Every mommy likes to see As and Bs on their child’s report card, but truthfully there are two words found in the comment section that make a mom’s heart extra warm. The parent nervously opens the envelope, skims the grades and heads right over to see what the teacher has to say. It’s the simple sentence: mom's child "is so well-behaved” that makes everything in a mommy’s world okay all of a sudden!
Those words are like music to the ears. Those words are like giving mommy a secret high five for raising a kind child. Those are the words that make her smile, knowing her baby is so sweet. And those words definitely result in a few tasty milkshakes and a large smile because girl, mama is proud!
Even if the baby is already born, it is not too late to start these tips and tricks! Every mom has different styles and opinions on what well-behaved means or looks like. It is important to do what fits best for her crazy bunch and as long as she's doing her best, then she's doing amazingly! We've done our best to compile a list of things to start doing right away to help create good habits and make any baby a star.
20 Tell Them Why
Remember being a teenager and not understanding why you weren’t allowed to watch grown up movies or have a cell phone? Everyone’s parents would just use the annoying phrase, “because I said so.” Well, that does no one any good. From infant to adult understanding why gives something a purpose and makes it easier to comply with what is being asked. Moms don’t need to give an elaborate story as to why something needs done, but an honest explanation goes a long way! For example, no dessert unless you finish all the veggies on the plate at dinner because veggies are important to help our body grow and develop. See, so much easier and it makes eating the veggies much easier now!
Who doesn’t like a gold sticker or a shout out, even as an adult at work? Everyone likes being praised for their good efforts and behaviour. Right? This doesn’t mean Tommy gets a treat every time he puts his toys away. A good job or high five is sufficient enough and is a simple free praise. Rewards are great and help motivate any human. It’s our nature to want to win and strive to be the best. Noticing good behaviour or effort from when they are little shows them attention, positivity, and molds good habits. Now, high five yourself for being an awesome mom! You deserve it.
18 Follow Your Own Rules
Remember the “no dessert until your veggies are finished” rule? Well, if mom doesn’t follow it, then why should her kids? Not following the family rules makes the rule no longer important or valued. I know it is tough after a long day of work to not head straight to the freezer and spoon feed yourself the amazing gooey spoon of ice cream straight out of the tub. But remember, kids are like monkeys, they will do whatever they see. If you don’t pick up your mess, then they won’t pick up theirs. Create and follow good habits from the start to help show your child the importance of following rules and that rules are valued in the home.
17 Pursue Consciences
As a mom, it is so hard to see your kid squirm inside their tiny bodies when they feel guilt or are sad once they have done something wrong. Guilt is a feeling that no one likes, but taking it away or sticking a bandaid over it doesn’t help in the long run. Kids need to know what this feels like or they will never understand right from wrong. Having feelings and consciences helps us determine further in life when things don’t seem quite right. Let them feel it now, don’t try to baby them or make them feel better. Allow their consciences roll out!
16 Let Them Make Choices
It is so hard to watch your baby when you know the choice they are making so isn’t the right one. This goes from small choices like deciding to not wear a coat to school, to big choices like pushing off a school project. Kids need to take responsibility for their actions and many times they learn best from their own mistakes. When they freeze at the bus stop, they will learn their lesson. Allow them to make choices and don’t rub it in their cute face when you prove them right. Talk to them and allow them to figure out the solution on their own!
15 Thinking Time
When something becomes your own we take ownership and invest in it. When it is not ours, we often seem to find blame or excuses as to why it isn't right. Let kids figure out their solutions on their own. When your child comes running to you that his sibling won’t share, ask him or her how they should solve the problem. You will be amazed at what they come up with. Plus you will be teaching them amazing skills on how to work through problems, and helping them for obstacles in their future. Now, it is their idea to share and not moms!
14 Make Them Wait
How often do adults find themselves waiting in line, on hold with customer service, or waiting for a friend to show up for dinner. Or how about waiting outside in the cold to get that big TV on Black Friday? Well, there are two different types of people in the world. Ones who smile kindly and start awkward small talk in line while the lady checking out fishes for her coupons. Or the mom who lays on the horn because grandpa in front of her didn’t turn right fast enough. So, who do you want your child to be? Let them wait, allow them to experience the art of waiting. They can wait for their juice, or sit through the previews of Frozen. Waiting teaches patience and good behavior.
13 Talk Out Feelings
Clearly those little munchkins can’t talk but they can express feelings. They also understand praise, so watch their emotions and praise them when they show them. Dr. Brooks gives a great example in an article from Parents.com explaining exactly this. When your preschooler is waiting in line for the slide say, "I know it's tough to just stand here. But you're doing a terrific job. You're being patient, and that's great!" "When you validate your child's struggle with something, it's more likely he'll try harder.” By showing that you notice them getting antsy in line and that they are doing a great job not having a tantrum like the child in the back of the line shows attention and praise!
12 Ask, Don’t Tell
Little ones don’t understand your finger waving in their face while you ramble on about how sharing is caring and caring is how you show people you are nice. Wow! That blows right over my head too. Instead of telling them to share with a friend, ask them how they think the friend feels when no one is sharing with them? This gets them thinking and even though they don’t understand a lecture, they do have emotions and can understand those. Help them figure out solutions by asking them questions, not telling them what to do or how to feel!
