Parenting is perhaps one of the toughest, if not the toughest, responsibility anyone will ever have in their entire life. And no matter the parenting style, many parents make mistakes. What kind of mistakes? Here are the most common ones.
There are parents who fear rejection from their children and go to great lengths to seek their kids’ love and approval. They try to become their children’s BFF. This is a parenting mistake, according to retired psychology professor David Schneider. Why? Because parents need to be parents. They need to guide their children and serve as their role models.
When you expect other people to throw their garbage in the proper place but you litter the streets, you’re giving your child the idea that they’re the exception to the rule. When everyone in the house is expected to help with the chores but you allow your youngest to play, you’re teaching them that they are the exception to the rule. This makes children lazy or spoiled. They take this false expectation into adulthood and get disappointed.
Your children didn’t clean their rooms so you clean it for them while they watch TV. Your son broke your expensive vase but didn’t get punished. This is no way to raise responsible kids. Children need to learn early on that all their actions have consequences, that they need to think carefully before doing anything and to accept the consequences of their actions.
In contrast to control freak, some parents make the mistake of being totally lax. This parenting style just lets children do whatever the heck they want without any intervention or guidance – especially when necessary.
Children are observant. They will remember what kind of behavior elicits the response they want. For example, once you give in to their tantrum and throw away those yucky vegetables, expect them to use the tactic again. If you’re not careful, you may just end up with a house ruled by unruly kids.
Another parenting mistake is shielding children from failure. Your kid needs to learn that in order to achieve success, dreaming is not enough. They need to put in the hard work and persistence.
When your child gets an A, you say they’re smart. When your child draws a really beautiful flower, you say they’re artistic. Well, maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. What’s wrong with these praises is you’re judging your child based on their intelligence or talent, putting a label on them and placing them in a certain category. This results in children becoming afraid of losing these labels. They’re afraid of getting a B because that means they’re dumb. They’re afraid of creating an ugly drawing because that means they’re not artistic. And that opens the door to failure and other hardships because success requires multiple rounds of failures.
Words are powerful, so be careful how you phrase your praise. Always praise your child for the effort they put into a project. Praise them for their persistence and hard work.
You may just want to motivate them and give them role models, but comparing your kids to other children, yourself, or other family members really just lowers their self-esteem.
You want to protect your child, but controlling every aspect of their life to prevent every mishap is not the way to do it. Your children are not fragile figurines, so don’t go overboard with the safety precautions. Let them roll in the grass and get dirty. Let them get hurt a little and explore the world.
You’re enrolling your daughter to that ballet class because all the other moms who you’re friends with are enrolling their daughters, too. You’re getting a tutor for your son because the mother of your son’s best friend’s got him a tutor, too. You basically want to make a good impression or beat the competition through your kids. Please stop. You have to let them live their life for themselves, not for you.
Overly controlling parents will want to make all the decisions for their children because they have an image in their mind of who they want their kids to be and they don’t want anything to mess that up. So they ensure everything is according to their plan and mold their children based on their preconceived image. But this only causes your child to feel they are inadequate and afraid of falling short of your expectations or messing up your plans.
No matter what you say, children won’t really listen. But they will follow your behavior. Remember that actions speak louder than words.
Parents who eat junk food and don’t exercise will most probably have kids who do the same things as adults. Children learn by imitation so show them what’s good behavior and they’ll imitate that.
Despite these parenting boo-boos though, parents are still a courageous lot. It ain’t easy raising another human.