Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Mother's Absence and Its Effect on Children

Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the Promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know.} [Quran 28:13] This verse refers to the mother of Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, when his sister put him into the river and his mother’s heart became empty of every worldly affair except the thought of her little child. However, Allah, The Exalted, kept her steadfast and patient. Moreover, He promised to restore him to her and to make him one of His Messengers.
The mother's heart and her kindness represent the pure spring from which the child receives kindness and care. The mother carries the fetus in her womb, suckles him after birth and provides him with care throughout her life. When we talk about the deprivation of the mother, we are truly talking about vital problems that afflict many children because of missing their mothers during the stage of childhood and being brought up sometimes by merciless hands (step-mothers). The fathers, on the other hand, might support their new wives in order to satisfy them. Moreover, the father’s emotions towards his children might perish because of his wife’s foolishness and her jealousy that is never extinguished, particularly when she gives birth to children of her own, males and females, whom she uses to bring the father closer to her and to them, at the same time trying hard to keep him far from his own children from his first wife.

We should know that the experiences of early childhood considerably influence the individual’s attitude throughout the various stages of his life. Considering that the child's environment during the early stages of his life is restricted to his home and family, namely the father, mother and male as well as female siblings, the children, male and female alike, will be influenced by an environment of deprivation, humiliation and degradation. Moreover, the father might be occupied with work outside the home and come back late when the children are asleep; hence, he would not follow up on what happens to them. His new wife might try to make him believe that all his children are enjoying a happy life, even though the reality could be totally different. Her children could be enjoying the best of clothes, food and all their requests are answered, while her husband's children might be suffering from deprivation. They might be deprived of delicious food, wear cheap clothes and spend their long night with no sleep.

During childhood, the child's personality is formed. Moreover, the nature of the family and social relations with one's parents, male and female siblings, neighbors as well as relatives, form the child's attitudes towards others and general things in the surrounding environment as well as in public life. It is true that the individual's personality, during the later consecutive stages of life, is influenced by a variety of factors as social relations expand and experiences increase when facing the positive and negative situations of life; however, it should be taken into consideration that the experiences of childhood usually influence the structure of the personality. Moreover, it remains a major motivation in the structure of the personality during the advanced stages of his life. Hence, the future is made up of what happens in childhood.

During the stage of early childhood, who is more capable among the family members of taking care of the child and satisfying his emotional and psychological needs than his mother? Did not she carry him in her womb, suckle him after birth and provide him with care throughout her life? The relation between a child and his mother, immediately after his birth and during the early years of his life until he is separated from her and starts depending on himself, talking with and responding to her, have a considerable effect on satisfying his physical, psychological and mental needs. The child who is deprived of his mother's kindness and affection might suffer from physical, mental, linguistic and social growth retardation, and the structure of his personality might not be normal.

A person who lacks something is unable to give it away. He might feel that he is rejected and unwanted and, therefore, he prefers silence, becomes an introvert, and the signs of depression appear in his attitude. Moreover, he might not respond to others’ jokes or smiles for he is usually sad and miserable. The consequences of this will be deviation, disorders and fits of serious agitation or abnormal behavior that is not tolerated, even by the people who are closest to him.

The effect of being deprived of the mother differs from one child to another. When the period during which the child is deprived of his mother is less than three months, he might quickly restore the ability to exchange emotions with her and return to his normal growth without impediments. However, when the emotional deprivation of his mother lasts for six months, the child's emotional growth noticeably drops behind those of the same age.

Some children who lose their mothers because of death or divorce, and the father's insistence on having the custody of the children, or because of any other circumstances such as experienced by the children in orphanages, such children, although they are deprived of the mother's kindness, may be compensated when they find alternatives for her: people who carry out the mothers' job and provide the children with both love and kindness. It has been noted that these children grow normally compared with normal children who live within the shelter and care of their mothers. They grow normally in comparison with the children who do not find alternatives for their mothers and live with their merciless step-mothers.

The aforesaid discussion is addressed to both parents. We ask Allah, The Exalted, to fill our hearts with mercy towards our children and those whom we take care of when they lose emotional support, particularly at an early age. Fear of Allah, The Almighty, is the best guide for our life's affairs. Finally, we should remind ourselves with the verse where Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And let those [executors and guardians] fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.} [Quran 4:9]

 

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