May 2009: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Jumada I 1430

Volume 25 No 5

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

Parent-Child Bond

Most human beings have been on one or both ends of a parent-child relationship. Each and every one of us has been affected by this relationship, whether strong healthy bonding was established with both our true parents or we lack parent-child bonding with anyone. Even the elderly still carry much of the learning that took place during their early childhood.

The learning that takes place during our early development becomes so much a part of our psychological makeup that it is difficult to distinguish which behaviors are within our nature (instinctive) and which are behaviors learned as a result of our nurturing process.

Children are impressionable

Bonding begins as soon as we are born. We begin seeking comfort and avoiding uncomfortable situations. As babies, we begin learning and bonding with those that give care and provide for us on a regular basis. Therefore, it is possible to bond with a parental figure, instead of a true parent. The process of learning begins at this time while we are barely aware of the

world around us. That may be the reason why some of our learning extends so deep into our subconscious.

Actions speak louder than words

Children begin learning from the actions of their parental figures before they can communicate. Even after language acquisition, we continue to observe our parents' behavior and learn more from that behavior than from what we are told.

There is a saying “Do as I say, not as I do.” The act of admonishing a child while continuing in the same bad behavior not only conveys the message that the bad behavior is acceptable, but that hypocrisy is admissible as well. As parents, we should not do anything we would not want our children doing. We have a responsibility entrusted to us, by God, to be good examples for our children as well as teaching them right and wrong (31:12-19).

Learning during the nurturing process

We learn most of our survival and socialization skills from whomever

we establish this parental bonding with. General attitudes, fears, values, eating habits, communication skills, and how we relate to other people (including generosity or stinginess) are some of the behaviors we first learn from our parents. We also learn attention-getting mechanisms and self-esteem from our interaction within our family. This learning takes place as we observe the adults closest to us, often within our family, during our early childhood.

Learning from our parents continues into our childhood, but on more than just a perceptual level. More complex reasoning patterns emerge, but we lack the social maturity to inquire very much outside the security of our family. As we develop in childhood, other sources begin to provide information; we come in contact with more adults and we are better equipped to interact with our environment. However, if new information received contradicts what has been learned from our parents, it is easily rejected. “Because my mommy told me” is valid reasoning. Socialization skills can be tested as we interact more with others.

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