A Mother Far from Home

on becoming supermom


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How to prevent having children who are always “bored”

how to stop your children from always being bored

In the words of my wise grandmother… boring people get bored.

Now I know that is cold, but let’s be honest. In a world where there are 1,583,353 things to do at every waking moment, being bored simply means you are ready for the next thing to entertain you because you can’t be bothered to entertain yourself. I was an only child and still had to go play outside and find something to do. And you know what? I cannot remember the last time I’ve even thought of being bored as a possibility.

I am from the country and my high school friends and I are from a really – and I mean 8,000 people small – small town. I have a memory of us away at college (Go Gators) in a town with about 45,000 college students where we made a few friends from the big city. About 10 of us were sitting in our living room and one of our big city friends said “I’m bored, what are we going to do?” I looked at my small town friends and said, “What does she mean what are we going to do? We’re sitting here talking…aren’t we already doing it?” Come to find out, she meant what kind of activity are we going to do or where are we going to go to eat or be entertained or see something cool. I’m sure we eventually went out, but it really got me thinking. We small town kids were used to entertaining ourselves and thinking of inventive things to do while our big city friends were used to being entertained. What sounds more fun to you? Playing hide and go seek in your cars with walkie-talkies or going bowling?

We were used to being creative and they were used to receiving the fruits of others’ creativity. There is a big difference.  And trust me, one is easier to live with as a characteristic in your children than the other.

1) You are not their 24-hour birthday party paid entertainer. We will love our kiddos and want their smiles, laughter and hugs. Of course, it’s great fun to play horsey and peekaboo and do all manner of things to see them happy when they are babies, but being the nonstop source of entertainment for your child (sort of like your smartphone is for you) will get old very quick. You do not need to be the one to pick out every game, activity, book, Barbie or video. They are opinionated and are discovering their interests so let them have a say. If you have more than one or two children with you at home and they all are in constant need of you to stimulate their brains all.day.long you will quickly lose patience for it all. And we know that losing patience is a one way ticket off the happy cycle.  Continue reading

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What to do when your children act like they don’t like you

A Mother Far from Home

Because, let’s face it, they will. They’ll give you a dirty look like you aren’t the one who incubated them, delivered them, fed them and changed their dirty diapers. They will act like this one thing – this one little thing that is not even good for them but that they are too young to understand – is enough to wipe out all those acts of love and service.

What do we do when our maternal heart crumbles {or gets angry} because our children act like they don’t like us. Whether for a few minutes, a few hours, or a day or more, the methods are much the same.

1) Be sure that you are paying them enough positive loving attention. In order to effectively weather the storm of “my child hates me…what is the point of it all?” one must be sure their children are not acting out in anger because they feel left out, neglected or not special. Are you spending alone time with them, even as little as 15 minutes a day? Are you speaking to them with positive smiles, positive words and affection? If you are, and regularly, then carry on to the next step.  Continue reading


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“Nurture Shock” book review (children and lying)

A Mother Far From Home

I’ve already familiarized you with Nurture Shock in this article. The authors, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, have reviewed research concerning various behaviors children exhibit to see whether our first instinct (or what society say is the best thing to do ) actually works. Why children lie is a great chapter. I won’t give away all its glory, but this chapter goes into research and studies where children and teenagers have been interviewed and do surveys on how often they lie to their parents. You’d be shocked. I would too if I hadn’t already blocked it out in denial.

Thoughts on lying and your child.

1) It’s actually a developmental milestone. While all of us want to think our children are perfect angels and will never commit a sin from the day of their birth until the day they die that is just not how it is. Lying is a developmental milestone because it shows that their mind has matured to the point where they understand that reality is not the only thing operating here. Their words can create a reality of their own, if you believe them. It shows their brain is working, functioning and growing. Now, that doesn’t mean lying is okay. It’s not okay at all ever (at least in my book). But, now you know that when your child kicks, screams, lies, or throws themselves on the floor, that these behaviors are in fact, perfectly normal.  Continue reading


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Are you Afraid to make your Children Angry?

A Mother Far from Home

I agree. No one likes to have an unhappy baby/toddler/child. I’m not talking about the kind of frustration that comes from being hungry, sick or teething. I’m talking about when our kids get angry because they don’t get their way. When they pitch a fit because they’re told no. When they throw a temper tantrum because you won’t buy them a toy. I don’t mean a one time occurrence. Let’s face it, asserting their will is a developmental milestone and we should be happy our children are growing up and starting to have opinions, preferences and desires. However, lying is also a developmental milestone. Just because we can expect it does not mean we should ignore it, or worse, condone it by lack of intervention. Continue reading


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What Unconditional Love is and what it isn’t

Somewhere over the rainbow someone started (another) unhelpful rumor that led mothers everywhere to believe that if they didn’t have warm, fuzzy, super affectionate feelings everyday all day towards their children, that they didn’t have unconditional love for them. Mothers everywhere began and continue to feel guilty when they have strong negative feelings (whether momentary, seasonal, or relatively long term) towards their children. To combat this they began spoiling them, trying to make them happy at all costs, and let feelings of guilt (or the idea that they were somehow inadequate) govern their parenting decisions.

Let’s dispel some common myths of unconditional love together.

1) Unconditional love is not dictated by feelings. Feelings can be unhelpful, untrue and unproductive. An anorexic woman’s feelings may say she is fat though she weighs 85 lbs. A gambler’s feelings may say the next hand will be the big win. Someone going through a bad breakup’s feelings may say they’ll never date again. Feelings, though very true to us, should not dictate our actions and do not always accurately tell us what is going on. If you are exhausted you may feel resentful to your children because, quite frankly, you are not working at full capacity and you resent the ones who did it to you. If your teenager is rebelling and taking the whole family down with him, you may feel anger, confusion and the intense desire to kick him out. Do these feelings mean you don’t love your child? Do these feelings tell you that you aren’t capable of unconditional love and that you are a bad mother because of it? No. Absolutely not. If we let feelings govern our actions and decisions we’ll end up in a world of hurt because our feelings change like shifting shadows. Feelings do not change the truth. Love is not [only] a feeling.

2) Unconditional love does not mean happy fuzzy all the time.  There will be times when your decisions, and the decisions of your children, make everyone downright ticked off. They are ticked off they have to eat vegetables and go to bed, you are ticked off they threw the vegetables on the floor and keep getting out of bed to come and mess with you. Children, because they are learning stage by stage to exercise their independence, will constantly defy, try and mystify us. Just because we get angry doesn’t mean we don’t love them. Just because we want to throw them against the wall (oh no, she did not just say that) does not mean we don’t love them. It simply means we are humans and our emotions flare up in reaction to our environment. Because they make us angry, and particularly if you have fairly disobedient children, you may feel these negative emotions often. Just because you don’t look at your children and feel overcome with happiness at every moment of the day does not mean anything. Oh wait, yes it does. It means that you are human.

Continue reading