Parenting and mental wellbeing

Whether you are already a mother or aspiring to be one, every woman desires to be a great mother. There is probably no formula for being a great mother, but Nancy Kabiru, Founder and Lead Psychologist at Hisia Psychology Consultants shares tips on how to be an effective mother.

Before diving into the tips; what is happening.

Kabiru says parenting is a process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.

Perspective on parenting

Kabiru explains that parenting requires love and logic, raise your child in an atmosphere of love and empathy as you strive to understand them and support them as they grow.

Children need boundaries and responsibilities which without, they may lose their way. These boundaries have to be clear and consistent. But as a mother, you need to deliver the boundaries, rules and responsibilities with love, kindness and understanding. You must communicate with them the reasons why you are setting up the boundaries, and this helps them understand why they need to follow the rules. Teach your children to set boundaries.

Do not over protect them; Every parent wants to protect their child/ren from harm, pain, hurt, bad experiences or anything you deem unpleasant for them. Studies have shown that overprotective parenting can lead to a dependency on parents, a lack of strong coping mechanisms and chronic anxiety.

“Allow your child/ren to be explorative and it is one of the ways they discover themselves and work towards becoming better adults,” Kabiru says

Raise your children in Christianity: Guide them properly so that they are not discouraged when they encounter challenges in life.

Instill values in your children: It is very important to instill values in your children. Values such as honesty, hard work, kindness, love, appreciation, respect, consistency among others. This enables them to be grateful in life, not give up when faced with life’s challenges and to rise again after failure.

“These are taught at a young age, step up to the task and you will be a proud mother,” says Kabiru

What can affect how you parent or cause mental health challenges

In the quest to be good parents, the motherhood journey may be stained with some challenges, among them; Ailment, catastrophic events, family separation/divorce, pressure from work, influence from school.

She advises that in case a mother is faced with any of the challenges, do not give up, find ways to deal with such challenges.

For instance, in the wake of separation or divorce, co-parenting can be an ideal solution. The dos for co-parenting. Do not speak ill of your co-parent behind their back, reflect on the child and how the situation affects them, focus on your child’s needs, improve communication with the child and X-partner, set boundaries, children need consistency for them to feel safe when growing up, listen, keep your issues to yourself and get your feelings out somewhere, never vent them to your child.

Pressure from work: For mothers who travel a lot, those who have to work extra hours, it is important to get extra help. You can hire a nanny or involve a member from the extended family such as your sister. But try as much as possible to have time for your children. They need you in their lives.

Raising a child is a beautiful and God given responsibility, do it well and you will be proud of who your children will become in future.