The readers’ forum

Mothers are our first teachers


Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida once observed: “I was blessed to have a mother who recognized the value of education.” How are children best trained to be responsible, mature, contributing adults? There is no question that a mother molds the child — comforts a sick child, wipes away the tears and gives so much — but asks for little.

A mother is a child’s first teacher. According to Sidney Ledson, author of Raising A Brighter Child, “Whenever the question of educating children is raised, thoughts usually turn to school and to schoolteachers. But mothers are their children’s first and most important teacher. What mothers teach, or fail to teach, intentionally or unintentionally, influences their children’s entire lives.

“Home is, in a practical sense, currently and traditionally, a child’s first school. Here, a child’s learning pattern is established; here the seed is planted, or not, for advanced education. And here each child acquires strengths and advantages, or handicaps and vulnerabilities, that predispose him to success or failure, to happiness or unhappiness.”

Mary Miller, author of The School Book wrote: “ ‘Only a mother’ — those apologetic words minimize a job that determines the shape of the world as forcefully as any job in history. Can you imagine Isaac Newton describing his work by saying ‘I only sit under apple trees’ or Benjamin Franklin by stating ‘I only fly kites?’ Gravity and electricity changed the way we understand the world, but being a mother changes the world itself.”

Mothers have a tremendous influence on our lives. Our mothers teach us values. Our mothers teach us how to behave. Our mothers inspire us. Our mothers encourage us to do our best. Families get together on Mother’s Day to honor mothers, grandmothers and even favorite aunts and cousins.

In an age when mothers are devalued, they deserve even more of our praise, support and thanks. Mothers should be remembered and honored not only on Mother’s Day but every day of the year.

Reed Markham, DeLand

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