It's amazing how many "disagreements" I get in with my parents about how to parent my child. I understand that that is what parents do, and that's fine, but sometimes it goes a little overboard. I'm sure they had it done to them when we were kids, but maybe it is time for a new generation to parent.
I parent very differently than my parents or my in-laws. It isn't a small difference, and they know it. The problem is that a lot of parents see you doing different things and think it is a smack on them when the truth is, your parenting style and your life in general isn't a way to judge them for how they raised you.
To me, I should always strive to be a better mom. I can take things that my parents did when I was a child and refine them or scrap them. That's the point of parenting. Stagnancy isn't something I ever want to have with my children.
Being better and changing how I do things that will fit my family isn't a terrible thing.
And so, I came up with ways to be a better mom every day of the week.
1. Truly listen to my daughter. Talk to her, understand her needs, and for as long as she needs, make sure she has 100% of my attention. No phone, no computer, no books, just me and her.
2. More cuddle time! I do still bedshare part time, so I get to cuddle then, but some days they just want you close and vice versa. I never noticed how often that was because I was always doing something. Now, I make time for her when she needs to feel my arms around her.
3. Tell her I love her whenever I feel like it. Even if she gets sick of it or doesn't respond, she hears it. I don't want her to grow up feeling that something was missing or we didn't say it enough.
4. Celebrate her accomplishments! I hate saying "Good Job" when people do things because it just sounds like you weren't paying attention. Instead, I will actually point out what she did, how she did it, let her know I truly understand and applaud her.
5. Even if it turns into a mess, have her help with cooking or dishes. I loved doing that with my mom, it made me feel so important!
6. Don't say no as often. This one may seem odd, but some days I seem to say no all day long, and it just turns into more arguments. I am trying to do other things besides "no", and let her decide things on her own. And the strange thing is that when she is able to decide, she normally goes with what she is "allowed" to do, and doesn't push her limits or mine.
7. Let her be her own person. She isn't my clone. I don't want her to be. I want her to make mistakes and learn from them. I want her to know I am here for her, but I do not want to push her into things she doesn't want.
This week, we tried something new. And amazingly, just doing a few simple things a day changed our relationship in profound ways.