We as mothers could sum up the roles of a mother into MANY But as part of my child training series, I wanted to truly sum up the roles of a mother, and I came up with the 5 roles of a mother.
This is post number two in my child training 101 series, the first was, the 4 pillars of effective child training.
You can sign up for email series to take you right through the child training 101 series with exclusive content and printable and downloadable freebies here.
The 5 roles of a mother are:
- To Love (unconditionally)
- To care (physically and emotionally)
- To correct (to discipline and train)
- To build (to encourage and teach)
- To connect (to learn your children and grow with them)
While you could add to these perhaps, I see no way whatsoever, that you could take away any role from these 5, and succeed as a mother.
We don’t often talk about success as a mother.
But we all know there are good mothers, and not so good.
Almost entirely from our own experiences.
if we were blessed with a mother who strived for success then we all know someone whose mother didn’t.
It shows in the adult who was raised by a mother who didn’t fulfil her role, in how they picture the world, what they want from it, and what they strive for.
ROLE 1: LOVE
This for most is the easiest.
Loving children makes us feel good, it is natural and it is unsurpassed by anything you could try and fulfil it with, the discovery of what it is like to love a child is enough to change hearts forever.
Making a child feel loved is the key to a child’s emotional security and maturity as they grow into an adult.
From the newborn snuggles to the days of watching the toddler grow into their own little personality, childhood, and eventually watching them become adults, the key to providing a stable environment is being steadfast in your unconditional love.
It is more than the emotion, and the desire to fulfil their desires, to give them the best you can.
Truly loving your children is putting yourself out.
It isn’t always putting yourself last, but truly loving your children isn’t always comfortable.
Because love is a feeling, yes, but often a child’s version of love isn’t what they need at all times, and as a parent, we need to be aware of this.
I am not talking about giving emotional security, a child shouldn’t have to work and be “better” to be loved.
No the key to really loving your children in the next four roles.
Role 2: CARE
To care is obviously a start.
Caring for a child is tough, mostly because children don’t care how you feel, they have needs, and they need them filled.
From the first minutes of life, we begin the journey of putting another’s needs before our own.
For some of us, this is a real shock especially if that child has come after years of dictating your own schedules, habits, and quirks, now you are to drop them and have them dictated to you by a screaming hungry bundle.
A bundle you love for sure, but still, it’s a learning curve.
Caring physically is feeding, changing, and teaching them to sleep, play, talk, walk and discover as they grow.
To care as a mother is to cook good food, create a clean home, provide clean clothing, read to your children, teach them, include them in family life, encourage, teach and play.
It is fulfilling for a mother to care for a child.
I have found there are two types of mothers.
The ones who care about their children enough to teach them out of bad habits, this “caring” puts the mother out, as this is always a harder option.
The other is a mother who cares for her children, but not enough to put herself out enough to go through the processes of creating adults of the future.
The latter type is a mother who doesn’t care for her child and who they will become, perhaps not willingly, but the ignorance she has toward the mental aspect of caring for her child, of truly thinking of what her child will be as she raises them day to day is going to cost her greatly.
The physical caring aspect is obvious, the mental not so much.
We often want to care for and love our children but as we get tired, we stop thinking about mentally caring.
Love and physical care tend to come easy, we want our children to be happy, NOW we give in because we are too tired to care, we stop fighting them because we don’t want to, we like to see them smile, to enjoy and to have their desires fulfilled, but if you stop caring about who you are raising as you do this, this is going to backfire.
We confuse loving our children with stopping an important aspect of childraising.
Giving effort in the here and now to mentally care for their well-being.
As grown adults, we know there is an element of us fulfilling this role of preparing our children for the world in order to not raise a monster.
We know they can’t have everything they want.
We want kind children.
Empathetic, fair, loving, smart and just nice people to be around.
If you stop caring, you only do what is comfortable now, you aren’t going to get that.
Mentally caring is where the next three roles come into play.
Mentally caring for your child is:
- Understanding your role in the now is going to affect your child’s future
- Caring that your child’s behaviour as they grow affects their future, and the feelings of others around them.
