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Tips For Moms That Make a Real Difference

Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. You are responsible for raising another human being and ensuring that they are happy, healthy, and safe.

It can be a lot to handle, but you are not alone. Here are 3 tips for moms that will help you make it through each day.

Read Time: 11 min
Evidence Based

#1 Tips for moms dealing with their partners

Be on the same page as your partner about parenting

You can start by having conversations with your partner about key issues that you are concerned about or key issues that are important to you both. You will find out a great deal about how to proceed with parenting when you initiate the conversation.

If you’re not on the same page as your partner, it’s going to be a lot harder to parent effectively. Make sure you’re both on the same page about major decisions, and that you’re both pulling your weight.

Make an agreement

If your partner is not interested or engaged, then make an agreement that you will take the lead when it comes to parenting. If they are interested in certain aspects, then have an agreement that you will work together.

If they don’t have confidence or interest, then make it clear that you will take the lead on this front. “Staking that claim”, if you will, sets you up to do what you see fit without fights, disagreements or frustration.

Be authentic, be real

I talk about co-parenting, divorce and separation here, but read through all of it as there are nuggets for even the strongest of partnerships and marriages. Be in partnership, be authentic in your feelings, when you are being real you are being more trustworthy and continue to lead with your heart for your kids.

Co-parenting is crucial

It’s no secret that parenting is hard. There are a million different things to think about and keep track of, and it seems like the stakes are always high.

Add in the fact that you’re trying to do all of this while also maintaining a relationship with your partner, and it’s easy to see why so many parents feel overwhelmed and how it can often drive a wedge between you and your partner.

Stay on the same page

One of the biggest challenges of parenting is simply staying on the same page as your partner and then both being consistent with how you deal with things. It can be difficult to agree on everything, especially when you’re both exhausted and dealing with the stress of everyday life.

However, it’s important to try to come to a consensus on major parenting decisions. If you can’t come to a consensus there will be concessions, and that loss of power or partnership is often where the rift starts.

Communication

The balance of power shifts and someone is always going to feel like they are being over controlled or not heard, and that never ends well. Communication and feeling free to speak up and be heard is key here. Having each other’s needs met forms a stronger partnership and after all, you’re both in this together!

We are looking for a win-win-win. Kids also see when there is a strong partnership, or not, between their parents.

Empathy

Empathy is key in not only parenting, but in co-parenting. Trying to sit in the other person’s shoes often helps see things that had not previously been in your perspective. This is where as a team you can produce new solutions to the problems and get creative so that everyone’s needs are being addressed.

In conventional parenting, there is a typical reaction to use force to try to fix a problem. When you are co-parenting from a place of empathy and connection, talking through scenarios is often the way to come up with the best solutions because you are in the present moment and thinking and talking instead of just reacting. You get to be creative together.

Divorce sucks… but you have to keep the kids in mind

You’re both still parents

When parents’ divorce, it’s important to try to maintain a positive relationship with the other parent for the sake of the child. This can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that you’re both still parents.

The adult issues that you have had should be between the two adults only. The child will benefit from seeing that you’re able to work together and get along, even if you’re not together as a couple anymore. There is great power in alignment.

Tips for moms - divorce sucks

 

If your kids see you as being aligned as it relates to them, they have a greater sense of feeling that they are still held within a family unit instead of being split between two. The kids also have an extraordinarily strong radar for when there is misalignment.

Feeling unsafe

That can lead them down a couple of different paths; pitting parents against each other and trying to manipulate things or feeling completely unsettled and unsafe because they don’t know what to expect is going to happen next and don’t know who to listen to or go to.

If you’re struggling to maintain a good relationship with the other parent, there are resources available to help. There are mediation services that can help you communicate better, and there are also support groups for parents going through divorce. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.

Separation is a big issue, don’t overlook this

Parental separation is tough on kids, no matter how old they are. Younger children may not understand what’s happening, and they may blame themselves for the split. Older children may have a better understanding, but they may still feel guilty or anxious.

It’s important to talk to your children about what’s happening, and to reassure them that they are not responsible for the separation.

The blame game

Parenting cannot be one of the areas that gets dragged into the mud of relationships. It can not be one of the areas where one of the parents is made to feel rejected for something else that’s going on between the two adults.

The blame game is a recipe for disaster in the short term and long term when it comes to parenting. Remember that you are still both modeling behavior that will stick with the kids throughout their lives.

Reach out

It can be difficult for kids to deal with the fact that their parents are no longer together. They may need help processing their feelings, and they may benefit from seeing a therapist or counselor. If you’re struggling to help your child cope with the separation, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help.

