Difference between a father’s influence and a mother’s influence on children

Difference between a father’s influence and a mother’s influence on children

I have written a lot in my articles about why it is important to protect a woman in a relationship from stress, including by allowing her not to work, not to do things she doesn’t want to do, and by taking over all the hard stuff. Of course it’s hard, of course someone will say: “Why would I want to do that?”, but in reality there are two good reasons for that:

  1. A relaxed woman is a contented, flirtatious, beautiful woman;
  2. A relaxed woman is a happy mother and contented children.

The second point I realized when I read Erich Fromm’s “The Art of Loving”, where he wrote about different kinds of love, including parental love.

Here is a bit of reasoning:

A mother’s love, by its very nature, is unconditional. A mother loves a newborn baby because it is her child. “I am loved because it is me”. This experience of being loved by the mother is a passive experience. A mother’s love is unconditional. A mother’s love is bliss, it is peace, it does not need to be sought, it does not need to be earned.

But there is a negative side. This kind of love can’t be achieved, can’t be summoned, can’t be controlled. If it is there, it is equal to bliss, but if it is not there, it is as if all beautiful things were gone from life – and there is nothing I can do to create this love.

The father, on the contrary, has a weak connection with the child in the first years of his life, and his importance to the child during this period is no comparison with the importance of the mother. The father represents the other pole of human existence: the world of thought, of things made by human hands, of law and order, of discipline, of travel and adventure.

A father’s love is a conditional love. Its principle is: “I love you because you meet my expectations, because you fulfill your responsibilities, because you are like me”.

In conditional paternal love we find, as in unconditional maternal love, a negative and a positive side. The negative side is already the fact that paternal love must be earned, that it can be lost if one does not do what is expected of him. It is in the very nature of a father’s love that obedience becomes the chief virtue, disobedience the chief sin. And the penalty for it is the loss of a father’s love.

The positive side is also important. Because paternal love is conditioned, I can do something to achieve it, I can work for it; paternal love is not beyond my control as maternal love is.

Maternal and paternal attitudes toward the child correspond to the child’s own needs. The infant needs the mother’s unconditional love and care both physiologically and mentally. A child over the age of six begins to need his father’s love, authority and guidance. The mother’s function is to provide security for the child in life, the father’s function is to teach him, to guide him so that he can cope with the problems that the society in which he is born poses to the child.

Ideally, a mother’s love does not try to prevent the child from growing up, does not try to give a reward for helplessness. The mother must have faith in life, must not be anxious so as not to infect the child with her anxiety. It should be part of her life to want the child to become independent, and eventually to separate from her.

Eventually, the mature person comes to the point where he himself becomes both his own mother and his own father. He acquires, as it were, a maternal and paternal consciousness. The mature man outwardly becomes free of mother and father figures, he builds them up within himself, combining motherly and fatherly consciousness despite the fact that they seem to be opposed to each other.

If he possessed only paternal consciousness, he would be evil and inhuman. If he possessed only maternal consciousness, he would be prone to a loss of sound judgment and would hinder himself and others in their development.

That’s the difference between a father’s influence and a mother’s influence on children. To summarize, the main theses are as follows:

1. The less anxious a mother is, the more peace and love she can give her child

According to my observations, the most anxious and infantile children are born into families with very anxious mothers. A child surrounded by a strong mother’s love will perceive the world as a friendly place, he will open up more and try different endeavors.

What do mothers get anxious from? From stresses and problems at work, anxiety about the future, about what to prepare for and what problems to solve. If someone else does it all, a lot of the anxiety will go away and there will be time to take care of yourself.

2. Father’s anxiety is less important as mother’s anxiety

When a man deals with most of the important family strategic matters, he, of course, is also anxious, but this anxiety is much less transmitted to the child, because the father-child bond is weaker.

Moreover, a father who does these things is able (or quickly learns) to plan, to discipline himself, to create rules and traditions so that everything goes according to his plans. And he can pass these skills on to his children in full.

3. A clear division of responsibilities in the family allows you to raise a successful child

The combination of all of the above meanings makes it possible to raise the most harmonious, calm and goal-oriented children.

This is also an answer to the main objection, which is not even: “Why shouldn’t a woman work?” (I don’t mind at all if a woman wants to!), but “Why divide roles at all, let everyone do both”.

The point, as in business, is to maximize efficiency. A person who works and tries to relax at the same time does both badly, which affects the atmosphere in the family. Of course, “simultaneously” is not in the literal sense, but even in the sense that there are weekends and vacations, but it doesn’t help, and work and the future are still troubling, and relaxing is not fully possible.

The separation I suggest is not discrete (either divide the roles 100% or die), but is a multitude of options. It is even partially effective when the woman is much less concerned about the future and protective, and the man is more focused and disciplined, and knows what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen. And of course, the greater the shift in this direction, then better.


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