To be a mother is a ministration and the first condition of an honest ministration is abnegation. The real mother devoted tom her call doesn’t say: this is the son I bore for myself. She thinks: Here is a child who was born in the world for its goodness (Luke 1, 66) – and asks the earth, the sky and the hell bending above the cradle of this weak creature. The answer depends in a great measure on education and especially on the maternal education.
Many things depend on the beginning of this education: in the orientation given tom the child in his first years of life is hidden the embryo of his future life. The first years of the child are in his mother’s hands. And indeed in these years who can replace the mother for the child? The father? But the father doesn’t have enough inclination, time or patience while the mother has them in plenty.
Nobody understands as well as the mother what character has her child, which are his weak and strong points and what she can do with his temperament.
Nobody knows better than the mother till where she can go on being severe and till where she can go on being lenient, nobody knows better than her the art of awaking in her child the desire to know, of drawing his attention and giving him practical advice. Nobody except the mother is able to make this young offshoot grow properly. The greatest influence which exists in human relationships is that one given by the mother.
Do not ask from her systematic actions: she acts rather from inspiration than from calculation. It may seem that she acts at random but leave in her care the education of the child and her motherly feeling will reach the target better than all the reasoning of the father – and what wonderful changes happen with the children under the influence of their mother!
Archpriest Dimitrios Sokolov, How to educate the child in an Orthodox way, Sophia Publishing, București, 2011, pp. 58-59