Let’s face it – children don’t come with instruction booklets. What they do come with is years of experience from those who have done it before. Utilizing the advice and assistance of experienced professionals and other parents can help you avoid the most common parenting mistakes.
No one wants to admit that they are a “bad parent.” Technically, we are all just feeling our way through. It can only be chalked up to being a not-so-good parent if we fail to use the resources available to us in order to keep our children on the right track.
Common Parenting Mistakes
Below are five of the most common parenting mistakes that we all make. But, don’t worry. We’ll also talk about what can be done to fix them.
#1 – “Do as I say but not as I do”
This one gets a lot of parents in trouble. You tell your arguing child not to smoke or that cursing is wrong, but then they catch you at it. For a young child, conflicting behaviors can be confusing. For a teenager, it just gives them more ammunition to throw at you during an argument.
The solution: Correct your behavior. Instead of defending your right to be contrary, follow the example you want to set for your children. Apologize for cursing and take steps to quit smoking. Now, children learn that adults make mistakes too, but they also work to correct them.
#2 – Comparing one child to another
Children have enough pressure to “find” themselves without their parents adding fuel to the fire. Pointing out one child’s good points or lack of them in comparison to a sibling increases sibling rivalry. It can drive a wedge between them and cause problems all around in the family.
The solution: Kids need their parents to always be in their corner. Instead of comparing, point out what makes each child unique. Give praise to a child for who they are in their own right.
#3 – Doing nothing
When a problem arises, resist the urge to bury your head in the sand. Ignoring an attitude problem or the fact that your child is still bed wetting at seven years of age could mask a serious issue that needs to be resolved.
The solution: Be proactive. Get to the bottom of the issue before it gets any worse. Talk to your child and set ground rules. Visit your pediatrician for a thorough check-up to make sure your child is fine.
#4 – Bribes
Every parent gives their child a piece of candy or lets them stay up late once in a while. The problem comes when you use bribes constantly to get them to follow the rules. Children will learn quickly that they can manipulate parents.
The solution: Give privileges as a reward for good behavior instead of as a way to gain compliancy.
#5 – Great expectations
Each child is different. Just because the textbooks say that they should be forming words at 10 months doesn’t mean that your child is abnormal if they are behind that curve. Frustration leads to pushing your child too hard which can also lead to behavior and self-esteem issues.
The solution: Have a doctor evaluate your child. If there is nothing physically or mentally wrong, exercise patience and allow them to develop at their own pace.
Parents aren’t expected to be perfect but we can learn from our mistakes.