It’s fun being a supermom. Like Scotty on Star Trek, you earn the reputation for being a miracle worker just by doing your job. You even get a holiday just for being a mother. That’s pretty good.
Of course, it is not all fun and games and boxes of chocolates. There is real work to be done, unreasonable expectations to meet, and less than a score of years to prepare your little one to be a superhero in her own rights. That’s really quite a lot. When it comes to parenting, there are more ways to do it wrong than there are to do it right.
On top of all that, you have to manage to be a role model for your child. No matter what you verbally teach her, she will do the most learning from what she sees you doing. That is a lot of pressure because nobody’s perfect, not even supermoms. Here are some tips for being a down-to-earth hero and role model for your little one:
Deal with Your Issues
One of the biggest mistakes a mom trying to be a supermom can make is to try to hide the fact that you are a flawed human from your child. Even at a young age, they can recognize the fact that you have some issues, even if they can’t put them into worlds. They might not know what addictive behavior is. But they see it and parrot it without full awareness of what they are doing.
In age-appropriate ways, you should be as honest about your problems as you can so that they can see you dealing with them responsibly. You don’t have to stop being a mom to do it. There are many excellent intensive outpatient treatment options available. That means you can keep being a great mom with things she has to deal with.
That is not a bad message for your child. A far worse message is to pretend that everything is okay when they’re not, and going about your business as usual in a constant state of denial that is fooling no one. If you want your daughter to own up to her problems and deal with them responsibly, she has to see you doing the same.
As a mom, you provide your child’s first meal… and their second… and every meal for a long time after that. This is the healthiest eating some children ever do. Somewhere along the way, healthy eating takes a backseat to eating for entertainment. It goes from a few baby carrots to a big chunk of carrot cake.
The point is that everything your kids know about food in their early years comes directly from you. They eat what you eat and value what you value. If they see you eating a big, sugary desert after every meal, that is a behavior they will happily copy. If they see you eating a reasonable portion of healthy choices, that is what they will do. The sugary treats can be reserved for special occasions.
It is easier to learn good habits than to unlearn bad ones. Teach your kids to eat right by example. And they won’t have to spend the rest of their lives trying to unlearn unhealthy eating.
Exercise and Stay Active
Yoga is great for kids. There is no good reason you shouldn’t include them in your regular yoga routine. Any physical activities you can do together is not only good for bonding, but good for setting up good habits that will last a lifetime.
Computer use is not a bad thing. But it cannot take the place of physical activity in the real world. Modeling balance might be difficult if you work from home on a computer all day. If that is the case with you, then make an extra effort to also let her see you doing fun, outdoor activities. Don’t just send them outside to play, stick around and show them how it is done.
Socialize with Other Healthy Role Models
You will not be the only person who influences your child. They will also take cues from the people who are a part of your trusted social circle. If your friends are constantly doing the opposite of what you teach your child, it sends mixed messages that will be difficult to unravel later.
All moms are supermoms. Set your child up for a lifetime of success by modeling how to face your issues head-on, how to eat healthy, how to stay active, and how to choose good friends.