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Harmful Maternal Behaviors

Running head: HARMFUL MATERNAL BEHAVIORS 1
Harmful Maternal Behaviors
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HARMFUL MATERNAL BEHAVIORS 2
Harmful Maternal Behaviors
A mother is the basic condition of the child's development. The mother forms the
child's future personality, able to withstand changes in the environment and deal with stress.
Maternal behavioral patterns play a fundamental role in this process. Any pathological impact
on the immature brain can lead to a deviation of mental development. Its manifestations can
be different depending on the etiology, localization, prevalence, and lesion severity, as well
as the social conditions in which a child is brought up. Overprotection and excessive pressure
are harmful maternal behaviors which necessarily cause serious violations in the emotional
and, ultimately, in the overall mental development of the child.
Overprotection is expressed in the mother's desire to surround children with increased
attention, protect them even in the absence of a real danger, oblige them to act in a certain
way that is most safe for the mother. Overprotection becomes an obstacle to the development
of independent behavior, promotes infantilization. It leads children to dependence and
prevents them from forming of responsibility, acquiring social experience outside the family,
isolating them from other sources of social influences. These children tend to have
communication difficulties. Also, they have a great risk of nervous breakdowns and
psychosomatic disorders (Clarke, Cooper, & Creswell, 2013, p. 619). In addition, the so-
called learned helplessness - a psychological state when any obstacle is considered as
insurmountable - is also a typical consequence of such harmful maternal behavior as
overprotection (Clarke, Cooper, & Creswell, 2013, p. 621).
Demanding and directive maternal behavior is also fraught with serious development
risks. Such behavior manifests itself in excessive constant pressure that does not meet the
needs of the child. The mother's requirements may not correspond to the sex, age or
characteristics of the child's personality. Directive education depends either on the mother's
lifestyle or on her own inflated ambitions which were not realized (Streep, 2009, p. 96). Such
HARMFUL MATERNAL BEHAVIORS 3
violence against the child which attempts to remake his or her nature is extremely dangerous
for the immature psyche. Directive behavior leads to infantilism and frustration of the child's
desires (Streep, 2009, p. 98). Thus, pressure not only limits development opportunities but
also puts it on the brink of psychological risk.
It should not be doubted that such an uncertain and tense situation in which a child is
brought up, is fraught with development risk. If the mother suppresses her child, shows
hostility, the development of the child will be disrupted. Overprotection also leads to
development risks. Both these harmful maternal behaviors lead to adverse consequences for
the social and emotional development of the child.
HARMFUL MATERNAL BEHAVIORS 4
References
Clarke, K., Cooper, P., & Creswell, C. (2013). The parental overprotection scale:
Associations with child and parental anxiety. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151(2),
618624. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2013.07.007
Streep, P. (2009). Mean mothers: Overcoming the legacy of hurt. New York, NY: William
Morrow.

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