It is definitely not easy being a mom, trying to juggle a full time job, a business and family life. It’s a mouth and eye full just writing that! But for some reason the craziness of it all and the challenge to make everything work acts as a great motivator. Just look at me...it's the day before a public holiday and later on this evening I need to make a bat costume for my son’s end of term project, correct some scripts for a few students and make a few calls to clients to confirm a workshop I am holding in just over two weeks.
Every mom goes through challenging times and questions how she's doing when it comes to raising her boy(s). We often feel guilty that we do not spend enough time with our children. Now having sufficient enough time in the day is always a difficult task especially if I want to engage in my favourite pastime (sleeping); so it is unavoidable that I focus on some key areas when raising a soon to be nine year old boy.
Praising him for good work. A school counsellor once said to me that parents are very quick to scold their children, especially West Indian parents, but do not make time to praise their children near enough. I do this actively and daily, raising my son with as much love and physical affection as possible. Every Sunday I get him involved in helping me do something, whether these are chores, helping me remember parts of my 'To Do List' or allowing him input into decisions that have an impact on him. He always lights up when I tell him how smart he is and it keeps the line of communication open between him and I.
Getting involved at school. Now this activity is pretty tough for me because of my busy schedule so I enlist family for help here. My son's dad is adequately involved in the school and we are both known by the principal and teacher. You need as a mother to monitor homework regularly. I make it a point to review my son's school bag on a Sunday so that I am aware of what is going on and he knows what he needs to revise. You also need to encourage your boys to read at least part of a story every day. Thank God the Diary of a Wimpy Kids series are funny and not torturous on an adult's brain!!!!
Don't stifle their energy. Little boys are balls of energy...which can get pent-up if they are not given the opportunity to run around and climb. My little one is pretty active....and a talkative sucker! The place isn't really quiet unless he is sleeping. As a new mom, birthing and raising such an active child was quite an adjustment but I have now grown quite accustomed to his temperament. My tip here is to try and build structure around them gradually as they grow older. Your child will need to know that he needs to learn to be quiet and attentive in some instances such as in church or in the classroom.
Monitor aggression Boys get aggressive! I guess it's their way of expressing themselves or showing their manhood. Aggression is usually the result of your little tike feeling frustrated. If this isn't managed correctly it can lead to children having self esteem issues and even bullying. If children learn that being aggressive when frustrated will be tolerated or that you allow them special treatment, the behaviour may be repeated. I suggest changing up how you deal with an aggressive child as the solution may vary from one child to another. Time outs work well for smaller children, while a stern face and voice may work with older children. Leaving a heated situation always works for me...but you must make the time to address the matter head on at a later date.
Involve them in your business My son's language has changed! Even his prayers! He asks God for more customers for my business almost every night (without my prompt!!!) I believe in letting your child be included in your business, besides using this to give him or her a sense of responsibility, I think it makes them appreciate all your hard work and effort that much more.
Before having kids, many of us dream of agreeable children, the white picket fence, like a partridge in a pear tree..LOL but It's no secret that most boys are actually very active, loud and prone to a lot of rough house. So before you lose your temper with your child or start to feel disconnected, try to recall what it was like when you were once his age, and how important it was to be seen and heard. Remember that your greatest motivation in business, after all, should be what it is meant to do for your children.