What is the Best Gift for your Kid?

Being Happy Is The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids

I often hear some version of this from moms: “I am ‘sacrificing’ doing – or not doing – something I love to do in order for my kid(s) to be happy.” Or so we think!

I, like many parents I know, want to do everything I can to help our kids be “happy” – whatever that means.

But instead of allowing our kids to struggle or feel “bad,” “sad” or “mad,” we try to fix the situation or tell them not to “feel bad.” We often do this at the expense of ourselves.

Our “fixing-it” behavior backfires. It often makes us angry or resentful, and it does not serve our kids very well.

An angry or resentful parent does not help anything – as I know from my own personal experience!😀

You Can’t Control Your Kid’s Emotions

It is impossible to control the emotional experiences of another.  

I learned from the “horse-whisperer” Koelle Simpson, while on a horse retreat with her, that a wild horse cannot be “forced” to become calm by another horse or person. However, a calm person or calm horse can influence how fast that wild horse calms down.

Kids, like adults, need to learn that it is “OK” to feel bad, sad or mad.

They need to learn to process negative emotions in a healthy way instead of turning to food, drugs, or other negative behaviors to avoid feelings.

Importantly, they need to learn that someone else can’t “fix” their feelings.

As parents, we can be compassionate witnesses to their feelings and allow them to feel. The more we allow them to do this and work on being calm and happy ourselves, the more we can influence our kids in a positive way.

I did not grow up this way, so this is something I still work on and practice with my kids.

How Can You Work On Your ‘Happy’ Today?

I have noticed with myself and other moms I’ve coached that the more we work on our own happiness, the more positive our influence can be on our children.

Being a “happy mom” – whatever that means to you – is an everlasting gift to your child.

Is there one small thing you can do for yourself today that would make you happy?

I’d love to hear!

💜😀💜

Kathy

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Kathy McCabe
Life Coach

The Myth of Motherhood

For me, nothing has been more humbling than being a mom.  

There is a reason why experts have written thousands of books about parenting and mothering. 

Being A Mom Can Be Very Hard

The media often portrays motherhood as easy-to-do, rewarding, and effortless: a clean house, perfectly happy children, a delicious dinner waiting on the table at 6pm sharp…. 😀

Before I became a mom, I was quite judgmental in my head of how other moms parented. I thought I knew how they “should” and “should not” handle their children. I am not proud of this.

Now as a mother of two, I realize that each child is unique, and if a “How-To Manual” for children existed, I would need a different one for each child. For example, what works for motivating my daughter to finish homework, does not work for my son. 

No matter how much we educate, discipline, set boundaries, model, or pray, we still cannot control our kids – and the choices they make – all the time. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we give up on educating, disciplining, setting boundaries, modeling, or praying for our kids. It is just recognizing that, despite the many rewards of being a mom, this role can be really challenging, unrewarding, and overwhelming at times. 

We do our best to use our intuition and experience to parent our children. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. 

We all want our kids to accomplish great things, excel at school, and most importantly, to be kind and compassionate. When your child doesn’t reflect the values that you have taught him or her about finishing homework, doing chores, or how to treat others, it often feels like it’s your fault. 

As a Work-In-Progress Mom and Non-Parenting Expert, 😀 I am here to tell you it is NOT your fault when things don’t go as you would like!

Acknowledge You Are Doing The Best You Can … And So Are Other Moms! 

I am particularly grateful for moms who understand that parenting is hard and that we are all trying to do our best. It takes courage to be honest about our kids’ challenges and our own parenting struggles. 

Time and time again, I am amazed that when we share the truth with one another, we find common threads in our struggles to raise our children well. 

When we recognize that we are “all doing the best we can,” it is such a gift to ourselves and to each other. 

So, this Mother’s Day: 

  • Celebrate and know that you are working hard and are dedicated to being a great mom, even when things go wrong.  
  • Appreciate that you cannot control everything your child does, but you can always control your reaction and response.
  • Acknowledge that you are doing the best you can as a mom, and so are other moms.
  • Share your parenting struggles with other trusting moms – this is a gift we can give each other to assure us that we are not alone!

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

💜😀💜

Kathy McCabe
Life Coach

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