There’s no way to be a perfect mom, but there’s a ton of ways to be a good one. Yet mothers sometimes get the short end of the stick. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual Time Use Survey found that women still contribute more than men in household work defined as cooking, cleaning, and other domestic duties. Being in charge of the household forces you to make tough decisions for your family.
Enforcing the rules, for example, can make your child view you as the “mean parent.” The good news is that you don’t have to be the bad guy. You can still maintain a positive relationship with your child while standing your ground as a parent.
Being a cool mom involves creativity and persistence in order to achieve that balance. In turn, you will become “that mom” that every other mother wants to be. Here are 11 ways you can become that fun mom.
11 Take Advantage of Technology
The last thing on your mind is keeping up with the latest trends. There is so much on your plate as a mother. Pop culture can seem like a thing of the past. But the average child, especially a teenager, loves following trends and all things pop culture. It will be to your advantage to get into their world and find out what’s hot and what’s not.
On average, children today spend more time on technological devices than playing outside. Many children use texting or social media outlets to communicate with their friends. The irony is its easy usage causes difficulty for parents.
Short Message Service or SMS slang is text lingo. You should familiarize yourself with texting lingo. Use these terms the next time you need to send a text to your child. Net Lingo is a site that provides thousands of chat acronyms and their translations.
If you don’t already have one, consider making a Facebook account. This popular social site can help you learn about your child’s interests and social circle. A study from Pew Research found that 75% of all parents use social media, but mothers were found to be more engaged. Most parents used social media to seek parenting advice and information.
10 Try Fun Activities
It’s important to maintain the role as an authority figure, but it’s equally important to let loose sometimes. Having fun with your child improves the relationship as it builds positive memories to share later in life. Creating fun experiences does not have to be expensive. In fact, there are plenty of low- cost, fun activities you can do with your child.
Start by figuring out your child’s interests. Ask about your child’s likes and dislikes. The art of listening can help you truly connect to the heart of your child. After you’ve taken note, it’s time to find creative outlets to get involved in your child’s passions.
For younger children, partake in creative activities. These activities promote communication and teamwork, which are essential for healthy development. Your child will relish over these fun games. He or she will develop a newfound perspective of what an awesome mom you truly are.
9 Be Flexible
Strike a balance with your child by compromising. Together, decide together on rules about curfew, screen-time, chores, and school. You can choose to extend curfew, allow for more screen-time, lessen chore duties, or relax on academics.
Consider saying yes to things your child may want to try. In doing so, you will prove to be an adventurous and daring mother. Maintain your cool by keeping an open mind whether you like the activity or not.
Fashion is an important interest among children. Allow your child to experiment with different styles of clothes under appropriate circumstances. Self-expression is vital for your child’s development.
Be willing to let go of expectations you have for your child. Let go of society’s standards of what children should aspire to become. By showing this type of unconditional love, you will earn major cool points.
It is tempting to dismiss your child’s daily rants or mundane concerns. But these conversations can reveal interests, thoughts, and feelings that would otherwise be disregarded. Active listening is the key to connecting on deeper levels with your child. Active listening is the art of using senses to converse, connect, and understand people.
Dinnertime is an ideal time to practice active listening with your child. Begin by asking about your child’s day. Ask open-ended questions and make sincere comments. Avoid offering advice or casting judgment during this time.
To connect even more with your child, observe body language. This practice is helpful when your child may not want to talk. Body language reveals the emotions that sometimes are not conveyed through verbal expression. Use these cues to determine how your child is feeling and act accordingly.
Although tempting, do not interrupt your child when talking. Allow your child to freely express any emotion or thought. You’ll be surprised at what you discover about your child in the process.
7 Make Your Home a Safe Haven
As kids today spend more time indoors than playing outside, it’s important to make your home a fun place to hang out. The goal is to transform your home into a welcoming area. Kids enjoy having a fun, judgment-free zone to unwind after school or after extracurricular activities.
