Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Children's Fear of Abandonment

My 82 yr old father has been searching through some of his favorite quotes - to send to my missionary son.  Here is one that struck me as very important to all mothers and fathers.  It coincides perfectly with the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the vital role we play as we strive to raise children well and in peace.

Children's Fear of Abandonment:
All children are terrified of abandonment, and with good reason. This fear of abandonment begins around the age of six months, as soon as the child is able to perceive itself to be an individual, separate from its parents. For with this perception of itself as an individual comes the realization that as an individual it is quite helpless, totally dependent and totally at the mercy of its parents for all forms of sustenance and mans of survival. To the child, abandonment by its parents is the equivalent of death.

Most parents . . . are instinctively sensitive to their children’s fear of abandonment and will therefore, day in and day out, hundreds and thousands of times, offer their children needed reassurance: “You know Mommy and Daddy aren’t going to leave you behind”; “Mommy and Daddy aren’t going to forget about you.” If these words are matched by deeds, month in and month out, year in and year out, by the time of adolescence the child will have lost the fear of abandonment and in its stead will have a deep inner feeling that the world is a safe place in which to be and protection will be there when it is needed. With this internal sense of consistent safety of the world, such a child is free to delay gratification of one king or another, secure in the knowledge that the opportunity for gratification, like home and parents, is always there, available when needed. – Scott Peck, MD, The Road Less Traveled.

My little Ashley - as a toddler

And...from President Benson we add:
It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character.
Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness.
How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!
I do not wish to wound any feelings, but all of us are aware of instances of active Latter-day Saint families who are experiencing difficulties with their children because mother is not where she ought to be—in the home.

Now can you see why Satan wants to destroy the home through having the mother leave the care of her children to others? And he is succeeding in too many homes.