The Mother-Child Relationship


Mothers and their children are connected before birth. All these months spent together mark the beginning of a sometimes challenging but rewarding relationship. Mothers play an important role in their child’s mental health by providing basic care (i.e. food, water, shelter and sleep) and for a secure bond with their young child. Bonding is the emotional bond that develops between an infant and a caregiver. Children who have healthy relationships with their caregivers are more likely to enter into stable relationships later.

Making an attachment with your children includes:

Hold them

Ensuring a safe living environment

Talking to them

Laugh and play with them

Make sure they get enough sleep

Feed them and eat with them at meals

Have reasonable expectations and set limits

Learn to understand their unique way of expressing themselves (i.e. facial expressions, sounds of how they communicate their needs)

In addition to caring for children, setting boundaries is an important part of the mother-child relationship. Children should not run the household, they should – and can. Be clear with your child when you set a limit. Remember, once you’ve told your child what to do, you need to understand. If the child does not listen to what you have said, it may be necessary to assist them in fulfilling the task.

Being able to build a healthy and secure bond with your son or daughter starts with taking care of yourself. As a mother, you are often busy and stress can really wear you down. Just like your kid, the first step is to meet basic needs (i.e. food, water, shelter and sleep). Without enough sleep or food, you can’t be at your best. When these needs are met, it’s important to think about how you deal with stress. Can you build it up until you explode with anger and frustration? Do you take it on your family and children? Do you feel sad and hopeless? These are all common reactions to stress and you deserve support. If your family or friends can’t provide support, you can look for community facilities like the Penfield Children’s Center that provide services that benefit you and your child. You can conjointly notice tiny ways in which to address your stress each day.

As the day progresses, feelings change all the time – happy to sad, sad to frustrated, annoyed to angry – the list goes on. If you feel that your emotions are moving away from your “norm” or “baseline” (the emotion you most often feel with minimal stress), it’s time to stop and think. By taking a few seconds or minutes to focus on your stress, you give your body and mind the opportunity to return to this “norm” or “baseline”.

Before you respond to your stress, you must first:


Leave the room

Deeply inhale

Counting up to 10

Take a sip of water or hear music.

Then take some time to think. What am I thinking? How do I feel? Am I already quiet? A healthy child cannot be brought up without a healthy parent. As a mother, you deserve to respect and love yourself for everything you do.

Being a mother is a tough job. What are some of your biggest challenges and rewards?

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