Without a doubt, being a mother is one of the most rewarding and wonderful experiences a woman can have, and for many it is a highlight of their lives. The figure of the mother is extremely important for the growth of a son or daughter and influences how the child develops in different areas of his or her life: personal well-being, academic environment, work, interpersonal relationships, etc.
However, although there is only one mother, sometimes they can generate discomfort in their children and become toxic mothers, who by their actions prevent the proper development and emotional well-being of their offspring. The competencies that a mother must develop are many, especially taking into account that the bond that she establishes with her sons and daughters is special , thanks to the body and eye contact that is established between both parties in the first months of life.
Recommendations for being a good mother
If you want to know how to be a good mother , below you can find a list of tips that will help you avoid parenting mistakes.
1. Set limits
Of course, we all want the best for our children and we also like to see them happy and smiling; however, this does not mean that they should always get their way. Setting limits and rules can be positive for your children and their future well-being.
However, the rules must be consistent, clear and simple, they must be the same for everyone and adapted to your son or daughter’s maturity.After all, we are social beings, so learning to put limits on the impulses of the little ones is good for better adaptation to the society in which we live.
2. You are his model of learning
The family is one of the main socializing agents, so you need to educate your child well. Human beings have different ways of learning, and one of them is through modelling , a concept introduced by Albert Bandura. Believe it or not, what you do and how you behave in front of him matters, because your child is constantly watching you.
3. Active listening
Many times we think we’re listening when we’re actually listening. To really listen it is necessary to practice active listening . This means that you should not only pay attention to your children trying to understand what they are saying, but also what they are feeling. In other words, you must pay attention to both the emotional component (feelings, emotions, sensations, etc.) and the rational component (ideas, beliefs, knowledge, etc.).
If you want to know more about how to do this, this article will be useful: “Active listening: the key to communicating with others”.
4. Validates your emotions
Listening to your child actively is important, but so is validating her emotions. Emotional validation is a process of learning, understanding and expressing the acceptance of another person’s emotional experience. In other words, if you suspect that your child is having difficulties, active listening can allow you to understand not only his verbal language, but also his non-verbal language (gestures, looks, posture, etc.) when he opens his heart to you.
The emotional validation will make you show that you understand him (even if you don’t always agree) and therefore he will feel more comfortable saying how he feels. Everyone can feel pleasant emotions and painful emotions, and your son or daughter is no exception.
5. Let it express itself
Emotional validation and acceptance of emotions are key to your child’s future well-being. This allows your child to learn to express his or her emotions and feelings instead of minimizing or rejecting them. Emotions do not disappear if we repress them , on the contrary, they can be expressed without control. The right emotional control is good for your child’s well-being as well as for his or her interpersonal relationships.
6. Encourages communication
The above points are closely related to efficient communication, which helps your child count on you for what he or she needs, and increases the bond between you . That is why it is important that you communicate daily with your child and in an open way. This will allow you to get to know him and he will understand that he can trust you when he needs you, even regarding his concerns and fears.
7. Adapt to your child
Sometimes, it can happen that we are not aware of our child’s age, because he can misbehave and get on our nerves at some point. As an adult, you should be aware that your child’s level of reasoning follows a developmental process, so you need to adapt to his or her needs.
Now, it is not a question of treating him as a mature person when he is not yet a mature person. For example, you may have a need at age three to say “no” to everything, because it’s your way of gaining independence. Don’t be surprised by certain attitudes of your child , because it’s not good for you to lose your temper. Keep in mind that the important thing is to educate him correctly, not to get angry in an uncontrolled way.
8. Be patient
Being a mother can be complicated at times , and it may seem that the situation will be big for you. Going to work, coming home and doing housework and then raising your child… takes up a lot of time in your day. But stay calm and try to be patient. Don’t take it out on your little ones, and if at any point they don’t behave the way you think they should, explain why they shouldn’t repeat their behavior. Similarly, if you have a partner, negotiate a better division of tasks, which leads us to the next point.
9. Responsibilities also belong to the father
It is positive that both parents share the responsibilities of the child. Whenever possible, you should find a balance to avoid you bearing all the responsibility for educating your child. You will feel less stressed and it will be better for your child if you both get along and share the parenting.
10. Avoid arguing with your partner in front of your child
We have already discussed how important the role of parents is to the child’s socialization process and how their behavior can be imitated by the child: this is what is known as modeling, vicarious or imitation learning. If you argue with your partner in front of him, you will be sending him a negative message , which will not be positive either for his development or for his learning.
11. Let him develop his autonomy
Many parents may feel insecure when their children are seeking independence. This can happen at any age. Being an overprotective mother is not beneficial at all , because it prevents your child from developing to his full potential and becoming empowered in life.
12. Don’t let him grow up to be a spoiled child
One of the big mistakes mothers can make is thinking that everything they do in good faith is positive for their child . In the first point we already talked about the importance of establishing limits, because raising spoiled children will have negative effects on their well-being. Therefore, you should avoid giving them gifts when they do not touch, reinforcing their negative behaviors, giving in to their tantrums or acting like a spoiled brat yourself.
If you want to know more about this interesting topic, you can read this article: “The 8 basic tips not to spoil your child”
13. Avoid being extremely disciplined
You must not be overly disciplined, and under no circumstances must you hit your son or daughter . Little ones who are continually being spanked, hit or slapped are more likely to fight with other children in the future and to develop a negative personality.
You can read more about this in our article: “The 8 reasons not to use physical punishment against children”
14. Watch your parenting style
As with types of leadership, there are different types of parenting style that are not characteristic of parents but rather forms of relationship between parent and child. These parental styles have their benefits and their negative consequences, and we can differentiate four of them: democratic, authoritarian, permissive and indifferent . The democratic style is the healthiest, and is based on respect and communication with the children.
15. Play emotionally intelligent with him
From an early age, children can develop emotional intelligence, which has a positive impact on their future psychological health. Thanks to play, children learn skills while having fun, which is essential for their development in the first years of life. Play is not only beneficial on a psychomotor level, but can help them to better understand their emotions .
In this video you can learn about the importance of emotional intelligence for your child:
16. Teach him to solve problems
Parents not only act as role models for their children in teaching them new behaviors, but they are a key part of their children’s growth because they help them develop their superior cognitive ability and intelligence.
Social interaction, especially of parents, supports the development of children by establishing an influence through the Zone of Proximal Development, a term coined by Lev Vygotsky . This zone is the distance between the level of maturity reached by the child through the natural process of development, and the level of potential development that he or she can achieve when guided by people who are more capable than he or she is, for example, the parents.
He elaborates on this concept in this article: “The Sociocultural Theory of Lev Vygotsky”
17. Find time for yourself
During the first years of life, a mother’s dedication to her son or daughter takes up almost 24 hours a day, but being a mother does not mean that life and good times are over. That’s why you need to make time for your well-being , which will be positive for your relationship with your children. For example, if you enjoyed stepping into the gym, make time in your life to be able to continue this activity.
18. Enjoy your child and the experience
Being a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences a human being can have, and nothing can compare to the love that comes from within a family. So enjoy this gift that life gives you, even though things can get complicated at times. Being a mother is amazing!