Do You Make These Ten Parenting Mistakes?
Being a parent is tricky business. There is no instruction manual with all the answers. It seems we are left all on our own, doing our best to make today's toddler tomorrow's trailblazer. But in spite of our best efforts, it is easy for us to fall into these common ten parenting mistakes.
- Giving them everything they want- It is totally natural for parents to want to make their children happy, but sometimes that natural instinct goes wrong. Catering to every whim of your children creates ungrateful, ungracious attitudes.
- Worrying too much about the adult they are going to become and not enough about the child they are NOW- I am so guilty of this one. I do so much reading and studying about how to parent my children into good, responsible, well-rounded grownups. I think about it constantly. But sometimes, we have to put that all aside and lighten up. Remember right now, they are children, and they deserve to enjoy splashing in puddles and catching lightning bugs.
- Asking them to be mini grownups- Way too often in my life, I am shocked when my kids don't react like me, a 35 year old woman, to their situation. Umm, of course they don't! They are kids! Let them be! Better yet revel with them in their childishness. They just may teach you something!
- Disregarding their feelings- No one likes outbursts and tantrums, but while we may want to change how our children handle their emotions, we have to find a way to validate the way they feel. I often catch myself telling my son to stop crying. How unfair of me. If he is sad, I want him to cry. I want him to know his emotions are okay, and showing them is not weakness.
- Comparing them to the norm- Stop comparing them. Period. Don't compare them to each other or the neighbors, or their schoolmates, or the kids on tv. Every kid is different. Every kid is special. Every kid is awesome.
- Protecting them from mistakes- This sounds like good parenting, but honestly mistakes are how we learn most effectively how to survive in the real world. Obviously, you shouldn't let your kids jump off the roof, but calculated risks are good for children. Let them learn from their experiences and be there to snuggle if things go south.
- Snuggling your iPad more than your toddler- Electronics are so important and so ever-present in our lives that it seems almost impossible to disengage. Do it. Turn it off. Put it across the room where it doesn't beacon to you, and give your children real, quality, time.
- Putting your children above your spouse- This is a touchy subject. But here's the deal, our marriage needs to be cared for in order to make it through the craziness of life. Our children learn how a marriage should function almost solely by our example. Make time for date nights. It is not selfish. It is investing in your future. If we all started spoiling our spouses and stopped spoiling our children, our homes would be much happier places.
- Not saying your sorry or admitting you're wrong- Some parents seem to think that showing regret or imperfections is a sign of weakness. This simply is not true. None of us are perfect, so when you blow up at your son because he is on your last nerve. Apologize. Ask him for your forgiveness. Show him how a grownup treats someone they respect and love.
- Being inconsistent in your discipline- There are so many views on how to discipline children. But however we choose to do this, we MUST be consistent. Children should know the consequence of every rule they break and we must follow through every, single, time. That means no threatening, no letting things slide, no ignoring bad behavior because we are tired. The only way discipline changes behavior is through complete consistency.
I am guilty of many of these myself, we all are. But we can take steps to change these things in our households, for the sake of our children.
Amy Jo McDowell is a professional writer, wife, and mother. She has a degree in English from Central Michigan University. She loves to write stories to make websites stand out and shine. Parenting and Kids are her favorite topics.