If You're Serious About Being A Better Mom, Start With These 3 Behaviors

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mom holding young son

There are lots of ideas and myths about what makes a great mom.  These range from making a treat apple pie to being home every day when your child gets home. Most of these ideas have elements of truth and comfort in them.

However, for lots of moms, their lives give rise to other opportunities, even as they present greater demands. The good news is that what is really important at the core of successful motherhood are some concepts that just about all of us mothers can honor. 

One of the core concepts is that children need at least one consistent person in their lives that takes action for their best interests. And that person ideally should spend a few minutes a day clearly available for that child. 

That's why I suggest three behaviors that you can do that won't burden you — and yet open the gateways to bringing up a healthy happy child. 

RELATED: 5 Secretly Effective Ways To Talk To Your Kids (So They Actually Listen)

To understand your kids, understand the societal landscape

Perhaps you haven't fully realized quite the extent of the crisis our kids are experiencing. The pandemic combined with ongoing school shootings has left the nation's children more anxious, depressed, and even suicidal than in previous generations. 

To sum up, the pandemic took away organized daily life at school and home for many kids. Many lost at least half a school year of study or more. Most also missed out on sports, celebrations, trips, crushes and many other normal activities that kids expect to do.

Yes, many kids were with their families more than usual, but it was a time of frustration and boredom. Children and teens need to spread their wings and be with those of their own age. On top of all the above, lots of kids lost a family member or a neighbor, or knew of a loss.

Grief was something that became real to many. Yes, things are better now, but anxiety about safety in our schools is still high. The rhythm of normal life is still being orchestrated by most families rather than totally back to normal. 

Children's experiences the last few years have thrown them off-kilter, but the things that make moms truly excellent remain the same: their ability to communicate openly with their children. 

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Here are three behaviors that help moms (and dads, too!) level-up their parenting

1. Listen closely

Let's face it, if you put down your phone and take time out to listen to your personal world which of course includes your children, you will quickly discover how astute and smart you are. Your intuition will start to kick in as you watch, talk and listen to your children much more often.

Is someone hiding a secret? Perhaps feeling depressed and afraid to share that with you. Perhaps even doing some bodily harm or eating poorly? Or just looking for more hugs and kisses? 

2. Be more available

Making yourself more available will fall naturally into giving you more time to watch, process and interact with your kids. They'll soon notice that you are there for them more and open up more to you.

3. Be totally honest

Share lots of your feelings and your history whenever it is appropriate. Your kids will love your scary and meaningful stories from the past and again, become more courageous to share their feelings, stories and worries with you. I would say this is a win-win for all.

RELATED: 5 Simple Phrases Savvy Parents Use To Persuade Their Teens To Open Up

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is a positive psychologist, a best-selling author, and an award-winning Selfie Filmmaker focusing on coming-of-age issues for girls and women. She is also a noted podcaster. Many of her shows and interviews can be found on YouTube and Vimeo.