Mothers have different styles of mothering their child. Some can be overprotective and strict, whereas others are cool and spontaneous—and the list goes on. Family Therapist and Clinical Psychologist and author of “The Mother Factor: How Your Mother’s Emotional Legacy Impacts Your Life”, Stephan B. Poulter writes that mothers can be classified into five types of mothers. Each type of mother has their own unique strengths and weaknesses and the potential for shaping us into how we view the world and value our relationships.
Although most mothers can be a combination of the categories listed below, it is more likely that most of their attributes can fit more into one category than others, says Poulter.
1. The Perfectionist Mother
Perfectionist mothers possess an invisible internal pressure to raise a popular, accomplished, happy and successful person. Naturally, every mother wishes this for their children. However, what could go wrong is that when a mother places too much pressure on her child’s status and achievement, often times, other values such as compassion, kindness, and creativity which are equally as important for raising truly fulfilled children, are left behind.
Often times, they are characterized as an “over-controlling, fearful, and anxious” woman. In effect, her children tend to be unreasonably critical of themselves, feeling incompetent and emotionally empty.
Yet, there are areas where having an overprotective mom does in fact work for her offspring’s advantage. You are truly committed in relationships, are responsible, and be dependable. Her child’s core qualities lies on hard work and persistence. You would think that the opinion of others are more important than yours.
2. The Unpredictable Mother
Unpredictable mothers are emotionally unstable, most often affecting how she interacts with her children. Because of this, her children are often anxious about how she would react to them.
The unpredictable instability in her mood can be disturbing and gives a stressful environment for her child to live with. The unpredictable mother passes the problems, issues, and crises she has on her mind to her children. This type is the most chaotic of the five styles, according to Poulter.
However, children raised by unpredictable moms have the tendency to have excellent people skills and the ability to show empathy to people around them. Often great motivators, they offer emotional support to colleagues, friends, and family.
Having experienced seeing people with emotional issues, children who grow up with unpredictable kinds of mothers learn early on how to read how other people feel.
This gives them an advantage to manage the strong feelings of others.
3. The Best Friend Mother
We’ve seen best friend mothers in magazines, in social media, or we know someone who has one. Instead of acting within authoritarian boundaries, this kind of mother prefers getting intimate with their children, to the point of being their BFFs (Best Friends Forever).
We think it’s cool, but Newport Beach, California family therapist Kathy Nickerson, PhD. thinks otherwise. She has noticed this trend among many of her patients and advises against it. “If you act like a pal, your kids don’t know who to trust,” Nickerson said in an article by Forbes Magazine. “They want to know that you are the parent and are there to protect them,” she added.
Nickerson says there are predictable things that happen when you strip your role as a parent. Being too nice may leave your teenage daughter with little respect for you—or your rules.
“They’ll run all over you, smoking in the house, staying out late,” she says.
Poulter, on his part said that a child who has a best friend mother understands the importance of boundaries between parents, children, colleagues, and families.
Because of the child’s sense of motherlessness, he or she is often aware that you take the lead and assume the responsible role as an adult.
When it comes to emotional issues, the children who grew up with this type of mother may feel emotionally neglected and has a fear of rejection.
They can be resentful and bitter in relationships and tends to feel unloved and under-appreciated.
4. The Me-First Mother
Me-first mothers are the types who are self-obsessed and are always craving for attention. Their children knows at an early age that their role to let their mother have the spotlight. Their children have the tendency to be extremely good at supporting others, and are intuitive and insightful with people in all types of relationships.
They are loyal and supportive, able to appreciate other people’s needs and solve problems.
When it comes to their children’s emotional legacy, the children have doubts on their own decision-making abilities. Often, they always need affirmation from someone, and they don’t trust what they feel.
5. The Complete Mother
According to Poulter, this ideal type of mother is only experienced by about 10 percent of us. The complete mother combines the best elements of the other four styles.She possesses the right emotional and rational balance and sees her children having their own individuality and independence. She isn’t perfect, but whatever the situation, she is dedicated to her children—regardless of other responsibilities outside of home.
Because children of the complete type of mother feel loved and understood, they can take risks, embrace change, and initiate relationships without fear of rejection.
Their offspring have the ability to appreciate other people, colleagues, and family members.
They can have their own perspectives and are able to manage the challenges of independence.