Cool mom, the minute you hear your kid say the word you feel a little tinge of jealousy, admit it! It's perfectly normal to want to be the "cool mom" and it's not as hard as you might think. We reason with ourselves that it's more important to be a mother than a friend to our child, with the thought that you can't be both. Being a cool mom doesn't mean you have to give up all the rules that hold your household together to keep your kids in check. It's more about listening and relating to them when it matters.
10 Things Cool Moms Do
- Let your children make their own choices. Letting your child make choices will strengthen his independence and build his confidence. You are establishing trust while also giving guidance, so that later on in life he will be able to make good decisions instead rebelling and acting out emotionally. Trust is the key to having a great relationship with your kids.
- Break the rules occasionally. Stay up past bedtime to watch a movie, eat ice cream for dinner, give them a little extra time on the phone. When you loosen the reigns and make allowances for special treats your child will see you as "cool" instead of controlling. Make sure you reinforce that this is a "treat" so the lines don't get blurred and your child understands you are making an exception to the rule.
- Make time for one-on-ones. All children need to feel special and acknowledged. Schedule a little time for just the two of you and go do something your child loves.
- Give them space. Growing pains are tough, there are highs and lows in every phase children go through from toddler to teen. Sometimes it's best as a parent to recognize the changes in your child and give them a little space to grow through it. Be supportive, but let them work through their emotions in their own way.
- Show an interest in their interests. Their music might not be your favorite, their outfits might seem ridiculous and you probably have no idea what language their texting in, but you can still find common ground. Whether it's a sport, hobby or even just a celebrity to gossip about, cool moms make an effort to understand the things their kids are into. Being able to communicate on simple things will make it easier for your child to come to you with the bigger problems.
- Experiences over expensive things. The best thing you can give your child is your time and attention. They won't remember the new video games or all the toys you bought, but they will remember the trips to the beach or the time you camped out by the lake and made s'mores. Build memories and your child will cherish all the cool mom moments you shared together.
- Stock the fridge. My friend Amy had the coolest mom. She would pick us up from softball and when we got back to the house she always had a basket of snacks out on the counter. Snacks, ice cream, frozen pizza, popcorn, chips and cookies, that's the way to a kids heart. Doesn't mean you need to replace your daily healthy choices with a bunch of junk, just be sure to keep some tasty nibbles too.
- Make your home the social hub. Cool moms have a well stocked fridge and an open door policy. Kids just want a fun place they can hang out and something to grub on when they get hungry. If you cover those two basics you're in. Designate an area for everyone, whether it's the basement or the backyard.
- Be spontaneous. Routines are essential to raising a child, but routine gets boring. Cool moms know when to liven it up with an impromptu dance party or a surprise karaoke session in the car. Surprise your kids with your silly side and they'll love it.
- Celebrate the little things. Every kid has fond memories of Christmas morning or a special birthday, but why should we leave it to just those few milestones. By celebrating the small stuff you teach your child a bigger lesson that will affect their lifelong happiness. Finding joy in the everyday makes for a happier family. Make a big deal over their accomplishments and you'll be a cool mom and happier one too.