To care about these things, means you need to care now with the next three roles.
Role 3: CORRECT/DISCIPLINE- the 5 roles of a mother
If you have read my four pillars to child training post this will give you an introduction to discipline and correction, from setting standards to how to effectively enforce those standards.
I have an email series you can join as well to help you understand and if you are willing, to undertake child training in your home.
What I want to talk about here is why it’s SO IMPORTANT AS A MOTHER TO CORRECT YOUR CHILD/REN.
Children are cute, we love them, they are funny and watching them grow is extremely rewarding.
Children are also human, and humans have a natural affinity for pleasure.
We all have things we enjoy, from eating to relaxing, reading a good book, and chatting with friends, WE go out of our way to experience a pleasure.
Children want pleasure and expect pleasure, all the time.
From overeating as a newborn, to refusing greens on their plate as a toddler, to not wanting to clean their room, or share a toy, they don’t want to help in the garden if it’s not fun or turn the tv off even if it’s past bedtime.
Not only do you actually lose pleasure in things you don’t put a limit on, but we know that we have to do an element of work in order to maintain our health and pleasure
In order to live in a clean environment or to earn money, to help others, and even some things we may enjoy doing come at the cost of first doing something we don’t enjoy.
And don’t think this is just OTHER children and not yours, no this is every child in the world, some are worse than others sure, but every child is a pleasure seeker.
Why is seeking only pleasure wrong?
Do you know of anyone as an adult who seeks only pleasure and is succeeding? Do they have a happy marriage? are they good workers? are they responsible? reliable? do they put others ahead of themselves?
All the above Characteristics are of people who are not full-time pleasure seekers.
As adults, we know to earn money, to have a healthy and happy marriage, to be enjoyable in general to others, you have to put yourself out.
This means work, this means being uncomfortable, it means being polite even when it doesn’t suit you, respecting a boss who isn’t perfect, saving money instead of spending it, and eating good food for your health.
It’s basic stuff.
Your role as a mother is to teach your children that they cannot always seek pleasure
From removing milk from a newborn who is struggling to retain the amount of milk they have just drank while they fuss for more, to sitting down and taking the time to feed your two-year-old green beans.
Not rewarding the five-year-olds who won’t make their bed or tidy their toys.
removing the toy from the child who refuses to share with others.
having to impose what your children deem as “excessive screen time limits” to checking the quality of work done for money before you pay up.
Not allowing a teen to disrespect you and your authority, while they can act out and make your feel bad for having rules, we know as mothers, this is what is necessary to raising adults, who are able to succeed in life.
Teaching children that life is not all “fun and games” that work, that being kind, and putting themselves last at times is healthy and rewarding in itself.
ROLE 4: BUILDING UP YOUR CHILDREN
Creating resilient children begins in the home, it begins with a mother who can love, care and correct her children while also building them up with encouragement, praise and wisdom.
As mothers, as we watch our children grow, we can begin to see the defining features of our children, personality creates how they play, work, and create.
It is crucial to correct children where they need it, but also to build up a child, give them confidence in themselves, and give them self-worth.
The idea for a growing children that they can better themselves at some things while being gifted in other areas is healthy and necessary for future adulthood.
How to build up your child
You do not need to flatter your children. the role of a mother is not to flatter her children into a false sense of confidence.
Flattery is fake, your praise should be good and genuine, and if there is nothing to praise, then encourage your child to grow.
Building your child is essentially that, it is placing the blocks in place for self-worth and self-reflection.
It can be praise, or it can be gentle correction through conversation, you as the mother, are older, you see more, hear more, know more, and take the time to pass that wisdom on, even to young children.
It is a simple hug after a job you have had them complete, a thank you for being helpful.
Let your child feel a part of the family dynamic, not as one who is served, but as a server, who can contribute with their abilities, and who can feel confident in their self-worth as they grow in ability.
To do this, you need to care about their well-being, it starts with loving who they are, but being wise enough to see their faults, comes with correction through discipline and conversation, and then it comes with building them up and passing on your wisdom.
