protection. Once a baby’s needs, for physical safety, food and shelter are met, the ying and yang of a mother’s relationship then takes off! Her touch, smell and melodic voice combine to solidify our feelings of closeness, registering in our brains that we are attaching to the one we are learning to trust to soothe us. An attachment relationship is reciprocal in nature. The mother needs to “want” to be close to her child for the attachment process to work effectively. She is her child’s thermometer, adjusting to her child’s needs. Where else can a person get this highly specialized attention? And as we grow older, the attachment relationship also grows to include:
- love and belonging
- closeness and connectedness
- emotional and psychological intimacy
- dependence and independence
In essence, attachment is a powerful force shaping our personality.
When the attachment relationship is weak or absent, it can cause a person to:
- never feel “good enough”
- mistrust the intentions of others
- be unsure of their opinions (self-doubt)
Mother’s do not need to be a “super mom” for the attachment relationship to become activated to grow and help in the raising of a healthy and resilient individual. A mother’s attunement to her child, whether young or old, is from the innate desire to support her child’s soul. Our brains have encoded this connection to a care-giver and it is on Mother’s Day that our words try to express this gift that lasts our lifetime.
Christine Kutzner, M.Ed. is a Registered Clinical Counsellor providing services to children, parents and families in North and West Vancouver. To inquire, contact Christine.
provides counselling services to children, parents, and
in Vancouver, North Vancouver, and West Vancouver.