As a mother of four, I am very well aware of the challenges and pressures of raising kids today, especially while also running a business.
I’ve learned a lot over the years—my first two kids were twins—so I had no choice but to learn quickly.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share some of what I’ve discovered over the past 21 years of being a mom.
- Be the best version of yourself in front of your children. No matter how you’re feeling at the moment, it’s critical that you model healthy behavior. This means showing your kids the importance of being honest and trustworthy, keeping your promises, admitting when you make mistakes, and treating everyone, including them, with respect. I also fervently believe in the power of positivity. Optimistic people tend to be healthier because positivity reduces stress. It also makes us happier and improves our relationships because more people want to be around us and share our joy.
- Prepare your kids for the road ahead. Don’t try to shield them from all of life’s disappointments—it’s impossible to do that. Instead, allowing them to experience being let down and disappointed enables them to build the “muscles” they need to deal with the real world as they grow up.
- Don’t try to solve their problems for them. Confronting challenges and figuring out how to solve them is a crucial skill all children need to learn. You don’t want to raise kids who are so dependent on you that they’re incapable of making their own decisions. Also, trying to solve your children’s problems instead of letting them do it may make them feel you don’t trust them to do the right thing. This often takes a lot of restraint and patience on your part. Our natural tendency is to shield our kids from disappointment, hurt, and pain. That said, make sure they know you’re there for them and believe in their ability to develop solutions. Telling them how proud you are that they’ve made their own decisions is also a big confidence-builder.
- Set boundaries for your kids. Boundaries are healthy and help you build a stronger relationship with them. Remember though, boundaries are not about control. Instead, they help create a safe environment where your kids can grow and learn. Setting boundaries also teaches your children that there are limits to what they can and cannot do, not only in the moment but throughout their lives.
- Always be curious with your children. Ask them questions and respectfully listen to their answers. Encourage your kids to ask you questions as well. This helps build excellent communication skills, which is crucial for helping them forge open and honest relationships with others. And it shows your kids you care about their lives and respect their opinions.
- Love them unconditionally. Let’s be honest. Your children are going to make mistakes—sometimes big ones. When that happens, be forgiving. Help them learn from the situation so they don’t repeat the same errors. Loving your children unconditionally means being there for them when they need you and accepting them for who they are. And tell them you love them. Often.
Lastly, we all want more for our children. We want them to live in a better world than the one we grew up in. And part of that is teaching them to be kind. I think we’ve lost a bit of that as a society.
Kind people not only make others happy, but studies have shown they’re happier as well. Being kind to your kids, and showing them you’re kind to others, is essential to making them better people and helping us all build a better world.
And again, I wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day.