Solution

If you’re not on the same page as your partner about parenting, it’s going to be a lot harder than it needs to be. Put your differences aside for the sake of the kids. You need to be able to communicate with each other about what your expectations are, what you’re willing to do, and what you’re not willing to do.

Compromise

It’s also important to be able to compromise and find a middle ground that works for both of you. If you can’t communicate effectively, it’s going to be very difficult to parent successfully together. When you are in alignment, everything that you do and everything that you say has more power with the child.

They are not trying to second guess if mom is saying that to get back at dad, or will just change her mind when dad disagrees. When there is alignment there is also consistency and a sense of relief for the child so that they know that they have stability when so many other things are changing.

Leaders

When the parents are not conflicted or can unite as it relates to parenting, the kids’ sense that it is safe enough for them to cooperate. They won’t lose confidence in you both as parents because you are steadfast in the way that you are parenting them. They can trust that you, as parents, are still their leaders and still have their best interest at heart.

It’s so important to be able to talk to your partner about the big issues and decisions that you are making before telling the kids how they will be impacted. It can be difficult to find time to sit down and really talk about things, but it’s so important to be able to do this.

Talk to them

You need to be able to communicate effectively with each other in order to communicate successfully for your kids too. They want to know two things; “What is going on, and how is this going to affect me!” Talk to them.

It’s okay to try different things if one way doesn’t work. Just keep the lines of communication open.

#2 Tips for moms who are trying to get kids to eat right

As a parent, you want your children to be healthy and happy. You know that feeding them a nutritious diet is important for their growth and development. But getting kids to eat right can be a challenge and leads to frustration throughout every single day.

Some kids are picky eaters and only want to eat certain foods, others may be resistant to trying new things. Some kids use food as an opportunity to exert power-struggles and some just seem to always be hungry!

Tips for moms - trying to get kids to eat right

Eating disorders

There is a fine line that parents often think about when it comes to food that they don’t want to push too hard so that they don’t create food battles and later on eating disorders. We also have the extra stress that if we go somewhere else to eat that there might not be food that your kid will eat or that you feel the need to bring your own food with you.

So food battles also have a social component. Food, in our society, plays a really important role. It is often associated with well-being, fun, celebrations, gives us satisfaction and joy and it also brings people together. When there is stress around food there are ripple effects.

Taste buds change all the time as kids grow

A study conducted by the University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia found that adolescent males are more sensitive to sucrose or sweet flavors than adult males. [1]

The University of Copenhagen conducted a study which found that children develop into teenagers with noticeable changes in taste, including an amplified ability to tell flavors apart as well as less of a sweet tooth. [2]

3 Bite rule

In my house, we have a 3 bite rule. You have to try 3 bites of something new before you say that you won’t eat it. The first bite they are reluctant, the second bite they are opening up to it and actually breathing, the third bite they can actually taste what they are eating.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but they are at least trying new things, which is often the biggest battle. Taste buds also change every few months, so have them try things again after a few months, or even be sneaky and prepare it a different way, then you can say, “well you thought you didn’t like zucchini, but I made it a different way this time and you liked it.” Keep at it.

As a parent, you may feel like you’re constantly struggling to get your kids to eat right. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. One of the ways that you can get the pulse on where your kids taste buds are or what the flavors of the day are for them is to ask them.

Insight

Have a quick chat on a Sunday afternoon or whenever you might be planning a meal or getting ready to go to the grocery store. Tell them what you’re getting ready to do and you want to know “what are your 3 favorite foods to eat?” This will give you some great insight.

You might get some answers that you weren’t expecting. You can also ask your school-aged kids “what are some of the other kids having for lunch that looks good to you?” Even if the food that they are bringing up isn’t the healthiest, it’s a chance to try something new and keep switching up their taste buds.

Entry point

You could also suggest trying to make those foods that they love from scratch, and then at least you know what’s in the food. Hearing what they are talking about or asking for also gives you a great entry point, in the right context at the right time, to talk about nutrition. Then it’s not having a battle at the dinner table, when everyone really just wants to eat or if the conversation kills everyone’s appetite.

If you want your kids to eat healthy, you need to set the example. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains yourself. And limit sugary drinks and junk food.

What is in the house will be eaten!

Get kids involved in the prep work and shopping, they have more skin in the game

Kids can develop important life skills by helping to plan and make their own school meals. They also feel good about helping. They can learn how to chop veggies and fruit, make marinades to make things taste better, learn different ways to cook, how to shop for groceries, and how to budget time that it takes to make the meals and budget money.

