How to Be a Better Mom

I truly appreciate empowering articles that don't beat us up as moms, but instead build us up. On, "50 Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent" is just such a piece. It's a new year and a new us, so I want to share with you a handful of  the "fantastic parent" tips in the article that genuinely inspire me, that remind me that this parenting thing is a journey, a commitment, and that yes, what's broken, can be fixed.

  • Don't clip your child's wings. Your toddler's mission in life is to gain independence. So when she's developmentally capable of putting her toys away, clearing her plate from the table, and dressing herself, let her. Giving a child responsibility is good for her self-esteem (and your sanity!). **This applies to big kids too!
  • Don't try to fix everything. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child's minor frustrations without immediately rushing in to save her, you teach her self-reliance and resilience.
  • Remember that discipline is not punishment. Enforcing limits is really about teaching kids how to behave in the world and helping them to become competent, caring, and in control.
  • Encourage daddy time. The greatest untapped resource available for improving the lives of our children is time with Dad -- early and often. Kids with engaged fathers do better in school, problem-solve more successfully, and generally cope better with whatever life throws at them.
  • Make warm memories. Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals -- like bedtimes and game night -- that you do together.
  • Kiss and hug your spouse in front of the kids. Your marriage is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it's your job to set a great standard.
  • Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something's wrong, chances are you're right.

See, I told you. Now, what are some of your fantastic parent tips? Share!

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