How to teach a little mothering and empathy

Admit it, I know I do! We all like it when we have someone care enough to check up on us. Kids, young and adult, may roll their eyes when their mom calls, but it secretly makes you feel loved. Doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be your mom either. It can be a friend, a relative, male or female. It’s the act of caring that counts.

It’s only called “mothering” because it means to care for or protect like a mother. Sadly, not all mothers do this. That’s where fathers, friends, aunts, cousins, etc. come in.

I’m the oldest child in my family. I’ve already shared that I’ve done a ton of babysitting. My kids are some of the oldest cousins in the family. Even though they are boys, they got to do lots of caring for younger kids.

So, how do you teach this? Is it only an inborn trait? This is something you can teach by example and experience. Not only will your child be a great parent, but they will be a wonderful friend, an awesome grandchild, and more.

My one year old granddaughter takes a doll, feeds it a bottle and pats it on the back. She obviously is mimicking actions she has observed.

Why should you care? The act of mothering means a person can empathize. They can see what another person is possibly going through, and help. Wouldn’t it be better if we all showed a little more empathy? I know we all like to receive it.

I know that anywhere I go and interact with someone who cares a little about their job, The results are so much better. It makes my day, and makes whatever I’m trying to accomplish much easier. A recent fight with insurance was that way for me. I called for weeks, wrote letters, and kept getting the brush off. Finally, I appealed to the state and spoke with someone in person. At first he started to tell me the paperwork and routine. I pleaded my case and the severity. In 4 days, my medication was approved. Someone finally cared enough to do their job.

Pay it forward. Make someone’s day. Show your kids how it’s done.

My sister with my niece

You wouldn’t believe the “mothering” older sisters are capable of! Just ask my brother😂

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or in speech but with actions and in truth.

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How to improve a child’s attitude through teaching chores

I’ve been sick a lot. And for a long time, I’ve prayed for something to do so that I can make a difference in someone’s life. I used to work full time, and often dreamed of time off. You don’t realize how it actually feels to be “off work” with no end in sight, until you actually have to do it. In a word, it makes me grumpy. What I’m trying to share is a way for anyone to help any child out of the grumpies. Now, I’m sure you know that I don’t mean when they are hungry, tired, or sick. Those are, of course, different needs. I’m talking about when you might hear “I’m bored”. Maybe you just see it in the aimless wandering around the house. Nothing really sounds fun or good to do. My kids always had the option to do a chore I picked for them, or come up with their own industriousness. Guess which one always won out?

I think that as people in general, we need to feel like we are contributing. A contribution in effort towards the household, allows for an improvement in self worth. For example, some sort of cleaning works well. Everyone can see the difference in how something looks once it’s been cleaned up or out. I really noticed this fact for myself today. It’s gloomy and cold outside. It takes away all my motivation. A little bit of sunshine goes a long way for me. So, I talked myself into touch up painting the hallway. I didn’t want to do it. But, boy does it feel great now when I see it all fresh and clean. This blog has been awesome for me. There are days when I don’t feel well, and have to rest a lot. By doing this, I feel like I have a chance to help someone out. Much better than sitting around feeling like you aren’t accomplishing anything.

Along with this, I would encourage you to make sure and thank the child for their effort. This adds positivity to the whole experience. Kids feel great when they help out. Even the little ones like it. When my oldest granddaughter was about 1 1/2, she could put laundry in the dryer. She loved it. As kids get older, having a regular job or two that’s their responsibility helps. You will have to decide on your reward system. Some people believe chores are a contribution for being part of the family. Others give an allowance or points towards a special treat. Do what works for you.

You might ask, “what do I do if I can’t get the child to do a chore?”. I’m definitely no expert. My suggestion is to have them pick something out. There were times I had to take a privilege away if things weren’t done. Again, that is a personal choice. It’s what worked for me, but every household is different.

So, what do you think? If you like something here, comment, share or follow. If you don’t agree, I would still like to hear your thoughts , just keep it to constructive criticism please. Just a little disclaimer, I’m not a psychology expert, just old enough to have some experience! 🙂

My biggest chore was babysitting siblings
  • My kids with their hardworking babysitter. She did a ton of mothering!

Proverbs 22:6

Start children off in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it

Let’s change the way we look at others

So, I woke up really early with pain (chronic condition) but my brain would not shut off. I figured I might as well share. One of my goals for this blog, is to encourage less judgement of others. There’s too much these days, especially “mom shaming”. I know this comment will make me sound old, but this generation of young women need more self acceptance and compassion for others. It seems like it’s a “me” generation. I think we can all help each other with that.

Let me clarify too…even if you aren’t an actual “mom”, you most likely do some mothering. It may be a niece, nephew, step child, student, neighbor. You get the idea.

I should admit too that I have not always been as accepting as I should be. There have been many times that I secretly judged others. Somehow, God had a way of helping me see the other side of things by giving me some experiences of my own to learn from. We all, myself included, are works in progress. We can always strive to improve.

We need to encourage each other, accept different ideas in parenting, and maybe this will increase self confidence. I believe the “me” part comes from everyone worrying about how they are perceived. That’s the good/bad part of social media. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

I raised three boys. My parenting was absolutely never perfect, but I did what I felt best at the time, and prayed I didn’t do anything that caused emotional harm. Believe me, now I hear stories from my adult kids about many things I missed. My life is now blessed with granddaughters and daughters in law. I’m learning a whole different side of emotions. I still try my hardest to show love and acceptance. I’ve been blamed for some misunderstanding of actions, and I guess that’s partly what I’m trying to address. Let’s try to take a breath before blame and criticism. My mom taught me “put the best construction on everything”. Old wording, I know, but basically think the best first until proven otherwise.

Feel free to share some comments. Maybe you have a story that will helps others.

See, they grew up quite well despite my mistakes in parenting

with God all things are possible

Matthew 19:26

The “mom” job

So, if you are anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with motherhood. I know, how dare I admit that it’s not always wonderful!! Well, it’s ok, it’s only wonderful on rare occasions. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, my family, my husband, and my life. But that doesn’t mean it’s all rosy.

I’m here to tell my story, and hopefully help someone else along the way. There are things that I certainly wish I knew, or that I had someone to secretly ask “is this normal?!?!”. I have a mom, sisters, and friends, but some things seem better getting knowledge anonymously.

I plan to share stories from my journey. I’m a mother, sister, aunt, niece, Mimi, nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and wife. I’m sure this isn’t everything, but you get the idea. I’m willing to share, and I hope you are too!!

Some of my favorite people call me mimi!! It’s truly the best part of motherhood. More later on the part of being a Mimi that isn’t so much fun…