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

Mother Matters

January ushers in a new season, a clean slate and a white winter wonderland if you live in North Jersey. Time and nature collaborate to provide excellent conditions for reflection, restoration, and the infamous New Year’s resolution. All of this comes as a welcome distraction from the shortened days, longer nights, and cold, bitter winds promised at this time of year.

With joyous holiday celebrations behind us, and blustery winter days just ahead, now is the perfect time to embrace the quiet solitude of January and carefully contemplate the next chapter in the parenting journey.

It comes as no surprise that planning, preparation and hard work reward those who put in the time, and one must be so intentional about what is written on the fresh pages of a new year.

Every family has a story to tell, and as a mom, you hold the pen that scripts many chapters of the year in your household. There will always be twists and turns in the storyline, but with insight and intentionality, you have the privilege to author a story that teaches your child something powerful and positive about life and the impact one can have in the home and the world at large.

A common challenge some mothers may encounter is the paralyzing overwhelm of considering the days ahead. I suspect the feeling may be similar to what a student experiences while gazing at blank sheets of paper designated for an English class essay. There are so many conflicting ideas and feelings, so many ambitious hopes and dreams on the line, but a cacophony of competing demands and circumstances can leave a mom feeling frustrated or confused when it comes down to knowing what will actualize her good intentions.

However, we can take some guesswork out of Mom’s assignment by exploring a few action steps which set the stage for an award-winning year:

New Year's tips

Discover your mission: The family is destined to thrive when it serves a meaningful purpose in society. Every parent and child has natural abilities and passions. When invited to bring those unique attributes to the table for a worthy cause, value and honor are imputed, increasing self-worth and family pride. For example, if Mom is passionate about helping the homeless, and her twins love to bake, the family might commit to making cookies once a week for a local homeless shelter. This mission-minded family is serving the community, working together as a team, and establishing their household as one that does good in the world.

Determine your plan: A family mission will only succeed when there are willing participants and a well thought out plan. If a child contributes his or her own ideas to the planning process and feels heard and well received, cooperation can be anticipated. For instance, if baking for the homeless shelter is a mission the family is excited about, invite them to help you identify all the steps necessary for the success of the plan.

Distribute your duties: The final step in creating a family mission with a well thought out plan and willing participants is to distribute the responsibilities. When a child recognizes a passion and/or skill set, is able to verbalize the steps necessary for execution, and takes ownership of the tasks involved, a life skill has been achieved. For example, measuring ingredients, plating up cookies, and hand-delivering items alongside Mom are appropriate duties for a young child eager to participate in a mission to the homeless shelter.

A New Year's cold winter night is an excellent time to gather around the kitchen table after a hearty winter meal and chat about the many hopes and dreams that occupy the heart and mind. This year will unfold, and a story will play out. If you are willing to assume authorship of its chapters, the pages await your courage and family participation. With careful research, planning and execution, your family will undoubtedly thank you for providing them with an award-winning year!