Common Parenting Mistakes
Parenting journey is filled with highs and lows, joys and despairs. One moment you’re elated, and the next you feel dejected. One morning, you wake up feeling euphoric, only to go to bed that evening feeling utterly heartbroken. How you manage these powerful feelings will ultimately define the quality of your relationship with your kid.
We often make plenty of mistakes without even realizing it and that most people around us were falling into the same common parenting pitfalls. Its natural to make mistakes but its equally important to correct them. It takes courage to admit your faults, especially to your children. Starting over and creating a new, healthier relationship with them is a challenge. But that’s the gift of parenting; children give you the chance to keeping evolving and developing as an individual. Growing with your kids won’t just make you a better parent it will make you a better human being.
So let’s count down parenting mistakes that every parent is bound to make:
1. Model Wrong Behavior
Behave the way you want your kids to behave. Be the person you want your kid to be. Above all, before you fault your kids for their conduct, consider amending your own.
2. Criticism and Comparison
After all who enjoys criticisms or comparisons? Yet many parents compulsively criticize and compare their children daily: “Why can’t you be more like _____?” or “Why are you so _____?” It only takes a thoughtless moment to hurt your kids with criticism or comparisons — but it can take a lifetime for them to recover.
3. Over-praising and using positive reinforcement
Using phrases such as ‘good boy’ and ‘good girl’ and praising everything children do well to reinforce their good behavior is a very common trait. Unfortunately, using such ‘evaluative praise’ and descriptively praising every good behavior is a form of reward that they will come to expect as motivation to want to do things in the longer-term.
4. Giving them too many choices
Many parents think children always should have endless choices, when the reality is kids can be overwhelmed if they’re always given so many options.
5. Keeping them too busy
Most commonly with sports. Many parents wrongly believe “activities” will keep their kid out of trouble, but often times this will lead to the child being burned out or even becoming a bully.
6. Not letting kids get bored
Some parents think children are supposed to be stimulated at all times and it’s their job to avoid boredom. Then kids don’t learn to be creative and find the way out of boredom in themselves.
7. Protecting kids from their own consequences and loss
I see parents with good intentions get their kids everything, from a simple toy to buying them out of legal trouble, and suddenly they’re surprised when the child respects nothing. All of us need to learn losing is just another way to gain wisdom and experience about what not to do.
Parents don’t set out to neglect their kids, but many do. Adults get absorbed in their work, delegate parenting responsibilities to eldest children or grandparents, miss important events in their kids’ lives, or worst of all, they become terrible listeners — all forms of emotional neglect that undermine a child’s healthy sense of self.
Instead of micromanaging, give your kid the tools to be self-reliant and independent. The more your kids can succeed without you lording over them, the more drive they’ll have to succeed on their own.
10. Spanking children
Parents think it will teach them to be good, but using corporal punishment never works as well as love. I see all kinds of patients where the concept of “Spare the rod — spoil the child” was anything but. No spoiling, just opposing, angry, bullying, deceiving, fearful, or performing automatons.
Parenting is an evolutionary process and as parents, we are certain to make mistakes, especially during those first years of our child. You grow into it day by day, year after year and strive to learn from your mistakes and improve; your parental journey will be far less hindered by self-doubt and worries, and far more joyful for you and your kids.
Author of International Bestseller, Parenting Coach, Founder Empowered Parents Forum, Vice Chairperson- Rayz International Preschool.