There is little debate about the proposition that parenting can be a delightful, rewarding experience. Feelings of pride and happiness can be balanced by times of fatigue and exasperation. Every parent makes mistakes and we tend to focus on them excessively and wonder if they will have lasting impacts on our kids. No parent is correct 100% of the time, and when we do wrong, we should always remember that we can indeed take steps to make things right. The following paragraphs discuss several common parenting mistakes we make and offers some solutions.
1. Undue Strictness
Everyone wants their kids to be successful. We hate the idea that their immense potential and talents will be wasted. However, these desires can sometimes manifest themselves in an unhealthy level of strictness and unfair treatment. Children may feel that we believe our rules should always take precedence over their own feelings and emotions. The fact remains that we love our children unconditionally, but we are not always skilled in expressing it.
How should parents react if their child states that they cannot function under what they see to be overwhelming amounts of rules. Speak frankly with your children and try to set your own frustration aside. Every child is entitled to have their own take on things and communicate feelings of hurt when they arise. See if you can find a way to work together to find areas of potential compromise. Rediscover the things you and your children share and concentrate on them instead of on your differences.
2. Extreme Lenience
While extreme strictness can be detrimental to children, so too can undue lenience. Young people require rules and boundaries. Routines and clear structures are essential. Children need to be made aware that their parents expect great things from them and are willing to support them. Assisting kids with establishing their own goals and helping them achieve them are among the most important tasks parents can fulfill.
Rules frequently engender serious conflict in the home. This can give parents a sense of feeling overwhelmed and cause them to give up on enforcement. Such decisions can only be harmful for kids and their self esteem, and we cannot allow them to occur. Have an honest conversation with your child, discuss the reasons for the rules you have set and let them know that you only have their best interest and future success at heart. Create a list of appropriate expectations and talk things out until everyone feels content.
3. Allowing Your Own Childhood Experiences To Negatively Impact Parenting
The wisest people among us draw real lessons from their own life experiences. Things that have happened in the past are extremely instructive and can help us prevent future mistakes. But, we must be vigilant about stopping our own negative past experiences from harming the interactions we have with our own children.
It may be that your parents tried to live through your achievements and experiences, and therefore you keep your kids sheltered so as not to repeat that error. Perhaps your parents pushed you so hard to succeed that you place no expectations whatsoever on your own children and allow them to get away with doing very little. The key is to cease leading your life as if you were in the past and start being actively present in what is going on now. Parent according to your child’s current needs and best interest, rather than what you thought would have been appropriate back when you were a child.
Every parent understands the great demands and stresses faced each day. However, the payoffs can be immeasurable. Steer clear of the above pitfalls, and you will be able to develop a healthy, flourishing relationship with your kids.