Parents want to bring up children who are compassionate towards others, but also assertive and confident. It isn’t always to get your children to learn various behaviours which you believe they should imbibe, but it can certainly be easier if most parents didn’t engage in destructive behaviours that can hinder their children’s learning process. What kind of behaviours should you avoid as a parent?
Not allowing your kids to make their own choices
This is not to say that you should let your child make difficult choices, but simpler matters like the cereal they want to eat or which one of two outfits they want to wear should be decided by them. You determine which cereals you’ll fill your cabinet with anyway, so let them decide which one they want in their breakfast bowl. Life is about making choices, so let them learn to make the simpler ones on their own before they can make the harder ones.
Being a lazy parent means stuffing your children with fast food instead of preparing nutritious meals and letting mobile devices or television babysit them instead of spending quality time with them. What are the possible consequences of this? Poor grades in school, bad hygiene, obesity, laziness and antisocial behaviour.
You’re unable to position yourself as an authority figure
You must never forget that you’re a parent, not an older sibling or a bestie. Don’t give in to your child’s desires because you don’t want to deal with their tantrums. The irony is they could end up resenting you for not standing your ground and giving them the direction they need.
You don’t really listen
You know why kids don’t go to their parents even when they know adults have the solutions to their problems? It’s because they don’t want to get into trouble. You need to learn to remain calm in certain situations and really listen without reacting. It will take some practice, but it’s worth it.
You focus too much on grades
Sure, you want your child to get the best grades and study to become a neurosurgeon, but have you ever stopped to wonder what effect overemphasising grades can have on them? You should be more interested in growth. Instead of focusing on the low grades, ask about the better grades first and try to determine what your kid loves about those classes. That way, it becomes easier to deal with the lower grades. Compliment them when you notice growth.
Bullying your child
You could bully your child by screaming, threatening or doing whatever you feel needs to be done to intimidate them into obedience. By doing this, you could create a distance between you and your child. Even when they make mistakes, have enough control to show them common courtesy, love and affection.
Schedules are too rigid
As much as you might want your child to be the next Mozart and a ninja at the same time, you should take it easy with the schedules. This is the only period of their lives when your children may have the time to really play and enjoy the freedom of having no responsibilities, so let them enjoy it. Don’t choke up their days with tennis practice, piano lessons and karate classes. Choose one activity at a time and leave time for unscheduled fun, house chores and family bonding.
You don’t respect their personal space or expect same
It’s unhealthy to either not show respect for your child’s personal space or not expect your child to respect your own personal space. From an early age, kids need to understand personal boundaries. Teach your kids the importance of knocking on doors and be a good example by doing the same with them.
Not allowing your child make mistakes
You’ve made mistakes and you cannot shield your children from doing same. If you try to guard your children too much, you could end up creating unnecessary fear in them. Sometimes, you need to let them fall, so they know they should be more careful next time.
You don’t praise them enough
While you don’t want to over-compliment them, you need to praise them when they deserve it, especially if you want a healthy relationship with them. As much as discipline is important, correcting your kids shouldn’t stop you from giving them the encouragement they deserve.
You compliment them too much
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your child or praising them when they deserve it, but overdo it and they can become reliant on others for positive reinforcement. Let them feel proud of themselves for doing a great job.
You don’t allow them to solve their own problems
As a parent, you are meant to guide your child and not be their Superman. If your child is having trouble with another kid in school, get them to talk to their classmate, rather than simply going to school to meet the teacher. Of course, there are situations your child won’t be able to solve on their own. Swoop in and save them then.
You lack consistency
Do you make rules today only to break them tomorrow? You need to stop. It’s important that your children know you expect obedience when you create rules. If you spell out consequences for their actions, you need to follow through or you risk them not respecting rules outside the confines of your home.
Expecting them to be perfect
Whether it’s making their bed or making better grade at school, don’t expect your kids to be perfect. At the same time, don’t expect them to be lazy. Don’t yell because the bed is not as neat as when you do it. Let it go if it’s well-done at least.
Just as there’s no perfect child, there’s no such thing as perfect parenting but you owe it to your child to be the best parent they can ask for. Keep doing your best to make yourself better and you just might win the golden parent trophy.