Whether your mother did her best for you or skipped out on her responsibilities, you want to make sure your kids are getting everything they need. But with video games, smartphones and evermore immersive entertainment taking up so much of their lives, how do you know if you're doing a good job?
Here are six signs you're actually a better mother than your own mom:
1. Your kids don't crave your attention
You're doing a great job if your children are not starved for love, affection or positive attention. When your kid's needs are satisfied, they won't act out with attention seeking behavior. On the positive end, a love hungry child may be clingy, pestering and insecure. On the negative side, a child who isn't getting enough emotional support can be rebellious, angry and depressed.
If your kids seem happy and you're giving ample hugs, kisses, "good jobs" and "I love you's," you're doing good.
2. Your kids don't reject your attention
As a part of healthy development, adolescents and teens need to break away from their mother's emotional crowding once they begin to blossom into adults. But you'll know you're doing a good job when things go bad in your teen's life and they come running right back to you for help. Very young kids won't cower when you come their way if you give them enough space to breathe and be themselves. Something your mom may not have given you. Teens won't keep as many secrets if they're allowed enough room to come to you.
3. You feel invited into your child's life
Similarly, when things are going well, a well-adjusted child will make you a part of their world. You'll feel welcome and invited into the life they're creating for themselves. If you intrude and force yourself into your child's personal space, you'll be met with resistance. If the relationship feel smooth and comfortable, good going!
4. Your kids feel emotionally and physically safe with you
Safety is a big issue for growing brains. If your kids don't feel safe with you or in your home, it can negatively affect every relationship thereafter. If your kids are comfortable sharing their intimate feelings and secrets with you, your emotional safety is good. If they enjoy sharing space with you and don't tense up, shut down or shy away when you come near, keep up the good work.
Good mothers let their kids be kids. They don't know or understand financial failings, infidelity, addiction or other adult concerns. You may not be able to shield them from the reality of losing a job, losing a home, disease, death or imprisonment of a parent. But you can do your best to assure them that you have things under control and have the power to fix it. Don't let them think they are the cause of or solution to any adult problem, and you'll be well on your way to good motherhood.
A great mom knows her love, attention and positive reinforcement helps her kids feel important and secure. You're doing well if your child feels the dedication, protection and concern you didn't necessarily feel as a kid. No matter how busy the week was or what's going on in your marriage, feel good about your abilities if you make time to show each of your kids how blessed you are to have them.
You may not have had the perfect childhood. And even now your relationship with your mother may be strained. Unanswered questions and unresolved issues could be plaguing your mind. Don't let bad memories and clouded thinking keep you from realizing how your mothering skills have improved in just one generation. If you're kids are thriving in your home and feel secure and special, rest assured you're A-OK!