The flowers, the card, the special meal are all great. But Mother’s Day is also the perfect time to explore how we can create lasting emotional bonds with our children. Here are some simple ways for making every day feel like Mother’s Day for you and your family.
Make time for playtime: Play is one of best ways that parents can connect with your children. In addition to helping them release energy, it’s important way for children to process their inner feelings and work out their little-kid real-life issues. Taking the time to play with your child can strengthen your understanding of his or her emotional world.
Plug in…emotionally: Children experience a wide range of emotions each day (or even each hour, for that matter!), from happy to sad, frustrated to triumphant. Making the effort to “plug in” to what their children are feeling, and understanding what they are feeling and why can create an important bond between the two of you.
Fess up when you slip up: As a parent, you’re also a role model. And let’s face it, nobody’s perfect. By labeling and talking about your emotions, your child will learn that his emotions are manageable, that he can comfortably express them in an appropriate manner. And that includes admitting when you’re wrong and saying that you’re sorry.
Let your kids be themselves: When it comes to kids, parenting and discipline are not a one-size-fits-all bargain. You have to respect your children for who they are—and that includes honoring the ways they are different from one another and different from you. If you are a social butterfly and your daughter is painfully shy, you have to respect and not try to force your own behaviors and habits.
Replace your anger with empathy: When tantrums take over and tempers flare, it can be a constant challenge to keep your cool. At times like these, remember to pick your battles. Nothing is so important that it warrants extreme anger. If you need to, walk away and take a deep breath, then return to your child to start over. And if you do lose it, don’t avoid the issue or act as if it never happened—this only teaches children to deny their own poor behavior.
Take time for yourself on a regular basis: Most mothers get caught up in the hectic schedule of everyday life and neglect to take time out for themselves on a regular basis. This can put additional stress on you and create tensions with your children. Sitting quietly with a cup of coffee, getting a manicure or just flipping through a magazine are great ways to recharge your batteries.