The most “socially saturated and poetically sung concept connected with the birth and bringing up a child is motherhood”. It is based not only on natural and biological factors, but on social and cultural, as well. Thesis statement: fatherhood is the most important condition of development of the identity of the child along with the motherhood, helping him/her to acquire social roles, including sexual.
Biological basis of the motherhood is an instinct of a reproduction which is transformed to a specific requirement to be a mother. From the biological point of view, the motherhood mission is to bear a fetus, to give birth to the child, to bring him/her up, to provide him/her living and protect until the age when he/she can exist on his/her own . It is difficult to overestimate psychological influence of a mother, and the consequences of this influence can affect during the whole human life.
“Motherhood is the main biological function of a female organism directed on a mankind continuation (bearing, giving birth and feeding the child)”. It is one of the social roles of a woman.
Motherhood is a “biological and social relation of a mother to a child (children)”. The biological relation is defined by an origin of a child from a mother (consanguinity). It is connected with a woman’s carrying out “a reproductive function and is a basis for juridical motherhood establishment”. The main functions of the motherhood are reproductive and educational. The former is sometimes designated by the terms “pro-creative” or “generative”. This function is inseparably linked with the latter (care of the children, their education and training, etc.). The motherhood (together with the fatherhood) “satisfies sensory, cognitive, emotional and social needs of the child most of all: provides his/her gradual inclusion in the system of social relations, facilitates assimilation of social roles (including sexual)”. The realization of the main functions of the motherhood occurs in connection with a family functioning.
Fatherhood is “a number of sociological, legal and educational functions which are carried out by a man in relation to the children”. People’s biological reproduction mechanisms assume obligatory participation of individuals of two sexes (a male and a female) for reproduction of human lives. A male participating in impregnation of a child is a biological father of this child. Legally, the father of the child is the man who has been officially registered as a parent in accordance with the established procedure. The father has a certain set of rights and duties concerning the children which can be personal and property.
“Educational duties began to share increasingly between spouses and to be transferred to public educational institutions. It, however, does not mean that the need for social motherhood as a social institution decreased in principle”. In new conditions, the increasing value is gained by psychological connection of the child with the mother, especially in the first years of his/her life.
The mother’s care cannot be made by any law or caused by the contract. It is instinctive. The motherhood is not simply disinterested, but also is unconditional – the mother only loves her child without expecting response obligations from him/her. Therefore, the concepts “the family” and “the motherhood” are considered to be indivisible.
The psychological function of the father in the family consists not only in providing the feeling of safety to the child. The father shows examples of man’s behavior accepted in society. It is extremely important for education of boys. As for girls, the presence of the father in the family gives a chance to acquire a female role watching behavior of the mother in relation to the father.
In the majority of cultures, the care of the baby traditionally was considered as a female duty. However, during the last decades in the developed countries the number of families in which parental responsibilities are carried out by both spouses equally increased considerably. Sometimes, if professional career of a wife develops more successfully, a husband assumes care of children entirely. The families of this kind take place more often in the countries of Northern Europe. At the same time, in the countries of the European culture, during the last decades, the number of the children who are brought up without the father is increasing steadily.
According to A. Adler’s representations, the role of the father in education consists in encouragement of the activity directed on a development of a social competence. If the mother gives the child an opportunity to feel intimacy of human love, the father shows a way to human society to the child. For children, the father is a source of knowledge about the world, work, equipment.
From E. Fromm’s point of view, the father’s love in comparison with the mother’s is a “demanding”, conditional love which the child should deserve. The father’s love is not inborn and is formed during the first years of the child’s life. The child can deserve the love of his/her father if he/she corresponds to certain requirements. The child should legitimate expectations of the father, concerning achievements and abilities. The love of the father is like an award for success, progress and good behavior. The child for the father is an implementation of a reproduction possibility. A father is supposed to rear the successor.
The father’s feeling differs from the mother’s one. There is no such a rough self-renunciation and sometimes a mad heat of passion. Therefore, the father’s feeling has also some advantages in comparison with the feeling of the mother. The father’s love is more reasonable. There is a little instinctive fear which is not subject to consciousness, so the father’s love is much more counterbalanced and quiet.
The mother’s love protects the kid more; the father’s develops him/her more. The mother’s love raises the soul in the kid, the father’s raises force and reason more. Theoretically, these two unilateral loves can make a much counterbalanced pair; can create that ideal psychological balance in the atmosphere of which the child develops properly.