I could never see any tactics. It didn't occur to anyone until years later when I was in a doctoral program that I have a learning disability. Chess is one of the ways I fight back against it.
My mother instituting a policy of checking (announcing an attack on) all major pieces. By that, I think she meant anything but pawns. She should have had checking pawns too. I think she was on the right track with this.
She also said that chess is "not about making pretty patterns". While she was right that immediate attacks are more important, chess most definitely about patterns.