Some quick support to all the fabulous moms out there who understand that learning more about the most important job of our life is the cool way to be the most awesome mom!
1. Have FUN with your Children
Usually, mothers, even working mothers, tend to be around children more than fathers. Whether they are looking after their food, clothes, carpools, homework, classes, PTA meetings, parties etc. etc. But in spite of being around, how many of you actually have fun with your children? How many of you feel the joy that comes from being a mother – on a day-to-day basis? Mothers are so busy with the day-to-day routines that they forget to have fun with their children. Make that one-on-one time TODAY!! Enjoy being a mom! Do something that both you and your child like -- indulge in outdoor games, art and craft activities, board games, go for a walk, have a heart to heart conversation, cook, bake, go shopping -- do anything at all that makes BOTH of you feel GOOD! Even simply laughing together, tickling each other, dancing, singing songs -- just HAVE FUN!
2. Show Your Love Every day tell your children “I love you”. “You are very special to me.” Show your affection for them with lots of hugs and kisses. With younger children that comes very easily - hugging, kissing, cuddling. But ensure to do that even when your kids grow older. They may not show how loved it makes them feel, but rest assured it does. Express your love for them every single day. That unconditional love and acceptance will go a long way in making them feel secure and happy.
3. Encourage! Encourage! Encourage!
Not enough can ever be said about the power of encouragement. That is what builds your child's self-esteem and courage. The simplest way to encourage your children is to remember to focus on their strengths and talk about it. Never miss the opportunity to genuinely encourage your child every single day!
4. Communicate with your kids
Communication strengthens the mother-child bond. Talk to them about your day and listen to how their day has gone. Make sure to listen even when they talk your ears off. This goes a long way in easing out the communication barriers especially when your child gets into the “leave me alone’ teenage years. When you listen to what they have to say, they will want to listen to you when you talk. Communication is a two-way street!
5. Mutual respect Always ensure that your kids treat you with respect at all times. Do not allow them to overstep that line of self-respect. At the same time, remember to always respect your children, no matter what their age. For example, listen to their views and values, their opinions. Don't jump to the conclusion that since they are younger, they don't know much. You may not agree with their opinions or thoughts, but make sure you hear them out. Your little ones may just surprise you with their wisdom. 6. Keep your children safe
All parents want to keep their kids safe. However, some parents are not aware of small things like making them sit in the back of the car while driving, or making sure that there is someone responsible with them at all times. Even as the children get older, safety plays an important role. It is important to always know where they are going and with whom. Keep talking to them about how to be safe, especially when they start traveling alone.
7. Inculcating Values
Values are the best gift you will ever give your children. They form the foundation of a child's character. They are like the roots which will hold them down even when things get rough. Grab every teachable moment to communicate your views and values. With younger children, values can be inculcated through stories. With older kids, heart to heart conversations and discussions will help to get your views and values across to them. However, the best way to teach values is through your own behaviour. Children tend to model themselves on the way you behave. Which brings us to the 8th point… 8. Be a great role model
Remember what they see is what you get! Children are watching you all the time and want to ape you in every possible way! Even very young children take in and listen to everything their parents say and do, so always be aware of your actions and behaviour around them. For example, if you talk rudely to the domestic help, you will not be very successful in teaching your children the value of politeness. Model the behaviour that you want them to develop; take those actions that you want them to emulate.
9. Set rules and limits
A good mother is firm as well as flexible. Don't leave discipline only to the father. Set reasonable rules and limits and discuss them with your kids beforehand. Follow through with the consequences whenever applicable. However, there are times when you have to be flexible and ease the rules, especially when they are tired, sleepy, hungry or not well.
10. Keep your kids healthy, but allow personal likes and dislikes when it comes to food
With moms and kids, food and food habits are a big issue. Either the child eats too much or too little; doesn't sit still, walks around and eats, throws tantrums, eats a lot of junk, watches TV. while eating etc. The best that you can do as a mom is provide nutritious meals for your children, but at the same time allow them to make their own choices about what they like or don't like. Remember, everyone has different tastes. Your favourite food doesn't necessarily have to be their favourite too! As long as you are providing them with nutritious choices and not junk food, they will almost always make the right choices.
11. Teach them responsibility
Children are never too young to learn responsibility. A toddler putting his crayons back in the box or removing his shoes and putting them on the shoe rack after he is back from the garden is responsibility. A child setting her own timetable, putting her plate in the kitchen after meals, keeping her desk and cupboard clean are all examples of being responsible. However, responsibility can only be learned when they are given the chance to learn it. Allow them to do things that they are capable of doing at their age. Allow them to grow up!
12. Honour their father
One of the best things a mother can do is honour her children’s father in front of them. Even if you are separated or divorced, never speak ill about your spouse in front of your children. Talk about him with respect and teach your children to respect him too.
13. Get the kids to interact with extended family
Get your children to bond with extended family -- uncles, aunts, cousins. Make an effort so that they interact with both the maternal and paternal sides. Even if you don't get along with your in-laws, teach your children to respect their grandparents. They will hold you in higher esteem for doing that.
14. Take care of yourself
Sleep well. Look after your health. Make time to do what you enjoy. Pamper yourself. It is not selfish to value and cherish yourself. It is required! Remember, a happy, relaxed mom can give more of herself to her children and her family than an overworked, tense mother. Be HAPPY and let that happiness overflow into your environment.