Bad Parenting is a common problem in our society and the proliferation of single parents and co-parenting is only making the situation more difficult for single parents. While no one sets out to be a bad mom or dad, many are finishing in this position by default because they are unsure of how and when to discipline their children.
Children do not come with a handbook, so for most young parents, being positive parents and avoiding inconsistent or bad behaviors becomes a matter of trial and error. Yet often our good intentions and desires can sabotage the way in which we parent our children, with many of us choosing to be a popular parents rather than good ones!
In the day-to-day running of things it is easy to fall into habits that are not beneficial to our children without knowing it. Here’s a list of the top 10 habits that you can break in the next seven days.
So Here’s my Top 10 Bad Parenting Habits to Learn to Avoid
1. Being a Friend Rather than a Parent
We all love to be loved, and we want to be loved by our kids. However, more than a friend your child needs you to be a parent, and many times these roles are mutually exclusive.
You need to be a leader, teacher, provider and a disciplinarian. If you have limited time to spend with your them in a day, it is not easy to be all of these things plus a friend. But good parents take charge, no matter what the kids might say, despite their expertise in making you feel guilty and like they do not love you if they do not get their own way.
When you are a parent instead of a friend to your child, your child will grow with respect for your authority, and they will have confidence and feel safe around you. When they are confident and safe than it is much easier to be a friend to them as well.
2. Not Listening
Failing to listen is a classic example of parenting badly. Listening to them makes them feel special and helps them to work through their problems to obtain solutions. Instead of telling them what to do or offering advice, pay attention to your child’s feelings and emotions, learn about their challenges and dreams, then encourage them to find their own solution to their problem. If they cannot settle on the direction ahead, list the alternatives and offer your advice at this point rather than at the beginning.
3. Failing to Set Limits
It is not true that your child must explore everything in life… good parenting recognizes that limits are not negatives.
When our kids are toddlers we put physical limits in place to protect them from dangerous situations. When place them in a playpen, we make sure that there is a strong offense around our yard so that they cannot play on the road. Yet as they grow older, some adults feel that limits will limit their child’s development, yet studies have shown that the opposite is the case.
Kids raised without limits often are fearful of exploring, and will sometimes even purposely misbehave in an attempt to find some sort of limit.
Make sure that the limits you set for your kids are appropriate for their age and development, and pick your battles. For example, it is more important to teach a toddler not to fight if they don’t get their own way rather than teaching them to sit still for a two-hour presentation.
As kids grow and mature the limits that you set for them need to change as well. As they grow older they need to be able to make their own decisions, and feel the consequences of those decisions, whether good or bad. Above all, let them know you love them, and that this love is unconditional regardless of their stupid decisions!
The limits you place around your child need to be moved slowly and any stretching needs to be accompanied by a frank and honest discussion of the consequences. You need to be wise and careful about how you move these limits and make sure that your child is ready for the movement, but if they request something it does not mean that you have to comply. You wouldn’t offering your car keys to your seven-year-old would you?
Loads more to come in our 3 part series on Parenting Badly series. Click here to read part 2 now!