At 23, I’m at an odd place in life. One day, I just woke up to baby shower invitations, gender reveal parties and four friends at a time sporting the “baby bump.” As a young married woman without kids, I have felt pressure from family and friends and been asked the question: “So when are you having kids?”
While one day it will happen, it has brought up the question for me: How do you raise a positive-thinking kid in such a crazy world?
I’ve learned two things during this season of life when it comes to motherhood: Be a real example and listen always.
This is probably the harder and stickier example of all two, but it’s also the more important one. Children are way smarter than we give them credit for; they pick up on the small nuances that we give off throughout the day. If you have a habit of complaining all day, every day, and wonder why your little one has such a bad attitude, then work on yourself.
You don’t have to become a superparent and never mess anything up ever. But be mindful if you do make a mistake and let your child know – own it. And tell them that you are trying to change as a human and become better. This teaches them that nobody is perfect and that even their mom is working on herself every single day. Your child will follow your footsteps in how you look at yourself in the mirror, in the way you treat your body. Be someone worth copying.
One night, when I was waitressing, a little old lady came in and gave me some of the best advice ever. She said: “One day, when you do become a mother and your little child comes up to you to tell you something, pay attention. Because when they are small and want to tell you about something small, it’s major to them. And how you respond in that moment shows them how you will respond in the bigger moments of life as they get older. Always make them feel like they are the most important thing in the world.”
I am the oldest of five kids and I have seen, firsthand, my siblings just want to be listened to. No phone, no interruptions, keep eye contact and listen to them.
So if you’re out there, in the trenches of parenthood, I salute you. It does not look easy at all and I know you are doing your absolute best to create a positive little human that can change the world. And one day, when they get old enough, they will go out and create beautiful and amazing things.
Just remember these little tips: Be someone worth copying and listen always.
While these things are easier said than done, it’s about the process of learning and becoming more like that every day. Thank you for making your contribution to create a world that is more positive. ￼
Sarena Hess is a confidence coach for women and motivational speaker. The views expressed are her own.