Offering quick judgements that are not properly thought about, or giving restrictive and controlling orders may stop or prevent a problem at that moment, but what sort of influence do convenient, on-the-spot solutions have on our child’s impressionable and always-learning mind? We should all be seeking positive child development with our parenting techniques. Thinking about the potential damage we might cause, and adjusting our methods accordingly could be a vital step for a future without as many complications.
Here are three common errors that parents trying their best in a demanding world often make:
Parenting error 1: Shaming your children.
It happens from a very young age, and even the most well-meaning parents do it. Calling your child a spoiled brat, or a naughty boy, or a trouble-maker, or telling him to grow up, is not good for him. Shaming a child might help to control a certain type of behavior at that moment, but it teaches the child to accept being labeled, and to label others. Your child might be being naughty but that does not make him a naughty child. If you consistently tell him he is badly then he is more likely to be bad in the future. Shaming him in the heat of the moment might work as a short-term solution, but for long-term results you really need to understand the reasons why he behaves in this way, and try to prevent it in the future. If you heard a neighbor or a teacher calling your precious little boy stupid, or a spoiled brat, or a horrible child, over and over again, day after day, would you tolerate it?
Parenting error 2: Being your child’s slave.
Being a slave to your child is a position that no parent should ever find themselves in. No matter how much you love and care for your child, you need to make sure she has some basic life-skills for a future without Mom or Dad. Sure, sometimes it is much easier just to get her the drink she wants to avoid being nagged. Sometimes you tidy her room in ten minutes, when she would have taken a whole evening to do it, and it would have taken a whole load of pestering just to get her started. Making a sandwich, cleaning her room, doing a bit of laundry, simple cooking abilities. These are skills that will serve her well once she decides the time is right to venture off into the big bad world on her own. Your child needs to learn to be self-sufficient, and having a slave to do anything that she doesn’t feel like doing does not teach her this. Instead, it teaches her to use people, to be inconsiderate to the impact she has on her surroundings, and to be a lazy person. Encouraging her to take care of her own needs is one of the best things you can teach her.
Parenting error 3: Never changing your mind.
How often do you make a decision and stick to it rigidly? It is good to be consistent with your parenting, but sometimes you might make the wrong decision. An error that parents often make is never allowing their children to see that an opinion can change, or a decision is not always final. None of us are perfect, and that means parents make plenty of mistakes. Admitting you were wrong, and demonstrating to your children that you are willing to correct your mistakes and to be fair is a wonderful lesson for them. If you never back down, never show flexibility in your parenting, never bend your rules a little, or never let your children see that you can correct your errors, then you are setting them an example that could lead to major clashes. If you don’t show a willingness to avoid being stubborn, then do not be surprised if your child is equally stubborn throughout her life.
All of us should be willing to improve our parenting methods when we discover there is a better way to approach certain situations. Seeking good advice, learning what to avoid, and making simple changes will create a much more positive family atmosphere, and provide our children with the essential tools they need for a smoother progression through life.