As a mother of 3 little girls, there are a whole lot of emotions going on between the four of us and I really really want to make sure I am protecting those little emotional girls from my own faults as their mommy.
Honestly they are wonderful kids, we just have the usual rounds of girly, sisterly dramas that happen in families. It is normal and part if growing up. Yet as their mom I am trying to teach them how to kindly interact with others AND each other. How I sound to them has really been on my mind lately...
Am I a positive voice for good inside of their little minds? I sure hope so. Do I sometimes over react when times are stressful or I am busy and less patient? Oh yes. I think every mom can admit to this at times. But over all I want my girls to remember how much I believe in them, so as they get older and are thrown out into the real world they will " hear " Mom's voice cheering them on.
I have been reading a great parenting book as I do the elliptical at the gym and it has definitely given me food for thought on this topic. I am only half way through so I am not an " expert " yet but I love the advice the love and logic method teaches.
Basically we have to let our children have a choice. In life they will be faced with all kinds if situations. If we teach them at a young age that we love them but will allow them to choose, it will only benefit them in their teenage and adult years. Allowing my 7 year old to choose not to follow our house rules and leave her room a mess is her decision, but letting her know calmly the consequence will often promote the wiser choice.
But Love and Logic teaches parents it is ok to let your child fail. If they decide for themselves not to follow a rule, letting them deal with the consequences or loss of privileges is healthy and beneficial. What a concept!? It has changed how I talk to my girls , and is helping me remember to think more clearly, speak calmly when helping them make good choices. Even when it is time to let them learn from their mistakes. Mommy doesn't always need to rush in and fix everything, I need to let them gain the confidence in themselves to make positive choices. It is really something I feel we all want as mothers, but in the heat of things or in the crazy business of life we forget. The often used phrase "You listen to mommy because I said so" could sheepishly be thrown under the rug if we ( and definitely me) take a second to be calm in those moments.
I am excited to finish and will share more on this great book, but it has definitely motivated me improve on my mothering.
Compliment compliment compliment! You know you love it when someone praises you, clicks "like" on your Facebook post, or tells you you are good at something or look especially nice today. It is human nature, and I would go as far to say a woman's nature, to thrive from positive praise. It just makes you feel good and believe a little more in yourself. I have been making a mental note everyday to tell each of my girls something they are good at or compliment a choice they made that day. It is something we all should be doing all the time but again with life's busy schedule we often forget that these little people blossom from praise. Especially when it comes from Mom. I have been purposely embracing this complimenting attitude lately and my girls are responding happily. Our kids WANT to be good and make wise choices when they feel LOVED. Complimenting their strengths (even when they may have been super naughty that day) has a way of building them up. As a mother of daughters I am so fervent to find ways to promote their self esteem. Why? Because they need it, we need it, and believe it or not Mom or Dad's opinion of them always matters most; even during the stubborn teenage years and they won't admit it. ( I know this from personal experience).
Another easy way to be a voice for good in our children's lives is to say " I love you" everyday and why. Duh, you would think saying " I love you" is a no brainer when you love your kids desperately and would do anything for them, but do we always remember?
When they head out the door to school I want the last words my girls' to hear before they face the day to be " I love you" from me. It is simple, just do it. Even as they get older. Even when they may act embarrassed. As a teenager I can remember my dad always said I love you, he still does when ending conversations, hanging up the phone or saying goodbye. It was reassuring and still makes me feel good. My mom on the other hand was not one to say " I love you" so freely. She is just more private with her feelings. I certainly knew she loved me by her actions but I will say that the times she did say " I love you" out loud are times I remembered and felt especially loved.
Say I love you everyday, ten times a day if you want. Our kids need to hear it, love to hear it, and will remember you do love them as they grow up and face life's challenges. Those three little words are so powerful. And OF COURSE you love your children!
Unfortunately, The world can be a critical world, morals are on the decline and the push for so called "perfection" is thrown in our faces constantly. I want my girls to be able to handle this world and be a force for good. I pray as I try my best to be a positive voice on their lives, they will grow up believing in themselves and knowing they are special. But I am imperfect, make mistakes and am learning along the way with them. Good thing children are so forgiving... I have A LOT to work on.