This post was most recently updated on July 7th, 2019
“Good parenting” is a tricky concept. Hogging a bunch of parenting books and playing by the rules necessarily don’t make you a good parent. You will always make mistakes, no matter what you do. I am no exception either.
Our intentions for our children are always good, no doubt about it. But the execution? Maybe not always be perfect. You will also have to keep in mind that times are changing. Our kids are different from us in many ways. The environment they are growing up in is different. So, our parenting basics should also be different. Am I right?
According to a report, today’s teens are more depressed and suicidal than ever. They claim to have a great childhood. They share a friendly relationship with their parents. Then where is this depression coming from? I am not saying parents are always the culprit. Never.
But don’t we often force our values and rules on them? I think yes. Well, no offense to any parent. Of course, every parent does what feels right for their kids. Right for today, sure. But what about tomorrow?
Before I digress too much from the main topic, here are a few very common yet very impactful parenting mistakes you might be making, knowingly or unknowingly.
Learn what they are. And if you find yourself practicing any of them, maybe refrain from doing them in the future.
So here we go:
1.Disciplining in front of Everyone
This is #1 on this list because I have witnessed many parents doing this myself. This is simply wrong and humiliating for your child. Scolding or even hitting your kid in public, especially in front of his peer group and relatives will crush his self-confidence.
It’s okay for you to lose your temper if they misbehave or do something wrong. But at least wait till you two get a private place to interact. The feeling of public shaming is hard to shake off and will negatively impact your kid’s young and impressionable mind.
2. “Don’t be a crybaby now”
For God’s sake, tell your children that it’s okay to express their emotions through tears. It’s okay if they are angry over something at times. Don’t stop them right away.
Rather ask them what is the reason behind their emotions. They could be hurt. By downplaying their emotions all the time, you will turn them into an adult who always bottles up his emotions.
You know what is worse than bottled up pain, anger or disappointment? Nothing.
You know, it’s okay not to budge in and go into Hulk Smash mode if they get pestered by a bully in school. Unless the situation is too bad, let them handle things on their own. Encourage them to take a stand for themselves. If they get slightly injured while playing outdoors, don’t discourage them from playing their favorite sport.
There is a fine line between being protective and overprotective. As a parent who genuinely cares for his or her child’s future, you shouldn’t cross it.
4. Lack of Attention
This is just as bad as being overprotective. You mean the world to your kids. I’m sure they seek your attention and affection more than anything right now.
I understand that you have to be in at work too. But when you are home, you can at least keep your smartphone aside and play with them talk to them and most importantly, listen to them.
5. Avoid Conversation Sensitive Topics
Don’t you think it’s better that your child learns about sex, reproduction, drugs, and alcohol from you than their peer group? According to a study, parents who talk to their children about birth control and drugs are least likely to be the victims of unwanted pregnancy and drug addiction than those who don’t.
6. Expecting Too Much
Rebuking your kids for things like not getting straight A’s in their tests, for not learning to play the piano is wrong on many levels. These kids grow up to be adults who are always after success. Nothing makes them happy. They tend to blame themselves too much over minor failures.
7. Setting a Wrong Example
If you argue with your spouse constantly in front them, shout or abuse in a fit of rage, that messes with your kid’s head. Your children learn a lot of things by watching you. Their highly impressionable minds take cues from your behavior. So try to be positive and calm as much as you can in front of your kids.
The Bottom Line
Parents are humans too, I understand. But believe it or not, they are superhero for their kids. They are like soft clay. It is very easy to mold them in whichever shape you want. Be a good potter. Carve out an independent, strong, happy adult out of your kid. Start from today.