Dear Mom, You are valuable.
Here’s why I need you to stop the self-doubt and be more confident in your parenting abilities!
ONE: The value you see in yourself is setting an example of the value your children will see in themselves!
Children are always watching their parents and what they are doing. Parents are constantly setting an example of self-value for their little-ones. In fact, a mother from one of our FOCUS for Mothers classes recently shared her story with about her journey to find her self-value again. It wasn’t long before she realized how this journey was also an inspiration to her child.
Here’s what she had to say, “All my life, I was told that my worth was dependent on the type of husband I found, how good of a homemaker I could be, and so forth. So, when I lost all of that, my life essentially crumbled. I didn’t know my purpose or worth in life besides trying to hold it together for my kids. It wasn’t until I came here to FOCUS that I realized my value isn’t contingent on the people around me or how good I was at what I did. My value is based on that fact that I am a human being on this earth. When I realized that no one could take my value away from me, I carried myself with more confidence and I did things with more purpose! And you know what the best thing was? My children noticed my change in rhythm. My littlest one came up to me and said, “Mommy is prettiest when she’s happy and smiling and I want to be like mommy when I grow up”. That was the moment everything clicked for me. Yes, I was still living my life but everything I did wasn’t so myself anymore, it was also for my children. And that meant I wanted to show them that no one could ever take their value away.”
Mom, remember that it’s essential to possess the traits you want your children to have within yourself! You can’t pass on something you don’t have!
TWO: That listening and guiding you’re doing with your kids -- keep it up because it’s making all the difference in their lives!
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard by a parent is no matter how right you were with your child, never say “I told you so”. Those words only cut off any conversation and stunt relationship building opportunities!
Some of the mothers in our FOCUS class share time and time again how taking the time to talk to their children had made all the difference in their communication and relationship now.
One mom stood out in particular. She said, “I’ve been warning my oldest daughter to be careful of the friends she hangs out with because they weren’t the best of friends to her. I was explaining to her how the drugs they were doing was a hard no and to see if she could find other friends that weren’t into drugs. Of course, she ignored my warning until I got a call from the school that she had been picked up for possession of drugs. I drove up to the police stations and there in the back sits my daughter, just bawling her eyes out. When I asked her what happened, she said those drugs weren’t hers and she was holding them for her “friend” because she didn’t want her to get in trouble. But she didn’t want to get in trouble either. I bit my tongue and instead of saying, “I told you so,” I asked her, “what should you do now?” And to my surprise, she told me that she thinks it’s best to tell the police the truth. From that day on, our communication was more transparent than it has ever been!”
THREE: Keep setting those strong healthy boundaries for your children and teach them that their boundaries are also very important!
Boundaries are not only important for you, but also your kids! Boundaries help keep you from stretching yourself too thin and prevents burn out. You can’t give 100% of yourself to your kids while you keep pouring out, but don’t get poured back in yourself!
Without boundaries, mothers and their children tolerate ill treatment by others impacting personal safety. Teaching your kids to say “No” and not feel guilty about it, is such an empowering boundary, especially when your child knows something is wrong.
Another FOCUS for Mothers mom shared in class that she had been teaching her 4-year-old daughter what safe touches were and what not safe touches were. The mom also told her daughter that if someone tries to give her not-safe touches that she needs to yell, “No!”, go tell an adult, and remember that it’s okay to say no when someone makes you feel unsafe. About a month after that she taught her daughter this, her daughter came home and said that an older boy had touched her inappropriately and that she yelled “no!” and ran to tell a teacher. The mom said, “I’ve never been so torn in my life. There’s a part of me that is so glad I taught her those boundaries and what to do when someone crosses it, but I never expected it to actually happen to her.” She was so glad that she re-enforced with her child that NO means NO!
All-in-all, remember this: Keep doing what you are doing, Mom, because it definitely is working! Remember when those self-doubts start to creep in, that you are being the best mom you can be for your children!
Marie Luong, Your Local Cheerleader