It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Parenting can be tough. These are the mistakes that many parents make…
Helping with homework – Should You?
Helping kids with their homework may actually lower test scores. Children who receive regular help with their homework do not score any higher than those that did not. In some cases, children even score lower because they become dependent on their parents intelligence. Punishing kids for bad grades also doesn’t help. To give children an edge at school, you should read to them as a child and have open discussions about school, life and future plans.
Protecting your children from failure
Fear of failure is an “epidemic” amongst modern children, and it has its devastating effect. We live in a culture of “never good enough,” and parents do their best to protect children from failure, and it’s actually harmful. The key to success in life is not to avoid failure, it is to learn from our failures and to establish resilience.
Putting technology and distractions in bedrooms
Putting technology and distractions in bedrooms can have a detrimental effect on a child. I know many families where the parents have installed television sets, Xboxes, Play Stations in the children’s bedroom. Children are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades suffer. They lack concentration and focus in their daily life. And above all they have no discipline whatsoever. And how can we forget the violence in those video / computer games they play to glory? And what about pornography? Take away the Gaming consoles, Television, PC’s, Laptops and other distractions which will help eliminate the temptation and imbibe discipline.
Not leading by example
Parents are a child’s greatest role model. Children observe a lot and learn from their parents. Parents have a responsibility to model the life that they want their children to live. If you tell a white lie, so will your child. If you don’t cut corners, your child will know that they shouldn’t either. If you volunteer or give to charity, your child will also give selflessly.
Controlling diet too strictly
If you look at the eating habits of children you will find that parents have very little control over what their kids eat – especially when they’re not at home. Since kids tend to want what they can’t have, too much control over what kids eat at home may lead to kids choosing unhealthy items outside the house. Fast food joints (Pizza and Burger joints), soft-drinks, high fat diet has caused severe weight – obesity problems in kids.
Being a friend instead of a parent
Lack of an authority figure can cause children to make potentially dangerous choices. It is vitally important for parents to remain parents and not friends during teenage years. When kids are at an age where they want to experiment with alcohol (a leading cause of death amongst teens) and drugs, it’s important for them to have an authority figure and not another friend. Although, being authoritative doesn’t mean you have to be authoritarian.
Having too much say on life-changing decisions
Parents should allow children to make decisions. Let kids choose their own college major. If parents interfere and choose it for them, the less satisfied that student is with their education. While expressing your opinion and sharing experience is fine, it should be left to the child to make their own informed decisions.
Mistaking intelligence for maturity
Intelligence is often used to measure maturity, and as a result, many parents think their kids are ready to face the world when they’re not. If giftedness is present in one aspect of a child, don’t assume this talent pervades in all areas of the child’s life. The only way to judge maturity is by observing other children of the same age. Teach children to be responsible and accountable for their actions. That’s Maturity. Also parents should know what is intelligence and intellectuality and not mix it with maturity.
Punishing kids for acting out
Hitting and slapping is a primitive way to express emotions and punishing these expressions can cause children to mask their feelings. Children normally act out because they have an immature ability to express emotion. Punishing kids for their outbursts can encourage children not to express emotion in the future, even in a more constructive fashion. Instead, you should empathize, helping the child to understand their negative emotion and in turn, how to control and express it.
Forcing children to apologize
Forcing children to apologize doesn’t actually teach a child social skills. It is strange to assume that young children automatically understand what they’ve done and why they have to apologize. If children are forced to apologize, it could delay their natural acceptance of apologizing. Instead, you should apologize on behalf of your child – leading by example.
Protecting children from harm and risk
Protecting our children from harm could be more dangerous than letting kids play with fire. If kids don’t learn to use a knife properly, how can they be expected to use one safely later in life? Protective world that children live in stops kids from developing safety skills.
Spanking their children
Children who are physically punished are at greater risk of developing mental and personality disorders. Children those who are physically punished go on to develop depression, while some go on to abuse alcohol. Children who are not physically punished – hit or slapped seldom go into depression or substance abuse. It is very important to remember that most of the mental disorders in adults can be tied back to physical punishment as a child – showing that spanking has devastating and lasting effects.
Telling their child to stop crying
Telling children to stop crying can prevent them from developing ways to express emotion. Young children are unable to articulate their feelings in any form other than crying. How will a child feel better by saying “don’t cry” and moreover it also sends a message to them that their emotions aren’t valid – and that it’s not ok to be sad or scared. Rather than dismissing emotion, you should acknowledge it and help the child get through the emotion by learning how to express the emotion in words.
Spoiling children with too many action heroes & dolls
Playing with too many action heroes and dolls is proven to lower the aspirations of children. With so many career options available, children who played with action heroes and dolls saw fewer possible career paths. How will Spiderman or Superman or Iron Man help to shape a career? Will Barbie really help? All of these have unrealistic images. Parents should add more variety – including books, puzzles, music, and many creative games – to their child’s playbox.
Telling boys to “be a man”
Telling young boys to “man up” or “be a man” can have detrimental effects on their mental health. Despite being important factors in development for both girls and boys, open emotions, caring and empathy are often feminized, according to several psychologists. This leads many boys to bottle up all of these emotions, and in some cases, they overflow into violence. Unfortunately Boys and men with mental health challenges actually don’t seek help, believing that seeking help would damage their manhood.
Protecting their children from sadness
Protecting children from sadness and grief can stunt their emotional growth. All parents hate it when their children feel bad, and natural tendencies are to try and make everything better as quickly as possible. Don’t deny your children that vital emotion. If you do it will actually stunt their emotional growth. It’s important to let children learn from and master their emotions.
Pressuring kids to eat “one more bite”
Forcing kids to eat more before they leave the dinner table can lead to serious weight problems. Most of the parents I know literally force their children to eat beyond their appetite, which can cause severe weight issues in early and later years. Encouraging kids to eat more than they want also creates lasting disdain for certain foods such as vegetables, which is the last thing you need.
Forbidding their child from doing something
Like forbidden fruit, telling your child not to do something or hang out with another child only makes them want to do that thing more. Parents to instead evaluate what you don’t like about the thing or child. Unless it poses a serious threat, grit your teeth. If they do pose a threat to your child, start conversation about values rather than outright banning your child from doing something or seeing someone.
Relying on technology to entertain
Denying children the opportunity to defeat boredom on their own can have serious consequences. There is not only the threat of “electronic addiction” but the threat that later in life, when in school and work, children brought up on television will be unable to defeat boredom on their own. While exposure to technology is important in the modern world, it should be limited for children.
Giving their child too much praise
Telling your child how smart or athletic they are too often can scare children away from trying new things. Excessive positive pronouncements can be limiting because children will become scared to try new things, fearing failure and no longer being considered smart. You should instead try to praise the child’s hard work rather than skill, “you’re so good at tennis” can turn into “you always try your best at tennis.”
Asking to be left alone
Routinely telling your kids “don’t bother me” or “I’m busy” can imply to a child that you always feel that way. Children begin to eventually think that there’s no point in talking to you. Do this when a child is young and they may be less likely to tell you things when they’re older. Don’t be afraid to take a break, but never be too busy for your children.