A child is an uncut diamond. He is shined and polished by virtue of his experiences. Like every mother, I have my own ‘take’ on parenting and to raise emotionally and physically healthy kids there are a few things both my husband Rajeev and I consciously refrain from doing. To err is human and parenting mistakes do happen. But I have seen many parents are not even aware that it’s a mistake and keep repeating the worst parenting mistakes.
5 Parenting mistakes we should never make
While screaming, threatening and physically punishing are things we all know we should never do with our children. There are some common parenting mistakes which we keep doing and it has a long-term impact on the child. But there are ways to avoid or correct these parenting mistakes. We tell you what are the biggest parenting mistakes and what you can do about it.
1. Criticizing others
The most basic and perhaps the most overlooked is criticizing and talking negatively about others in front of our kids.
This can happen as we express our frustration and dissatisfaction about domestic help or a family member. This is one of the major parenting mistakes we are making. The child is often too young to understand the ‘driver’ behind our emotion. By emulating us and without a ‘just cause’ they can become antisocial and confrontational.
We believe that ‘beautiful see is as beautiful does’. By seeing the positive in others we can teach our kids to overlook minor human fallacy and focus on collaboration rather than criticism. Fortunately, this teaching begins at home by watching what we speak.
2. Not even white lies
Being careful about what we speak extends to lying as well. We all know kids ‘lie’. Tummies are always aching when veggies are served for dinner and toothaches magically disappear when it’s not school night’. However, lying in front of kids especially when they know the truth just validates that lying is acceptable. We need to teach kids that although lying might seem the easier way out sometimes, it is more important to show courage and tell the truth.
You could be making up an excuse to a friend because you are not in a mood for a movie but that also your child will think it’s all right to say lies. Be very careful. This is the worst parenting mistake you can make.
Like all couples, Rajeev and I have our share of disagreements that can often spill over into heated discussions.
Again, the rule of thumb here is to never accuse each other in front of the kids or speak to each other in an aggressive or disrespectful manner. After all, we are setting the road map for our kids to manage their future relationships.
Additionally, kids growing up in an environment of constant strife become psychologically and emotionally damaged. Whenever a child is behaving aggressively the first question often asked is “what’s the environment like at home”. Happy environment makes for happy kids.
4. Influence of alcohol
Let’s not overlook that substance and alcohol abuse can impair our ability to behave responsibly.
When we are not in our sense our irresponsible behavior can extend to those around us including our kids. Hence it is important to consume alcohol responsibly and avoid getting drunk in front of kids.
A good check while drinking is to ask yourself: “Would we be able to respond adequately to an emergency if we have this additional drink?” It’s never too early to teach our children that ‘moderation is the key.
5. Discussing finances
Discussing finances around your children is a positive conversation to have in my opinion. It makes children more aware of the value of money and the trade-offs we make as an adult as we prioritize our spending.
In the current generation of ‘excesses’, it’s never too early to teach your child restraint and the value of ‘delayed gratification’.
As Annaya turns older Rajeev and I plan to include her in our financial planning so she can learn to be responsible for her money as she is growing up.
We are already teaching her the value of discounts and bulk buying because money well managed is money saved for our future. But if you are having any financial issues then discussing that in front of them can make them insecure and jittery. They would internalize the stress that you feel. This would be a big mistake.
No parent can be perfect and parenting mistakes are inevitable. The child also learns from the mistakes as well. The above five listed parenting mistakes can happen once in while like criticizing, disagreements and white lies but one has to be conscious to avoid these at all costs. There are ways and means of overcoming parenting mistakes and as a parent you must do that.