Why mothers matter

A report released by Family First NZ to celebrate Mother’s Day looks at what mums bring to parenthood.

“Mum’s femininity not only gave birth to and nourished her children, but helps them develop into the unique, healthy and influential human beings society requires.

"New Zealand cannot exist without her. She does what no other person in the life of every human being can do.”

The above comments form part of a report released by Family First NZ to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.

‘Why Mothers Matter’ was written by Glenn Stanton, the director of Global Family Formation Studies at’ Focus on the Family’ in Colorado Springs, USA.

Family First NZ spokesperson Sue Reid says in a world that seems fixed on diminishing the unique roles of each parent, the report draws on extensive research from child psychologists and from child development science, highlighting the fact that mothers are different to fathers in what they bring to parenthood.

"Our modern society seems bent on equality but our roles are different. Stanton addresses in this report the need to acknowledge that each parent contributes to the success and function of the family in different ways. Mothers are crucial for both sons and daughters. They not only role-model for their own daughters but they influence a son to be wired to care for and protect women around them."

As a mother herself, Sue says this research paper is an important commentary. “In this ever-changing modern world, it is paramount that we stop, pause in our busy world, and consider the significant role of the mothers in our midst.”

The report says mums make makes countless contributions to bringing up their children that are distinct from dad’s way and she is typically not even aware how her special way of loving, caring for, protecting and teaching her children is as distinctive as it is important.

The key differences explained in the report include:

Physical difference: Mum is soft and soothing, providing security and nutrition while dad is more stimulating in his play.

Play: Mum’s style is more intimate, more one-to-one and more verbal.

Problem solving: Mum is more likely to notice when a child is having difficulty with a task or problem and is more likely to provide immediate help, limiting the child’s anxiety and frustration.

Protection: Dads will let their kids explore more, try new things and face new challenges but mums keep kids out of the emergency room.

Language development: It’s no coincidence that ‘mum’ is usually a child’s first word. Mum is usually the first one to connect with the child in verbal and non-verbal communication.

Discipline: Mum is more likely to extend grace to an irritable child, providing a sense of security and acceptance and teaching the importance of context and empathy.

Sex respect: Well-mothered girls are significantly less likely to be used sexually or emotionally. And well-mothered boys are substantially less like to be those who do so.

‘Why Mothers Matter’ is part one of a two-part series. Part two will consider ‘Why Fathers Matter’. To read the report visit: www.familyfirst.org.nz


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