In my art therapy practice, I have primarily seen children who have been suffering due to very difficult family situations. In most cases, for a variety of reasons, the child’s mother is struggling, is having trouble functioning, and can’t take proper care of the child. These paintings by a mother and her child both convey a sense of their distress.
All children are disturbed and scared by a mother’s dysfunction. But at the same time, they usually have a profound sense of their mother’s love for them, and the longing for that loving mother never goes away. This child’s clay figures show two sides of her mother. Although the mom with the cigarette hanging out of her mouth was a neglectful addict, the child has also often experienced the warmth of that motherly smile.
In spite of whatever distress, dysfunction, neglect, or abuse a child has a experienced, most children cling to that sense of their loving mother through thick and thin.
To those mothers who are struggling hard to overcome big, difficult problems and become good mothers to their children, I wish you the best. I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.