Mothering Our Future Leaders: 6 Essential Mantras for Moms and Caregivers

by Jessica Sims

When someone becomes a parent they are essentially on their own. Society tells us that those maternal instincts kick in automatically, however that is not true for everyone.

As I reflect on my work with children and families I am certain that the following is essential to your child’s wellbeing:

1. Acknowledge the good.
Don’t crush your child’s spirit, uplift it. It takes the same amount of time and energy to yell about what she’s doing wrong as it does to talk about her strengths and accomplishments. The secret to getting your child to do well in school is to celebrate her success, no matter how small. Take notice when behavior changes and speak on it!

2. Be a role model.
I am 24 years old and my mom is still my super hero. I think subconsciously she knows that me and my siblings look to her for guidance, thus she acts as though she will be imitated. Beloveds, you are the representation of what a woman is and how a woman conducts herself in the world. Are you pleased with what you portray?

3. Approve and affirm.
Your children long for your approval. Be generous and unconditional with your affirming statements, your children are magnificent simply because they exist. Let them know there is nothing that they need to change in order to gain love and acceptance. The first person to tell your child how special and beautiful they are should be you. When this does not happen they will desperately look elsewhere.

4. Support their dreams.
So what if your 8 year old can’t sing and is determined to be Scary Spice from the Spice Girls. Am I alone here? My parents always supported my dreams. It is no coincidence that I am the successful product of their love and prayers, not to mention a first generation 2 time graduate.

5. Practice what you preach.
Live your life with the utmost integrity. Children pay attention to more than you think. They notice when what you do and say are a contradiction. Need I say more?

6. Be phenomenal, unapologetically.
Celebrate the success of others both in and outside of your household as if it were your own. Be happy about everyday things like BOGO deals and the perfect parking spot. Do the things you love for no other reason than because you love them. When your mood is elevated, nothing can stop you and your environment will reflect peace.

Women and caregivers, we must break the dysfunctional cycles that we have witnessed and those that have been passed down to us. We must become that which we lack.

Photo: Shutterstock

Jessica Sims has a B.S. in psychology and a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in NC, and her populations of interest include underrepresented groups & children and families.

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