As parents, there is this never-ending duty and obligation to rear a child in the right path. However, parenting right is easier said than done. There’s no one right or perfect way to go about parenting and that’s because each parent-child dynamic is unique.
This also goes without saying that a parent’s parenting style should adapt to the child. Even if you have two or more kids, you must discipline them differently. Every child is different and the earlier that you accept this fact, the sooner you’ll accept that your parenting style should be adjustable.
The problem lies when the parenting style doesn’t seem to work or when the parenting style isn’t effective enough. Parents tend to put the blame on the kids, thinking that the kids are the ones not responding.
On the other hand, the problem might actually lie on the parenting style. Take a look at this and see if you are guilty of committing these parenting mistakes with your kids:
10 Sticking to your preferred parenting style.
The baby isn’t born yet, or perhaps, the baby hasn’t even started walking yet. And here you are making decisions over what parenting style you should do. This is the biggest parenting mistake you’ll make.
For one, your child is not a robot. There’s no one right way to discipline your child. In fact, your parenting style should actually depend on your child, so making a decision without knowing your child’s behavior or attitude is just disastrous.
And when the times comes that your chosen parenting style does not work with your child, you will still continue to enforce it just because you’ve set your mind to it. Don’t force it. This is unfair to your child.
9 Not letting kids explore and not playing with them.
As parents, there’s that natural instinct to always guard and protect your child, even when it comes to playtime. However, being over-protective can do more harm than good.
You see, children learn when they explore. They need to learn themselves and they need to make mistakes. If you’re always there guarding and correcting them, the kids won’t build the confidence to explore new things. They’d get used to having you around and that’s not fine at all.
On the other hand, not joining your kids during playtime is also a parenting mistake. For kids, there’s nothing more important in the world than playtime. Show them that you care and that you love them by playing with them. Strike a balance between playing and learning together and letting them play and learn on their own.
8 Breaking promises.
Breaking promises isn’t only a huge parenting mistake, but it is also a big mistake you can make with friends and family. Follow the basic rule: If you can’t fulfil the promise, don’t make it.
Kids hang on to your promises like how they’d hang on to the ropes on a swing. They expect you to follow through on your promise. They expect you to keep your word. When you don’t keep that promise, you break their hearts and you set them up for disappointment.
At this early age, kids shouldn’t feel resentment towards their parents. “But you promised” or “You always promise, but you don’t do it” are some of the things you’ll hear from your kids and lets be honest here, it doesn’t sound good.
Put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel if someone didn’t fulfill their promise to you? Yes, that’s right!
7 Not pushing through with consequences.
If you have to fulfill your promises, you also have to keep your word when it comes to punishments and consequences. Sure, you don’t want to appear as a tyrant in front of the kids. However, you must show them that you are serious when it comes to rewards and consequences.
Being a parent is tough and even when you see your child crying like it’s the end of the world, you have to be firm. If you said that play time will end by 2 p.m., then that should happen. If it doesn’t, your child will have the notion that they can wiggle their way when it comes to you. Of course, this comes with an explanation of why you have to stick to the said time and why they should learn to follow you.
However, there’s also that thing we call negotiation and you’ll be amazed at how awesome kids are when they negotiate with you. Sometimes, things can’t always be black and white. If your child really wants to extend play time, he or she should be ready to give up something in return.
Now, this is your chance to ask anything from your child because you know they love their play time. How about eating their not-so favorite vegetable for dinner? Or how about asking them to do a chore at home? Ask away.
6 Protecting your child even when he or she is at fault.
This is another case of parents being very protective of their children. Just like with adults, when an adult is at fault, he or she should be accountable and make amends if he or she has hurt anyone. The same concept applies to kids and they are no exception.
Parents tend to shelter kids from ill feelings like feeling guilty or feeling scared when they do something bad. Again, this is counterintuitive for your kids. They should know when they’ve made a mistake. If they don’t, how will they even learn from the mistake?
Teach your child the value of accountability early on. Teach your child to be apologetic if it is his or her fault. Explain to your child why an apology is necessary so he or she would understand why there’s a need to do it too. At the same time, you should also say sorry to your child if you’ve done something wrong like not fulfilling a promise.
5 Comparing your kids to other kids.
No one ever wants to be compared to someone else. I’m sure you hate being compared to another person. So, you should know how it feels if you compare your child to another kid. And it’s even worse when you make comparisons in front of your kids.
Ask yourself, is there really the need to compare? First off, every child is different and I believe we’ve discussed this point loud and clear. You need not compare your child to anyone else. So what if your friend’s daughter is good at swimming? So what if your child prefers to paint instead of doing physical activities? Support your own child, plain and simple.
And second of all, can you just imagine what you’re making your child feel when you make comparisons? Your child will feel that he or she isn’t enough. That you don’t accept them for what they are. If you’re committing this parenting mistake, stop now. This can emotionally and mentally scar your child for life.
4 Not getting the values in order.
At home, there should be a clear list of the right and wrong things to do. That’s easy, right?
However, simply telling the kids to do this and not to do that isn’t effective at all. Your kids need to understand why an act is good and why it is wrong. Who better to explain to them than you.
In order for you to lay down the moral values in your home, you need to express the message loud and clear to your child. Otherwise, it will just be another rule that they’d be itching to break.
3 Not practicing what you preach.
If you don’t practice what you preach, there are two consequences that will come out of it. One, your kids won’t follow the rules because you don’t. Remember, you are your child’s role model. You need to lead and teach by example. If the kids see that you do it, then they will too. If you don’t do it, they won’t too.
Next, your kids will learn to object you and your rules. “Why should I do it, you’re not doing it!” And when your child says that to you, what will you reply? “Just do it because I told you so” won’t really cut it.
If you don’t follow your own rules, you’re sending a message to your kids--that rules can be bent and broken. When they get that message, they won’t strive hard to follow rules or let alone, respect the rules laid down before them.
2 Yelling angrily instead of communicating properly.
I’m sure every parent is guilty of this. Occasional yelling is fine, especially when your child has really pushed the limits. However, if yelling is always your go-to method if your buttons are being pushed, that’s when it becomes a bad mistake.
Anger isn’t good. And if you always express anger towards your misbehaving child, you are sending the wrong message. Your child will pick up that in order for someone to listen to you, you need to shout and yell. That’s not really true, right?
Instead of yelling and shouting angrily, talk to your kid calmly and reason with him. Study your child, learn how to communicate effectively with your child. Yelling doesn’t solve anything. You should know (it doesn’t help when fighting with the husband too or anyone for that matter). But, communicating properly does.
Right discipline is key. Anger merely shatters the locks.
1 Not focusing on your child’s character and heart.
True enough, there’s an increasing pressure when it comes to how parents discipline a child. As a result, parents focus on what their kids can accomplish or how the child appears in public. There’s always that need to appear like you’re one happy family to everyone.
If you’re feeling the pressure, don’t transfer that pressure to your kids. That is unfair and uncalled for. The truth is, instead of working so hard to please other people, why don’t you focus on pleasing your child’s heart?
Your child is always seeking for your approval. Empower their character and hearts by showing how proud you are of them, regardless of what they have achieved or not. Your child is meant to be loved, and not a product of your parenting style. News flash: It’s not about you, it’s about them.
I’m pretty sure you have committed these parenting mistakes at some point, or still committing these mistakes now. It’s time to make some changes. If your child’s happiness is on the line, then there’s no excuse not to adjust your ways.
Play together, learn together and grow up together. Work hard to build that healthy relationship with your kids. They’re only going to be kids once!