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Tips for Mother's Day

How Mothers Can Organize the Good Life Through More Creative Parenting

Why not make this Mother's Day extra special by finding ways to celebrate your own children – who they are and who they are becoming? All it takes sometimes is a bit of creativity, doing new things with and for them. Then watch your mother-son, mother-daughter relationships grow deeper and richer.

"Mother's Days are usually all about Mom," says Celia Rocks, author of the book Organizing the Good Life: A Path to Joyful Simplicity – Home to Work & Back (Facts on Demand Press, 2001). "And that's fine. A great twist, however, would be to focus also on children, and make them feel that the family is celebrating them, too."

She offers these ideas for new parenting resolutions to her fellow moms everywhere:

  • When you speak to your smaller children, try to get on their level – physically. Instead of talking to them from your own height, hunch down or sit on the floor or maybe put them up on a chair so they can have real eye contact while you're talking.
  • Drive them to and from school whenever practical. Drive time is wonderful for getting kids to open up and let you know what's really on their minds. Be sure to be a good listener and not fill up the time with all the things that you have to say. Keep the radio off and repress your urges to get on your cell phone too. Remember: If you listen well to other people, they, in turn, will be ready to listen to you.
  • Eat together as a family as often as possible. Our families are fractured today partly because we spend so little time at the table with one another. There's nothing so bonding as dinner together with the most important people in your life – even if you are the oddest family on the block for eating together so regularly.
  • Occasionally take your children with you on some activity having to do with your own work life. This won't work well for toddlers, of course, but from age 6 or 7 on, children are able to spend a short time in an adult work atmosphere, whatever it might be, and learn to behave and appreciate what Mom or Dad does on the job away from home. They may also understand the way your work has shaped you as a person and why you so often worry about work-related issues.
  • Work with your children to reorganize or redecorate their room. Take them along to pick out paint or wall paper. If you're not the super organizing or decorating type, hire someone who is, and be sure that person really pays attention to your children's hopes and dreams for the room.
  • Get to know your children's teachers personally – all of them. You'll be much better prepared to understand what they experience every school day in the classroom. Then when your child says, "Gee, Ms. Boone is (fill in the blank – hard, funny, neat, goofy)," you'll be able to relate.

"It's still the little things that make a great mother-child relationship," says Rocks. "Get the small things right, and then the big picture will take care of itself."

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