My mother tells me that when we were born there were just a few books parenting. However, today, when I, as a working mother of a toddler, step into a bookstore, I see countless shelves filled with parenting books on raising an obedient child, a lactose intolerant child, a gluten-free child, a disease prone child, a bilingual child – There’s a how-to guide on everything and while these books are well-intentioned they are nonetheless overwhelming.
What I gather from these bookstore displays is that today’s working mothers are taking motherhood as a type of crisis. I don’t deny that motherhood is not an easy job because our little toddlers don’t come with an instruction manual!
Today’s busy moms are back in the workforce and they are trying their best to raise happy and healthy leaders of future, yet they often slip up.
Here are some common parenting mistakes made by today’s working moms:
Fussing over schedules, not performance
If you look at the American style of parenting you’ll see that American parents spend a lot of time and energy fussing over different activities for their children but they fail to focus on how these activities are being carried out.
Let me quote an example of an American mom from my office, she had signed up her son for Taekwondo lessons and she took him for his lessons every day at 7 pm, but what she didn’t do was getting involved in the lesson.
Parenting in Britain is slightly different, Britain’s working moms would not only sign up their children for activities, but they’ll make every possible effort to get involved in their child’s performance in the activity. They encourage their little ones and correct their mistakes.
Being a working mother myself, I wouldn’t say I am an expert. But I try to find advice from credible sources. One of the best pieces of advice I got was from my son’s preschool. My son goes to a QualityKG accredited preschool and because of their advanced preschool accreditation standards, I can assertively say, his is one of the best preschools I have come across.
While attending a QualityKG preschool development program I got to know the importance of accountability and setting the bar high for our children. Let me quote an example I heard in the program – Lovleen is a working mother who loves to spend time with her toddler on weekends, every week she takes him out for a fun lunch at his favorite restaurant. On one such outing, just as their food arrived, her son started sprinting around and spilled water all over the place. Before Lovleen could take care of the mess he had made, he started disturbing other people dining at the restaurant. When he bumped into an elderly couple’s table, Lovleen came over and apologized to the couple, she said, “I am extremely sorry, it’s just that he didn’t take his afternoon nap today, that’s why he’s acting out.” What Lovleen didn’t realize was, instead of correcting her son’s behavior; she was making an excuse for it. In the long run, her justification will encourage her child to not to take accountability for his actions.
This wonderful QualityKG preschool development program made me realize that, while, it’s okay for a mother to identify the relation between a situation and poor behavior; it’s not okay to set the bar low for the child. When you expect them to behave properly regardless of the situation they are in, you are teaching them how to be accountable for their behavior.
One of the biggest struggles for moms everywhere is getting their kids to bed. Again referring to my American colleague, when her child gets fussy at bedtime, she’d entertain, divert and pacify him instead of enforcing the schedule. In my opinion, when a child is trying out his bedtime battles its best to take away attention from him or her because that just gives them added stimulation at a time when they should be resting.
In the end:
Parenting is a lesson we learn through experience and advice. Every mother, whether working or stay-at-home, American or British, Indian or European has made her fair share of mistakes. However, once they try to look at their cultural assumptions and parenting approach objectively, they can become more attentive and better parents.