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nature
Nature cooperates under the right conditions. COURTESY INGO DOERRIE ON UNSPLASH

In “Mother Matters,” parenting and life coach Loyla Louvis, AACC, provides parenting tips.

LOYLA LOUVIS

She is dedicated to eliminating frustration in the parenting journey by customizing solutions to fit the uniqueness of each family. A mother of four children, she is experienced with single parenting, remarriage, home education, mentoring and teaching. Louvis runs Mothers in Training, LLC, and is a certified professional parenting consultant/coach. More info can be found at Mothersintraining.org.

The cold winds of March sweep across a frozen landscape, clearing the way for nature’s next performance. Birds chirp their morning song, and the earth slowly awakens from a long winter slumber. Sunlight pierces the twilight sky as all bid farewell to the frosty mornings of February. A new season is on the horizon.

This season is known for its changing weather patterns which herald in fragrant Spring blooms. Gentle nudges from nature trigger a series of appropriate and anticipated responses. Even the most reluctant plant or an animal hidden below the frozen soil will cooperate with nature’s call.  

Increasing sunshine, rising temperatures, and gusty winds work together to urge a sluggish landscape to do its bidding. This relationship between the atmosphere above and the earth’s landscape below offers a beautiful example of cooperation for us to explore. The attuned mother can draw valuable insight from nature as she pursues harmony in her home.

To achieve an atmosphere of cooperation, let us follow nature’s lead:

Establish favorable conditions: Good conditions produce favorable results. Parenting requires a mom to observe the atmosphere of her home. She must be intentional about creating an environment that promotes cooperation. A mother may discover that her child struggles with an attitude when sleep is cut short for one reason or another. Mom might do well to come alongside her child at bedtime and say, “My love, I notice that when we all get to sleep earlier, we wake up happier, and the mornings go smoother.” This gentle statement draws attention to a solution for moodiness without being negative. A child is more likely to cooperate when Mom establishes favorable conditions. 

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READ: MOTHER MATTERS; CELEBRATE LOVE WITH CHILDREN

READ: MOTHER MATTERS; CREATING A HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Create predictable circumstances: An intentional action over time produces an anticipated reaction. A child is exploring the world and discovering what influence he or she has in it. When a mother provides consistent, predictable conditions, the child will eventually respond with equal predictability. Mom might highlight her predictability by saying, “Tom, let’s agree on a plan of action. After you do your homework, you can watch TV. If you don’t do the assignment, you don’t get to watch TV.” This verbal contract establishes a clear connection between a child’s responsibility and the privilege attached. With time, predictable circumstances produce predictable results.

Implement a daily routine: Repetition reinforces the behavior. When everyone has different agendas, nobody is on the same page. The disconnect creates friction and competing agendas. For instance, if Mom wants the bedrooms kept orderly, but a child thinks little of a tidy room, conflict will likely occur. Keeping a clean room might happen with less drama using an accountability tool. Mom might say to her child, “Lisa, let’s create a chart together listing all that must happen in your room before leaving it each morning.” Together they can create an action plan that is agreeable to both of them. Implementing a daily routine makes cooperation less energy-draining for everyone.

Exhibit patient expectation: Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to wait with the right attitude. How a mother communicates is as important as anything she wants or does. Impatience produces negative energy, while patient expectation creates positive energy. Mom is wise to remember that whether cooperation happens immediately or takes much longer than hoped for, it will come. Her positive attitude will hasten a desirable harvest much faster than a negative one. “I know the time will come when we are on the same page,” reveals gentleness and patience. The fertilizer that makes cooperation grow is patient expectation!

We live in a busy world of commitment and responsibility. When family members are on the same page, life is better for everyone. The right conditions make the home a fertile environment for cooperation. As we follow the wisdom of nature, we too can expect a rich harvest of growth as a new season unfolds.