As mothers, we feel like our children are literally our entire worlds. We do whatever it takes to make sure that they are happy, healthy and set up for a living a successful life of their own someday. In fact this is something that is always on our minds, as we constantly think to ourselves whether we are being a good mother to our children. First time mothers especially get caught up in thinking about this, with a lot of uncertainty going through their heads on whether they are doing the whole motherhood thing correctly in the first place. In any case, for all of the mothers out there, here is our guide to what qualities and characteristics typically make for a good mother.
This virtue is not just to help your child grow up in a healthy way, but also to help yourself manage the many challenges of motherhood. Yelling or getting mad at your children for the things they say or do is obviously not a good way to bring your children up, and so having patience naturally keeps you from losing your temper with them. In this way, you not only promote a child from being independent and learning and responding to the world on their own without (unnecessary) parental intervention, but you also lead by example so that later on in life, they can recognize just how patient you were, and try to exhibit such patience in their own lives.
A great way to practice patience for your kids is to simply practice responding calmly to other situations in your life as well. Whether it be in response to your partner, your coworkers or even your friends, making a conscious effort to be calm and patient will make it that much easier to remain calm and patient with your kids, especially when it may be more instinctual to not be that way with them.
Mothers especially have a tendency to make it seem like they are perfect, when in reality they, along with everyone else in the world, aren’t perfect in the slightest. A problem with behaving like you are perfect is that children can recognize when you are wrong and are trying to cover it up. Not only does this tell them that covering up mistakes is ok, but it tells them that making mistakes in and of itself are bad. If we can’t own up to our own mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them, how can we expect our kids to do the same?
Therefore, it is very important to always own up to your mistakes, especially if it has something to do with your child directly. If necessary, even apologize to your kids just like you would do with any other adult. And use that time to show your child that mistakes are not only a part of life, but an opportunity to grow and learn from them. Not only will your child respect you more, but they will learn the right way to handle mistakes that they may make in life, through your example.
In order for you to properly raise your child, you need to know how they are feeling and what they are thinking, as much as possible. This means having an empathetic mindset when dealing with your children. Instead of immediately scolding them for something that they did wrong, you will think first and foremost why they did it, and how they must be feeling in that moment. This allows you to properly respond to the situation in a way that your child will embrace and respond positively to.
If you can’t figure out why your child is behaving a certain way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking them explicitly. Ask them what’s up or just if there is even a problem, helping to guide to the conversation to a healthy and positive resolution. And after you’ve figured out what is wrong, another way to be empathetic with your child is to simply tell them that you understand what they are going through. Or at the very least tell him that you hear what they are saying and are trying to understand it as best as you can. For all people, including children, knowing that someone is trying to listen and understand you can make a huge difference in the resolution of the situation, and in the case of children how they grow in response to it.
This all comes down to the golden rule – treat others the way that you want to be treated. Before responding to your child in any situation, try to think if you would be happy if you were talked to in that way from any other adult. Or alternatively think about if you would be ok if any other adult responded to your child in that way. So often as mothers, we feel like we can treat our children any way we want to, hopefully for the good of raising them up to be good in the process. But with that mindset, we can sometimes end up coming across as bossy or disrespectful to your kids, which ends up doing more harm than any good we were trying to achieve.
Another way of thinking about it is that if you respect your child, then your child will naturally respect you back. And as a result they will be much more responsive to the example you try to set in all aspects of life.
Doing your best is all someone can ask for in a mother
Even with all the tips we’ve mentioned above, a better way at looking at motherhood is that being a mother isn’t about being perfect. Being a mother is about doing the best you can and developing traits that can be learned and developed by your own children moving forward. Essentially you want to develop the sorts of traits in yourself that you would want to see in your kids. Things like patience, humility, empathy and respect all traits that are signs of a good person, and so by developing these traits yourself, you can expect your child to develop them naturally by following the example that you set for them. Although motherhood can be quite the challenge in general, raising your children well really just comes down to being the best person that you can you can be yourself. As long as you do that, your children will turn out just fine. Good luck!