A national survey by ZERO TO THREE found that 90 percent of moms have felt judged and criticized for their parenting choices, and 46 percent of moms say they feel judged all the time or nearly all the time. Wow!
The problem with this statistic is that judging and criticizing moms only causes more stress. We believe moms (and dads) need compassion and support, not criticism. Great moms can cultivate this within themselves and extend it to other parents. Here’s one example: What To Do When Your Child Loses It Outside The Home.
Great moms practice empathy.
When we practice empathy with our kids, we show respect for their feelings and their reality. It shows that we are really listening and that we understand (or at least are trying to understand) their point of view. Empathy has the power to sidestep or diffuse power struggles. It creates a safe place, emotionally, for our kids (and adults!) to experience hard feelings like disappointment or frustration. NOTE: practicing empathy does not oblige you to change or fix the situation or to back down on your expectations. Understanding feelings first is a powerful starting place as you lead your children to desired behavior.
Learn more here: How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When It Feels Hard
Great moms practice self-compassion.
Self compassion means treating yourself as you would treat a good friend. Rather than berating, criticizing and judging yourself for your humanness, you turn your empathy back on yourself. Studies have shown that self-compassion is a powerful tool to boost your emotional resilience as well as your health and well-being (The Motivation Power of Self-Compassion). Being a mom is hard. Self-compassion paves the way to learning from our mistakes and energizes our desire to grow in our parenting skills.
“God is kind, but he’s not soft.
In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.”
Romans 4:2 (The Message)