As moms, we have much power over our family and our home. Moms typically establish the mood in the home. We have only a few minutes to set the tone when we wake up our children in the morning… When they come home from school… And when we pick them up from an activity.
Do you want to have pleasant interactions with your children and family? That first encounter is important. While we can’t choose our child’s mood, we can influence them. They feed off our positive, affectionate manner just as much as our negative, busy, and frazzled manner.
Children are Affected – Why Mom’s Mood Matters
Here are some tips that will help you create a more peaceful, loving home.
Waking in the morning:
Be courteous when you wake your children, and be sure you’ve given them enough time to prepare for their day. Greeting them in their room is a matter of connecting with them and making them feel loved the moment they awake. Don’t holler into their bedroom–be present and be personal. An alarm clock is impersonal no matter how old they are, which is why my husband, who is over 40, still prefers my voice to the blaring alarm. However, if your child wants an alarm clock to feel grown up and wishes you to stay away, then you may need to do it that way.
Some children pop out of bed right away (my son) and some take a while to swing their feet to the floor (my daughter). How you handle each child will depend on their personality. My daughter likes physical touch, so I typically rub her back and give her a quick rundown of what I’m making for breakfast. My son doesn’t need touch, but he likes to know I’m there, so I typically just give him a quick (gentle) shake and step out of the room.
When they are up and going:
Be pleasant, no matter if they are grouchy – don’t let their mood dictate yours, but vice-versa. Play music that’s encouraging and inspirational, like Christian hits or fast-paced tunes the family loves. Touch them to convey affection, like a pat on the shoulder or kiss to the cheek. Help them if they need something, like packing lunches or signing forms. After they’ve been up for a while, if you need to discuss something negative or correct them, take the time to do it then; they will generally be in a better mood and more willing to cooperate with you if they’ve had time to really wake up.
When they arrive home (or when you arrive, if they beat you home):
Meet them at the door if you can, and greet them with pleasure (be happy to see them). Make time for them. Ask them specific questions about their day. You don’t have to have a 10 minute conversation. Sometimes if my son is watching TV when I get home, I wait until a commercial or until the show is over so we can focus on each other. If my daughter is in her room doing homework, I seek her out and talk with her right away. If they need to talk about something bothering them or exciting them, give them your full attention and offer praise/encouragement. This conveys they are a priority and will set a positive tone for the rest of your afternoon/evening.
After an activity:
When you pick them up, focus on them, not your phone or the radio. You are not merely a chauffer–you are Mom. Ask them about the activity: what did they learn, how much fun did they have, which friends were there. Show that you’re interested in them and their activity.
Let’s face it, Moms are busy and it’s easy to forget to connect with our kids on the small levels. But your children are a priority, and parenting is relational. If you do these things, your children will feel loved and appreciated, which builds trust and affection. And you’ll find your efforts will make your home more peaceful!
What are some ways you see your mood affect your children? What steps are you taking to create a more peaceful home?
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