Parenting isn’t easy. Unfortunately kids don’t come with an instruction manual. However, there are some common sense actions to take in order not to create a problem child. In the effort to please their kids, and not seem like a bad parent, many parents are guilty of caving to their children.
When kids are not receiving guidelines and consistency from their parents, they can end up growing up to become stereotypical ‘bad kids.’ Kids can be so adorable, and down right manipulative. At the drop of a hat, a kid throwing a temper tantrum in public can have a gullible parent twisted around their little finger.
Not being a parent who is emotionally and physically present, capable of administering some discipline, and displaying consistency creates bad kids. Always trying to please children out of guilt, a desire to show an improved lifestyle, or comparing to celebrities will create future failure. Children, despite the moments of whining and cajoling, need their parents to be the adult in the family.
Parents may find that they have been guilty of engaging in certain bad behaviors. Now and then certain mistakes happen. If they become habits, anyone dealing with those bratty bad apples will suffer.
14 Offering Bribes
Giving bribes is not just something that happens between politicians or shady police officers and the public. Everyday, frustrated or fearful parents give in to their children’s whims, by offering a bribe. Whether the bribe is a toy, candy, or money doesn’t matter. Offering bribes to children rewards manipulative behavior and creates bad kids.
Sometimes a parent is just going to have to endure a child being upset for a little while, instead of trying to do a bait and switch with a bribe. There will be situations in life where a bribe will not be accepted, or could possibly land you in greater trouble. Parents should beware offering bribes too often, just to get a kid to behave as desired.
13 Giving In To Temper Tantrums
Parents can be thrown into panic mode when a kid throws a temper tantrum. Especially when a kid is acting up in public, embarrassed parents may want to do anything to get their kid to quickly stop. Unfortunately, constantly giving in to a kid who decides to blow up and throw a fit, will do nothing but reward bad behavior.
Kids want to test their parents occasionally, in order to assert their independence. This is normal. No matter if their kid is wailing at the top of their lungs, kicking, or threatening, parents need to exert control and patience. If a parent constantly gives in to their kid’s bad behavior, they will grow up expecting to get their way whenever they are upset.
12 Throwing Money At Them
Many kids and adults have some gaps when it comes to financial literacy. Throwing the credit card or money at a kid, in lieu of spending time with them, can lead to spoiled rotten kids with no understanding of how credit or money works. If kids know that their parents don’t have time for them, or are avoiding parenting by replacing it with money, it reinforces poor habits and behavior.
Giving kids money to allow them to buy things that they like or want is nice. However, giving kids access to large amounts of money and credit too early, can lead to excess spending, inability to develop good saving habits, and throwing fits. Money is a resource that cannot replace parenting skills.
11 Always Blaming The Other Parent
If a family contains a two-parent household, sometimes disagreements or fights can happen. Not only should parents try to limit having fights in front of a child, blaming a parent for a child’s behavior is a huge no-no. Making a child choose between parents, in order to be petty and divisive showcases poor habits for a child to mimic. Blaming a parent for a child’s actions, also allows a kid to avoid being held responsible for their behavior.
Children learn from their environment, their parents, and their peers. Being a steadfast example, by setting boundaries, having open communication, and standing by what they say provide numerous benefits. Kids shouldn’t be forced to side with a parent, in order to escape understanding cause and effect.
10 … And Never Blaming The Kid
Parents may think of their kids as innocent angels, capable of doing no wrong in the world. However, this is not always the case, and occasionally kids do get into trouble. Life is about learning, making mistakes, and growth. When a parent blames everyone but their kid, for their kid’s behavior, it leads to problems down the road.
Kids need to have their parents address their behavior, especially if there is a lesson to be learned. Kids who know a parent will always be there, to blame others for their behavior, will think they can get away with murder all the time. It will be hard for a child who grows up with such parenting, to understand the consequences of their actions later in life.
9 Allowing Kids To Be Adults
Parents are usually their kids biggest heroes, and the ones that kids want to emulate, whether they say it or not. Of course, as puberty hits, and kids exert their independence, the feeling may change. However, parents who push their kids to engage in adult behaviors, rob kids of their childhood, and may create some emotional confusion.
Parents who find it funny to see their kid get drunk, abuse illicit substances, or engage in risky behaviors, clearly set their kids up for possible failure and health problems. Kids need to be allowed to go through different phases in their life, in order to develop a sense of balance. Kids lack the emotional and psychological strength to handle engaging in certain adult behaviors.
