On April 18, at Woodburn in Dover, the official residence of the Governor of Delaware, Kim Hoey Stevenson was honored as the 2013 Young Mother of the Year by the Delaware Association of American Mothers. An extension of American Mothers, Inc. (AMI), an interfaith, non-political, non-profit organization for women and men who recognize the important role of motherhood through educational programs and community outreach, Delaware Association of American Mothers chose Kim from mothers throughout the state of Delaware as they encourage her through their mission to “lead Delawareans in strengthening the moral and spiritual foundation of our homes and families.”
As a freelance writer, Kim has written for Reuters, Gannett, the Associated Press and publications such as the News Journal, PARADE Magazine and Delaware Beach Life. She has traveled extensively throughout the world including a trip to Somalia during Operation Restore Hope to cover the change over from United States to United Nations forces and what Delawareans were doing as part of those efforts. Graduating from Wake Forest University with a degree in psychology, Kim helped co-author the book, “Overcoming Misfortune: Children Who Beat the Odds,” a book that explored the positive side of psychology. Living in Milford with her husband, David and their eight year-old daughter Lydia, Kim volunteers with her church and several child based non-profits.
After being nominated by her husband David Stevenson in November of last year, Kim was asked by AMI to answer questions regarding her philosophy on parenting and how parenthood has impacted her life. Speaking on her philosophy of parenting, she is quick to point out the several opposing concepts that she faces raising a young children including helping her child to succeed while at the same time allowing her to fail.
“The job of a parent is to educate, equip and empower a child to become a responsible, thoughtful, caring and independent adult. To do that I believe a parent should help the child explore different avenues and ideas and encourage those in which the child shows interest…,” stated Stevenson in an interview with the Delaware Association of American Mothers. “It also means having clear expectations, being the parent, not the friend, and allowing natural consequences and, yes, failure to occur…” Kim notes that if parents allow children to fail earlier rather than later in life, when the consequences are not so severe, children can learn self-confidence and resiliency in working through their problems.
Kim states that being a mother has impacted everything she does, thinks and says from every story she writes to even radio station she listens to. Just recently, the family turned off their cable television to avoid the violent and inappropriate situations that many argue have become the norm for many public broadcast companies. Instead, Kim and her husband have introduced their daughter to the world that they remember growing up in. Lydia is encouraged to participate in activities that are not technology based, such as reading and enjoying walking and riding bikes through local parks. As a third grader, Lydia enjoys music, art, fashion and drama. She takes part in local theatre and is a regular contributor of her voice in her school and church productions.
Over the weekend Kim and Lydia attended the American Mothers, Inc. National Convention held in New York City where mothers from across the United States were recognized. When asked to speak to the crowd regarding her advice about parenthood, Kim acknowledged that her method of parenting is not the answer for all children or families.
“If anything, I have found that their is no recipe for success,” commented Kin. “Allow children to develop, believe in your child, support them and let them know you love them.”