Introduction to BookMOTHER BASHING: Does She Deserve It?
MOTHER BASHING: Does She Deserve It?
This is a book about relationships between mothers and their adult children. Most mothers are women, but fathers as well as anyone else may also fulfill the role of “mother”. The book includes theoretical ideas, but is filled with examples from actual clinical cases that help clarify meanings. It is a book for everyone who has a mother or is a mother. It is for both men and women. Teenagers may find it a helpful tool to better understand themselves and their parents.
It is a very personal book. I have experienced mother blame in my own life as well as identified problems I had with my own mother. My own emotional pain launched me on the odyssey of writing this book. It drew me to unexpected places. I explored the possible causes of mother blame and, looked for ways to help improve relationships within families and help parents become more aware of factors in society that can be harmful to children. Many clinical cases are included in this book to illustrate some of the concepts presented here. The facts are true, but the identities and names of the people involved have been changed to protect their privacy.
As I wrote this book, I realized I needed to ask other people about their feelings regarding their own children and mothers. I spoke with 47 people about their experiences. It became a pilot study for the book. I learned that Mother Bashing or blaming mother has been part of our culture in the U.S.. Society is guilty of unfairly blaming mothers for problems their children may have. Relationships between parents and children are often frayed. I became concerned about the effects of mother blame on mothers, their adult children, fathers, family relationships, and society.
The first part of this book defines mother bashing, explains what a good enough mother really is, explores some of the reasons society has blamed mothers and whether that blame was warranted, as well as addressing the normal, healthy aspects of mother blame as related to normal differentiation and individuation.
The second part of this book Focuses on exploring the issues in our world today that can cause harm to developing children as well as factors that may cause conflict between mothers and children. Single Parenting, Child abuse, Social change, and the Technological Revolution can harm children. In my work as a psychologist, I have sadly witnessed many of these damages. As you read about these problems, you may find some of them shocking and difficult to assimilate, or you may disagree. So be it. These concerns come from my heart.
Children and parents may have different memories, causing great conflict. The way toward understanding this becomes clear in my chapter on memory.
The last part of my book recognizes the profound need for mothering at many levels, beginning with our own children and expanding this to the world. I designed it to help you assimilate what you learned about mother blame, as well as what you may have learned about yourself. Some mothers may decide they made some mistakes and feel some guilt, others may feel angry at either themselves or their children. Still others may realize they understand their mother or child better and feel uplifted or neutral. The last chapter gives concrete suggestions to help you deal with anger and learn to forgive if you choose.
This book is not written to vindicate mothers or to blame them. Blame already exists. It is not a book about how to be a good parent, but it provides good parenting advice. It is a book that sheds a different light on mothering and parenting today and provides information about how to cope with discord in cross generational relationships. It challenges mothers, fathers, and their children to evaluate themselves as they read.
Part of my odyssey involved developing a questionnaire to find out more information about what others are experiencing. You will find it at the end of this book. It can be taken on my website. I will use your feedback as data to more fully scientifically explore the problems identified in this book and post the results on my website. I may use the information in one of my later books.