No one is above mistakes — even parents are not exempted. Many parents have raised grown-up children with one regret or the other before realizing the gravity of their actions. In this blog post, we’ve collated 10 common parental mistakes you shouldn’t make in 2021.
It is easier to retrace a step in the wrong direction if you are aware of your wrongs. It is often disastrous when you aren’t aware that you are wrong.
This can be more painful when it has a ripple effect on your child’s future. Among so many mistakes a parent can make, few are explained below.
10 Common Parental Mistakes to Watch Out for
The following are parental mistakes to avoid. Prepare to make amendments where necessary.
Constantly comparing your child with others could demoralize him or her. This is contrary to expecting an improvement. It could even make your child hate those who seem better than him or her.
The mistake of comparison can also birth envy and low self-esteem. This is the root cause of conspiracy among both children and adults. Instead of comparing, sit your child down to find out what is happening. Try to proffer a solution that could make him or her better.
2) Preaching without practising
If you are fond of giving long lectures to your kids without cautiously becoming an example, then you are simply running against the wind.
Soon, they will follow your footsteps. This is because children tend to see their parents as their first role model. It is good to set the pace for your child to follow. If you desire to limit the screen time of your child, do the same.
If you expect your child to attend to his or her duties promptly without procrastinating, don’t sit all day saying what you should do without doing them. Your child will continually go against your expectations of cleanliness, good morals, orderliness, and many more until you begin to live by example.
3) Raising your child to be what you want
Most times, parents raise their children with a mind of creating a path for them to thread. This happens mostly when it comes to choosing a career. The fact that you desire to have a doctor as a child does not mean you should enforce it on him or her.
Observe what your child likes and does well. That may be a good path to follow. Parents should give their children the necessary support they need in their chosen endeavour.
Whether in career decisions or extra-curricular activities, it is best to allow your child to go for his or her dreams. Many kids become unfulfilled adults because their parents insisted on the path they should follow.
Greensprings’s college-university-and-career readiness centre helps parents and children to solve career friction. Guidance is provided by the counsellor to determine the best career for a child through the analysis of his or her strength and weakness.
4) Fighting with your partner in the presence of the kid
The first place a child learns is at home. A child’s behaviour is a reflection of his or her home. As parents, it is therefore important to control your aggression when you are in disagreement with each other.
Whether you are right or wrong, learn to settle a fight or quarrel in the absence of your child. Picking up a fight with your partner in the presence of your child can affect his or her mental health. It can also teach him or her to be aggressive too. This could put the child in serious trouble in school or later in life.
5) Fixing everything for your child
Every parent desires to raise kids who will be independent and self-sufficient when they grow up. This can only happen when you allow your child to make choices and face the consequences resulting from them.
One hallmark of growing up is learning that there are consequences for every action or decision made. If you desire your child to measure up to this expectation, then you must stop the habit of getting everything fixed for him or her. Solving every problem for your child makes him or her see it as an entitlement and will likely reduce his or her level of gratitude.
6) Skimping on quality time
Every child longs for attention even if it is not requested. The generation of parents today have replaced a good relationship with their kids with screen time such as watching TV and playing games, etc.
However, 10 – 20 minutes with your child can foster love and make your child feel important. This little time should not be shared with any other thing. It should be for them. This could be a time for a heart to heart talk or doing activities that creates lasting memories.
7) Giving kids everything they ask for
Children are prone to making regular requests, sometimes out of impulse. It is good to take responsibility for such a request and make them happy. However, this should not be all the time. It is good to let them know the value of working towards their desire instead of having it on a platter of gold.
8) Avoiding certain discussions
A common mistake parents make is avoiding discussions about complex topics like sex. Getting your child informed about these matters prepares them for the future.
Having these tough discussions with your children would ensure they don’t fall for false information, peer pressure or be ashamed about their sexuality. Use age-appropriate terms while having these discussions.
Many children have fallen prey to luring because they know little or nothing about sex. This can destroy their self-confidence if parents do not proactively take charge of such topics.
9) Inconsistent discipline
Children tend to follow clear cut instructions with consistent boundaries. They also note when they cross the boundaries, without facing necessary consequences, so it is important to be firm about every instruction.
If you break this because your child is pressuring you, he or she will make it a habit. If you have set a given sleep time, keep to it. This could mean you also must be diligent to do the necessary things in time to make things work.
When you have instructions for your child to always finish his or her homework before watching the television and the outlined consequence of defaulting is for him or her to miss out on watching TV for one month; you have to ensure you allow the child to face the consequences.
Boundaries that are set must always be enforced. Don’t set limits that you will find hard to maintain. Otherwise, your inconsistency will make them believe that your words are essentially meaningless.
10) Giving your child a negative label
Children believe what they hear or see. They often internalize what they are told about themselves. One bad legacy is to give children a negative label. This is because they may hold on to it for the rest of their life.
What you tell them becomes their internal template, which keeps ringing inside their head. Anytime your child does something wrong, rather than attacking his or her personality, pay attention to the behaviour that results in the problem. Tell your child what is wrong and what should be done to set it right.
This strategy shows that the problem is relevant to a certain situation, not a permanent attribute of your child. If negative labels can make a child see himself or herself as whatever he or she is called, then positive labels can do likewise. So if your child displays any traits that you desire, ensure you encourage the development of the trait by telling him or her, because that will go along way in reinforcing that positive behaviour in your child.
Parents can save themselves the trauma of learning from their mistakes by learning from others who have made mistakes in parenting. Some parental mistakes can be avoided when you know them and learn a better alternative to relating to kids. Ensure you do not make any more of these mistakes this year because it’s not too late to re-adjust.