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How To Be The Best Mother

May 20, 2008
Gather as many helping hands as you can. New baby requires lot of time attention space, and during this time asking for help doesnt mean you a bad mom. Just because you're a mother, that doesn't mean you have to be Wonder Woman. Recruit everyone you can to help you.

When my son was born, I called my sister crying and begging. Hearing how overwhelmed I was, she came in all the way from Calgary and helped me set up a schedule, which was such a lifesaver! It takes a village to raise a child, especially a newborn, and you're a better mother for asking for the assistance that you need.

Next its every parents responsibility to help their child with homework and make sure its finished. As soon as my kids get home from school, I set them up for homework time, with each child at his or her own station in the kitchen so that they don't mix up their papers. Then I find something to do in the area so that I'm nearby for help if they need it, but not hovering over them. It's a routine we stick to, so the kids know what's expected of them every day.

When your child has nightmares, here's how to ward off 'monsters': Use a battery-operated handheld fan to chase them away, and fill a spray bottle with 'Go-Away Monster Spray.'

Going through a picture book with beautiful, peaceful pictures can also help. If not the book then lie in bed with your child and ask him/her what they would like to dream about, suggesting pleasant things like sharing an ice cream cone or building a sand castle on the beach. This worked with my daughter, and now she sleeps through the night.

If you feel that your kid is eating too many sweets then here is what you can do.

I serve my kids whatever I plan to feed them for dinner, including a small portion of dessert, all together on those plastic sectioned character plates (Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob are their favorites). Each area has chicken, rice, salad, and a Popsicle, or something similar. Don't bug them to eat the veggies before the treat, but do keep the dessert small enough so they dont fill up on it. Therefore, even if they have dessert first, they will move on to eat a nice amount of dinner.

"When I had a cranky child on my hands, I'd swoop her into my lap and say, "It's time to complain, so let's complain together. Oh, I feel so angry, or hurt, or sad,' hugging her the whole time and letting her be cranky. After a while, she felt soothed and ready to move on. Also, she learned to put words to her feelings."

If its not monsters but the sight of blood that terrifies your child, use dark washcloths to clean up cuts and scrapes. You can also try storing the cloths in plastic bags in the freezer. The coldness will help with pain relief.

Make bath time fun time. "When my kids were babies and it was time to bathe them, I dropped the bottles of soap and lotion into the warm bathwater. That way, when I lathered them up, they felt nice and warm and didn't get a chill."

"I was having problems with my oldest son being rebellious, so I started enforcing family dinner with no TV, no phones, and no guests just our family. We talk about school, homework, and other concerns the kids might have, and sharing these nightly times together has really improved my son's behavior."

"Put the baby bassinet in the living room during the day, especially if you have other children. Your baby will become accustomed to the noises, and then she'll be able to take a nap anywhere! When we adopted Angelia, we were making over our bedroom, so we had to put her bassinet in the living room. But it worked out great, because now she can sleep through the other kids playing and watching TV. A well-napped child is happier and makes for a happier mom too!"

"My daughter is very social, and she's at that age when her friends are on a revolving loop. I never know who's in and who's out. When she's down in the dumps because a girl at school doesn't like her, I'll ask her about another girl who I've noticed she's treated poorly. I comfort her too, but I want her to truly be aware of her responsibility: Being a good friend is more valuable than any amount of popularity."

Check out your favorite celebrities' advice, from the pages of Cindy Pearlman's book, What They know About...Parenting.

"There's nothing better than singing and dancing with your kids. It spreads the joy around the house. I'm also a fan of family bike riding, swimming, art projects, and trips to Denny's and Wal-Mart." Kelly Preston

"Raising children, for me, was really about listening. I put myself in their shoes for a minute and really tried to imagine myself at that age. I always want my children to know that they're heard." Kyra Sedgwick

"Make sure to take time for yourself every day. Even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom for two minutes, do it. It's our nature as women to take care of everything and forget about ourselves. It's important to be present and strong for your kids, and to do that, you need some breathing space." Kate Hudson
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