What is the best mom advice you’ve ever heard? A good friend gave me some excellent advice recently. She said, “Be a kind mom. Life will beat up your kids enough when they leave home; so while they’re with you, build them up and make them feel loved and confident about themselves.”
Every mom can be kind; feisty moms, quiet moms, loud moms, all moms. Kindness doesn’t mean being wimpy. It means choosing our words and actions carefully, with the thought of doing good for our children at the forefront of our minds. We think you’ve got it in you to be a kind mom. Here are 5 things you can do to start being kinder to your kids today.
1. Yell less.
Let’s face it! When we scream at our kids, we basically throw kindness out the window. Yes, there is a time to yell at your children—like when the house is on fire or they forgot their backpack and you need to get their attention before they climb on the bus, but most of our communication can be conveyed just as effectively without yelling.
2. Be considerate.
Kindness is all about showing consideration to others. So when trying to be a kind mom, we need to be considerate of our children. That doesn’t mean we say yes to their every whim or wait on them hand and foot. It means we consider them and their feelings as we make decisions that will affect them. We consider where they are emotionally and respond to the needs we recognize.
3. Be loving.
The passage from 1 Corinthians so often read at weddings applies to day-to-day mom life, too. Love is kind. Love is what will motivate us to be kind when we are exhausted, have PMS, or are stressed out about finances. So instead of taking out our frustrations on our children, deal with the kids kindly.
4. Give a disclaimer.
Some days, we feel like our kindness well has run completely dry. At those times, be honest with your kids. “I am having a really bad day. I don’t want to be mean or grouchy, and I’m going to do my best to be kind, but I wanted to warn you in case I seem a little off today.”
5. Give hugs.
It sounds simple, and even a little corny, but hugs are healthy. Not only do they actually help us physically by leading to lower blood pressure and calmer minds, but they help us connect with our children too. So laugh about it, if you must, but do it. My children are 10 and 8, but I’ll still say, “OK, I need my 10-second hug.” Those hugs are like making a deposit in your “kind account.” You hug your child. You feel more loving to your child. You are kinder to your child.
Where are you on the kind mom scale? Tell us, and then take the Love Your Child Challenge.