No matter how hard we try, there are still some common mistakes parents make when dealing with their kids. And I'm not only talking about teenagers but children of all ages. I made up a list of the 10 most common mistakes. I know I've made a few of them and some of them are more of a habit that needs to be broken.
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This mistake is common with first time parents. We want for out children to be protected from anything and everything that could possibly have a negative effect on him/her. Due to this, we feel that if we control every little thing our kids do, all will turn out well. The intentions might be good most of the time, but they need to make their own mistakes sometimes. Afterall, our mistakes make us who we are.
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I find that I really have to think about what I'm going to say sometimes just to make sure that it isn't going to be an unnecessary negative comment. Some people are born pessimists. If you can't have a positive and happy outlook about your life, it might be difficult to not pass it onto your children. Try not to be a 'the glass is half empty' person. Focus on the good things and give a little bit of positive feedback from time to time. Think of how good it makes you feel when someone compliments you or your work!
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I've seen this as one of the common mistakes parents make when they have a lot of children or have children at a much later stage in life. Many times they are just too tired to give punishments when their child does something wrong. If this is done too many times, then often the child thinks that he/she can do anything he/she pleases. How will your child learn responsibility if this is the case?
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Communication with your children is as important as communication with your partner. Having a simple discussion, instead of a lecture is a great way to teach your child that using words to convey a feeling or idea is much better than brute force. Discussing situations can also be a good point to bring up instances and examples that might help your child with some sort of conundrum that he/she is having. It is a good idea to allow them to pose some questions that they might have as opposed to a lecture when they are more likely to tune you out.
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I find this to be a common mistake by parents who believe in the school of thought, 'I'm bigger, so you have to do what I say.” I don't know about you, but when someone starts yelling at me, all I can do is stare at them and block out the words that come out of their mouth. I usually don't comprehend anything said. I grew up this way and vowed to not do it to my son. He's a teenager now and so far, I've never yelled at him. I feel pretty good about that one! This is another one where discussion and expressing ideas at a regular volume is a much better form of communication. Don't let the stress you experience at work or anywhere else affect the relationship you have with your kids.
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Sometimes this mistake can go too far and you suddenly realize that your child actually has an underlying problem. Falling grades can signify so much more than just a lack of understanding. Common mistakes parents make regarding grades include blaming the teacher for what is going on. Sometimes this is the case, but other times it is the child trying to get some attention...maybe he/she is going through a tough time or experiencing stress during exams. Talk to your kid often andlisten to what they have to say, so that when issues come up, he/she doesn't feel weird about talking to you about something that might be bothering him/her.
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This is a common mistake among busy parents. They don't set boundaries for when their child needs to be home or how a homework schedule needs to be run. When I was a little kid, as soon as I came home I had to do my homework. I would grumble, but it was so much better to get it out of the way first thing. Having a curfew is important, until you feel your child is able to make these decisions on his/her own and can be responsible for keeping track of time on his/her own. These are just a couple of examples of where boundary setting is crucial.
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I remember meeting kids in college that didn't even know how to do their own laundry. I thought this was a very basic task, but apparently not! Doing too much for our kids, and I'm not just talking about laundry here, can make them too dependent on other people. Teaching your kids how to be more independent as they get older is the only way that they are going to learn how to become their own person. Having a child that grows up to be completely dependent on other people may not seem like a big deal to you, but it might really frustrate the person that he/she ends up being in a relationship with.
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As far as common mistakes parents make, this sort of falls into a similar category as doing too much, but instead of doing too much physically, this involves actual decision making. Let your three-year-old pick out an outfit from time to time. Who cares if it doesn't match? This will help him/her develop that independent attitude that is needed to succeed in life. Allow kids to make choices in life, but be there for guidance. Some decisions may be too difficult for them to make on their own. For these, you can provide some insight as to how to go about making a decision on this particular situation, but leave the final say up to them. The only time this wouldn't work is if it is going to endanger their lives or have some sort of drastic consequences.
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This method of speaking often starts when kids are very young. They are humans too and don't need to be talked to in a voice that sounds any different than when you talk to your friends. I remember when my son was three and a lady got in his face and started baby-talking to him. He turned and looked at me and said, 'What did she say?' in a much clearer voice than some adults use. The look on her face was priceless. As they get older, keep in mind that they are aging and don't need to be talked to like a small child. I've seen people that try talking to adults like they were toddlers and it doesn't usually go over very well.
So, among the common mistakes parents make that I've listed above, I'm sure you spot at least one that you've done yourself. If not, then congratulations on this! That is truly an amazing feat! Parenting can be difficult at times, but keeping a level head and an open relationship with your child can help to eliminate most of the mistakes made with kids. How have you overcome some of your own parenting blunders? Please let me know!
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