As parents, it’s natural to want the best for our children. But sometimes, the way we go about parenting them may bring more harm than good. While there is no set rulebook on how to parent a child, it is imperative that we are considerate of our actions since they have the power to either positively or negatively affect them.
Keep reading below to learn the five ways how your habits are negatively affecting your kids:
1. Acting hypocritically: if you don’t follow your own rules, your child will do the same
Don’t tell your child not to do something and then do it yourself! This contradictory action confuses them with understanding what is acceptable versus what is not. If you’re a hypocrite, a child will be unable to perceive consequences for actions. For example, warning your child about the addictive qualities of alcohol but simultaneously choosing to drink it with every meal is counterproductive. No matter what you say, your child will ultimately reflect your behavior since you are the leading example in their lives.
2. Being a helicopter parent: invading too much of their personal space
We don’t need to know what our child are doing every second of the day – especially our teenagers. What children want most is the space to understand themselves and experience the world around them on their own terms. If you’re constantly acting as a helicopter parent to your child, you’re going to make them feel emotionally “suffocated” and anxious with every action they do, which is a recipe for turning your child into a rebel, liar, or both. They will compare the parenting style of their friends’ parents to yours, which will, in turn, make them question both your authority and credibility and cause them to feel more inclined to do things behind your back.
3. Protecting your child from everything: preventing their development into emotional maturity
Anytime you turn on the news, tragedy steals the main headline, and fear unquestionably strikes you considering that the news portrays your child’s future world. However, you should show your child how to react and cope with difficult circumstances in a healthy manner and trust them to do so. Truth is, the world will always have terrible events on the news, but at the same time, it is filled with good people and endless acts of kindness. We never want our child to experience pain – but feeling pain, suffering, and enduring stress are all a part of life, and it would be a serious injustice to our children if we never allowed them to go through periods of growth. Without it, they will not be prepared, resilient, or aware of how to handle the adversities of life.
4. Trying to become their friend: proper boundaries are never established
Every parent wants to be liked by their child, but that doesn’t mean we need to be best friends with them. Being able to understand what’s myth and fact is important: the myth is that becoming our child’s best friend will strengthen our relationship with them; the fact is that doing so does the complete opposite. While it may seem advantageous to become your child’s friend, you must remember a parent is the main authority figure in their life. Without that authority, your child loses a sense of respect for you, and there is no proper boundary that determines how your child will treat you differently from their friends. When it comes down to it: always be a parent, not a friend.
5. Ignoring their bad behaviors: they never learn to hold themselves accountable
If your child demonstrates poor behavior, don’t ignore it: keep them accountable; teach them why their behavior is wrong and help them come to their own realizations of their actions. It’s imperative that they learn how to be respectful and aware of their actions early on, otherwise, those immature behaviors demonstrated as a child manifests into their adult lives, relationships, and interactions.
We want our children to be and live better than ourselves. One of the best ways to ensure that they turn out this way is by monitoring our own behavior. By following the steps above, you can keep your children (and yourself) on the path to a great and happy life.