Celebrating the Diversity of Mothers and all that they do

I attended a parenting class recently because I had questions about how to effectively raise healthy, responsible children, especially in today’s society. I would be lying if I said parenting is easy. In fact, parenting takes work and the balance in parenting responsibilities is not always easily divided.

So who carries the responsibility of parenting?

With the utmost respect for all the single and involved daddies, I will use this May issue to focus on the huge role that many mothers play in parenting their children.  It is a role that has become more diverse yet its title still holds so much meaning for many.

What is a mother? One definition includes “a woman in relation to a child to whom she has given birth”. However, many will agree that this definition of “mother” needs to be broadened. Along with the nine months of anticipation awaiting the miraculous delivery, we cannot overlook the grueling adoption interviews that a couple must endure in order to be “approved’ to bring home their bundle of joy, or when the door bell rings and you realize the next few months (or years) will be occupied with providing support and a home for your foster child. We also have the neighbourhood mom, the “den” mom, the Godmother, the aunt, the teacher mom and of course, the grandmother. The list goes on and on. From young moms to older mothers, many of us take our job very seriously. A job that can include: early mornings, late nights, long talks, extended understanding and tons of patience.

No matter how different or similar our daily experiences may be, there is a commonality that requires thinking about someone else for however long that forces us to be unselfish. I am not claiming that all have answered that call but few will deny that a mother’s love is irreplaceable!

So a day to truly honour mothers just seems fitting. Though rather than the commercialized overspending of gifts, many mothers would probably prefer reciprocating what was once given. Perhaps preparing her morning coffee before she wakes up, recording her late night television show, a listening ear during a long talk, extending understanding even when we don’t understand, and tons of patience when our mother moves slower in our own fast paced world.

Learning to appreciate all the things our mother did for us may seems like a simple thing but can be a wonderful gesture of gratitude.

The Power of Parents

Many times parents are convinced that they are sending children to school to “get” an education.
The reality is that children are learning wherever they go and whomever they are with, therefore all things (whether good or bad) contribute to their education.

Today social media is a huge influence on children and has even been shown to impact how children write and speak. Shifting our views helps to develop critical thinking and adds to our creative options and improves our problem solving skills in social environments, like school.

A simple action, such as taking the time to communicate with our kids about their school day, can positively improve their (and subsequently your) communication skills. These things may sound insignificant but can have a huge long-term effect.

Another extremely powerful way to play a positive role in your our kids’ lives is by becoming actively involved with the school they attend. Many parents do not realize just how important it is to take the time to be in the school and get to know the principal, the teacher and their teaching philosophy.

Teachers are essential figures that can help your child develop critical enquiry skills and foster a sense of confidence. However, they are also people who appreciate knowing and learning about the background of the child they are teaching on a daily basis. Parents are the first teachers of their child and it is important to continue to have an active part in your child’s learning by partnering with the teacher to support what the child is learning and extend that learning outside of school.

Even if homework can be difficult for parents to understand, simply asking the child if they have homework and encouraging them to do their homework in a quiet place and for a decent amount of time is really effective. Then checking the homework to make sure it is completed and done neatly will help a child see that their parents are invested in what they do. The child will begin to develop a routine of doing homework because they expect their parents to check it on a regular basis.

Parents need to recognize the power they have to help their child be successful and how important parents are to the school they have chosen to help educate their children. If parents work together and have their voice heard, by joining the parent council, attending parent-teacher interviews and parent conferences, schools can only get better. Parents are the gateway to ensuring a better education for their child by being an integral part of the school’s culture.


Keeping children active during the Holidays

I have heard from parents consistently that their children are becoming lazy as they grow up. The frustration and confusion as to where this lazy generation of kids has come from continues to baffle the majority of us adults.

The whining of children refusing to do work because it is too tedious, declining to go outdoors because it is too cold- or even shying away from some sports because it is too hard has left very few options for our kids, especially during a long break such as the December holidays. With two weeks at home, parents are scrambling with last minute plans of how to keep kids busy and out of the fridge, or loitering around the mall with little or no money.

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