LOVE AND LOGIC
During the past year, mothers everywhere have been challenged by the pandemic and all the complications, upheavals, and worries that have arisen because of the effects it has had on their kids. More than ever, moms must feel like the weight of the world rests on their shoulders. Moms, do you ever feel like it’s your job, and your job alone, to make sure that your kids always do the right thing, turn out well, and are kept safe? Do you ever worry that the entire neighborhood is aware and judging you when your kids sneak out of the house with mismatched socks, messy hair, and less-than-polite attitudes?
Oftentimes, the most loving and effective mothers
take the most heat from others and themselves.
Wonderful moms understand that kids need to make plenty of small, affordable mistakes. They know that kids must occasionally experience struggles and disappointments. They also know that constant rescuing or micromanaging creates kids who need constant rescuing and micromanaging.
Because of this, the best moms often feel a bit lonely and unsure of themselves. They feel lonely because our society too frequently rewards what looks good rather than what is truly good. They feel lonely because they rarely overhear other mothers bragging about allowing their kids to learn by forgetting a lunch, misplacing an occasional homework paper, or having to pay for a lost coat.
The best moms often feel a bit lonely and
unsure of themselves.
It’s easy to feel guilty or insecure when you see so many “super-hovering mommies” acting like pack mules, carrying all their children’s sporting equipment, back packs, and responsibilities. It’s easy to lose perspective when your minivan is the only one without an “Honor Student” bumper sticker. It’s tempting to waver when the parents next door are working harder completing their child’s homework than their child is.
Moms, I thank you for all that you do! Here are some tips that I hope you will take to heart:
• Parents who try to be perfect often raise kids who struggle with painful levels of perfectionism. Give your kids a gift by making mistakes and being gentle with yourself over them.
• Take care of yourself by letting your kids do most of the housework. This builds their self-esteem and shows that you are someone to be honored rather than taken for granted.
• Become very hard of hearing when your kids get demanding or fail to preface their request with a pleasant “please.”
• Ignore the perfect moms on social media.
Everyone else (including me) can support moms by:
• Letting the kids know how fortunate they are to have such a wonderful mom.
• Modeling an attitude of service by helping Mom in front of the kids.
• Cleaning up after yourself.
• Providing this support throughout the year—not just on Mother’s Day.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all mothers everywhere for everything they do. I hope to encourage all the wonderful mothers who let things fall apart from time to time and who understand the wisdom of providing a rather imperfect world for their kids. If you’d like some tips for setting firm limits in loving ways, you might benefit from our special offer this week for our webinar, How Do I Get These Kids to Behave.
Thanks for reading! If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend. Our goal is to help as many families as possible.
Dr. Charles Fay