Rebecca Hagelin

4. Show good sportsmanship. Teach your kids how to win and how to lose. A good winner doesn't gloat (although a little good-natured ribbing is okay), and a good loser doesn't pitch a fit, but is gracious and congratulates the winner. These rules also apply to academic and other contests.

5. Be a good listener. If you're always lecturing instead of listening, chances are your kids will avoid having conversations with you. Ask questions, avoid immediate negative reactions, and be available to them when they want to talk.

6. When you make a mistake, apologize. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Honey, I'm sorry I lost my temper like that." That itself sets a good example, reminding them that they shouldn't let pride interfere with doing what's right. And, if you've made a dumb mistake, your kids already know about it anyway. Avoiding the reality of your temporary lapse in judgment doesn't make the incident disappear - it only makes the memory of it hurt more.

7. Don't whine! Be bold and vocal about what is wrong--and then work to change it if you can. But never whine and complain around your kids. If you do, you'll get whining in return. And they will grow up viewing their own mom as something other than strong and positive.

8. Learn to forgive--and forget. Nothing will destroy a human being faster than bitterness. Your children will be harmed by many people in their lives, and how they learn to deal with it depends largely on you. Don't bring up their own past mistakes if they have already been dealt with. Move forward in love.

9. Mind your manners. Consistently bad behavior in public reveals what is permitted at home. Always practice kindness and thoughtfulness in your own family.

10. Be generous. Show your kids that you don't wait for the government to tax you to help others. Give freely of your blessings, with your money, time, kindness and by displaying a cheerful spirit.

My goal is to keep you motivated and inspired every week to engage in this most worthy of battles - the battle for our children and their future. I've started a free weekly e-newsletter that you can subscribe to today to help you strengthen your family, pass on your values to your children, and equip them to tower above the culture. You can sign up at As you prepare to be celebrated as a mom this coming Sunday, make it your pledge to practice that calling more deliberately than you ever have. There's no more important job in the entire world, and doing it well starts with being the person God calls you to be.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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