Simple fixes for common Mommy mistakes
by Melissa Brodsky
Let’s face it, being a mommy–a good one–is hard work. There’s no denying how rewarding the job is, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it can prove not only exhausting but also confusing. With such a big job at hand, it’s only natural that you will make some mistakes.
But don’t let those mistakes get you down. Drop the guilt and move right on to applying fixes where you can. Here are some common mommy mistakes and some advice for fixing them:
Who hasn’t bribed her child at one time or another to behave better, complete a chore, or simply stop crying? It’s a knee-jerk reaction, but it sends the wrong message. Bribes teach your child that there isn’t intrinsic value in good behavior or even a responsibility to behave well for the family’s sake. Instead, bribing teaches your child to expect payment for bad behavior, a lesson that can last well into adulthood.
The fix? Model good behavior, really listen when your kids speak (this helps reduce their frustration), provide positive feedback, and celebrate successes. Encourage good behavior as an expectation rather than as an option. Some parents like to reward good behavior after the fact rather than bribing kids in advance. This is a hazy line, however, and may still come across as payment.
Losing Your Temper
You were human and you yelled, or worse, had a full-on, adult-sized meltdown. It happens to the best of us.
To fix it? Fess up and apologize. Show your child that you acknowledge your mistakes and genuinely regret them. In the future, take an adult timeout and practice some deep breathing to head off the explosion. You’ll not only get better at controlling your temper, but you’ll also model good behavior for your child.
Failing at Sharing
We all want our kids to develop good manners and social skills, such as sharing. However, there are times when other kids may seem a bit too grabby, your kid just doesn’t want to share a favorite item, or little Joey is just too overstimulated (or tired) to feel like sharing.
In such a case, your mama bear (or sanity preservation) instinct may kick in, and you may want to decide that sharing can wait (or snatch the coveted item back from the grabby kid).
The fix? Start by recognizing that even adults find it difficult to share at times and empathize with your child. Understand that very young children won’t understand the concept at all, and you will have to lead the way in making sure there are enough toys to keep your child and his or her playmates happily occupied, gently stop tug of wars, and redirect (distract) when necessary.
When children are old enough to understand ownership and sharing, encourage taking turns, allow your child to put aside some treasured toys during playdates, and give positive feedback when your child does share.
Here are some other family posts you may enjoy:
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Family ideas for New Year’s Resolutions
How to encourage kids hobbies
If you give a kid a chore