Be an imperfect role model

Your child will never be perfect either because he is human, like you. To be a perfect parent is a terrible role model; your child will feel bad about himself since he knows he’ll never be able to be perfect and if you are imperfect but not willing to admit it then what example does this give to your child?
Children need a role model that is gracefully admitting when a mistake has been made. They need to see that you know how to apologize when you don’t get it right, you learn from your past mistakes and you evolve into someone who knows how to forgive and love more.

Forgive yourself

Stressed mother with child
We all make mistakes. It’s human!

So you got it wrong and made a mistake. Its OK, we all make them. You can’t be harsh to yourself and keep beating yourself inside if you want to teach your children to be understanding and forgiving. If you always judge yourself for doing things the wrong way then you will never be able to heal and learn in the process. How can you teach your children compassion if you have none for yourself? It is harder to forgive ourselves than anyone else so you should try very hard to do so every time you acknowledge a mistake you made. Your children do not want you to be perfect! That’s a sign of relief, right? Then stop trying to push yourself too hard, achieve the impossible, give yourself too much stress and anxiety running around doing a million things a minute. Children need a happy, relaxed mom, not one who is always busy doing many things and then dwells in her own sorrow about the those things she got wrong.

Do whatever feels right for your child

When we become mothers, we automatically also become the center of incoming advice from absolutely everyone. Although friends who are not parents yet have the best interest at heart, they can’t, unfortunately, truly comprehend the problem or the situation and their advice is usually just logically derived hypothesis. On the other hand, we should always make our decision based on mindful action and thought and we should daily try to thrive and evolve to our full potential as parents.

Within that frame, act instinctively towards any situation and do what feels right for you and your children. Do you feel that co sleeping is the best practice for your family but friends and family warn you against it? Do you want to take a more relaxed approach towards parenting that involves more positive reinforcement and love than punishment and strict attitude but you are told that your children won’t ‘learn’ this way? Do you understand the need for your children to mess up everything around them while eating  and discover the world this way but people accuse you of being too soft? Whatever the situation, just do what feels right to you and noone else. At the end of the day, you are their mother and moms usually know best.

Always remember: the goal is not perfection, the goal is love. Forgive yourself for past parenting mistakes, learn new ways to deal with life’s difficulties, heal and evolve from wrong past choices and start loving yourself and your children more. Fill yourself with love and it will automatically spread to everyone around you. You are already doing a great job and you are more than enough for your children. Smile, tomorrow is a new day full of amazing opportunities to do the right thing for your family.

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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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