Archive for September 10th, 2010

How to be a super Mom, with a capital M

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I received an e-mail last week from a friend of mine. She just got married to a man with two daughters, 4 and 6 years old, and was wanting some super mom advice so she e-mailed a few of her mom friends and asked for some advice on parenting. I was thinking it might make a good blog so I’m posting it here.

1. Do no play favorites with one child that you might get along with better. This can be hard because subconsciously you might treat your children differently, but try to be aware and make sure to be fair at all times. Being the favorite is great, but not being the favorite stinks.

2. Children are people. This is something I’ve learned. You can be a parent, a mentor, and a friend to your child. Make sure their feelings are validated and never belittle, support them fully when they’re doing something, like you would like to be supported. This does not mean you have to do everything they say, but make sure they know what they desire is important, even if not possible at that time.

3. Children are people, but they also need to be guided and need boundaries. Consistency is key. Always follow through with what you ask them to do in a timely manner, something Jon has to remind me to do sometimes. When they know what is expected of them, they do it more willingly over time. I would also add, make sure they know what the consequence is before you give it so it’s not a surprise. This can sometimes be hard, but be as consistent as possible.

4. Know what your children are capable of and what they’re not. This is tricky, but watch and see what they do. Can one easily clean her room while the other plays? This might mean one needs more time, or more guidance and help to do a chore, while the other can do it on her own. Watch and give guidance and then over time demand more of them. Let them know why more is expected of another so they know you’re trying to be fair.

5. Children will often push boundaries and try to not do things when it’s new, or not something they want to do. The more consistent you are in what you expect from them, they less they will complain and the more they will just do.

6. Tell them you love them often, and play, play, play.

7. Make time for you and your spouse.

There are other things I might suggest, but even with what I have, it’s all in what your parenting style is and what you feel is important. I feel a lot of my advice is pretty simple and well known, but it’s well tested and proven in our house.

I could probably list an experience of why I think each piece of advise is important, or why I think it works, but I won’t. Partially because some of the experiences are delicate and private but mostly because I’ve learned that they just work for us. I’m still not perfect at all my points of advice, but I know for those times I am following one of my points, life is better and my relationships are better with my girls and Jon.