Tag Archives: bad parenting

What Does it Mean to be a Good Parent? 10 Practical Things to Do!

I want to be a good parent, and I’m sure you do too, but what does this actually mean?  Looking around in a public place you will see many people who are examples of bad parenting, so like you I know what I don’t want it to look like, but I also recognize that there is far more to being a good parent than simply having a well behaved child in public.

 

good parentHere’s 10 Practical things you can do to become a Good Parent

1. Be Consistent.

This is one of the biggest things in becoming a good parent… consistency!  Whatever you promise a child as a consequence of their actions, always follow through with it, whether a reward or something they do not like.  Don’t modify the consequences to avoid a fight or make your life more comfortable or easier.

2. Screaming is Losing! 

That’s right, if you reach a point of screaming, yelling or any other display of anger, you lose… immediately!  You lose your child’s respect, and the ability to positively influence your child.  Discipline should be applied without emotion, and without fear, because the consequences must be established before the offence is committed.  Then if they do the act, the consequences happen, it’s that simple!

3. Listen to your Kids. 

You can ask questions of your child and their behaviour, but you also need to listen.  They often don’t need a lecture from you, especially if they know they have messed up, but you are far better asking why they did something, then listening to their answer.  Turn the TV off, close the lap top, put the magazine down and give your child your undivided attention.  They will love the fact you prioritized them over whatever you were doing, and you will learn about them and what they are doing and thinking!

4. Spend Quality Time.

Spending quality time with your child helps you to get to know them, their fears and their concerns, their hopes and dreams.  Don’t take over their lives, but learn about them.  Sit and talk, or text if they prefer, but communicate with them in their language!

5. Technology is Cool, but it’s a Killer.

Computers, TV, DVDs, and mobile devices can take over your child’s life, and your life for that matter, and you have to place limits on these. They might be cool, but they can kill quality time with your children.  Sure they are fun, but for both of you make sure you take 5 minutes every half an hour for a proper break.  A get up, walk, go outside and talk together break.  And overall limit the time to 2-3 hours a day.

6. Look at Yourself.

Because believe me, your children will be looking at you.  Being a good parent is about being a good example to them, and live a life that you want them to emulate, even if things you have done so far in life are what you do not want for your kids.  Be who you want them to be, not who you once were, and start making changes to become the type of person you want your kids to become.

7. Feed Them Well. 

Simply this… watch their diet.  Don’t feed them junk food and soda, you can actually affect how their brain develops, so give them lots of outdoors and sunshine, and feed them healthy food.  Vitamins are also a good idea, and especially fish oil.

8. Know Where They Are.

Make sure you know where they are and who they are with, and also what they are doing. Establish a curfew and stick to it, especially with teenagers.

9. Know Their Friends, and their Friend’s Parents.

Who do they value in their lives?  Make sure you know their friends, and the parents of their friends.  Do the friend’s families have the same morals and standards that you do?

10. Teach Them Respect.

Being a good parent is teaching your kids respect, for themselves, for you and for others.  If they are angry, teach them coping strategies, and make sure respect for others becomes ingrained in them.  This will help stop behaviors like stealing, taking advantage of others sexually and even bullying.

 

Apply these strategies if you want to be a good parent and you will see positive and important changes in your kids which will last a lifetime.

What Does it Mean to be a Good Parent? 10 Practical Things to Do!

Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 3)

Bad ParentingHere is the conclusion of your series on Bad Parenting

It has been a fun, tongue in cheek look at bad parenting, but you can learn a lot from looking at how NOT to parent your child.  If you missed the previous installments, click here to Start at the first article.

8. The Screaming Match

Bad parenting most often results in a screaming match. For both parent and child, frustration and stress on the relationship are often expressed by emotions, and the most common emotion is yelling.

Screaming at your child, standing over them or poking your finger at them is rude, demeaning and closes communication with them. It lowers their respect for you and even if you scream but they fall silent, damage is being done which can last a lifetime.

Emotions are part of living in a family, and if you’ve had a particularly stressful day it’s not uncommon to feel like you want to scream. However, if you lose your temper you lose the plot, so take a breath, count to 10 and walk away until you are in control of your emotions.

