Everyone makes mistakes and parents are no exceptions. You are human beings, after all, you can’t be perfect always. In the pursuit for being the best parents in the world, sometimes mistakes happen unknowingly. Do you make any of these parenting mistakes that may harm your relationship with your children?
Only teach don’t learn
You tell your kids to do this and do that and you do the exact opposite of what you said. You tell your kids that they should read but you don’t read yourself, you tell them to not watch TV and spend time watching serials back to back. Such instances make them not trust you anymore and give you the title of the biggest hypocrite in the world.
Loving your kids does not mean that you make them over-dependent on you. Doing all their work for them does not mean that you are showing your love for them, it means you are spoiling them. Additionally, you are making them incompetent to face challenges that life has devised for them. Love them but also teach them to do their own things so that they become more independent.
“Your friend scored 95% marks, why can’t you score like your friend?” “Your friend is good at three languages, why don’t you learn more languages like him/her?” “Your friend does a thousand things, why don’t you also do a thousand things?” Do you also ask these questions frequently to your child? If yes then how did that turn out for you? Let me guess, not great.
Every child is unique in their own way and by comparing them with others you are insulting their uniqueness. Besides, even you wouldn’t like it if they started comparing you with other parents,
Not respecting their opinions
Your children may be younger than you but that does not mean that they can’t have any opinions of their own. It is their life and they have to live it. So it only makes sense that you let them make their own choices. You may think that they are children, what do they know? But if you keep dismissing their opinions they will never come to you again and you will lose their trust. This will harm your relationship with them.
Not accepting them and their ways
One thing that you need to realize is that there is a huge generation gap between you and your child. Furthermore, they are born in the digital era so they are going to be more inclined towards technology than you ever were. They are going to be using much more technology than you so that doesn’t mean that they are wrong.
They are just born at a different age. Their way of living is going to be different than you. You need to accept the difference and embrace it. Or else it will just keep causing rifts between you. Try to understand their point of view and try to learn their ways.
Dismissing their feelings
Do you think they are kids and what tensions could they be possibly facing? Do you think they are just kids and they don’t understand emotions? Then you couldn’t be more wrong. When they share their feelings with you, hear them out, be compassionate. Instead of saying ‘that’s nothing, don’t take it seriously’ try saying ‘I hear you’ or ‘that is a lot to process, how are you holding up?’ Not only will they get comfortable sharing more of their secrets with you but also strengthen your bond.
Using the stick and carrot method
A lot of parents use the stick and carrot method without even realizing it. In this method, what you do is use punishment (stick) and rewards (carrot) to make them behave as you wish. You may feel like what is the problem with that? The problem is that your child is a person who has his own thinking capacity and the ability to make decisions.
They don’t need you to train them. This will destroy their decision-making ability and the ability to see the difference between right and wrong. They are your kids, not an experiment.
Covering up for their mistakes
Your love for them can sometimes make you blind. Your children will make mistakes, and when they do that their punishment must be corrected. But sometimes for the sake of your love towards your child you ignore their mistakes thinking it is not a big deal.
A mistake is a mistake no matter how small or big, but the severity of the punishment will depend on the seriousness of the mistake. Instead of ignoring their mistakes because you think they are not serious will just let the wrongful behavior fester and may cause huge problems in the future. Talk to them, explain what they did was wrong, and make them correct it.
Forcing your dreams on them
If ‘I want my child to do this because I couldn’t’ ‘My child will fulfill the dreams that I couldn’t’ are some of the sentences that you frequently use then know that you are making a big mistake. You may have some dreams when you were young but if due to some unavoidable consequences you weren’t able to fulfill them then it is not your child’s responsibility to fulfill them.
Wouldn’t that be an injustice to them and their dreams? Isn’t that going to keep your children away from their dreams? If you had some unfulfilled dreams, who would know better than you about it? And besides, is it so late that you yourself can’t fulfill your dreams anymore? Think about it. If you think you are making these mistakes then don’t panic. It is never too late. Better late than sorry. There is still time to make amends.