La Coop P.A.- General and Forensic Psychiatry - Boutique-Private Psychiatric and Forensic Practice in Tampa-Clearwater-Florida


May 2013 - The role of Mother - understanding the significance of this role in the development of the human psyche


A lot of the treatment that I do is psychotherapy and one of the most important questions I ask is about the relationship that someone has with their mother. Why is that? Well, when I see someone and see how they interact with others and anticipate how our relationship will go - the role of the mother in their life is extremely significant.

Parents aren't really given any training, which still blows my mind today. I see people from all walks of life and one of the primary difficulties of people is how to interact with others. How is their interpersonal effectiveness? How do they see the world? How do they treat others in the world?

As Mother's Day comes upon us, I'd like to explore this relationship a little and help us to see how important our mothers are to us (biological, adoptive, or through marriage). And to also possibly give moms out there some tips on how to do their job even better than they do now.

We can all learn to do things better everyday.

Until next time.

Dr. L


Thanking Mom For Who She Is

Many of my patients tell me about how great their mother is or tell me the little things that she does for them, but I rarely get an affirmative response when I ask them if she knows how important she is to them. If you haven't lately, thank your mother (or wife that is a mother) for what she does and how your life is better because she is there.

Understand your mother's role

I watch reality TV as a lot of people do and I like Wife Swap because it gives you a peek into the households of 2 families. The show is essentially based upon the fact that moms are important and what happens to the house when she is not there. I get astounded when I see mothers taking on the role of every woman and it seems that it is an expectation of the family that mom does everything because, "she doesn't work." I have a major problem with that entire concept because many mothers work 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. A mom is supposed to be someone that is there for emotional support, nurturing and to be a model for the female role in the house - bottom line. All of the things that she does on top of that - she adopts as her role - the role of a woman. However, these days, it seems like people don't believe it's enough for women to be a 'stay at home mom'. Again, understand what your mother's role is and if it seems that she is being overextended - offer to help out.

Thanking Mom For Who She Is

Now it seems that this newsletter is just about appreciating mom, etc. and it largely is, but I wanted to give moms out there a few little tid bits to not only make your life easier, but also to help you to understand that when you do things it's more important to the beholder than when others do things.

Know your limitations:

You cannot be everything for all people at all times. It's just not possible. I know that you feel an obligation and you feel that is your job as a good mother. However, your job as a good mother is to be there for your family for emotional support, nurturing, and guidance. Not to be a slave and do everything for them. If you do that - you will not be a good mother because you will have created dependency and that is a difficult thing to get over for a kid and then as an adult.

Understand your role as a mother:

Again, to reiterate what I said above. You are just supposed to be a loving and nurturing person. That's all. You need your children to know that you will be there for them emotionally and for guidance (as you are an older and wiser person), but that you will not do everything for them. It gives children a sense of agency when they learn to do things for themselves. They also gain a sense of pride when things that they want to do get done at their own hand. Let them do that.

Understand your role as a wife:

This is different from your role as mother, but it is no less important. To be a good mother - you need to be a good wife. Remember, you are the most important model for the role of woman in your child's life. Being a loving support for your husband is very important. Your interaction as a couple identifies to your children, this is how relationships work. If you're not working on your relationship with your husband - this is evident to your kids. Or, if your kids come before your husband - this is also not OK. Your kids are not going to feel secure without knowing that their family is secure and the family begins with mom and dad. Now, I'm not talking about perfection here. Even when you argue - this again is a teaching lesson for your kids. They need to see how decisions are made in the household.

Understand your role as a teacher:

I am reiterating what I have already said above. You are THE most important teacher in your child's life. This is a super important job. See it as that. You only have 18 years to make an adult that you can be proud of. Give them all of the tools that they need to be the best person that they have the potential to be.

I hope that this was helpful to all of you and that when Mother's Day comes up in your household that you take that time as one extra special day in the year to acknowledge mom. Remember, that's not the only day you tell her how much you love her and how much her role in your life has given your life a richness that you would not have otherwise.

Dr. L

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