Once you are calm enough, sit with your child and discuss the issue, focusing on them not on the problem. Allow them to express their emotions, but take a break if they are getting worked up. If you can calmly express the reasons for your decision without it becoming a screaming match then you have achieved a major victory.

Remember, the words you say cannot be retrieved, so take time aside to think and speak rationally and carefully to your child.

9. Criticizing Your Child

Experts tell us that criticism and verbal abuse can, like physical abuse, have a slow and negative affect on the development of children. In older kids it can cause low self-esteem and depression, and leave your kids feeling humiliated and betrayed as they grow up, oftentimes unable to maintain healthy relationships in later life.

Comparisons between siblings are some of the most damaging forms of criticism for developing children. It causes resentment between the kids and a feeling of favouritism which can negatively affect both children.

Public putdowns and shaming them in front of others can be equally as damaging. No one likes to be made to feel like a failure, so emphasizing that failure never causes good and always hurts a child.

Kids fail just like we all do at times. Instead of making negative comments in front of friends, and instead of comparing your children’s strengths and weaknesses, concentrate on building your child up, both publicly and privately.

Try to identify your child’s strengths and qualities that make sure that they feel great about these strengths. If you need to blow off steam about your child’s failings, do it alone to a trusted friend and make sure that they cannot hear you!

10. Too Much of a Good Thing

Most parents want to bless their children, but some feel that giving them everything they want is quite often not a good idea at all.

In our modern world there is a constant flow of new gadgets and fashions that every kid wants, especially as they hit the teenage years. Many parents give their children everything they ask for, and rather than their respect and love they receive venomous anger if they refuse to buy an expensive or inappropriate gadget.

Also, there is a constant stream of activities that your child can be involved in, and if you are not careful every afternoon and evening could be filled with things that your child wants to do, from tennis lessons to Karate, from guitar lessons to dance classes. Over-scheduling is a clear and present danger for the modern parent, and while the child might enjoy these activities, eventually they can give rise to tiredness, depression, headaches and declining grades.

Bad parenting gives children everything they want and finishes with miserable kids, but good parenting will choose selected activities and fashions and grant only these requests. Once again, parenting in the right way is a balancing act and wisdom and experience are your our allies.

As long as mankind has existed bad parenting has also existed. It is not an easy business trying to raise children and help them develop into successful adults, but it is among the most satisfying things you will ever do in life.

If you apply these principles and avoid these bad parenting habits, you can not only see your children mature as wonderful as successful adults, but you can also enjoy the journey with them year by year.

Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 2)

Bad ParentingThis is the second article in our Bad Parenting series!

If you missed the previous article, the first 4 points in our Top Ten, Click here to read it now.

4. Love if, Love Because

If you really want to show your children bad parenting, try offering them conditional love.  This is a love for them that appears only when they are good or have done something to please you, and it disappears when they have done something to displease you.  So if they are naughty they feel unloved.  It they fail, they feel unloved.  If they are good or well behaved they feel loved.  You get the drift?

What you really want to give them is unconditional love, and take every opportunity to show them this unconditional love.  This is a love that exists regardless of what they do or say.  They cannot be bad enough to lose it.  They can’t act out or swear at you or even hit you enough to stop this love from being demonstrated.  It is unconditional, and it is yours to give!

Even when you discipline, it must be done in this unconditional love.  They are punished, for example sent to their room.  But when you place them there, say you love them, hug them, but still be strong enough to follow through with the penalty.  Afterwards, hug them and love them to pieces!

Many adults bear the scars of never being good enough for their parents, and it often stays with them their whole life, and affects how they relate to others and even their own children.  The cure is unconditional love, so give it and do so liberally!

 5. Always Letting Kids Have their Own way

Most children are master negotiators, and they tend to start this very early in their development. If you are in a public place, they will recognize that they had a strong negotiating tool in their behavior, and they will often use this to get their own way.

There are times when, despite your child’s behavior, you must remain firm and strong. They may pout, they may scream or they may even hit, but if you give in to them all the time you will be creating a rod for your own back in the long term.

