I am a sneaky mom. I will sometimes work quietly, without my children knowing it, to help them along—not to interfere, but to put opportunities for growth or involvement in their path.
And I’m not the only sneaky mom out there! A friend of mine said she was a little sneaky when she helped her son get more involved at church. There’s an older man at her church who takes attendance during the services. He walks down a side aisle to the front of the auditorium and counts the number of people in the pews.
“My son would get a kick out of doing that,” my friend told herself. So she asked this nice man if her son could help. Ever since then, her son has taken on the role of counter.
She was also sneaky when she signed up her daughter for a babysitting class. She knew that her daughter needed a little something that she could do on her own and that she enjoyed being with children. Her daughter took the class, started babysitting, and has loved it.
So, as moms, it’s good if we try to look for opportunities that will help our children—to guide them down a path we hope they will follow. Sometimes we can do this out in the open; other times, it’s best if our children don’t know our every move. You can learn how to be sneaky too! Read on for 3 ways to be a sneaky mom.
1. Improve your depth perception.
Before you can be the right kind of sneaky mom, you have to work on your depth perception of your child. This means looking beyond the obvious. It means noticing where they are not getting what they need from life, from you, and/or from school. It means really tuning into what makes them tick. I talk about how to improve your depth perception in my book, The Passionate Mom. Look over my thoughts there to take the first steps in really noticing what your child needs.
2. Advocate for your child.
Once you can see what your child needs, advocate for them. If it’s appropriate, you can do this with their knowledge. But more often than not, you need to step in for them quietly — behind the scenes. Make an appointment to talk with their teacher. Discuss things with the parents of their friends (but only do this with parents you know you can trust to remain confidential). There’s nothing wrong with advocating for your child.
3. Seek out opportunities for them.
Like my friend who found a role for her son at church, be proactive in finding ways to help your children expand their lives. When I noticed that my daughter had a good singing voice and that she enjoyed it, I started looking for ways for her to cultivate that talent. Not so that she could be a superstar but to give her the chance to learn how to do something that she loved. Seeking out opportunities for your children can be as simple as setting up play dates for them, taking them on college visits, or looking for things you think might interest them. The goal is to move your child forward in ways that they might not be able to figure out for themselves.
Knowing when and how to be sneaky is something you develop in your parenting years. Tell me! How has being sneaky helped your parent-child relationship?