Monday, April 1, 2013

Campaign to Empower Moms - who should know best how to raise kids? Moms and Dads!

Take the StrongMoms Empowerment Pledge

A lot of attention has been focused on what makes a good mom. I am sure most of you will remember the articles focusing on Tiger Mom, a Yale law professor that made headlines in 2011 by driving her kids maybe too hard to success and perfection - not that perfection is really ever achievable.

So what makes a good mom? Staying at home and paying attention to your kids all the time or at least as long as they are little? An online article critical of the overuse of cellphones by moms has raised an interesting array of responses. In the article Dear Mom on the iPhone (available here with plenty of comments), the author reminded mothers that kids are growing up so fast and putting down the down more often to focus on kids is important. While I agree in general with not using the phone driving with passengers, especially a group of little kids that need constant watching around door and window controls in cars, I think the best moms and dads still can use smartphones and text or tweet while being around their kids.

Expecting that moms give up cell phones when spending time with kids will in my opinion make the children appear as something that no parent wants to admit, the child as a burden. If parents feel that kids in the same room mean no TV, no phone calls, no computer use, but only constant attention to the child - parents will somehow try to limit the time they spend with their kids because every parent has only so much time available during the day and wears many hats.

While I try to never use a phone when I am driving passengers in my car (and texting is a big NO to begin with), I hate to say that you can never use the phone while in the car. Clearly, pulling over when needing to use the phone is ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world. I grew up in a world without cellphones and without TV (at least for the first 7 years or so of my life). This was not necessarily done by choice. Cellphones were not around back then and TV was not something my parents could afford. What my parents did instead was spend time with me each day, but also teach me at an early age that I could not simply demand attention whenever I felt like it. Because parents have to work, back then as much as these days, kids also need to learn that it is okay to be in the same room as a parent without the parent constantly talking to the child.

So I think a good mom (I will definitely not use the term perfect because I do not believe that there is such a thing as a perfect mom) will make time for her kids everyday. Whether it is eating dinner together and talking about the events of the day or taking a short walk around the neighborhood. It does not have to be a lot of time, but each child should feel that there is a time during the day when mom is available to listen. And while such time each day is ideal, if the day is super busy, explaining to your kids that the time will be made up and making them understand that as a mom, you still consider them the most important people in your life, will always get the message across that counts more than anything - that kids can trust their mom and count on her to be there for them.

Most importantly, as a mom, never let other people tell you how do to lead your life or raise your children. If you believe that you are doing the right thing, then that what matters. Other people may question your decision and I catch myself wondering sometimes too about the parenting approaches of others, but in the end you are responsible for raising kids and the last thing you want is raise your kids in the way that others tell you to raise them and end up with strangers because as a mom you did not really believe in the messages you were giving your kids. Kids are supposed to be a reflection of their parents, so just as moms are different from other moms, we should expect the kids to be raised differently and not all according to some standard parenting approach.

If you believe in strong moms and believe that moms can make their own decisions, without pressure from articles or various experts, go check out the website dedicated to empowering moms at Moms have been raising kids for thousands of years and it seems that only recently everyone has an opinion on how to properly raise kids and point fingers at moms for doing all kinds of things wrong. Why not have some faith in moms and believe that the vast majority of moms can decide what is best for their kids in their environment?

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blog campaign with One2One Network. I have not received any payment. All opinions are my own.

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