Tips for moms - children cooking

These skills will help them throughout their lives, and they will be more likely to eat healthy foods if they have helped to prepare them.

Sense of responsibility

Involvement in meal preparation not only allows children to learn about cooking and nutrition, but also gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility for their food. When kids help choose and prepare their own meals, they are more likely to eat them. Plus, they’ll be more interested in trying new foods when they have helped make them.

As the kids are prepping, you can have them taste things before they are cooked and how they taste after….. things that are safe to consume before they are cooked, like veggies!!!! Also, for the kids that love prepared or packaged foods from a box, not that there’s anything wrong with that as some of my favorites come in a package, but we look at the ingredients and try to figure out where we would find that ingredient in the store!

Healthier eaters

There is some “extra lifting” when the kids are littler, but you have to think of it as making “deposits in the bank” for their future self and for you, as they will be able to help you out with the planning, prepping and cooking without your supervision at some point in the not too distant future.

Kids who are involved in preparing family meals are healthier eaters. They will also be able to cook for their friends which can be a fun weekend night thing.

#3 Tips for moms who are trying to get kids off tablets, phones and TV (screens)

The approach to screen time limits obviously varies depending on the age of your child. The younger they are, the more time they should be spending playing, using their imaginations, reading, and interacting with live humans to learn social cues and interpersonal skills. I know that sounds super judgmental and prudish, but that is based on how the human brain develops.

Tips for moms - screen time

Parental control

With older kids, it helps to have on-going conversations and actually check out for yourself, what they are watching, who they are hanging out with on-line, and what apps they are using to engage with their friends. Parental controls are a great tool, but they aren’t the end-all-be-all.

Studies have shown that parents who want to limit their kids’ screen time are more successful if they start early. Making sure that kids have other options is a key to success for screen time limits. It’s okay for kids to be bored, that is when they can use their imagination, make decisions and choices for themselves on what else they may want to do.

Be consistent

Boredom can be a great instigator for creativity…just be sure to be checking in on that creativity to make sure that they are “using their powers for good.” Older kids will be able to provide more input in creating a family-wide policy on screens if they’re going to stick to it. If you want to limit screen time for kids, it’s important to be consistent.

That means looking at your own phone habits too. With a family-wide policy on screens you have more of an opportunity for connection. The kids will learn more from you on family values and how life works than any YouTube video or TikTok reel. The key is for you to make the time to be present for them.

If we are telling them how screens are impacting their brains and there is a need for balance for their health, well, we get to put our money where our mouth is. There is an old adage that says: “Rules without relationship only leads to rebellion.”

Balance

The objective of creating a limited screen time childhood for your children is to eliminate the dependence on or addiction to gadgets. We want them to have balance. However, when reality sets in, kids beg their parents for permission to watch television and use tablets with them and it’s hard to say no to spending family time together watching family shows.

Some parents use screen time as a reward or something that their kids have to earn. There are responsibilities such as chores and meals to prepare. Homework must be done first. They need to play outside and get exercise and fresh air.

Once those requirements are met, they can have screen time. The problem with offering it as a reward is really hard to monitor, especially for multiple kids and as a result restrictions or limits are often loosened.

Lower structural integrity

Screen-time concerns are backed by science. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2019 supports the idea that too much screen time changes the way kids’ brains are wired.

The abstract states that children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills. These children also suffer from lower scores on measures regarding language and literacy. [3]

Dr. David A. Klass, author of Overcoming ADHD in Adults: What Every Parent Needs to Know, nails two more parental worries regarding technology: Screens steal time and attention away from other enjoyable and educational activities, and what a child does or sees on-screen may result in irreparable harm. It’s enough to make parents consider unplugging the routers for good.

Good screen time

However, don’t panic or overreact just yet. Good screen time habits can actually enable children to explore new hobbies and interests or give them a way to connect with relatives who live far away.

Screens can be used for family games, researching different species of plants or animals that you see out in nature and even coming up with fun recipes, art projects or experiments that you can do together.

If you believe your children are spending too much time on screens, try out these methods to reduce screen time in your household.

Solution

Younger kids start early

JAMA Pediatrics published a study that found the more time infants spend staring at screens, the greater likelihood they have of continuing this behavior as they age. According to the data from 12 month-olds to 3 year-olds, watching television or using electronic devices increased from an average 53 minutes per day to over 150 minutes.

However, if you can break the habit early, your chance of success is greater. According to research findings, this suggests that interventions aimed at reducing screen time may be more successful when introduced at an earlier age.

