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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Erich Fromm On the Mother - Child Relationship Paradox

Erich Fromm (in 1975)*
Thought for the Day: Today's Words of Wisdom come from German born social psychologist, psychoanalyst & sociologist, humanistic philosopher, & democratic socialist, Erich Fromm. In keeping with the Mother's Day theme of the last few weeks, I chose a quote on the paradoxical relationship between mother & child:  "The mother-child relationship is paradoxical &, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother & to become fully independent."
** Photo from Army Photography Contest - 2007

Fromm, a contemporary of Karen Horney who was featured in an earlier post, questioned Freud's theories much to the dismay of the psychoanalytic colleagues. He was particularly interested in the social determination of behavior. His prolific best selling books include Escape From Freedom, one of the first books in the field of political psychology, A Man for Himself & The Art of Loving.

The challenge to both mother & child to find a balance of connection & independence continues for many people throughout their lives. A friend of mine used to say that she would be successful as a mother if she succeeded to have "built-in obsolescence." What are your thoughts on the paradoxical relationship between mother & child?

*The picture of Erich Fromm (in 1975) is by Müller-May, © Deutsche Verlagsanstalt. The copyright holder of this image allows anyone to use it for any purpose including unrestricted redistribution, commercial use, and modification. Creative Commons 

** photo from 'Army Photography Contest - 2007 - found on FlicrCC

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