Your children need to understand that if they ask for something and you say, “No”, this means no, not ask 100 times more. If the short answer is no, the long answer needs to be, “Absolutely no!” regardless of how much pressure they try to place you under.

6. Failing to Follow Through

One of the most frequent example of bad parenting isn’t failing to follow through. When you set limits for your child, you need to recognize that at some point they will test those limits, and this is when you need to follow through with the penalty for their behavior.

Many parents set limits for their children but think that, rather than punishing their kids, it is easier to avoid a fight or the child’s attempt to punish the parents by giving in. Yet failing to enforce the consequences of bad behavior makes your child see you as easily manipulated and unreliable.

Consistency is an important part of good parenting, and threatening consequences for bad behavior is useless unless you follow through on the threat. So if you tell a child that they will not get a treat, you must not give in to them by giving them to treat despite their behaviour. If you do this, you are reinforcing bad behavior and ruining their respect for your authority.

We should mention that it is foolishness to attach an unrealistic consequence to a child’s action. If you are not prepared to follow through with the consequences, don’t threaten the child with it. Saying to a child, “If you do that again I will kill you,” is bad parenting at its worst.

 7. Being a Slave

Many parents feel like they are becoming slaves to their children, especially as the children grow up into the teenage years. Sometimes moms find that it is easier to do a child’s chores for them rather than put up with the fights and the frustration of constant delaying tactics.

From an early age children should learn that they can be trusted with small tasks, such as cleaning their toys away or folding napkins. These small actions give children a sense of responsibility and also build self-esteem, making them feel like they have a place of importance within the family.

Chores are not punishment; They are part of being in the family. So don’t feel guilty about asking your child to do chores.  Also, don’t allow your child to procrastinate and never enter into a screaming match with them, because both of these are counterproductive for their development and your sanity.

Instead, attach a consequence for failing to do a chore, and make sure you follow through with it.

There’s more to come, so to continue reading about Bad Habits to avoid, click here Now!

 

Is My Bad Parenting Damaging My Child?

Avoiding Parenting BadlyIf you are asking yourself if bad parenting has damaged your children, chances are you are feeling guilty about decisions you have made or discipline you have failed to apply. Your judgment of whether your methods as a parent are effective or not may depend more on what others have said to you rather than on your own assessment or how your kids actually feel.

Studies have shown that poor parents can damage the mental development of children and can have long-lasting effects throughout their life. However, there are many adults who have been parented badly in their early years, yet have grown to be productive and successful members of society.  Many of these people have had to work extra hard to overcome their parent’s mistakes, but they have done it and turned their lives around.

What Types of Actions can be Categorized as Bad Parenting?

Here’s a few of the most damaging parenting traits, so see if you find yourself doing these things regularly…

1. Inconsistency

One of the most damaging things you can do to your children is to be inconsistent. When you are inconsistent they live with the uncertainty of how you will react to their actions. One day they will do something naughty and you will laugh at them, but the next day you will react angrily and punish them. This confuses a child and blurs the lines of rules you have set, because they don’t understand why you change so readily.

Another area of inconsistency can often be in the consequences children receive. Even if you consistently punish something, you need to be consistent in the penalty. It is no good punishing them sometimes by sending them to their room, when another time they do the same thing you withhold their favorite candy. Learn to be consistent in your discipline, and avoid long term problems in parenting a child.

2. Conditional Love

Many children feel their parents only love them if they are well behaved or doing things to please them, and this damaging feeling can stay with the child throughout their life.

Your child needs to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you love them, no matter what they do.  You might get angry at them, you might be disappointed, but they have to know that your love is beyond question.

 

Bringing up a child is never easy and the fact is that, even as a loving, caring parent, you are going to make mistakes because on one is perfect and there are always more skills that you can learn.  Yet you are still the best chance your child has of growing up and being a successful member of society, so don’t concentrate on the mistakes but instead, make the time to concentrate on consistently improving your skills as a parent. Listen to them, show them appreciation when their behaviour is especially good, and watch your kids develop into adults you will enjoy your entire life.

Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 1)

How to Avoid Parenting BadlyBad 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!