As a parent, we tend to think we know what is best for our kids. We want to take every decision ourselves based on our instincts, considering we know what we’re doing every step of the way. However, more often than not, we make parenting mistakes, which then have consequences.
Speaking from experience, I have made quite a few bad decisions for my kids as well. But, it is a learning experience, and I’ve had a lot to learn over the years. Here I list eight parenting mistakes we should try to avoid to be better parents to our children.
One of the worst parenting mistakes you can make is undervaluing or overvaluing a problem. First, you need to determine whether something is a problem. Then, you decide how big or small that problem is.
For example, ask yourself whether your toddler crying over random events is a problem? Or is your teen kid being away from the house for longer periods an issue? Well, if you look at these in the bigger picture, they are both normal behaviors of children according to their age—nothing to worry about.
However, some issues shouldn’t be understated as if you catch your teenage son doing drugs. That is a no-no, and you should reprimand him for this behavior.
This is a balancing game where you need to keep an open mind to assign appropriate seriousness to a problem and be fair with your kids.
Not creating rules.
One of the most common parenting mistakes is not setting limits for your kids. Allowing your children to do whatever they want may result in two things:
- it can spoil them, and
- it can make their lives difficult because of uncertainty
It is difficult for younger children to deal with uncertainty, especially. They might want some structure to their lives to know what to do throughout the day. Therefore, you should make plans, set up routines, assign chores, and set limitations for various activities so that your children know what is expected of them. This will also help them structure their life when they grow up.
Not acknowledging your mistakes.
As I mentioned earlier, parents make mistakes, and sometimes they are unavoidable without help. However, once you recognize your mistake, it is upon you to remedy it. Some parents tend to carry on with a failed parenting technique, which can have potentially negative consequences for the children.
For example, if you think that hitting your child is not working and yet you continue to implement it whenever he misbehaves, chances are he’s never going to change his behavior. Don’t use physical force and try some alternative methods to curb his negative behavior.
Identifying and accepting your parenting mistakes can help you be a better parent, and your children appreciate you more and learn to accept their own mistakes as they grow older.
Shouting at your kids.
Getting angry and shouting at your children might not be an effective way of communicating your emotions to your children. This is because children might be afraid of your anger, and they might not listen to what you say or understand it. So, mostly, you’ll be shouting at a wall because if they don’t understand you, they will not change their behavior.
There’s a chance that some of your furious lectures might get across to them. However, even then, they may not completely change their behavior as they will only responding in fear of you.
According to research, shouting to get your point across to a child does the opposite. They don’t listen to you, plus there’s a chance they can grow resentful of you, which can hurt your relationship in the long-run.
Punishing your kids.
Another top 5 parenting mistake is punishment. This is a parenting tactic that works mostly in the short-run and fails to bring any behavioral change in children. If you resort to punishment often, try and switch to alternatives in order to get a better response out of your kids.
This does not mean you don’t reprimand your children. It is necessary to talk to your child about their wrong behaviors. However, punishing them can be taking it too far and not helping them at all. The negative effects of punishment are similar to you shouting at them. The child might fear you, your relationship with your child can get hurt, they can get resentful of you and might stay away from you as much as possible, and they can even pick up bad habits like lying to you to avoid getting punished.
Getting too involved.
One of the worst mistakes parents are making today is getting too involved in their kids’ lives. Some parents might say that they are only trying to protect their children. But, when you get also involved, it becomes overprotection. This is wrong because you are robbing your kids of excellent opportunities for learning.
We all know that a great way of learning something is by making mistakes. We implement this in our lives as well. However, kids don’t know this, and when we try and stop them from taking risks, they don’t get to learn a lot of stuff.
Allowing your children to take risks doesn’t mean that you let them do anything. You should keep a lookout, but don’t deny them from taking that step into risky territory.
Overprotecting also denies children from dealing with their emotions. Because parents shut down any disruption in their child’s life, they also disallow them from handling their emotions. This can have consequences in the future. Your child will not be able to manage stressful situations and might not be able to deal with emotions like anger that can damage relationships, for example.
All in all, children need to learn to grow and become successful people. Children today are too dependent on their parents to help them with everything, and that should not be the case. If children learn through practical ways, they can become better equipped at handling stressful situations that life throws at us when we grow up.
Not acknowledging their emotions.
Emotions are important. They are what make us human. Therefore, it is important that you understand your children’s emotions and not deny them. Parents, more often than not, might invalidate their child’s feelings or disregard them. Don’t do that; instead, take the opportunity to understand their situation and advise them on how to deal with their issues.
Whenever kids talk about their emotions, they are taking a bold step and so you need to be open to having that conversation. If you discard their feelings, they might not talk to you about their emotions again and repress them, which can have negative repercussions later on.
Being the wrong role model.
A parent’s job is to be a good role model for their kids. Children follow your every move because you are the prime example of human behavior to them. Therefore, when you mess-up, they will also learn that and do the same.
Many parents make the mistake of throwing tantrums and shouting in anger in front of their kids. These negative behaviors become bad examples for kids, which they eventually catch onto. This can spell disaster for your kids if you do the same. Try and be good role models and teach your children good virtues and behaviors by implementing them in your life.
If you are feeling guilty about these parenting plan mistakes, don’t worry because all of us make them. Parenting is an ongoing work-in-progress, and you learn every step of the way. If you practice any of the parenting mistakes discussed above, try and change them. Switch to better alternatives because these don’t work. Your kids will love you all the more, and you will be able to improve your relationship with them.
Erin Keller is the mother of three boys aged 14, 13, 11, and one girl aged 4. She currently resides in Fairfield but was brought up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she also completed her B.A. in Business Economics in 200three. Erin has been very involved with her kids, trying to balance work and life since 2011. Her experience with her kids provided her exciting content for her blog. The blog is Erin’s passion and an ongoing effort of a mom with four kids.
Visit https://momof4kiddos.com for more content on Erin and her family.
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