Raising a child is not an easy task. In fact raising kids appropriately is so challenging that it’s impossible to do a perfect job. You may think you know a flawless mother or a textbook dad, but appearances can be deceiving. Being a parent is difficult yet rewarding. If you think raising children is straightforward, then you are probably doing something wrong. What kind of mistakes do parents typically make when raising children? Read on to learn more about some prevalent parenting mistakes.
1. Praise and encouragement
Many parents make mistakes when it comes to providing their child with positive feedback. For instance, you may praise your child whenever they succeed at an endeavor. Sure, praising your child for succeeding is a positive thing to do. However, you should also ensure that you praise your child for trying regardless of whether they succeed or not. If you only praise your child once they have actually accomplished the goal, they will probably develop into an apprehensive, nitpicking and pedantic adult.
Some parents also make the mistake of giving equivocal praise. For example, suppose your son completes a school project that involves making an anti-smoking poster, and he gets an A for it. Simply saying that your son’s poster is good is not enough. Your son needs to know why you think his poster is good. In this situation your son would benefit more if you told him you were impressed by his attention to detail, or the accuracy of his illustrations. If your praise is too general, your son will feel confused because he won’t know exactly what you liked about his poster project. He might also assume that you are not really interested in his achievement. When you praise your child, try to be very specific. This should motivate your child to repeat the behavior that pleased you.
Children do not always do as they are told. When children behave badly, it can be very frustrating for parents. Some parents react to this stress and frustration by shouting at their child. Shouting at a misbehaving child will help you release the frustration you feel, but it is not an effective form of discipline. No child listens to a yelling parent. Instead, your child will learn to tune you out whenever you raise your voice. Children with parents who yell can also become nervous and somewhat antagonistic. What’s more, they learn to resolve conflicts by shouting and yelling.
3. Physical punishments
Some people think that physical chastisement is an effective form of punishment. Hence, you might have heard more than one person say that they were spanked as a child and it didn’t do them any harm. In fact, physical punishment does not work. Suppose your son breaks a very expensive ornament and you decide to wallop his bottom for it because you feel furious. This action will not teach your son to be more careful in the house, or make him respect you more. Instead it will probably make him feel hostile and resentful towards you. Hence, physically punishing your child could damage your relationship with him. Physical punishments also teach kids to solve their problems with violence.
4. Criticism and unkind comments
Children need to know when they have made a mistake. However, you should be very careful when it comes to pointing out your child’s mistakes. For instance, you might want to think twice about highlighting the same mistakes repeatedly. If you do this, your child will feel that it is impossible to measure up to your standards. They could also decide to ignore what you have to say. You might also want to avoid making unkind comments about your child’s mistakes. Insults and nasty remarks will only damage your child’s self-esteem and make them feel insignificant. What’s more, repeatedly criticizing will probably discourage them from making the effort to please you.
5. Nagging and lecturing
Some parents make the mistake of nagging or lecturing their child. If you repeatedly nag a child to do something, you teach them to ignore you until you reach the end of your rope. Lecturing a child doesn’t work either because it usually comprises of a monologue. If you talk at your child instead of to them, they will stop listening fairly quickly. The younger your child is, the shorter their attention span will be. Hence, lecturing a very young child is particularly futile. Parents who nag and lecture their kids teach them that they don’t have to take action until you force them into it. Nagging also gives a child the impression that their parents are annoying.
6. Forced activities
Today parents are under pressure to enroll their children in after-school activities like baseball, soccer, football or cheerleading. If you don’t enroll your child in an after-school activity, it can feel as though the other parents look down on you for it. Allowing your child to enroll in an after-school activity they really want to join is obviously a good idea. However, you should never force your kid to join an after-school activity just because it seems like the right thing to do, or because other parents are pressuring you. If you force your child to devote much of their spare time to an activity they dislike, they will probably resent you for it. They will also learn to despise the activity.
7. Setting bad examples
Some parents behave badly yet expect model behavior from their children. A parent who curses, yells, smokes cigarettes, drinks a lot of booze, takes illicit drugs or becomes physically violent at the slightest provocation should not expect their child to behave like a saint. Doing one thing and preaching another tells your child that you have double standards. It also leads your child to think that the things you ask them to do are not important. Suppose, for instance, that you tell your kid not to drink alcohol at parties, even though you consume several bottles of beer every night. Your kid is going to think that drinking alcohol can’t be that bad, because if it was, you wouldn’t do it so much. When a child’s parents set bad examples, they’re likely to get the impression that rules, values and moral standards are insignificant.
8. Accepting failure
No parent likes to see their child feel sad or disappointed. That’s why many parents do what they can to protect children from setbacks and failures. Protecting your child from disappointments and botches is not a good idea. If your child is not taught to accept failure, they will struggle to handle pressure when they become an adult. A child who never learns to manage setbacks is also likely to be weak and give in as soon as the pressure mounts up. All kids need to know that failing isn’t such a bad thing provided you give things your best shot.
9. Tricks and ruses
Sometimes kids tell lies or do sly things in the endeavor to do what they want without being punished for it. For instance, imagine your adolescent daughter has been acting furtive so you decide to read her diary in order to find out why. When you read your daughter’s diary, you find out she has been meeting a boy instead of studying at a friend’s house. If you use what you have learned to set a trap for your daughter in order to catch her in a lie, you will lose her trust. Using tricks to catch your children misbehaving will probably make them defensive. As a result they’ll be even more inclined to lie and be deceitful.
While you can’t be a perfect mom, you can do your best to raise a confident child who will love you no matter what. Unfortunately, many kids, when they become adults, start hating their parents, and it’s really frustrating. Try to avoid making these parenting mistakes and your child will appreciate you for the rest of their life.