The Mom You're Meant to Be
It's important for moms to have the confidence and support they need to connect with their kids.
All moms experience moments when they feel unequal to the responsibility of motherhood and think: I just can't do this! I don't have the strength and wisdom for raising this child.
Cheri Fuller wants moms to have the confidence and support they need to connect with their kids. The process starts when parents begin to understand their children and value them for who they are. Discover how you can start the connection today.
- Understand your child's temperament. Do you wonder why your child acts the way he does? The way your child behaves is influenced, in many ways, by his temperament.
- Discover your child's learning style. Even with a toddler, you can find out how he learns best. All it takes is reading a story to him.
- Pass on a love of learning. A few simple suggestions are all you need to make learning a fun process for your child. He will catch your enthusiasm.
- Teach your child to pray. When kids start to realize that talking to God is as natural as talking to their friends, they begin to enjoy prayer. Make conversation with God a part of your day-to-day routine.
- Listen to your child. Invest in your relationship with your child and take the time to actively listen. He will know he is a valued member of the family when you do so.
- Delight in your child's wonder. Take advantage of nature in your own backyard and capture your child's imagination.
Understand Your Child's Temperament
From birth onward, people behave and respond in different ways to their surroundings and life experiences. The way we react is largely influenced by our temperaments. You will probably find your child in one or more of the following characteristics of varying temperaments.
Activity level: Does your child like to climb and run? Or does he prefer to read and draw?
Predictability and consistency: How predictable is your child's biological functions, like waking and sleeping, hunger, etc.?
Response to new situations: What is his first response to unfamiliar situations? Does he act anxious until he has tried it a few times or does he jump in enthusiastically?
Flexibility: Does he adapt if you're out together and he has to nap later?
Sensitivity to sudden sounds and textures: Does he startle easily, awaken to small sounds or complain about clothes irritating his skin? Or does it take more noise and discomfort before he reacts?
Positive or negative mood: When he was a baby, did he wake up in a happy mood or cry and fuss?
High- or low-intensity emotions: Is your child easygoing or does he protest and cry when frustrated?
Easily distracted or highly focused: Does your baby want his bottle (or older, want to finish his game) and can't be distracted from that desire? If so, he's probably a more focused child.
Attention span and persistence level: Does your child have a long attention span and keep persevering when working on a puzzle until it's completed. Or does he give up when frustrated?
Discover Your Child's Learning Style
Imagine you're reading from a book with the repeated refrain "and the rabbit went hop, hop, hop." Does you're child:
- insist on sitting on your lap to see the pictures? This is a sign of a visual learner.
- mimic the words of the refrain or interrupt to talk about the story? This is a sign of an auditory learner.
- move around and do what the refrain says (hop, hop, hop)? This is a sign of a kinesthetic learner.
Pass on a Love of Learning
A child catches a love of learning from a parent who likes to find things out and enjoys learning. It's not that hard to be a good example in this way. Try these suggestions:
Continue to learn. If you don't know something, head for the library with your child. Let her see you check out the computerized card catalog, ask the library staff for help and find resources.
Write and read. When you write a letter, explain to your kids what you're doing. If you're an avid reader, let your kids hear you laugh when you read the Sunday comics.
Admit when you're wrong. Even in your shortcomings, you can be a good role model. When your kids see you learn from your weaknesses, they learn how to handle their own failures. They will be more likely to risk making mistakes so they can grow, knowing they have their parents' support.
Adapted from The Mom You're Meant to Be by Cheri Fuller (Focus on the Family/Tyndale House, 2003). Used by permission.