Type A Mom: How to Handle 6 Common Challenges
Here are some tips and tricks for tackling 6 challenges that Type A moms tend to face on a regular basis.
If you're a Type A mom, you likely set super-high expectations for yourself and feel the urge to play the role of Superwoman on a daily basis. From giving a stellar presentation at work to making sure that there's a nutritious dinner on the table every night, you can do it all. And it's likely that you encourage your children to be high-achievers, as well. But while it's great to give your kids the means and encouragement they need to succeed, it's important to remember that there can be pitfalls to Type A parenting.
Here are six common challenges that Type A moms face and tips on how to tackle them head-on:
- Comparing Yourself to Other Moms
It can be great to have a core group of mommy friends who can offer advice and help you to understand the ins and outs of parenting. But when you begin to worry about the fact that their little ones are walking, talking or reading before your own kids, this relationship can become counterproductive. Just be sure to keep the old adage in mind: Every child reaches milestones on their own timetable!
- Becoming a "Helicopter" Parent
Kids need supervision, but some Type A moms can take this concept to an extreme. "When parents are always on top of things and don't give kids room to breathe, these kids don't learn to do things for themselves," says Dr. Lori Rockmore, a psychologist.
"Eventually, they rebel." In this scenario, Dr. Rockmore says that the first step you should take is to recognize that you're trying to control everything your child is doing. Then, you must slowly learn how to give him some space and independence. For more tips, check out Helicopter Parenting: 5 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Helicopter Parent.
Type A moms also have a tendency to worry. Meredith, a mom of teen twins, says that it's difficult for her to let her kids leave the house without her. "It's not them," she asserts. "It's the rest of the world." But over time, Meredith has learned to trust that her children can handle themselves, and so she allows them to do more and more on their own.
- Ignoring Your Own Needs
If you're a Type A mom, you might find yourself getting hyper-focused on one thing. While it's important to worry about your children, their well-being and their achievements, you can't lose sight of your own goals and needs. By doing so, you risk alienating your kids and losing a piece of yourself.
If you're a working mom, make sure to focus on your office priorities when you're on the clock. And if you're a stay-at-home mom, try to maintain some perspective by taking the time to pursue a few of your own interests.
- Seeking Academic Perfection
Maria, a self-professed Type A mom, admits that when her kids come home with a 90% on a test, she has a tendency to ask, "What went wrong?" "I recognize that it's not entirely healthy," she says. "It's important to have high standards, but I do try to moderate it." Similarly, Catherine, who considers herself to be a "velvet glove Type A," admits that it's not natural for her to be happy with a B on a report card.
Nevertheless, Catherine understands that her job is to "enable her kids to achieve, not to engineer them to go to an Ivy League school." Dr. Rockmore warns that if you become over invested in your children's grades and get angry with a slight failure, they may begin to think, "If I can't be the best, I might as well not even try." As such, she encourages Type A parents to attempt to shift their thinking so they praise the process (good study habits) rather than the end result (the grade).
- Losing Your Balance
According to Maria, one of her goals as a Type A parent is to "keep it healthy," by striving to maintain only the good parts of this high-achieving parenting style. "Some of the order and structure I like does help [my kids] do well in school," she says. "I don't totally shut it off, because I like to set higher expectations for everything and see if they can meet them."
Overall, it's important to praise your children's efforts and learn how to give them the space and support they need to excel. For more information on different parenting styles, check out Authoritative Parenting -- A Steady Style the Experts Embrace.
Can you think of any other difficult scenarios for Type A moms? Let us know in the comments below!
Jill Reed Siroty is a freelance writer, blogger and college instructor. She's married and has two sons. Jill considers herself to be a Type A mom.
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