By Maria Elahi – Freelance writer
Confident Mother Syndrome is a rapidly spreading behavioural problem in today’s mothers, especially in our society. This phenomenon is repressing the morals of our children and youth; it is also making today’s kids unruly, uncouth and generally disrespectful towards their elders. Not only that, it is also one of the chief causes of destroying harmonious relationships amongst neighbours and relatives.
What is Confident Mother Syndrome (CMS)?
CMS is the perception of mother(s) that their child or children can do no wrong: “My son? No, my son cannot do this… I know him.” Mothers are confident that their children cannot possibly cause the kind of mayhem of which they are accused.
As a result of this perception, a mother develops a mental block that prevents her from accepting any negative behaviour reported about her child. She defends her child ardently no matter what trouble he has caused. She even invents excuses for his negative behaviour.
It has also been observed that this problem seems to intensify in mothers as and when they have more and more children. The chief cause of this phenomenon is that a mother generally becomes more inattentive and neglectful of her younger offspring, once she finds out that her older kids have turned out to be just fine (well-mannered and responsible human beings). In other words, she becomes overconfident in the Tarbiyah (upbringing) that she has provided and loses focus towards the younger ones.
- Love – the possessive sort that makes a mother biased.
- Overconfidence as far as Tarbiyah (upbringing) is concerned.
- Self-perception: “Since I am good, my blood cannot be bad.”
- Reactive attitude and a tendency to blame others, if things go wrong, instead of taking responsibility for it.
- Criticism against her child or children is viewed as a personal attack.
- A combination of all of the above.
- Blind trust can turn your child into a perpetual liar. He will know that his mother is going to defend him or her no matter what. This would give him a false sense of security.
- Would encourage him instead of preventing him from making trouble.
- May develop attitude problems: cultivate arrogance, impudence and macho behaviour, which may turn him into a bully.
- May corrupt his morals: make him rude, outspoken and disrespectful towards elders.
- A children’s tussle has the potential to turn into a full-fledged adult brawl.
- Be fair: investigate the issue before taking sides. The Quran says: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you).” (An-Nisa 4:135)
- The real trouble-maker must be reprimanded and admonished to prevent him from making more trouble in the future. Use scolding, punishment, positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement (whatever seems appropriate under the circumstances).
- Keep monitoring and counselling your child. Remember – the morals taught by mother remain with the child till his death. Motherhood is the first institution; make your institution the best.
- Allow others (elders) to gently counsel him, if they see him doing something wrong – a stitch in time saves nine.
- Be open to advice, criticism and opinions regarding your child – after all, who is going to benefit in the end?
- Teach and encourage your child to apologize when he is wrong – it wins heart, heals emotional wounds and earns respect.
- Make yourself his best friend – let him communicate to you all he went through. This way you can tell him where he was right, where he was wrong and what he should have done under the circumstances.
Disclaimer: CMS is not a psychological term; it is the writer’s observation, which has been confirmed and reinforced by an informal survey.