It's May, again. Mother's Day is around the corner. If you're a mum, you will no doubt be spoilt with love and gifts come Sunday 14 May.
But for some mums, there's almost an imposter syndrome. "I'm not a perfect mum, so why should I be rewarded?"
Triple P - Positive Parenting Program's Professor Matt Sanders writes that parenting is not about perfection, it's about going easy on yourself.
As you (hopefully) get tea and toast in bed on Mother’s Day, and maybe even a gift or two, you should take a moment to congratulate yourself – not on being a perfect parent – but on being a parent, full stop!
Because here’s the good news: you don’t need to be a perfect parent. You’re on a hiding to nothing if you try. Because no-one’s perfect, and trying to be perfect only makes life stressful for you and your family.
So here are some ideas to help you raise happy kids, while going easy on yourself too. These tips are a good starting place for most parents; and they may even make you feel a bit better about what you’re already doing.
- Understand what real quality time is
Quality time isn’t about grand gestures or fancy holidays. It’s about being there for the minute or two when your child really needs you. So when your child wants to show you something, stop what you are doing and pay attention for that brief period of time. Those little connections are really important to kids.
- Hug a lot!
Give your child lots of physical affection, like hugs, cuddles, and holding hands. Kids usually like the contact because it shows them you care and that they are valued.
- Make small talk
Talk to your child about things he or she is interested in. And help them practice listening by talking about your day too.
- Encourage good behaviour
Catch them doing something you like and praise them. But be really descriptive about why you like it (for example, thanks for picking up your toys like mummy asked). Chances are they’ll do it again.
- Break the boredom
Keep things interesting at home to avoid boredom! Make sure kids can entertain themselves by having lots of indoor and outdoor activities handy. You don’t have to spend a fortune though. Try building blocks, colouring in, cardboard boxes, glue and crafty things, dress ups, cubby houses and skipping ropes etc.
- Look after yourself.
This is important because you matter too! It’s difficult to be a calm, relaxed parent if you’re stressed, anxious, or depressed. Try to find time every week to let yourself unwind or do something that you enjoy. And never be afraid to ask for help or support if you need it.
Triple P parenting support is free in Queensland. Visit www.triplep-parenting.net to find out more.