Children need to know that they are loved.
And there is no better person in the home for that message to come from than the mother. She needs to reassure them that they are appreciated and cared for.
In other words, a mother should have a never-ending supply of unconditional love.
That’s the opinion of young mother, Patricia Ah-Ken Usufono, of Fagali’i and Falelauniu. The 21-year-old is a mother of two.
When the Village Voice approached her yesterday, she was doing her washing, a chore she describes as one of the ways a mother shows her love.
“Every child needs a good role model to look up to and a mother is just that,” she said. “The children need their mother to be there for them and lead with good examples.”
For Patricia, she works hard for her children.
She runs her own little business by selling donuts, eggs and pork buns.
“You see my children’s education is my very first priority,” she said.
“That’s why me and my husband work so hard every day. We get to sell food at Fagali’i primary school every day to earn money. It’s not much but it’s just enough.”
But supporting a child means a lot more than just providing food and money.
“You need to be there for them whenever they need you. You need to listen and give good advice.”
Patricia admits that being a mother at a young age is tough.
But she has learnt a lot.
“Children learn from what they see,” she said.
“So when they are exposed to anger and hate early on, that’s what they will grow up to remember. But a mother can do a lot to change that environment.”
“If love is to grow in a family, the mother needs to lead by example.”
“She needs to cuddle her children and let them know it’s okay.”
Patricia is also involved in her village’s aualuma (women’s committee) when she is learning from other women in the village.
“We weren’t born knowing everything,” she said.
“We learn as we go. And know that children learn from the examples we set.
“So it is important for me to be a good role model, show respect to my family but also my husband’s family and that will teach my children to be respectful.”