Denmark has become infested with myths about motherhood. There is a flourishing propaganda aimed at forcing women to change their view on children: Women should not care so much. And the public debate has overeaten platitudes on what the best interest of children actually is.
The best interest of a child is to become formed as a human being. It is as simple as that.
A child is not born with what we call a ’self’. However, the child has an innate ability to form a self after birth. And it is the early interaction between mother and child, which determines if this formation takes place and how it evolves.
Already while the fetus is safe in the mother’s womb, the formation of the self begins. This is well described by professor Daniel Sterns. He was an expert on the early development of children and on the bond between mother and child.
Sterns described what he calls affective transaction. An affective transaction is like an instinctive choreography of the body language, which forms part of the ’conversation’ between mother and child. It could be a smile and a smile returned, gestures, gazes, pitch of tone – all of the subtle signals that need to be aligned like a graceful dance, so there is a responsive process between mother and child.
This choreography is the basis for our entire human-ness. It is the quality of this bond, which shapes our ability to form relations later in life.
When you attack the mother at the most vulnerable time in her life as it is done in Denmark, you also attack the conditions under which the affective transactions take place. This is because the best interest of the child CANNOT be separated from the best interest of the primary bond. Any threat against the relation between the primary bond and the child is thus a threat against the whole formation of the child. And thereby against the best interest of the child.
We are not saying that the father is not important. But we maintain the also the father must submit himself to the child’s ability to form its ‘self’. And if he does not know how to do this without threatening the mother, then that is where intervention is needed.
However, the political Denmark couldn’t care less. Motherhood is under attack by an aggressive discourse about ’father’s rights’. The whole debate about the Parental Responsibility Act is permeated by talk about ’force’ and ’enforcement law’. They simply remove the children from their primary bond, if they criticize the law. The political agenda is prioritized above the individual – and above the best interest of the child.
Well combed politicians appear on screens with mouths that move and floods of words with no content, which form a cloud of word gas around them, while stiff smiles and attention craving media flirts hide the core of the message: That the law makers did not have the fantasy to imagine how a divorced father can retain any role as a father by the use of OTHER methods than force and submission of the mother otherwise only found in totalitarian regimes.
In the Network Mom, we expect the birth rate to plummet even lower as a consequence of the current course. And under the circumstances, this is probably for the best. Because it is very scary to imagine where Denmark ends up, unless the the law and the use of force against mothers is stopped immediately. This country needs to take up a whole new course in order to recreate itself.