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Being a mom is a full-time gig, no matter how you organize your life. Even if you go to work during the day, you’re still doing it partly to support your children. 

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Because of this, you can get lost in the job. Every waking moment becomes a struggle to provide for your kids – financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Over time, you can sometimes forget about yourself entirely, focusing only on the immediate needs of your dependents. And this can go on for years. 

As parents, we often imbibe the idea that we need to be perfect. We have to meet a certain standard that we set for ourselves, otherwise, we feel guilty that we’re not doing right by our kids. recognize

But is this attitude even healthy or realistic? And what do kids really need from their parents anyway?

The consensus from the psychology community is that parents need to be “good enough.” It sounds like such a simple term, but it conceals much deeper wisdom. What it means, fundamentally, is that parents don’t need to strain and strive for their kids. And they don’t have to provide them with material abundance. They just need to give them the emotional and physical basics. That’s it. Kids have all the tools they need to find their own way in the world. 

So what, exactly, do moms need to do for their kids? Let’s take a look. 

Be Patient

Children can take a long time to develop, not just physically, but also psychologically. Most psychologists, for instance, now believe that the human brain doesn’t stop maturing until the age of 25. And for some individuals, it is considerably older than this. 

The amazing thing about the human brain, though, is its capacity to continue changing throughout life. You might think that your kids are focusing on the wrong things right now. But in the fullness of time, they will eventually come to master their lives and the world around them if you get out of the way. 

And herein lies the real challenge for today’s parents. It’s hard waiting ten, twenty, or thirty years for your children to come to fruition. Like most people, you want immediate results. 

Successful parents, however, recognize that putting undue pressure on kids is counterproductive. They’re a bit like plants: you can force them to grow, but you pay the price later on. The end result just isn’t as robust. 

Provide A Financially Stable Environment

Kids don’t care about wealth. But they do need stability. If mom is always low on cash and stressed about that, then they will feel that too and take lack of material resources onboard themselves. 

Gaining financial stability is always a challenge. It often requires many years of planning. And it’s never guaranteed anyway. As we’ve seen over the last couple of years, the economy can collapse, people can lose their jobs, and stock markets can fall. 

One solution to this problem is installment loans by Wise Loan. The idea here is to top up your income in months when you need it, and then pay it back when you have extra cash available. The critical point here is that borrowing allows you to “smooth” your income and, therefore, your consumption. In other words, you’re able to pay for the things that your kids need reliably. And you feel less stress about making ends meet. 

Pay Attention And Allow Privacy

Paying attention to your kids is important. So too, is allowing privacy. But getting the balance right between the two is a perennial challenge.

Focusing on what your child is doing is critical because it allows them to explore the world in tandem with somebody else. You don’t want to smother them, tell them what to do, or provide excessive praise. But you do want to act as a kind of sounding board, listening to their ideas and providing them with validation. 

At the same time, kids need their space. Constantly monitoring them prevents them from developing their own psychological tools for self-control. If you’re always there to step in when things get out of hand, they won’t ever learn to do it themselves. 

Again, finding this balance is a challenge as a parent. You need to step right back and allow them to get on with the task of growing up. Again, it’s not something you can force. 

Provide Freedom

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Parents should set ground rules and expectations. That’s what our society teaches us. But is it actually necessary? Is it even a good idea? 

We have a culture that teaches us that we need to exercise control over children. We must socialize them so that they can become valuable members of the community. And that means discipline: lots of it. 

But deep down, we all know how the story goes. A disciplined child is never the real deal. The moment they get their freedom, they go off the rails and start doing things to themselves that are wholly destructive. 

The alternative is to trust your kids and have patience with them. Yes – that’s easier said than done. But it’s also essential. 

It’s a bit like this: imagine you ask your partner, “do you love me?” Ideally, you’d like them to reply, “yes darling, I love you. I can’t help it.” You’re not forcing it at all. It’s just happening. Now think about how different it would be if they said, “I’m trying my best to love you.” We all understand the distinction here. When somebody tries their best to love you, it’s not happening automatically. But when they can’t help it, it feels more authentic and sustainable. 

The same process is occurring for your kids. It’s the difference between a child saying to you, “I’m trying to follow your rules” and “I love doing the right thing.” In the former, they’re just folding to your demands. But in the latter, they are exercising their freedom. 

Expose Them To Risks

Many moms recoil in horror at the idea of exposing their children to risks. It sounds neglectful and negligent. 

But it turns out that small, manageable risks are essential on several levels. 

The first relates to self-mastery. A child who never experiences risks won’t develop the skills that they need to successfully navigate the world. They won’t learn to ride a bike, swim, or fend for themselves. They’ll always feel an unhealthy call to the mother’s nest. 

The second relates to the meaning of life itself. One of the reasons that existence is such a thrill is because there are risks in the world. If we knew precisely how every day of our lives was going to pan out, life would feel like a terrible chore. We’d just be going through the motions, never able to deviate from a fixed path. 

Children, therefore, need to get a sense that the future is open to them and that anything could happen: good or bad. Parents don’t like allowing that level of uncertainty because it creates deep anxiety. But it is totally necessary. Without it, children lose their zest for life and creativity. 

Don’t Focus Too Much On Meaning And Purpose

The search for meaning and purpose is one of the biggest killers of childhood joy. And deep down, we all know why. 

Kids aren’t looking for meaning or purpose in their lives – not in the grand adult sense. They’re just happy doing what feels good: what’s fun. 

But as we grow up, society’s tentacles go deeper and deeper into our psychology. We think that we need a purpose or a mission in life because that’s what the world tells us. Over a long enough period of time, we forget our child-like selves and even grow to loathe them.

We need to recognize that childhood is a gift. It’s a time when everything is fresh and we don’t need to define our lives in serious terms. There’s fundamentally no need for a purpose – some reason for existing. Just being here is good enough. 

Therefore, parents should foster a love for the present and not worry too much about dealing with existential angst. 

Avoid Holding Grudges

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Parents can sometimes hold grudges or take a long time to forgive their kids for the things that they do wrong. But again, that can hold them back. 

Going back to the previous section, for kids, everything in the world is new. They haven’t encountered it before. So they have to learn how to master it. And that involves making mistakes of practically every kind. 

Parents, therefore, should expect their kids to get things wrong. Modern society is a complicated place, with thousands upon thousands of explicit and implicit rules. It’s understandable that they don’t get everything right the first time around. 

Holding a grudge against kids can be damaging. And the reason is quite strange. Instead of focusing on their environment, they become more and more concerned about how you feel. And that creates a sense of anxiety in them because they can’t fundamentally control this. They start fearing their explorative activities and “clam up.”

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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