To transform your home, provide plenty of games that match your child’s interests. Books and board games are also great perks for your children to enjoy. Switch animation shows for educational yet interesting documentaries. Watching educational programs can provoke interesting dialogues.
And of course, tasty food is the ultimate catch in winning over your child. Snacks, such as finger foods, are a huge hit for kids. There are snacks that are both healthy and yummy for everyone to enjoy.
Try not to pass judgment on your child or their friends. They are going through many changes both mentally, physically, and emotionally. An open-minded parent is essential. Take time to observe your child’s interactions with friends, hobbies, or interests. Take mental notes on the ways in which your child interacts with the world.
6 Spend Quality Time
Work and home life can get in the way of spending quality time with others. But carving out time just for your child can help in maintaining a connection. There are endless parent-child date ideas that can suit any budget or lifestyle.
Trips to a spa make a great mother-daughter date. It is a creative way to allow your child to open up through a relaxing experience. Offer advice only when necessary or if your child asks for such wisdom.
For boys, focus on his interests and plan an activity around it. If he’s into sports, try going to a game or watch one from the comforts of your home. Either way, make sure that it is just the two of you.
Take up an interest in your child’s extracurricular activities by getting involved. You don’t have to attend every game or concert, but do make an effort to participate often. Be present at events that important to your child.
Never express disinterest when hanging out. Value your child’s interest no matter how mundane the hobby may seem. Focus on having a good time and cherish the moment.
5 Respect Privacy
It is a natural urge to protect your child at any cost. With all of the parental apps available, parents now can keep track of their children’s whereabouts anywhere, at any time. Although these apps can help protect your child, it can also invade their privacy.
To avoid invading too much, refrain from tracking your child’s every move. Trust that your child is honest, and allow them to make their own decisions. Resist the temptation to snoop around your child’s messages or personal journal. Make a point to respect their privacy in order to build a trusting relationship.
Downtime is important for everyone, including children. Personal time for self is beneficial for mental and emotional health. Honor your child’s wish if he or she just wants to be alone. Understand that your child’s alone time is not always a response to your parenting.
4 Set Boundaries
Being a cool mom and a parent can potentially conflict with one another. To avoid a power struggle, set boundaries or rules. Children need boundaries to establish order in their life.
For example, you could set a boundary on curfew. You could extend their curfew, but make sure that your child adheres to the agreement. If your child fails to follow through, enforce appropriate punishments.
It’s important to remain consistent when disciplining. Children observe their parents’ actions. So stay firm yet fair to build a strong discipline foundation.
3 Take Care of Yourself
Being too wrapped up in your child’s life can be detrimental to your own well-being. You need to invest time in yourself so that you’ll have something to give to your child. Taking care of yourself helps you to be your best.
Take up a hobby or get back to doing the things you loved to do. Whether your hobby is reading, writing, or simply watching TV, having a life outside of your children can replenish you. Aim to set aside time for yourself daily, if not weekly.
Date night can also be beneficial, and can help to reconnect with your spouse. Connected parents tend to discipline their children effectively. Happy parents equal a happy family.
2 Have a Sense of Humor
Parenting doesn’t have to be filled with serious moments. Humor is important to have during rough times or just to unwind. It is an effective tool to help bond with your child, as well.
Create silly games together. Go to an amusement park that has fun roller coaster rides. Go-cart racing and arcades are ideal places to unleash your inner child.
Mistakes are bound to happen. By laughing off blunders, you can bring peace to stressful situations. Have a laugh with your child through the good, bad, and even embarrassing times.
1 Be Patient
Your child will make mistakes. They are learning and maneuvering their way in a world. It can seem foreign, but remain patient during this learning curve in your child’s life.
Take time to teach your child right from wrong. Try not to cast down punishments so quickly after a mishap. Instead, express your concerns and have a talk with your child to find solutions.
Patience is dependent on your attitude. Strive to keep an upbeat attitude during stressful periods. Your child will appreciate your calm, cool, and collective demeanor.