Saturday, February 2, 2008

How to Be a Good Mother

There's already a lot to cover when learning how to be the best parent you can be. But there are certain challenges a mother faces as a parent that are distinct from those of being a father. Here's how to overcome them and raise your child(ren) well.


Be patient. Being a mother is a little challenging sometimes, especially if you have a daughter. But keep your cool and try to stay patient. Your' daughter snuck into your room and put on your makeup? Explain to her the practical reasons why she shouldn't do this, such as hygiene, clogging pores, etc. Then tell her why you don't like her doing it- she'll muck up her skin at this young age, this is your makeup, etc. Try this approach to other problems. Stay calm, explain the practical reasons not to do something, and then why YOU don't want them to do something.

Take an interest in your child's interests. If your son likes cars, maybe buy him a model car he can make. Ask questions, like what is your favourite type of car, which model is that car, etc. If your daughter is interested in animals, buy her something like a magazine for animals, and tell her some interesting sites and books she can look at. Ask her what her favourite animal is, info about animals, etc. Make an effort.

Don't be tight about money. Okay, so blowing money day after day isn't the best thing to do, but don't automatically say no to everything your kid asks for. If you always say no and follow this with a lecture about saving money, you will be known as the "Tight Parent", the one who never buys anything. Buy something small every now and then. Even offering to purchase some candy or chips at the petrol station can make a difference. Every now and then buy something big that you are sure your kid wants. For example, an i-pod, or a bike. And be generous at birthdays.

This can include taking a special day to go out to dinner, see a movie, and choose a nice gift or receive nice gifts from parents.

Make sure you are an approachable person to talk to. Try your hardest to always be understanding and a good listener. Knowing that they can go to their mum for friendship advice, information on sex and puberty, homework help, or just a hug goes a long way for kids. Not having someone they can talk to can cause kids to retire into a shell, so make sure you talk to them about how they feel regularly.

Be supportive, and never laugh at your kids hobbies, interests or friends. So, your son doesn't want to study medicine and become a doctor? Don't get angry, this is your childs' life and they can make some of their own decisions. Understand that it's okay if your child thinks differently from you. Don't get mad because they have a different opinion to you, or your son wants to become an engineer and not a doctor. Don't laugh at them, or their friends. Who cares if you daughter listens to heavy metal music and wears too much eyeliner? She's still your daughter. And so what if your son is friends with a guy who speaks in a funny accent or who has a different skin color? You might not do what your kids do, but that is their decision, not yours. You have a big impact on their lives already-you choose what school they go to, when they eat dinner, the amount of pocket money they get for doing chores. Don't over do it.

Be able to admit that something you did may have been wrong and don't be afraid to apologize. It might be hard, but it's better for everyone if you just admit to your mistakes and apologize. It saves everyone the trouble of being mad that you're being stubborn and teaches your kids that it's okay to make mistakes, as well as the importance of an apology. Simply calm yourself, evaluate the situation, determine what you did wrong and why. Then apologize and explain how or why you acted the way you did. A good way to start off may be: "I would like to apologize for how I acted earlier, and I realize that I was wrong," then transition into the rest.


Help your child with their homework. Not only will you know what they're doing in school, but your child will probably start coming to you for help by themselves.
Spend quality time with your child. Play ball with your son or do a craft project with your daughter. And make sure you have fun.

Take your child out to museums, the theatre, classical music concerts, and other cultural events. While they may not like it at the time, they will most likely be grateful when they are older that they have a more well-rounded background.

Always be supportive and accepting.

Always try to be fair.

Don't use the phrase, "I carried you for 9 months!" in an argument. Your kids will most likely not understand what you actually had to go through, and it won't be really effective.

A few other observations from another perspective:

Parents need to teach their children how to be successful adults. Don't routinely do things for your children that they can learn to do for themselves.

Life is a great teacher. Don't be too quick to rescue your child from the results of their own actions if the consequences are not overly severe.

Your child is an individual deserving of respect, not an extension or a reflection of you.

Love them unconditionally; don't force them to be who you think they should be in order to earn your love.

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