Mothers might have saved Stanford University a lot of money. Most mothers already know instinctively when “mother deafness” manifests itself in their teenagers. It is one of the most confusing and stressful periods of mothering.
A Stanford study finds teens’ brains block the sound of a mother’s voice. Around age 13, kids’ brains no longer find their moms’ voices uniquely rewarding, and they tune into unfamiliar voices more.
But now, not only is there proof. There are some theories about why. It may have something to do with an interest in and the necessity of exploring the world outside the home as part of the process of “growing up”.
Before the onset of “mother deafness”
More than 60 years ago, psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed his famous hierarchy of human needs, spanning the most basic biological needs to the pinnacle of realizing one’s full potential.
“Mothers are masters at helping their children meet this full range of human needs: from providing physical nourishment and safety, love and affection, all the way up to supporting emotional and spiritual growth.” Why your Mom may be the Mother of all heroes
Mothers defend and protect
Amazing stories abound of mothers doing whatever it takes to save their children, whether lifting astronomical weights or sacrificing their own lives.
Mothers provide intelligence and wisdom
Mothers tend to be committed to passing on wisdom to their children. They taught us that the most important things in life are intangible and cannot be bought – love, integrity, character, and honesty.
Mothers as moral models
We witness mothers’ selflessness and daily sacrifices. We implicitly learn that we’re all called to perform these acts of kindness for others. They demonstrate how to behave virtuously.
Mothers enhance and inspire
A good mother thinks the world of her children and wants what’s best for them. She encourages her kids to reach for the stars and maximize their fullest potential. As a prominent CEO said, “My mother raised me and my sister to believe that we could do anything, and we believed her.”
Do women instantly become saints when they have a child? Of course not! But when asked, most list mothers as their number one hero.
Learning to recognize mother’s voice again
“My mother always told me…”
How many of us have said these words later in life?
To this day I am amazed at what I remember… especially since the words were often enough German sayings in her native dialect.
Every mom gives her children the instructions she believes will carry them through life.
With the love of a mother’s heart and the determination of a drill sergeant, she often repeats those words over and over again.
I got to thinking about the last words we hear from Mary in the New Testament
What our Mother Mary taught us
In John’s gospel, she tells the servers at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5)
This is perhaps the best advice in the entire Bible. DO what JESUS tells you! Let’s recognize that the servants are stand-in for each of us.
What did he tell them … and us… the night before he died?
After washing the feet of his friends, he says “Do this in memory of me… wash one another’s feet!”
We have tended to look at Mary for all our needs.
We too often have developed “mother deafness” to the advice she gives us!
We need to remember and appreciate the most important lesson Mary can teach us – do what he tells you.
As we “grow up” do we remember to wash one another’s feet… especially the least among us?
Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk