Every child has an idea what his ideal mother should be. His consideration is based on what his friends’ mothers are and what he has read in books of what a mother should be. It is pertinent that your child will judge you by according to his ideal, the more closely you approach this ideal, the greater will be his love and respect for you, and the more willing he will be to follow your guidance. Though, they might not be exclusive, but below are some of the things your child may use in assessing you.
A mother does not have to be very beautiful, but most children like their mothers to put up a good appearance. This means good carriage, well-chosen clothes, a well attended hair, and a cheerful look. “Three-tenths of good looks are due to nature, seven-tenths to dress,” says a Chinese proverb. A good appearance is appreciated everywhere. While no woman should allow herself to become a slave to dress and fashion, still it is equally important to cultivate this love for adornment, ever keeping it within due bounds, remembering that outward adornment should be secondary to the adornment of your soul. When you are gloomy, you will drive away your child’s friends and make him unhappy.
However, it will be useless if you look fine outside but ugly inside. “Don’t praise a woman for her charm or her beauty –things that deceive the eye and fool the heart, things that are here today and gone tomorrow. Instead, praise her unrelenting devotion to God; praise her for putting her Creator first and foremost in everything she does.” Proverb 31:30.
It is equally important that a mother should look youthful. She may not necessarily to follow the latest fashion trend, but she should dress with an eye to fashion and the style that suites her best. Looking older than your age or looking too young are not the best. These are extremes. A child can easily sense that his friends scoff at his mother who is trying to make people believe she is his senior sister, and this embarrasses him. The same applies to a mother who looks older than her age because of being careless with her look.
A child likes his mother to be a woman with dignity. Not one who is given to flippant remarks, and always is assuming a free and easy demeanor. She must be a woman of decorous bearing. True dignity goes beyond studied gestures and well-practiced smiles. An ideal mother should not be found wanting in manners. She should be acquainted with the strict rules of etiquette.
Mothers must exercise self-control. You can imagine what sort of mother someone who has inadequate self-control will be. Practice self-control over your moods.
Don’t dump your bad feelings on your children or husband. Many immature mothers use these symptoms to gain attention, pamper themselves, and vent bad moods without concern for those who live and work with them. A mother that is overly sensitive will devise a complex system of retaliation. But a mature mother will work out her disturbed relationships, even if she has to get professional help, and find reasonable self-confidence that prevents unhealthy sensitivity with its constant hurt feelings and tendency to set up retaliatory habits. Although recognizing mistakes and wrongs is important, coping with such negative circumstances in a healing and positive manner is far more important. Even in the worst circumstance, you can always sift out a redeeming fact if you view it positively. To develop a redemptive, affirmative lifestyle, face your faults and mistakes with courage and honesty rather than try to blame your inadequacies on other people. Correct the problems you can, forgive yourself and endeavor to live at peace with the inevitable weaknesses you can’t change.
As a child grows up he encounters many problems that need solution. To overcome these problems successfully, he must have the understanding and help of someone who is wiser and more experienced to guide him. In most families the mother is the parent more around, if she doesn’t understand how her child feels about things that trouble him, how can she be of help? Therefore it is very important that a mother must understand.
With true understanding comes sympathy. A child feels deeply, and he wants someone to sympathize with him. There is no one who can do this well than his mother. When your child feels hurt either physically or emotionally he should be able to come to you for comfort and sympathy. It is only under such conditions, can a child feel secure in his home.
A child likes to feel that his mother is unbiased and is fair to every member of the family. Even when the mother favors him, he resents her unfairness to his brother and sister. No matter how strict she is, when she is fair, her children love and respects her in a way they could never love and respect a mother who plays double standards. A mother who treats some of her children as sacred cows and others as scarp goats is only destroying her home.
A child likes a mother who is tolerant of his opinions and shortcomings. When he has performed below expectation in school or in any other endeavors, he expects his mother to understand and forgive and give words of encouragement, and never hold a grudge against him. Invariably a mother must be tolerant. Without tolerance, regardless of the number of other traits a mother possesses, she could not possibly have the respect of her children. Tolerance is not a willingness to change your own opinions but rather recognition of the fact that your children have the right to their opinions.
To be in company of a cheerful, happy person is utmost importance to a child. No matter what happens, he looks to his mother to supply this emotional warmth. When a mother is depressed, and disoriented, displaying a castor oil look, it quickly reflects on the child and makes him unhappy and depressed as well. The castor oil type of mothers is those who go around looking as if they had just taken a spoonful of the stuff. Many mothers have heard the common saying, “Be of good cheers.” But it goes into one ear and out of the other as evidenced by the “long faces” that is witnessed in most homes. If you can’t be cheerful with yourself and your children, some of them will find excuse to leave when they see you coming, because they know that gloom and despair can be contagious. A smiling, cheerful mother spreads cheer, because cheerfulness is contagious, too. Did you ever notice when a happy, cheerful, buoyant mother returned home, the whole atmosphere seemed to change, and her reflected feeling seemed to be picked up by the children. Develop the habit of smiling.
Every mother should develop the spirit of sportsmanship so that her child can develop it, too. How can her expect him to be a good loser in games with her playmates, if she wants to win all the time at all cost? The must learn that it naturally to lose sometimes.
It gladdens a child’s heart to know that his mother welcomes his friends and that his friends like and respect her. This is especially important when a child reaches school age and playmates become an important influence in his life. It helps to build trust in his mother and his feeling of security in the home. A child feels embarrassed when his mother drives away his friends from visiting him. If you must chase away some of his friends for good reasons, you must tactful about it, and endeavor to learn to him why you decided to do so. It tact or the lack of it, that makes a mother correspondingly agreeable, or disagreeable in her interactions with her child.
The mother who is always ready to help her child when he needs help can be regarded by him as an ideal mother. When all is well and he can handle his affairs he will not turn to you for help. But knowing that you are there to help him whenever the need arises is important to him. An ideal mother must be helpful.
An ideal mother must try to be an achiever. World’s most successful women chose to work hard or spend many hours daily in their endeavors. Most of them do both. It makes your child proud to boast of your achievements. You can be the best cake baker in your society or good volunteer. Every child wants his mother to be useful to us and as a result become appreciated.
An ideal mother must try as much as possible to be available. This does not necessarily mean that a child hates a working mother. It means that he wants to know that his mother is there when he needs her. Knowing that his mother will be there when he comes back from school is important to a child. But if you work knowing that he can reach you on telephone can be assuring. The ability to postpone present pleasure for future good is important.
Many mothers expect their child to do things way beyond his capabilities. When they are successful women, or when they are failures and have not been able achieved what they wanted from the time they were children, they are likely to set their goals too high for their child and be highly disappointed when their child does not achieve these goals. What will be the relationship between a child and his mother who he feels is disappointed in him? In order to avoid this ugly development mothers should set realistic goals, both short and long term for their children.
In bringing up your child, you need to be flexible. This is especially true for mothers. Rigid, compulsive attitudes and behaviors set up needless tension and often defeat the purpose of good upbringing. On the other hand, being too laid-back, careless and inconsistent make you unpredictable and confusing to your children. This is not a trait of an ideal mother.