Guidelines

Edwina Yeung Ph.D., the study’s senior author, writes that you can use the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines as a starting point: They say no screen use for kids under 18 months (except video chatting), 1 hour of high-quality interactive programming per day for kids between the ages of 2 and 5, and consistent time limits for kids ages 6 and older. 4

Older kids: talk and negotiate

Set limits

Kids are going to start demanding their own tablets as they get older, swearing up and down that all of their friends have them, too. An ongoing problem that can spread into other areas of life is if you don’t have a good screen-time policy.

You’re leaving yourself open to a lot of conflict if you don’t set limits on screen time at the onset, according to Anya Kamenetz’s The Art of Screen Time. It may exacerbate other difficulties such as getting homework done, keeping bedtime on schedule, and other behavioral and health issues.

Establish restrictions

As a family, come together to establish screen-time restrictions. She adds that conversation is the most important approach for you. Ask the kids to weigh in with their opinion. Consider where screens are suitable, such as while traveling, when you’re ill, or on weekends.

As children get older, rules will be subject to negotiation; therefore talk about what’s effective and what isn’t working now. She also advises providing other suggested activities, such as inviting the family out to enjoy each other instead of screens or family game night.

Let them practice and learn

Now is the time to encourage good screen habits, like using the internet for hobbies or learning new skills. Graber says that it’s important to find out how your kids are spending their time online and ask them about what they’re doing. They might surprise you!

Even though we want kids to put their devices down sometimes, these wonderful ways of spending time online should be encouraged – maybe even done together! We want to feel good about the decisions that they have learned how to make for themselves by the time they leave our nest. Let’s let them practice and learn while they are under our care and watchful eye.

**BONUS** Tips for moms who are wondering how to get kids to listen

Do you feel like your child is selectively hearing what you’re saying, or outright ignoring you? Do you frequently have to repeat something numerous times until frustration sets in?

Tips for moms - talking to kids

 

Is it true that your kid appears to be selectively hearing what you’re saying, or completely listening to nothing at all? Here are some reasons why selective hearing in children may be occurring—and some suggestions on how to break the cycle.

• You’re saying too much
• Your Child Is Focused on Something Else
• They Are Doing Something Else
• You Are Ordering or Begging
• You Are Inconsistent
• You Are Criticizing

Solutions

To see things from your child’s viewpoint

Sit down so that you are at the same level. You may not only be confident in having their complete attention, but also begin teaching them good etiquette by doing this. Demonstrate to them that when someone is speaking to them, they should listen attentively.

Listen to your child

Your child will absorb your example and emulate it. So, if you listen when she talks, she’ll be more likely to return the favor.

Find out why they aren’t following through

Consider what may be causing your child to not pay attention to you. Is it because you’re asking him to do something that’s too difficult for him to accomplish on his own? Is he having difficulties doing anything you ask because he’s tired or hungry?

Instead of blaming your child for not listening, consider what might be behind his actions. Connect with them first to make sure that they are paying attention to what you are saying instead of tuning you out based on distractions around them.

Try to stay patient when your kid does not listen

Calmly guide them while speaking. Why? Because getting angry demonstrates to your child that they can control you emotionally, and yelling will only work temporarily until it loses all effectiveness.

Make it fun

Make things a bit more fun. If you’re having trouble getting your kids to listen, try shifting the tone of your conversations. Get down on the floor and chat with them. Ask them crazy questions to spark engagement before you ask them to do something. Connection reinforces two-way communication.

Patience is a virtue

Developing positive communication skills takes time. Instead of expecting your kid to always listen the first time you tell him something, consider it part of laying a crucial foundation for future years in which you and your child can have healthy conversations.

Try not to get too discouraged when parenting feels hard – these tips for moms will help you get through the tough times!

Let’s wrap things up in a pretty package for you

Becoming a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable – but it is also one of the most challenging. Here is a bonus tip: This may be the most important tip of all. As a mother, you are constantly giving of yourself – and that is amazing!

However, it is important to remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Make sure to take some time each day – even if it is just 20 minutes – to do something that is just for you. Read a book, take a bath, go for a walk…whatever makes you happy.

Way to survive and thrive

Taking some time each day to recharge will help you be a better mom overall. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to surviving (and thriving) as a mother.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Parenting can be tough, but it’s a lot easier when both partners are on the same page. If you want more help getting your kids to eat right, get them off tablets and phones, or just listen better in general, check out our free live class called 3 skills to get your kids to listen. You won’t regret it!

Do you have any additional tips for moms? Share them in the comments below!

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Sources

[1 source: Segovia].

[2 source: University of Copenhagen].

[3 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191104112918.htm].

[4 https://www.aap.org/].