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"Effective Mothers allow God to love them first" by Melanie Jean Juneau (CatholicMom.com) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]A few years ago, one of my daughters, who was finishing up an Honors Degree in Religion and applying to Teacher’s College, asked me what I thought were the attributes of an effective teacher for her application. When I considered effective teachers, I immediately thought about effective mothers and the mother I was afraid of as a child.

Effective Mums

I remember cringing in fear in the presence of one angry, yelling mother who always seemed at her wits' end with the antics of neighborhood “brats.” However, the mum who actually liked her children and their playmates did not have problems with the neighborhood kids. My own mother loved us and our friends and they, in turn, appreciated her small acts of kindness and delighted that she actually took an interest in them. She talked to all children like they were people with likes and dreams and ideas of their own. Obviously, an effective mother is passionate about teaching and loving her kids. It is a passion which seems to be bigger than each individual mother. It is passion preventing discouragement or burnout because it is an inner fire which motivates and energizes mums. This passion, this fire within us is the love of God. A mother is most effective when she lives as a child of God herself because kids learn not by angry, condescending lectures, but by watching mums live, work, play, serve, make mistakes, forgive, and ask for forgiveness. Do you want teachable kids? You yourself must be humble and teachable. Mothers must learn to connect spirit to spirit, heart to heart with little people in and through God if we want to teach and form our kids into mature Christians.


Children can be exasperating, annoying and irritating. Countless experiences with my children reinforced this basic fact: the best way to handle poor behavior is by modeling good, patient behavior myself. Actions and emotions speak even louder than the correct words. When I remained calm and patient, the kids settled right down.

Do I Even Like Kids?

Kids intuitively know if an adult likes them, understands them and empathizes with them. Once again, if an adult is cold and cannot relate to a child emotionally, a child will act up in their presence. In my experience, mothers who were the most compassionate, who could truly empathize, were the most respected. Kids want to please adults whom they like and respect. It is the compassionate parent who can maintain good behavior, because they treat their children with mutual respect and compassion.

Humour and Flexibility

An effective mother must be innovative and adaptable because kids need variety. Children do not learn well when they are bored, and one style of mothering does not fit every child. So, an effective mother is flexible and definitely has a sense of humor. But most importantly, an effective mother allows God to love her -- and this Divine Love overflows to her kids. We mums can't give what we haven't received.
Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau