You’re a mom. You know what that means — the good and the bad. But, what lessons have you learned from mommyhood? If you’re just starting a family, or if you’ve got 2 kids under your wing, here’s what experienced moms can teach you about how to raise a large family without going crazy.
Pick Your Battles
The common phrase you hate to hear, but you know is true. There are times when you need to “let it go,” and times when you need to fight the good fight. Knowing when to do which is the trick. Picking your battles means that you only make a fuss about things that truly matter.
A good litmus test for this is to think about whether something will matter a year from now. Since most things won’t, you don’t need to fight over something that won’t matter. Don’t worry about being perfect — nobody is. But, always shoot for the stars. Swing for the fences. Make every argument really count. And, if it doesn’t count, then drop it.
Sometimes, the battle isn’t about family issues, either. It can be about legal issues. While most people want justice for things like their kid being bullied, or a faulty toy hurting their child, Belt & Bruner, a personal injury attorney, notes that you have to be able to prove negligence in most cases. And, that’s not easy.
Don’t Freak Out
When your child starts screaming, even blood-curdling screams, he or she is probably alright. If you have several children, and at least one of them is old enough to be somewhat responsible when you’re around, it’s probably OK to let the oldest of the young ones “babysit” if you’re at a friend’s house or out shopping.
When your kids are screaming, rushing in to “save” them can also instill a sense of helplessness in them at a very early age. It makes them more dependent on you and reduces their independence. It makes them think that any time there’s a problem, mom will rush in to save the day.
Not only is this unrealistic, it’s not helpful for the child’s own psychology or your well-being. A “helicopter parent” is one that is always run down and “out of gas.” This is one piece of advice that experienced moms almost always try to tell new moms.
Let The Village Raise The Little Ones
You’ve probably heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” Seems like families with a lot of children have their own village, doesn’t it? In a sense, they do. Younger kids learn from older ones. Older ones, learn from you. So, if you have a 10-year-old, he will teach your 7 and 3-year-old things that you already taught the 10-year-old. All you need to do is focus on teaching the 10-year-old.
Parents with just one or two children can still do this by inviting the older neighborhood kids over to hang out with your younger children.
Trust Your Child’s Good Judgment
We often don’t think of children as having good judgment, but they do. Let them learn from their bad judgment, too. Making mistakes is part of life, part of growing up. Let your children learn how to grow up. When they fall, let them fall. Let them learn how to pick themselves back up again. That’s a valuable life lesson that no parent can ever teach their child.
Madison Kirk is a Mom with hilarious stories and must-know tips which she loves sharing and comparing with other Moms online.