8 Always Falling On Swords
Parents want to do everything to protect their kids. Children are precious, and it hurts to see them act less than their best. However, if a parent is always blaming themselves for their kids actions, and never correcting their child, it leads to bratty behavior.
A parent should ask themselves, “What will happen to their child when they are not their to take the blame for them?” Eventually, children do grow up, and society will hold them accountable for their actions.
Parents who never let their kids suffer consequences create bad kids, and later bad adults. Maturity is developed when kids are allowed to learn from their choices, not when parents always step in. Helicopter parents should take heed to this advice.
7 Not Enough Quality Time
Kids are not like pets, and despite being full of energy, and developing their autonomy from mom and dad, need quality time. This means spending quality time with their parent, not in front of the TV, playing video games, or relying on going outside. Parents who always are too busy, will undoubtably hurt their kids, and cause them to develop some bad habits.
Sometimes kids who feel neglected, due to not receiving enough quality time with a parent, turn to the streets, drugs, and stop communicating openly with their parents. It doesn’t take long for a child to feel that their parent doesn’t have time for them, and will start engaging in negative attention-seeking behavior. Making time for quality interaction with kids will prevent this.
6 Tolerating Bad Behavior
Kids will be kids. However, allowing kids to do whatever they please, whenever they want, is simply no good. Avoiding taking corrective actions for a kid’s bad behavior, because a parent wants to avoid a temper tantrum will encourage more bad behavior from a child.
Despite how a child behaves, kids really want their parents to set some boundaries for them. If a child can’t find direction and structure from their parent, they will surely find it elsewhere.
Parents should not fear correcting their child, if they are behaving poorly, or developing behavior patterns that can become detrimental to their future.
5 No Always Means Yes
Most parents don’t want to disappoint their kids, or cause them to feel moments of being upset. It is important to set limits, and mean firmly what they say. Parents who say “No,” but soon waffle and quickly change their mind about their decision, confuse kids and create bad patterns.
It is important to hold fast in a decision as a parent, especially when denying a behavior or request that can lead to harmful habits when older. Sometimes parenting is challenging, but making a decision to say no, when it is necessary to protect a child is important. Parenting is not about always being their kids friend and always saying “Yes.” It sets unrealistic expectations, which the world can’t keep up.
4 Not Letting Kids Express Their Emotions
Emotions can be difficult to digest at any age. However, parents are not doing their kids any favors by only allowing their kids to feel contentment, and never feel their disappointment. Life is about weathering the ups and downs, so parents need to allow their kids to have their emotional moments.
It can be challenging to answer kid’s questions, address fears, feelings of inadequacy, or deal with feeling hurt. However, part of growing up is being able to grow thick skin, allow ourselves to feel our range of emotions, and grow from our experiences. Parents who try to create a perfect environment for their kids, and always let them have what they want to be happy, rob their children of the opportunity to grow up.
3 Babying Them Too Much
Especially if there is a two-parent household, it can really create some problems for the entire family, when a child is always put first. A parent who is the center of attention, may become very self-centered and boorish. The relationship between parents can really be strained, creating tension in the household, when a kid is always put first.
It is important for parents to divide time among their kid and other family members. Kids won’t be harmed by being doted on now and then, but always centering on a child leads to complex. A significant other doesn’t want to feel neglected, or end up feeling like they have to vie with a child for attention. Parents will only send the wrong message to their child.
2 Treating Kids As An Extension
Contrary to fashion, a child is not an accessory. Kids are their own person, even if they share half of a parent’s DNA. A parent who chooses to treat their child as an extension of themselves, creates bad kids in the future. Kids have a hard enough time, if they live in their parent’s shadow. Kids who don’t get a chance to fully be themselves, may end up feeling emotionally stifled, and psychologically stunted in their development.
Parents may treat their kids as an extension, because their child will always be “their little baby.” However, not giving a kid their proper personal space, setting clear boundaries, and being overly involved in their life all the time, can create problems. Helicopter parents be warned.
1 Allowing Rude Behavior
Good manners and politeness can grease the wheels of social interaction with others. Laughing off rude behavior from children, reinforces negative behavior, and can lead to later social alienation. Kids who are never chided for their impudence, especially to older people, educators, or members of the law, can lead to life problems when older.
Parents should quickly correct a child’s rudeness, as soon as it takes place. Waiting to parent a child, or being fearful of correcting their child’s bad behavior leads to bad kids. Parents have a job to do. It is important that parents set a good example about being respectful of others, and encourage their kids to do the same. Everyone is not going to put up with a saucy snappy kid.
Sources: Psychology Today, Parenting, Parents, Forbes