The way you interact with your kids says a lot about your mothering style.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 25, 2020. It has since been updated.
A mother's connection with her child is one of the strongest emotional bonds imaginable. She is the first person a child comes to know intimately, she is the first friend a child has, and she is also the first teacher who guides the kid toward a better future. In fact, the kind of relationship a mother has with her child plays an incredibly important role in determining the kind of personality the child will develop in the future.
And the way you treat your kids, the expectations you have from them, and the kind of bond you share with them, in turn, reveals a lot about the kind of mother you are. Below are five statements that capture the essence of different mothering styles. Identify the one that describes you the best.
1. I want to do everything right for my kids. I am usually prepared, plan ahead, and set my expectations of them clearly. I love them a lot, but I know I need to be careful so that they grow up to be the best version of themselves.
2. Kids are intelligent and curious, and I love exploring the world with them; my kids can talk to me about anything and I will always make sure they can talk to me as their confidante and buddy.
3. I take care of all their needs with great delight. My views are rather old-school, where I pamper them with affection and care, but I believe they need to explore the world with peers rather than adults. It is important that I set a good example for them.
4. My connection with my child/children is so strong that I know what they need or feel without having to have a conversation. I listen to my heart when it comes to making decisions and I believe experience and understanding matter more rather than rules and punishments.
The perfectionist mothers expect the very best out of their children, every single time. They demand excellence from their kids in all of their endeavors, and they want their kids to perform well in whatever they do. But this does not mean that your relationship with your child is one-sided. In fact, you put in your hundred percent as well. You practice what you preach and then expect the same. Yes, you want your child to excel but you make sure that they have all the resources to succeed. You wish to raise kids who are ambitious and you do all it takes to make that happen. You also believe that as a mom you have very less room for mistakes, which could stress you out at times.
You are the kind of mother who wants to be in your kid's lives through thick or thin. You do not wish to be the mother they are afraid of but the one they can speak to freely and frankly. You listen to them and you encourage your children to be open about what's in their hearts. You truly believe that the best way to raise kids is by letting them make their own mistakes and learning from them. But you know that you are also there if they falter. This is what best friends do, don't they? They support you. If your kid knows that they can come to you with all the worries in their hearts and you will give them your unconditional love, then you are a best-friend mother. You also don't take adults' beliefs about "the right way to do things" too seriously. You see much wisdom in kids and love finding answers for their questions together as their peers.
The nurturing mother is what one may see as the traditional style of mothering. You are a nurturing mother if you ensure your child is healthy, happy, and independent, but you choose to not be too involved in their lives. You keep a healthy balance and have well-defined boundaries so that you and the children have enough space to grow as individuals. You make sure that they are never left wanting for a thing but you are not the kind of the mother who imposes either. Your relationship is based on a healthy emotional trust and your kids respect you for that. At times, you may want to make sure nothing ever harms them but it is important to know that they need to gather their own experiences.
An intuitive mother leads with her heart and not her head. She is naturally attuned to her kids' needs, feelings, wants, and thoughts. If you are an intuitive mom, you find yourself listening to your child with complete presence. You don't hear just their words, but know the emotion that is triggering the words or behavior. You don't rely on parenting tips or rules from experts. Instead, you respond to your child in the here and now, and that often works out well for you. Your parenting style is holistic, and you can easily see the connection between food habits, sleep routine, and the mental-emotional state of your child. Your child finds it easy to open up to you and you make it clear that they can talk to you about anything without fear of being judged.
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