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Be a Great Mum: Children's behaviour - it always makes sense
by Judy Reith
Managing children’s behaviour is a large part of being a mum. Behaviour occurs to meet a need. A child is tired, the need is to sleep, but the behaviour might be obnoxious, and difficult to deal with. A child is bored, the need is for stimulation, but drawing on the wall or thumping a sibling is what the mother is left to sort out. A mother is anxious, the need is for reassurance, but what the children see is a mum who’s flapping, saying no and looking worried. How needs are communicated in families is vital to meeting the needs. One of the greatest things you can do for your children, any relationship in fact, is to develop the art of listening. Being able to listen without judgement, unasked for opinion and interruptions is a gift you can give to your children which they will value all their lives. Think about who you turn to when you want to talk something through. What is it about that person that makes it easy for you to talk to them? All families will go through a tough patch such as job problems, relationships struggling, illness or bereavement, and being able to listen and communicate effectively in these times will help your children most. Resource yourself by using the Internet, books and talk to those you respect who seem to know a thing or two about children’s behaviour. We might not always understand why our children are behaving in a particular way, but if it’s behaviour that is unacceptable or cause for concern, dig around and find out what’s going on and be prepared to listen.
Judy Reith. www.parentingpeople.co.uk
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Be a Great Mum: What is parenting confidence?
Bringing up children is a joy and a challenge and it doesn’t stop when they have left home. Wondering if you are doing what ‘s best for your children and questioning your ability to know about everything from what to cook for tea to how to choose a school, or sorting out squabbles or running a birthday party is such a huge job. It’s not surprising it feels very overwhelming and knocks your confidence.
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Our values constantly drive our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. As parents, values create a moral code for us based on how we want to bring up our children. This informs how to behave towards our children and make decisions about what we believe is right or wrong.
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Mothers are brilliant at taking care of everyone’s needs except their own. It’s perceived to be quicker, easier and more rewarding to stay in the hamster wheel of meeting the needs of children, a partner, the house, the extended family, the neighbours, colleagues and even the pet goldfish than putting your own needs into the mix.
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When you give birth to your first child it’s hard to imagine that one day you’ll need to find someone else to look after her and she will eventually go to school. Finding childcare worthy of your most precious gift is at best straightforward, but more likely to be challenging.
Be a Great Mum: Running a family
In China they have a saying that no family can hang out a sign saying ‘Nothing the matter here’. Running a family is a very complex job, like sailing a ship, parts of it are controllable, but unforeseen elements can throw you off course, and it’s often the mum who is the captain keeping everything shipshape!
Be a Great Mum: Enjoy being a mum
What does it take to create a happy childhood? We know that we have more material goods than in any previous generation, but does all that stuff create happiness?
Be a Great Mum: Being a full-time mother
All mothers are full time – it’s a 24/7 job as your children are always somewhere in your heart and mind even if you go out to work all day. For mothers who don’t have any paid work, the job of being the primary carer of your children brings with it great delights and varying amounts of challenge.
© Hodder Education 2010
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