Being a cool mom can mean many things, but it is most commonly associated with a mom who is both a parental figure and a friend. A cool mom sets boundaries, but also allows her children to be themselves. Most importantly, a cool mom attempts to connect with her kids while loving, appreciating, and respecting them for who they are.
1.) Let your children know that they can talk to you about anything. When they do start to open up to you about deeper things going on in their lives, remember to listen lovingly and without judgement. At the same time, don’t expect them to tell you everything. Respect their space, privacy, and independence and trust that you can have a strong relationship without knowing every aspect of their lives.Express your willingness to listen by saying something like “David, I want you to know that I love you unconditionally and am always here to support and listen to any problems you might be having. Even if you know I won’t like what you’re saying, I want you to know I’m here to listen without judgement.”
2.) Learn to listen. Whether it’s a conversation about school, relationships, politics, or the weather, talking with your children is an important part of being a cool mom. Talking to your children is not always easy, particularly at the difficult ages, such as during the teen years. However, making an effort to communicate and listen to your children’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions will have a last impact on your relationship with him or her and your status as a cool mom.Ask your children questions. For example “What was the best part about school today?” or “How did it make you feel when Jan didn’t invite your other friends to her birthday party?” or “Does it make you upset when your boyfriend is late to pick you up for a date?” are ways to get a conversation started. Once the conversation is started, you might get more insight into your children’s feelings and opinions than you thought possible.
3.) Give your full attention. Particularly if your children approach you with an important or sensitive issue, they deserve all of your attention. For example, it is really important that in our technological age, you put your phone down when talking to your children. Show them that they are your first priority.Turn off the radio or the television. It is difficult to give someone your full attention if there are other distractions around you.Don’t interrupt. Even if it’s difficult, try to hear your children out and attempt not to lecture. If your children feel like they are in for a lecture every time she talks to you, she will be less willing to do so. Show you care through your body language. Turn toward your child so you can properly engage with him in conversation. Make eye contact, and keep your facial expressions as neutral as possible.Accept that you may not always like what you hear. Inevitably, your children will do, say, or believe things that you disagree with. However, it is important to keep an open ear, and as much as possible, an open mind.
4.) Speak honestly. Just as it is important to listen to your children, part of being a cool mom is being honest with your children in return. This will help you to gain their their trust and respect.Let your children know you make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to admit to your children if you’ve messed up, and don’t be afraid to apologize for it. Showing that you’re human too will help your children feel that they can relate to you in a more realistic way. Talk to your children about your own life experiences. For example, you might want to tell them about a time that you got caught in a lie by your own mother, or got in trouble at school. Explain to them the triumphs and tribulations that you faced on your journey to adulthood. They will appreciate the feeling that you can relate to them.
5.) Be affectionate. A tender touch from mom can go a long way if your child has had a bad day at school or a fight with a friend. All humans crave a physical touch, so a warm embrace (or however else you choose to show affection) or a kiss can strengthen your relationship with you child. Don’t underestimate the primal power of a physical touch. Affection is also a good way to show that you are proud of your children. Cool moms aren’t afraid to tell their children they are proud of them, and they aren’t afraid to show it either.If you aren’t the physically affectionate type, express your feelings for your children verbally. A simple “I love you” or “You’re fantastic kids” will boost your children’s confidence and strengthen your bond.
6.) Show affection at appropriate times. When your children are in front of their friends or peers, it is probably not the best time to be overly affectionate. However, when you are alone at home, it is a great time to show affection to your children. Make sure you choose to show or tell your children you love them at times that they won’t find embarrassing. In particular, avoid getting overly affectionate in public.
7.) Show an interest in your children’s activities. Get to know their friends, learn the rules of the sports they play, find out what they think is the coolest part of the hobbies they enjoy. Ask your children questions about the things they like to do and why. Even if you don’t actively engage in these activities with your children, make an attempt to understand them. Attend their choral concerts, sporting events, school plays, piano recitals, etc. Nothing makes a cooler mom than one that is in the audience supporting their children. Make being present a priority, and if you can, become involved. For example, bring orange slices for your child’s soccer team for them to eat during a half-time break. Ask them to show you how to do one of their favorite hobbies, and give it a try. This will make your children feel like you are truly interested in their lives. Alternatively, involve your children in your hobbies. Research shows that engaging your child in your hobbies will bring you and your child together.
8.) Allow your children to have their own interests and ambitions, even if you don’t find them particularly interesting. Never try to corral your children into doing particular activities if they are interested in other things.When your children find activities and hobbies they are interested in, be engaged without being overwhelming. Become involved with their hobbies and interests, but allow them to explore and develop their passions on their own in a way that lets them grow and develop alongside their peers. Show an appropriate level of enthusiasm- this may mean always being in attendance at your child’s soccer games, but not bringing you own megaphone to cheer him on.