There is absolutely no doubt about the accuracy of the statement: “A mother is a child’s first school.” A mother takes care of her child’s material needs even before it is born, and this nurturing continues after birth as well but now it becomes multidimensional; It comes to include ensuring her child’s mental, emotional, and moral growth by raising it with kindness, love, and affection and nurturing their God gifted abilities. Moreover, a mother is the role model that a child emulates and whose conduct in life determines how the child will perceive the world and live life.
Children look up to the adults around them in order to navigate life. In this regard, many adults play a part, from relations to teachers to social contacts; however, of all these adults no one has a greater role than the mother does. Children observe and absorb the conduct of their parents, especially the mother, because of the constant contact and this makes her the best teacher and life coach for them. It is therefore imperative that a mother be careful about her conduct and actions, as well as being more aware of her self-worth and worldview. Her negligence may cause her child to have a skewed perception of how to live, find their place in the world, and become an asset for the family and society.
Particularly, in face of the current wave of violence against women, mothers need to be even more vigilant about their role in raising physically and mentally healthy, upstanding citizens. Charity always begins at home and so while it is the duty of parents and society in general to educate their daughters, give them respect and help them spread their wings, it is equally important for women to know their worth, not let up on their self-esteem, and try to outgrow out-dated concepts of femininity and the ascribed status of women. They cannot demand respect if they do not respect themselves. This is very important because children will not learn to respect women just because it says so in their textbook or because someone told them to, they will learn it if they see it happening around them. At the same time, this will generate sense of self-worth and self-esteem in children and make them feel secure in their identity. This will have a positive impact on their future relationships and how they interact with the world.
No doubt, the lap of a mother is the first training centre for a child, who also learns morality from her. Without educated, self-aware mothers, we cannot build a healthy society where our sons and daughters can thrive. With all that a woman goes through in life, the challenges she takes on and how she is the pivot on which her family and society rest, she cannot be labelled as the ‘weaker sex’; she is only weak if she believes it. Women contribute not just to the growth of an individual but also the nation. Our mothers are the peerless institutions that take on the responsibility of producing morally and ethically conscious citizens who will make positive contribution to Pakistan. Martyrs’ mothers are archetypal of this because they are the ones who raised their children with such strong conviction and moral values, sense of duty, and selfless character that they put the country and its people before themselves. These mothers are the beacons for parents to draw inspiration from for bringing up their children.
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