While no-one expects parents to be inspired and ingenious about how to bring the kids round to their point of view round the clock, you have to avoid taking shortcuts all the time just to make life run smoother. Grudging time, energy and attention to your growing offspring can develop into a habit which will eventually put it across to the children that there are fast – and bad – ways to handle their parents, or let the parents handle them.
If you don’t want your child to evolve a personality that will be distinct and strong, there are simple ways to curb its growth. Persistent shielding your little ones, allowing them to do whatever they fancy or giving them everything gratis even before they want it are the sure ways to let the rot set in. You may believe you’re being kind or caring – or even efficacious to the point of being another Mary Poppins – when you’re just oversimplifying the situation excluding the kids from the flow of life.
Some of the worst mistakes a parent can make are always worth reminding of, and here are 8 ways to mess around with your child’s natural qualities and bring him or her up into a headache.
1. Children are too young to work
It’s incumbent on you as an exemplary parent to see that the child doesn’t need anything, so just give it to him – and go back to your work. Children don’t have to know how it is to earn money or joys with their own little hands, let them live in a fairytale land and expect you to be magicians who stump up cash and goods at any time they decide they want something. Rather than let them stay close to you, take a share in your jobs and allow them to get to understand you better, you are heading for a “gimme” sort of relationship that may turn out to be unsatisfactory for you and teach your kids to be dependent on other people’s favors.
2. TV takes over parental duties so well
Of course kids are happy to be entertained with a suitable cartoon and won’t want to miss their favorite films, but what if they develop a habit to stick to the TV set and turn into couch potatoes? It’s so easy for little people to be tempted away from life by endless entertainments and snacks – or realize they’re being fobbed off. While being a sure thing to keep children tied up when it’s necessary for you, TV won’t satisfy their need for warmth and care, so don’t make out that TV is better than you are at parenting.
3. Your child just can’t go wrong
One cannot overestimate the young one’s need for protection, and it’s your duty to protect your child, but don’t let him start thinking that you barge in and take a stand without bothering to look into the problem. There should be some consequences of an awkward situation even after you have sorted it out, and the child ought to deal with them and live them down, thus building up a personal problem-solving mechanism. It’s ok when a totter is running away and crying out loud, but it won’t look so good with an older kid, so choose between being a reasonable mom and a Hero mom.
4. Punish your children as hard as you can, it’s natural to get angry with them
Disobedience and unnecessary disturbance must be put down, but the price to pay for it should also be taken into account. While physical punishment can ensure quick submission, it also generates a will to retaliate. Obedient by your side, your kid may become recalcitrant, objective, and later rough and aggressive to others. It’s a way to rear antisocial people for whom violence is a natural way out of problematic situations. Being firm and reasonable may prolong the opposition, but the child will understand it’s control and not blind anger.
5. Your child is undoubtedly the best ever
What are you showering the baby with praise for? Was your praise really deserved or is it another way to lie to the little one which seems quite safe to you? Praise ought to mirror success; let it become a household expression, and the child will start expecting the same from everybody else, just because he or she is there. Would you do that for people you hardly know? Make a distinction between bolstering the sense of self-worth and teaching the kid to rely on abilities that may let him or her down at any moment later on.
6.Expose the child to adult life and strife
Do you really have no-one else around to discuss your issues properly except a young child who neither knows nor cares? Are you so frustrated that you can’t help moaning or cursing the situation you’re in before your child? The little one is hardly able to help you; sometimes he or she is unable to understand properly what’s going on, yet the kid gets strong emotions that he can’t cope with. Chances are he will end up feeling crippled and guilty for a reason beyond his understanding.
7. Plunge your child into as many extracurricular activities as you can
Even if your child is talented in everything, do you believe he will become a champion in all the nominations there can be? Or is it just a matter of being able to speak big before your neighbors? Is the young one working on your or his own dreams? It’s easy to skip these questions, and in the meantime, the child is burning out slowly but surely. Better results will be provided by focusing and concentrating; if the child is striving in too many spheres he is in for failure.
8.You know best
Who’s that tiny one who was only recently a baby in arms to make decisions? It’s the duty of fully fledged adults. While we expect our self-confidence to grow with every major life decision, we are robbing our children of the chance to develop their own self-confidence and autonomous thinking. Managing all the issues down to the tiniest ones won’t bring you joy, but will tie you up – or keep you shuttling between adult matters and your child’s less significant points that he may be longing to tackle himself.
You won’t have to think about it at all as long as you keep in mind that the kid is developing, and if you do everything that helps him or her along the way of building up a strong but unassuming personality, working on his or her natural talents, you stand a good chance of maintaining a healthy relationship with your child for years to come.