I’ve learned some amazing things from my kids. Two years ago I wrote about 12 things I knew because I was a mom. At the time, my children were little. Well, they kept growing and I kept learning. As parents I don’t think the learning is ever complete. After all, we’re just figuring this parent thing out as we go — and just when we get one stage figured out, it’s time to move on to the next. Here are 12 more things I’ve learned thanks to my school-aged children:

I can’t always be the ‘cool mom.’

And actually being the “cool mom” is rarely my thing. The last time I tried showing off for my kids, I threw a rib out! Often I need to be the “supportive mom” and the “boring mom” and the “please-do-what-I’ve-already-asked mom.”

There are worse things than video games.

Of course, all things in moderation. But I’ve seen video games expand thinking and encourage imagination. There are some television shows I worry about more than video games.

A good book makes all the difference.

Getting my kids to read every day is hard. Yet, I’ve found the right book can re-direct a poor reader, re-connect a distracted parent with eager kids, even re-invigorate an overwhelmed mom to take time for herself.

A forged signature isn’t the end of the world.

School can be tough, and I’ve learned to first ask the “why” behind my kids’ actions before I punish them over the “what.”

Few things beat a spontaneous family dance party.

We often “shake it off” or “whip” and “nae nae” across the kitchen floor. I smile, laugh and pull a muscle, and then everything seems better. For a few moments my kids are impressed with their parents’ moves, but that quickly changes to embarrassment. (And I’ve learned I kind of like the look on their face when I’m embarrassing.)

No time for friends seems to be the worst thing ever.

Nothing upsets a hopeful child like the lack of time between the end of homework and the start of dinner. For that matter, I’m a better person too when I have time with my friends.

Drop the gloves.

I pick my battles because most things aren’t worth a fight — like wearing a tie to church, science experiments in the freezer, or glitter scattered everywhere. And then the things I do fight for, I usually win.

Technology is tantalizing.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a kid with Wi-Fi, email, DVRs or hand-held devices. My Walkman wasn’t too distracting. So, I’ve learned it’s OK to keep changing the rules as I learn how to parent around technology.

To start the day right.

A solid breakfast, for me as well as the kids, makes a big difference (I use to forget to feed myself). And if we can get off to school on time, without yelling, it’s already been a great day.

I hate chore charts.

I hate them because I’m always the one to implement them. I hate them because it brings out the “please-do-what-I’ve-already-asked mom.” And I hate that without a good chore chart, the house seems to crumble to (Lego) pieces.

Hearts really do ache.

My heart aches when I watch my kids hurting. It aches when I don’t have the answers I need to help them. And it really aches when I look at old pictures or videos and remember how little my children once were. It hurts that I can’t get that time back (even though I didn’t know how I’d ever live through it).

My kids prefer a babysitter over me.

That is, just until bedtime — then nothing seems to beat goodnight cuddles with mom. It seems even to bigger kids, moms are still irreplaceable.

This article originally published as Nicole’s regular column on KSL.com