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Mothering 101 Learn The Rules To Win The Parenting Game

When you start down the path of mothering, no one warns you what you're getting into.

Think back to when your baby was brand new. People showered your little one with gifts and you with well-wishes.

You were tired, but filled with hope and joy. You dreamed of showing your son the wonders of the world. Of watching your little princess' eyes light up when you greeted her each morning.

They would see you as their hero. Their best friend. Their champion.

Then reality set in. No one told you what to do the first time your child spits "I hate you" in your face and runs away.

Or how to handle the back talk. Or the willful disobedience. Or how just living with a little human being who is so self-centered can be exhausting.

And it gets worse. You harbor a secret fear. If life is like this now in your home, what will it be like when the dreaded teen years arrive? Will your child grow out of these frightening tendencies? Will he somehow see all you've done for him?

As a mom, you sacrifice your time, your money, your energy, your SELF on the altar of parenthood. You keep hoping your child will see all you do and respond with love and honor.

That's the way it's supposed to be, isn't it?

Well, after 25 years of mothering, my answer to that is "yes" and "no". "Yes" because parenting CAN be wonderful, satisfying and joyous. "No" because it doesn't happen that way automatically. It happens that way by design, work and grace.

Parenting is truly one of the most thrilling adventures this world has to offer. It's also an expensive ride. And I'm not talking just about money. The genuinely expensive part is you and your willingness to grow, to change, in order to be a better parent for your child.

So what can you do to up the parenting odds in your favor?

A big secret in successful mothering is to utterly enjoy your child. When you enjoy your child on a regular basis, your influence blossoms in their young life. Respect, honor and even obedience start to show up more and more around your home.

How do you enjoy your children?

* Be interested in who they are and invite them to enjoy time spent with you, too.

In other words, don't ignore or chastise little Suzi when she slows you down to look at a bug she's never seen before. Look into her eyes and BE THERE for her when you are listening to her. Ask her if she'd like to join you when you do an errand because you want to teach her about how the world works and you enjoy spending time with her.

* Guide them into being enjoyable human beings.

Kids, like all of us, come with rough edges. The wise parent takes note of these edges and deliberately works to gently smooth them out. For example, I have four children. Every one of them is a talker. As each one passed the age of being a small child, their habits of interrupting and forcing conversation on us (and any other adult within hearing range) stopped being cute and turned into intensely annoying.

Well, how can you enjoy someone who is annoying?

So my husband and I spoke to each of our children, at the appropriate age and in private, and explained the problem. We'd say something like "son, we know you have a lot to say. We know you find talking with adults fascinating. But we also know you want people to enjoy talking with you, so we're going to give you some guidelines to help that happen. There's no way for you to know this social skill automatically and we will practice with you to help you improve. That's what families are for."

No nagging, no shaming, no ignoring. No waiting for them to grow out of it. By utilizing loving training and patience, you can send signals to your child that you care deeply for him and are on his side. If you are consistent, over time he will grow to love and appreciate you deeply in return.

Does this make sense to you? If it does, you may be wondering how you can do this in your own home. Like any new task, there's a learning curve to parenting, too. And just when you think you've got a handle on your new skills, your child will grow and need you to know a whole new set of parenting skills.

Here's a helpful insight to ponder. No one needs to do the parenting game alone. Whether you're married or single, you can benefit from being mentored by more experienced parents who are farther along the parenting road than you are. My family has benefited greatly by the wisdom of many parenting mentors who have come alongside of us over the years.

Honestly, just being able to vent occasionally about your parenting frustrations and concerns is a huge help, too.

Where do you find mothering or parenting mentors? Thankfully, all around you. Look at the families you know and find one or two you admire and respect. Then approach the adults about sharing some of their wisdom with you. (If you are interested in learning more solid parenting strategies see the author's resource box at the end of this article.)

Get involved in your local church or synagogue, YMCA, library and school and you'll meet plenty of families who, like you, are working to be the best they can be.

As you can see, the real answer is to take control, as a parent. Make a family plan, set goals, learn new mothering skills, and get the resources you need to do your job well. By doing so, you will leave much unnecessary parenting stress and frustration behind.

Because the first time you hear your child say, "I love you, Mom", it will all be worth it.
About Author Colleen Langenfeld :

Colleen Langenfeld has been mothering for over 25 years and helps other moms at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Get free proven parenting strategies at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

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Article Added on Friday, March 16, 2007
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