11 Teach Them To Try
Our society is so wrapped up in the idea of being successful and comparing ourselves to others. It eats us up and tears us down. Teaching your kid success isn’t the answer, but teaching your child to try is. They will fail in life, many times. We as adults fail constantly. Teaching them to try allows them to not worry about failing, and when we do fail, we learn from it. Let them try to do a puzzle till they fail. Allow them to try to use a fork when eating soup. They will learn from trying and want to try! Wash away that dark cloud of failing and help them shine!
10 Show Them Work Ethic
If you are a stay at home mom or working mom, be the example you want your kids to see. I am not saying quiet the afternoon naps and make sure you are dressed to the nines everyday! I am saying show them how to survive in this world. Show them what hard work can get you and let them be apart of your success. If you value doing your best, working hard, and showing up everyday, they will too! We know moms hustle, so be proud of it, and let them see your success bring out the best you!
9 Don’t Ignore Them
When you leave a puppy alone and ignore him, what happens? They take their anger out on that expensive couch and brand new sofa. Well, a baby can’t do that. So, when you ignore them, it hurts the babies mind. When you are alert and caring to your little one, it allows them to be happy and helps their brain system work well. Psychologytoday.com says, “What is learned during early life will be applies ever after to relationships.” So, paying attention to them is good for their mind and will help them emotionally in the long run. It will also benefit them with future relationships.
This is an obvious one. Routines are good for everyone. Your day is much better when there is a plan and the joy of checking off a completed task is the same joy I feel on Christmas morning. It creates expectations and lets children prepare for what is next. We have routines in school, as adults, and everyday life. It also helps instil good habits like being organized. Routines with brushing your teeth at night, taking vitamins in the morning, making sure you to a potty try before bed. These are all routines that will help shape your baby to be exceptional.
7 Teach Them Play Time Behaviour
Children love to play. Before you know it, they will be in daycare and need this skill to survive. What if as a baby you gave them every toy exactly when they wanted it? Or you allowed them to cry and scream when it was time to clean up? I can promise you, they will not be the favorite at daycare. Teach them early on, play with them. Show them how to take turns, how to be social with others, and what to do when playtime is over. School can be tough, but if you prepare them with this skill, it is one less thing they have to worry about! Plus, the teacher will thank you!
6 Let Them Solve Problems
What if every time you fell down, someone picked you right up? Now, the issue of you falling is okay, because someone solved the problem for you. Well, when mommy and daddy aren’t there to pick you up, you are left laying in the snow like the boy in the movie, “A Christmas Story.” If parents solve every problem for their child they will struggle when they are on their own. Let them lay there. Allow them to wiggle and squirm till they figure out how to push them back up on their feet. They are survivors, they will solve their own problem. Let them. Make them strong!
5 Don’t Let Them Cry As A Baby
This one is similar to a few others. It is the same principle. At a young age, babies can’t communicate. They aren’t crying to be mean, get what they want, or make a scene. It is their only way to communicate with you that something is wrong. Psychologytoday.com explains that, “if babies regularly get distressed, their bodies are being trained to be anxious and distrustful of themselves and of others. Most of what they learn from under care is tacit knowledge that may not be noticeable until later when they are inflexible, self-centred and easily stressed out.” Letting them cry puts them in a bad position mentally when they are older.
4 Show Them Love
Show them love and show others love. Always. Kiss, hug, and speak kindly to family. Showing your children love and others around you kindness will do so much for them. You are helping create kindness in the world and in their future. You are showing them how to have a healthy loving relationship with friends and partners. Love and being loved is what every child, adult, grandparent, and animal searches for in life. Show them how to give love and how to be loved. If there is one item on this list we recommend you do right away, it is this one! They will forever thank you!
3 Practice Manners
These are simple words. They go a long way and no one wants to be thought of as “rude.” They will definitely catch on from watching, but having them say please and thank you at an early age will instil a positive life long tool that everyone needs in life. If you have ever worked in customer service, then you know a please or thank you goes a long way. Manners can help get you an extra scoop of ice cream or out of a parking ticket. Teach your kid these skills early on so they are engraved into their daily language. Please, we beg you!
2 Stay Calm
Oh goodness, that feeling of when your blood starts to boil and you can feel your face turning red. It always ends with screaming and a few tears. All over something so small. No one is a perfect mom, we have all been there! But what kind of example does snapping on them show? Try to stay calm, express your emotions, and discuss. This shows your little one that conflicts can be solved without anger and yelling. They will also follow your lead. When someone yells at you, usually, you want to yell back right? Deep breaths, stay calm mama!
This tip has a little bit of everything mixed in. Consistency is key. If you aren’t consistent with your praise, your rules, your temper, or routine then how are they supposed to know what is going on. They are learning by watching, so when sometimes they don’t have to eat their veggies, or every other day they get yelled at for throwing a tantrum is not clear. It doesn’t show them what is right or wrong. It causes a tornado in their mind and no expectations, values, or rules. Help them out and be consistent. Be sure your family is on the same page!
References: Parents.com, wikihow.mom, inc.com, psychologytoday.com