You are not going to create adults who can self-sacrifice, serve others, and grow into better people as they age who can self-assess and address their own faults, not their abilities, and understand how to channel those abilities to become better people.
- encouragement in their strengths and encouragement when they need to work on a weakness
- Always praising, no matter the outcome, the ability or self-worth of the child, it is unhelpful and damaging to a child who needs to learn to take praise and correction.
ROLE 5: CONNECTION- the 5 roles of a mother
Connecting with your children will change and morph as they age.
connecting with a baby is looking into their eyes, smiling, and laughing, it is spending as much time as possible to pass on emotion and stability which leads to a stable and healthy environment in which to build connection.
creating a connection is emotional stability.
Maintaining a connection is spending time with that child, it is having a relationship that is not merely “I want to be friends with you” but one that is authoritative while being loving.
This may sound scary or something you think just isn’t right when it comes to building a strong connection with your children.
But understanding your role as a mother is crucial to knowing and feeling confident in your connection with your children especially as they age into teens.
babies and toddlers naturally want mamma, when they are tired, sad, hurt or vulnerable, the connection is made more easily since they favour you.
As you begin the child training process this doesn’t change, but the child as they grow to be four, five, six and beyond, is going to feel the shift in dynamic as you become the one in their lives, who loves, cares, and but also corrects, instructs and gives praise.
you become an overseer of work, you ask for help when they don’t want to give it, you make them share, you make them use manners, and you teach them to address others, to help others, and serve others first.
As the child learns these new behaviours, slowly, over time, you as the mother should be taking the time to reinforce the connection you have with the child.
from reading to them, singing in the car with them, taking the time to do an activity that interests them, and finding the time and patience to sit with them and talk and listen to their thoughts and ideas.
all ways to build and maintain a strong connection with your children.
You will always have to learn how to connect with your children as they grow
I wish it was always easy, but the truth is I find this aspect the most challenging.
For multiple reasons, the first being that I find myself having to learn, and relearn the child in question.
They can change so quickly!
knowing how they feel connected to you is crucial and something you should always be on the lookout for.
One of my children loves to converse, they feel connected by sitting and having a chat.
Another prefers activities, me going and doing something with them, it can be small, a 10 trip around our property, but to them, it fulfils the connection they seek.
Learn to be present in the home, your role as a mother depends on it!
It can be hard to have the patience to fulfil all these needs, but a start is knowing what your child’s needs are and then making small changes in your daily life to accommodate them.
you can go and visit the website, fivelovelanguages.com to take the quiz and learn how to recognise different love languages which will help you build connections with your children and spouse.
When the days are busy and you can feel stretched just getting things done, it can be difficult to separate yourself from your tasks and your feelings of tiredness.
But you must take the time to connect with older children.
I use meal times, and two to three times a week I include a time in the day where we sit, have a cup of tea and a slice of cake and we chat.
This is a practice you need to create in your home life.
connection does not override authority
Parents can worry that their children may not always like them. (Your role as a mother is not to be “friends” with your kids.)
They desperately want to feel connected all the time.
And truth is, sometimes they won’t like you and you won’t feel connected, but you have to put on your adult boots and understand that you are the bigger person.
The child should be in the process of becoming that person, thanks to your wisdom and authority.
This isn’t a reflection of your bad parenting, rather it is a reflection of your child’s selfish, immature behaviour and thought processes.
Authority is crucial in a child’s life, and sometimes authority must come first.
Both for safety, instruction and for discipline, maintaining your hold on these things creates more family transparency in the long run.
It comes before feelings.
Both yours and your child’s.
but the feelings won’t last forever.
Teaching your child healthy emotional reactions with correction and building is going to help you when it comes to creating and maintaining connection.
You can work on connection building with simple daily activities:
- reading to your children.
- singing with your children
- having a hot drink together and sharing conversation
- playing a game together
- eating as many meals as possible together at the table
- going on walks or spending time outside, making a picnic, making something fun to build emotional connection as a family
you do not spend hours every day alone with each child.
society says if you have too many children then how could you possibly love them?