MOTHER

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MOTHER

Topic |  
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psyche-thumbby Kit Nemenzo Balane

During the early years of psychology, when behaviorism was at its peak, many psychologists believed that showing affection towards children was merely a sentimental gesture that served no purpose.

You see, hardcore behaviorists reject the idea of mind or emotions since these are non-observable phenomena. For them, any behavior can be consciously shaped by manipulating the conditions that surround it. John Watson, considered the father of behaviorism, went so far to warn parents saying, “When you are tempted to pet your child, remember that a mother’s love is a dangerous instrument.” A mother’s affection, usually instinct driven, in effect will only spread diseases and lead to adult psychopathology.

Many years after, a brilliant psychologist, by the name of Harry Harlow performed an experiment to satisfy the skeptics on the effects of a mother’s love and affection on the development of children. He debunked the belief that the earliest attachment between mother and child is merely a means for the child to get food, relieve thirst, and avoid pain – all behaviorist points of view.

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In his experiment, Harlow removed young monkeys from their natural mothers a few hours after birth and left them to be raised by “surrogate mothers”.  One mother was made out of soft terrycloth but provided no food, and the other one was made of wire but provided food from an attached baby bottle.

Harlow discovered that the baby monkeys spent significantly more time with their cloth mother than their wire mother. He then concluded that contact comfort is a variable of overwhelming importance in the development of affectional response, whereas lactation is a variable of negligible importance.

In another experiment, Harlow demonstrated that baby monkeys would also turn to their surrogate mothers for comfort and security. He allowed the monkeys to explore a room in the presence of their surrogate mother or their absence. When the mother is around, they would use her as a secure base when they explore. But when she was not around, the effects were dramatic. The monkeys would tend to freeze up, crouch, rock, scream, and cry.

These experiments tend to show that before and after birth, our mothers continue to give us life. As if the 9 months of discomfort and even suffering are not enough, she continues her attachment with us long after birth lest we die, literally.

More than the milk she provides, her very presence, comfort, and security make us live, grow, and explore. Literally, Mother has to be consumed physically and emotionally so that we can live.

Today, let us honor and thank our mothers…our source of life. Sure, she has lapses and all, and at times she fall short of our expectations. But there is no denying that her every breath, every beat of her heart was once the very fountain of our survival. And after haggling with death in giving birth, her love and lullabies sustained us to confidently face our tomorrows. With that, I believe everyday deserves to be a mother’s day.

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How do we honor and thank our mothers? Let me share this story I read in the internet. A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away.

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As he got out of his car, he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars.” The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.”

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers. As they were leaving, he offered the girl a ride home. She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.” She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave. The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house.

Two hundred or two miles, it’s just the same. We can never thank our mothers enough for who they are and what they have unselfishly done. And while they are still breathing and feeling, isn’t it better to do it today than shower them with roses under a freshly dug grave?

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Happy Mother’s Day to Mommy Virgie, my mother in-law Mama Maning, and my wife Mhalene. Thank you and I look forward to more joyful days splattered with roses with you.

P.S. Since we are offering Grade IV for the first time, Bohol Child Head Start is offering a 20% discount on tuition fees for the whole year for the first six (6) enrollees. Contact 416-1248/09295571136 for your inquiries.

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