It takes a lot of work to raise kids, but the rewards are undoubtedly worth the effort.
- Step 1: Stay involved in their lives, attending their school events and activities. Being the best mother means being their biggest fan.
- Step 2: Be a role model; kids take after their parents.
- FACT: About 4 million American women have babies each year; 425,000 of those mothers are teens between 15 and 19, and over 100,000 more over the age of 40.
- Step 3: Listen to your kids, instead of assuming you know what they're thinking or what they're going to say. The best mother knows when to sit back instead of trying to fix everything, so her kids can develop their own independent judgment and problem-solving skills.
- TIP: Let their father help you with childcare as often as possible, and spend time with your friends without the kids. Talking to other adults helps clear the mind.
- Step 4: Give your children chores appropriate for their age. Don't do everything for them, which can results in children who grow up without learning basic skills they'll need once they're on their own.
- Step 5: Be realistic; accept that you lose patience and get tired. Step back, breathe, readjust, and dive back in. Take time to collect yourself so you don't lash out at your kids.
- Step 6: Develop confidence in your own decision-making. Believe that you know what's best, and don't let your kids make you feel guilty every time they don't get their way.