The Wisdom of Confident Moms – In Celebration of Mother’s Day!
This week, I asked questions of a variety of readers who are also confident Moms. Their insights and stories show the depth of their wisdom and humility and confirmed their desire to continuously learn and improve for the betterment of their relationships with and support of their children. As we share our stories with one another, we learn, we connect, and we deepen our own sense of competence and confidence. I know that my connections with the following women and you, dear reader, make me a better Mom. Read on and enjoy!
Do you have any specific goals or intentions as a parent?
Your child is not you or like you or maybe like any other child you’ve known. I remember going through the checkout lines and cashiers smiling and talking to my son. I wanted him so badly to make eye contact to wave or say something silly. Instead, he cried, turned away and hid behind me. At playgroups, I wanted him to want to play with others as much as I wanted to talk to the other adults, but he wanted to be close by. When I picked him up from school, I wanted him to want to tell me everything that happened that day. Instead, he would explode or shut down. I remember feeling judged, feeling like a failure, and upset with him. I knew it was my ego, but it was crushing every time. I had to read a lot about introverted children to help me understand his needs.
My goal is to empower him to live the way he needs to live, and the only way to do that was to abandon my idea of how a child should reflect my mothering. My goal now is to learn more about how he feels the world and to help him express this experience the way he needs to do it. As a parent, I wanted affirmation that I was teaching him and parenting him well. I was looking for it in performance rather than in my own child.
– Annette Roberts Dorman
Do you have any particularly defining moments for you in your growth and learning as a parent?
One example of many is related to my own internal understanding of learning and how learning takes place. Coming from a strong academic background (Arina grew up in Russia.), I used to communicate to my children that they needed to focus on their grades, as grades were indicators of learning. Especially it is true for my daughter who is older. Both of my kids are very good students, but there was a time period (fifth grade for my daughter) when she wanted to be in control of her homework, and it wasn’t a very good control. I knew that she was going to see it in her grades, but I let her “fail” to learn her own lesson. [Arina changed her views on learning from her professional colleagues and reading research that showed that failing was an essential part of true learning.] Her report card had three “C”s and a “B” and she had always been a straight “A” student.
Of course, this created a panic and an “I just don’t get it” attitude. I told her that I didn’t care about her grades. Rather, I wanted her to focus on learning and putting in her best effort. This was an intentional strategy to overcome her disposition of blaming someone else – her teacher – for not understanding. I asked her to do her best. Nothing more, but nothing less. I was ready to accept the fact that if she did her best, but still didn’t get an “A,” it was okay. It was a different approach that focused her attention on the process, not the outcome. It worked. She finished fifth grade with all “A”s. She is now in advanced placement courses.
– Arina Bokas
What roles do you play and what/who has helped you act as a confident Mom and work through parenting challenges?
I am a woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and businesswoman. Many titles, but the most important one is definitely as a mother. I have one son who is the light of my life. I found that blogging during my pregnancy helped me journal my thoughts so it became my high horse journalistic point of view. I would say fellow bloggers and Facebook groups that focus on positive parenting helped me most. I read everything to get ideas on ways that I can parent my son without spanking, yelling or using demeaning behaviors (name calling, cursing, etc). This is completely different from how I was raised. It is both scary and exciting because I know that I’m doing more good by being educated, loving and leading him to positive behaviors.
– Tikeetha Thomas (Check out Tikeetha’s blog for more, A Thomas Point of View)
What confident Mom do you know and why?
My own mother was confident in her belief that her five children would grow up to be capable, independent, caring adults. She modeled those traits, and let us know that she believed in and supported us. She let us learn from mistakes, celebrated our successes, and was always available when we needed her. I have tried to be that mother with my own 3 children. While I miss her every day, she lives on in me and my kids.
– Mary Lynn White
Happy Mother’s Day to you, reader Moms, and to my very own loving Mom, Linda Smith who has read, commented and supported every word I’ve written on this blog and every step I take in life!
We celebrate you!