Parenting is never easy. You want to make a wonderful adult out of your child, so you give it your best shot when it comes to parenting. However, you are human, and to err is human. There may be many instances where you probably missed an opportunity to guide your child the right way. After all, in our busy schedules, we don’t always have the time or energy to constantly monitor our kids. Often we are also caught unaware of certain behavior, be it by the parents or the child, that can have negative impacts in the long run.
Wrong conduct if unchecked can become habits that are hard to correct. Childhood is the right time to inculcate the right habits and behavior in children. Small mistakes by parents can have big repercussions in the future. To help avoid such mistakes, we’ve compiled certain common mistakes that parents end up making. Let’s dive in and have a look at them so that you are able to avoid them and give your little one the best upbringing possible:
1. Not Leading By Example
Children look up to their parents. When you do something good, they observe and learn that from you. And when you do something wrong, they watch and learn that from you as well. Every time you behave politely, your child picks it up, and the same goes for when you have a bad attitude. And because your child looks up to you, they will assume that what you’re doing is the right thing to do, even if it isn’t.
2. Being Okay With Inappropriate Behavior
What would you do if you saw your child bullying another child? Would you reprimand your child and make them understand that this behavior is unacceptable? Or will you just laugh and encourage them? If it is the latter, then your child will grow up thinking that inappropriate behavior is acceptable. It is imperative to correct bad behavior in children so that your child grows up to be an adult who is mindful and sensitive to the feelings of others and understands that their actions, both good and bad, can have a lasting effect.
3. Not Validating Their Thoughts And Opinions
Your child is a unique individual, just like everyone else. And every individual has their own thoughts and opinions. If your child has an opinion on something, let them share it, encourage them to do so. Do not belittle them by ignoring what they have to say or disagreeing with them by saying, “I am an adult, so I know better”. In the long run, your child may become an adult who refrains from voicing out their thoughts and opinions simply because they didn’t feel empowered and confident enough to do so.
4. Not Apologizing For Your Mistakes
It is important to take accountability for your actions. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you messed up with your child, don’t be embarrassed to apologize for it. When you do this, you lead by example and show your child that people goof up at times, and when they do, an apology is underway. If you don’t do this, your child will grow up to be an adult who refuses to take accountability for their actions and ends up severing meaningful relationships with others.
5. Not Keeping Your Promises
Your child relies on your every word. If you promise a reward to your child, make sure you deliver. When you don’t, two things can happen. One, your child begins to think it’s okay to break promises or not keep up with commitments. And two, your child will start to have trust issues — not just with you, but with all their encounters with other individuals.
6. Not Getting Them Out Of Their Comfort Zone
Yes, you love your child, and yes, you want to give the best for your child. But you aren’t doing your child any favor by spoon-feeding them. When you monitor and control your child’s every decision, they miss out on the chances of learning how to think for themselves. This overreliance on parents can result in kids growing up to become adults who aren’t confident about themselves. So make a habit of letting your kids make their own decisions and helping them only when they actually need it. Let your child get out of that comfort zone. You’re not going to always be there to hand-hold your kid, so let them learn to fight their own battles!
7. Shunning Their Curiosity
Curiosity leads to critical thinking. And when you shun or discourage curiosity, you put a pause to their innate curiosity and potential to learn new things. Children are curious, so let them ask questions. The world is lovely, and they’re just waiting to see what it holds in store for them. Encourage questions, and teach them a new thing every day! What’s more, you could even share in their curiosity and expand your own knowledge — there’s no age limit to learning!
8. Not Spending Enough Time With Your Children
It’s a busy world and you might be pressed with the amount of time you spend with your children. But it’s really important that you manage to spend some quality time with your children and family. Young children prefer the company of their parents more than friends and denying them can have severe impacts on their psyche. Plenty of studies have shown that children of absentee parents often suffer from mental health issues (1), (2). So, no matter how difficult it seems, find some time to spend with your little one. You also will immensely benefit from the love and emotional support of your dear ones (3).
As a parent or caregiver, you play such an essential role in the kind of adult your child will grow up to be. There’s no specific rule book for parenting, and there are more grey areas than black and white. But there are a few mistakes that we, as parents, should avoid. What are your thoughts on this? Would you like to add to the above list? Let us know in the comments below!
- Parental work absenteeism is associated with increased symptom complaints and school absence in adolescent children
- Parental absence predicts suicide ideation through emotional disorders
- Time with children and employed parents’ emotional well-being