Tag Archive for: I don’t know what to do as a parent

What Makes a Good Mom?

When I’m in the depths of despair with one of my kids, frustrated with their choices, and wishing things could be different, sometimes I have no idea what being a good mom really looks like.  I vacillate with what the right decision should be in the moment and it’s easy to get down on myself–after all, I should have been able to change the situation.  Right?

As I have been contemplating this in the NOW I’m in, searching for truth, and wanting so badly to be the best mom possible in the middle of the circumstances, I’ve started asking myself, “What would a good mom do in this situation?”

Sometimes being a good mom means being a tough mom.  Regardless of what my child wants, I need to be strong enough to do what he needs in the moment.  Figuring that out isn’t always easy.

At other times being a good mom means showing compassion and allowing my teen to see my heart that resonates Jesus with skin on.  A hug, a gentle touch, or a word of hope can move my young adult to a place of believing in themselves again.

Being a good mom is sometimes guessing who we need to do in the moment. And when we don’t get it right, rather than getting down on ourselves, being willing to apologize and push the reset button trying a different tactic to get forward movement.

As I’ve been contemplating all the aspects of being a good mom, I’ve started compiling a list of the different things I need to be.  Some of these come easier for me than others.  But at times, I need to play the position that doesn’t come natural because it is what my kid needs in the moment.  My automatic reaction might not be the best approach.

So here’s my current list.  I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface and I’d love for you to add to it at the end of this blog.

As you go through the list, my hope is that you’ll take an internal inventory.  What comes naturally to you?  What do you need to add to your list of skills so that your reactions to every situation are not always the same?  If you find that you fall short in an area, this is an opportunity to think about what will be different in your next difficult parenting interaction.

But above all else, give yourself grace.

A Good Mom…

  1. Listens intently
  2. Uses concise communication so there is no question as to the point
  3. Encourages and supports rather than criticize
  4. Knows that their child’s happiness is not at the top of the priority list
  5. Is God-dependent and confident that He has the answers for every situation
  6. Is willing to apologize and make amends without making excuses or blaming someone else
  7. Models healthy relationship
  8. Discusses kid concerns with Dad so that a unified decision can be reached
  9. Let’s her kids make mistakes rather than try to control situations
  10. Willingly pushes the reset button when things aren’t going well
  11. Acknowledges and respects that her children are separate human beings and not extensions of her
  12. Is calm in the middle of life’s storms
  13. Takes care of herself so that she can better take care of her children
  14. Knows her values and models them for her children
  15. Is aware of conversations/conflicts that are getting out of control and chooses to pause the discussion until everyone is able to communicate with a sense of calm
  16. Assesses situations to find the facts before jumping to conclusions
  17. Let’s her ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and her ‘no’, ‘no’ without manipulation from her teen
  18. Stands firm in her values when making decisions
  19. Shows empathy and compassion
  20. Offers encouragement
  21. Coaches her teen through difficult situations
  22. Avoids jumping to conclusions
  23. Is consistent
  24. Asks open-ended questions that encourage her teens to tell their story
  25. Teaches her kids that God is walking with them through every struggle 
  26. Chooses to accept her child as God created them rather than comparing them to others
  27. Keeps fear in check so that worry isn’t the focus of daily living
  28. Creates a close circle of friends with whom she can share her parenting struggles without concern for gossip
  29. Loves unconditionally
  30. Allows her kids to think for themselves

And above all else has a relationship with Jesus Christ and trusts Him for the outcome. 

Psalm 62:8

“Trust in him at all times, oh people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

Psalm 20:7

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

Psalm 56:3

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

Psalm 112:7

“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.”

“Let Go…and Let God”,

 

 

 

Are You Coasting As a Parent?

I was listening to a podcast this week about setting goals for 2019.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of goal setting, I typically think of my career, my finances, my health, and other areas that I can quantify.  I’ll admit that becoming a better parent is on my list, but it usually stops there.  I don’t take the time to think about what being a better parent really means to each of my kids.

There was something else the Kelly Thorne Gore said in her podcast that had me thinking. 

“There are five weeks left in the year.  Are you coasting until the end of the year?  Please know that a lot of things can unravel during those five weeks when we coast.”

Hmm…an unraveling of the goals we’ve set because we are coasting.  As I contemplated further that idea of coasting I realized that it means we’re going downhill and things seem easy.  What happens when we reach the bottom of the hill?

There were seasons in my own parenting that I’ll admit I was coasting.  These were the times when life was good and I would relish the season, take a deep breath, and relax a little in my focus.  After all, my kids seemed to be doing the right things and there were no major family hiccups or push backs.

However, just about the time I was ready to deem my child mature, something catastrophic would happen that would send me spinning as a parent.  “What was I doing wrong?  Why the sudden change in their choices?  I can’t believe I’m having to deal with this,” consumed my thinking.  These are the times my heart would race, my frustration would flare, and I found myself grasping at anything that would put my teen back on the path toward maturity.

And the pattern I uncovered as I thought through the “how did we get here?” was that these were the times when I realized that I had taken my eye off the goal.  I truly was coasting without any sense of urgency or intentional focus.

Being intentional in our parenting means we have a vision for the future.  What are we really hoping for as our teen becomes an adult? 

Are we focused on behavior, attitudes, faith, friends, or accomplishment?  Is their happiness our ultimate goal?

Or are we encouraging them to become who God wants them to be with appropriate guardrails and boundaries in place while we solidify a healthy relationship?

So with five weeks left in 2018, I want to challenge you to set some parenting goals for yourself.  Not the new year’s resolution type that will be forgotten in less than a month, but the kind of goals that will propel you into the future with intent.  Goals for your parenting that will be quantifiable so that when your world does get hit with a calamity, you’ll know how to quickly get back on track.

Here’s a place you might start:

  1. What is going well right now with my teen?  What are the areas my teen needs to grow in?
  2. What is going well in our relationship?  Are there areas where I am too lenient, too strict, too involved, or too complacent?
  3. Am I in a place of influence in my teen’s life?  If not, what steps can I take to make it safe for my teen to seek my advice?
  4. Am I spending enough time with my teen?  What do we do when we are together?  What changes, if any, should I make in this area?
  5. Am I gentle and kind or am I constantly nagging?  If necessary, what can I do differently in this area?
  6. What else needs to change?

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Proverbs 16:9

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Dare you to spend the next few weeks with God asking Him to help set you on the right path in your parenting.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If you know someone with kids 9-29, maybe a great gift idea for this holiday season might be a copy of With All Due Respect:  40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens & Tween.  A companion option might be our online eCourse that accompanies the book where they will have opportunity to learn from moms who have been there.

And we continue to get positive feedback from teachers who have read it. Why not make your teacher gift giving easy this year?

Have a blessed day of gratitude!