We can all agree that no single parent can explicitly say they have mastered the art of parenting no matter how many kids they have raised. That is how challenging and dynamic parenting can be. While there are basic parenting rules that cut across the board, the uniqueness of every child means parents will err at one point or another.
This should not worry you as a parent as most of these mistakes can be corrected. However, some mistakes may cause more harm to your child in the long term.
Read on as we highlight 7 parenting mistakes that you cannot afford to make.
Comparing Your Child to Other Kids
Each child is born with a unique personality and sets of strengths and weaknesses. As such, no two children can be judged on the same parameter. For instance, it is wrong to berate your child by comparing his/her performance in school with that of another kid.
A child who is consistently told they aren’t good as so and so tend to lose confidence and become insecure. The emotional and psychological damage caused by constantly comparing your child to other kids may take years of psychiatric help to undo.
Failing to Listen
The most common parenting mistake is failing to listen. As parents, we assume we know what is best for our children and as such dictate what is allowed and what isn’t allowed without considering our children’s input. By denying your child the opportunity to express their concern, you limit your understanding of the problem at hand and consequently risk imposing the wrong discipline.
The consequences of not listening aren’t limited to your choice of discipline but also affect the child’s cognitive development. Such kids tend to lose self-confidence and develop low self-esteem and are more likely to become intolerant.
Not Taking Out Life Insurance Policy
It may not occur to many parents that parenting involves safeguarding your children’s financial wellbeing in the event of your death or incapacitation, but it does. It is one of the most overlooked parenting roles that should be every parent’s top priority.
A life insurance plan such as family income protection ensures that your children do not suffer significant financial difficulties in case you are no longer around. The policy which helps provide a regular income over a set duration is one of the best gifts you can bestow your family.
Pampering the Kids
Naturally, parents are inclined to show affection to their children. However, too much of it can have a detrimental effect on your child’s development. As a parent you may be oblivious of this because to us we are just showing love to our kids. Kids that are shown excess affection tend to become stubborn and irritable.
Failing to Lay Down Rules
Children are notorious for wanting to have everything done their way. If a parent allows his/her kid to manipulate them into letting them have their way, they are failing at parenting. Effective parenting involves setting rules and defining limits no matter how harsh the rules may seem. By failing to set rules, you allow the children to define their own rules which is disastrous in the long run.
Effective parenting demands tough love when necessary. From the word go, let your child know there are certain limits they cannot go beyond.
Sticking to Ineffective Parenting Techniques
Children over time become less responsive to a repeated style of parenting. For instance, your child may have been responding to being grounded by adjusting his/her behaviour accordingly. However, after repeated groundings, your child seems unfazed and continues to disobey you.
As a parent, you need to be aware of techniques that aren’t effective anymore and make amends where necessary. Sticking to the same parenting technique will only encourage increased unruliness from your child.
Laissez Faire Parenting
Parents do get overwhelmed at times. Having to juggle career, relationships, and family can take a toll on anyone. When pushed to the wall, some parents may decide to let everything run its course.
Giving up on parenting even for a second is one thing you cannot afford to do as a parent. You cannot let your child read defeat no matter how bleak everything seems.
Always be in control but do not project false emotions to your child. Let them know it is okay to feel defeated but not to give up.
Are You Making These Mistakes?
Parenting can be straightforward and complicated at the same time. While most parenting guides will provide a framework on how to raise your kids, the ultimate parenting is dependent on your relationship with your children.
Finding the sweet spot in your relationship with your child is key in effective parenting.