When my kids were babies I never questioned how much they needed me. I fed them, cleaned them, clothed them, and cared for them. When they cried, my presence and attention was a comfort to them. Even when I couldn’t uncover the cause of their tears, I could at least assure them they were not alone in their distress. Few would argue with the idea that mama is what a baby needs most. But what about when that baby grows up? Meeting kids’ needs is more difficult.
Many moms turn to activities and experiences to fill their kids’ lives. We think our kids need to be stimulated and busy, constantly social or always learning new things. We serve dinner in the car as we shuttle from piano lessons to softball games, hoping that our kids will look back and think how enriched their lives were because of their many involvements. And in the process, we too often forget what our kids really need most. Here are 4 things kids really need from their mom.
1. To Be Reassured, Challenged, and Understood
Mama, it’s you. Your kids need you. More than they need another season of football, they need someone who tells them it’s okay to slow down and bow out. More than they need the best education, they need someone who is willing to challenge them to meet their potential. And more than they need the trendiest clothes or the latest video game console, they need someone who understands their worth doesn’t come from how they look or if they follow the latest trends.
2. Catch Them When They Fall
More than anything else, your kids need someone to catch them when they fall, notice when they’re sad, and celebrate with them when they succeed. Your kids need you.
3. Safety and Security
We get caught up in the bells and whistles of raising kids in a culture of constant movement. It makes us forget that it’s the safety and security of abiding motherly love that gives kids the foundation they need to successfully fly on their own. It’s not your ability to solve their every problem that makes you so important. It’s your ability to be with them—your very presence—that reminds them they are not alone on the journey.
4. To Be Loved
And this is where mothers excel. This is where we shine—loving our kids, cheering them through every trial, catching them after each failed attempt. A mother’s love is the stuff of legends because it is so uniquely powerful to the well-being of a child. No program, activity, or expert can replace it for any fee.
Mama, what your kids need most is you. Love them, nurture them, cry with them, and laud their successes. Childhood was never meant to be a marathon of engagements for getting ahead or becoming marketable. Childhood is a time for showing our kids what makes life truly rich. There will always be another program, another sport, another activity to try, but there’s no replacing you.
Tell us! How does recognizing your child’s need for you affect how you prioritize your family schedule?