Parents always desire to raise their kids with the best of manners. They want them to be happy and confident. But the parental actions of many parents do not map to how they want their children to be. In this post, guest author and owner of ParentoMag blog, Usman Akram, shares 8 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid to Raise Happy and Confident Kids.
If a 3-year-old is not talking but understands what has been communicated, the parents need to follow certain, precise actions to change that.
The same goes for the overall development of a child from his early stages to teenage and from teenage to becoming an adult.
Parents make plenty of mistakes which if avoided could’ve raised their children better.
Some of the most important parenting mistakes to avoid are as below:
Not being an example for them
Children learn a lot of things by observing their parents closely.
They do things how they see their parents doing them.
The parenting mistake to avoid in this regard is that they don’t first fix their own habits and practices before teaching their kids.
For example, if you have a habit of yelling at home about small matters, your child won’t hesitate to yell as well.
The problem in any case like this is that the kid doesn’t even realise they’re doing wrong because they’ve has always witnessed the same pattern in their parents.
This just means that if you want your child to adopt a certain habit, you should be practising that in front of them already.
Your child won’t avoid lying if you yourself have never hesitated to lie in front of them.
Expecting your kids to follow an example they’ve never observed from you, is one of the biggest parenting mistakes to avoid.Usman Akram
Being uninvolved around them
Another big and most commonly made parenting mistake nowadays, is parents being uninvolved with their children.
The ratio of neglectful parenting has increased substantially in recent years.
This means parents and children’s interaction and engagement in day to day activities are getting lower.
This can happen in multiple ways.
For example, if the family is sitting together but everyone is on their mobile phones, they’re killing any possibility of engagement.
Another way this can happen is when at any gathering, the parents are continuously talking or interacting in a way that leaves little to no room for the child to participate in the discussion.
This is another one of the major parenting mistakes to avoid because parents getting more involved with their children helps them feel far more secure and confident.
Not limiting technological use
Over the last 15 years, the use of technological gadgets has increased substantially.
Children are getting more and more addicted to devices, like smartphones, tablets, video games, etc.
But many parents don’t consider this a big problem, even though its impact can be huge.
Parents don’t seem to mind if their 7-year-old kid is on the X-box for 5 straight hours.
And this level of carelessness could easily develop severe physical imbalances in the body.
Moreover, not setting up limits around these devices can drastically limit the development of your child’s social skills as well.
Especially in the growing years, there should be some boundaries around your children’s exposure to these devices.
Otherwise, if ignored or avoided, it could lead to adverse effects on a child’s mental and emotional well-being in the long run.
And soon it may not even be within your control to change anymore.
This leads us to another parenting mistake to avoid, which is…
Being overprotective of the child
Although parents need to be conscious of their child, in every way possible, some level of freedom is still necessary.
Your child, as they grow older, will need their own space and you as parents have to respect and accommodate that.
Especially when it comes to building confidence in the child, parents need to be permissive to some extent.
Otherwise, it would develop a sense of insecurity in the child.
They won’t be able to come over their fears ever in life.
One of the common parenting mistakes to avoid in this instance is being too overprotective.
Because overprotective parents are oftentimes insecure in themselves, they tend to pass that same energy onto their children.Usman Akram
This, in turn, makes the child too dependent on their parents which could eventually make adulthood more problematic for them.
Another one of the common parenting mistakes to avoid is,
Not letting kids make mistakes
Apart from observing their parents, children also learn a lot from experimentation.
Curiosity is one of the most common human traits in humans from a very young age.
But that comes with making a lot of mistakes.
And many parents are resistant to any possibility of making mistakes.
They’d rather put up boundaries and rules so that the child doesn’t falter or go wrong.
However, in the process, they also limit their child’s ability to think or act outside of the box.
A child’s creativity is in their mind and one can only allow them to explore its limits by letting a child be free to try things.
For example, you can tell your child how to pick something up, but they won’t learn it until they go and try it out by themselves.
Another common parenting mistake to avoid is,
Keeping expectations way too high
Some parents are known to hold expectations way too high for their children to meet.
That tends to comes from a desire for perfection.
Again that has major disadvantages for the child, for example:
- It limits their critical thinking
- It sets boundaries on their creativity
- It makes them feel unappreciated
Some parents expect perfection from their kids because they are worried about them.
Whether it be their report card or certain behavioural milestones around age, even if things go slightly differently, certain parents would exaggerate the situation.
What parents should do instead, is to appreciate their child’s efforts and not the result, because the whole thing is subjective.
Every child is different from another and parents should be the first to understand this.Usman Akram
The next parenting mistake to avoid is,
Giving a child anything they ask for
Many parents tend to give their children everything they want.
This might look like good and healthy parenting, but if there’s no limit on this, a child could soon become stubborn as a result.
Children tend to find patterns and if they work, they keep following them.
For example, let’s say your 5-year-old daughter asks for a toy while passing by a toy shop.
If you say “no”, she might start crying and screaming.
Consequently, you get her the toy.
Your daughter has now recognised a pattern that “if my parents refuse to buy me a toy, I just have to scream and cry to get it.”
She might now start doing it over and over again so that she can get anything she wants.
What happens in cases like this, is that anything the child wants, the parents get it for them.
This makes the child unaware of important facts and life lessons, that in order to get something one has to make some kind of effort, e.g. save money.
Consequently, your child might have a hard time facing the real world where things don’t just come easily just because one desires it.
This brings us to the last of some common parenting mistakes to avoid namely,
Talking more and listening less
Some parents seem to have the perspective that their children know nothing, therefore their children should always be listening to them.
But the reality is that it should be the other way around.
Many parents have one goal with their children, which is to solve problems for them and to guide them on the best path.
But to solve any problem for the child, a parent must be willing to listen to what the problem is.
When parents always speak and children always listen, a two-way conversation will never happen, even when the child speaks every now and then.
Your child needs to be involved in discussion more, and at times should be made to feel like the centre of the conversation.Usman Akram
Also, it helps giving better context before parents give advice.
For example, when at the dinner table a parent could ask: “How was your day today”, and then make “listening to the reply” the priority.
It’d help to gain the trust of the child and the bond between you two would be strengthened.
Although there are common mistakes that parents should try to avoid at any cost, it still doesn’t mean that you have to be a “perfect parent”.
You’ll still make mistakes and that’s fine.
Everything doesn’t always go according to plan in real life.
However, you as parents must have the aim of strengthening the bond with your child so much so that even “wrong” parental decisions won’t make any significant impact.
As long as you keep an eye on your kid, raise them to be a good person, and you succeed at avoiding most of the above-mentioned parenting mistakes to avoid, you’d deserve to be called a successful and understanding parent.