Becoming a parent changes our lives forever. We began to change our priorities, and it gives us a new perspective on life. We become a new person when we become a dad. But life as a parent is not perfect, and we are bound to make mistakes along the way as we struggle to raise our kids.
There is no manual or guidebook on how to become a parent; we only have our instincts and our big heart as a compass to lead us in the right direction. Fortunately, other parents are generous in sharing their experiences. Here are the top 5 biggest mistakes in parenting we should avoid, according to moms and dads who have been there are doing that.
1. Doing things for the kids
We, as parents love to do things for our kids. Yes, we love and want them to succeed, but the problem is we do too much for them. We become micromanagers, and as a result, our kids remain dependent on us and were having a hard time standing on their own. What happens is they become incapable of handling things on their own.
They are extremely capable and intelligent, but the problem is they don’t have the motivation and the drive to do so as they become emotionally immature. Instead of us doing things for them, what we need to do is to give them the tools so that they become independent and self-reliant. If we do this, our kids will succeed without us lording over them.
2. Invalidating their feelings
Other than being their parents, we should be our kid’s best friend. They should be able to talk to us openly without being judged, scolded, or ridiculed. When our kids open up their insecurities and feelings to us, we should not contradict them, offer our unsolicited advice, or scold them. It should not also be a bull session. Keep in mind that they are taking a risk here; the best that you can do is to be sensitive to their feelings. Our kids need to feel validated by their folks. You are lucky that they chose you to confide what they feel, indulge them.
3. Neglect them
Of course, we don’t neglect our children. But because we are caught up with so many things to support the family, we can get absorbed in our work and delegate our parenting responsibilities to other people like their grandparents or their eldest sibling. As a result, we tend to miss some important events in their lives, and worst, we become a terrible listener to our children. These are emotional neglect that can have an impact on our children’s sense of self. And could get worse resulting to behavioral problems.
You may not know this, but a simple act of listening to your kids can have a healing effect on your relationship with them. They will not act out, seek attention, and engage in any destructive behavior. Make a habit of listening to your children, understand, and identify with them. It does not cost a thing, but it will nurture your relationship.
4. Lack of Proper Boundaries, structure, and limits
When you spoil and overindulge your kids, they will grow up demanding and selfish. One of the biggest mistakes that parents commit is failing to set boundaries, structure, and limits. Overindulged children expect things to be handed over to them, which can harm them, whether at school or work. Parents need to establish a balanced structure, boundaries, and limits. What are these three things? Structure refers to the consistency in routines and schedules. Limits are a means of curbing bad behaviors, while boundaries are honoring and respecting the emotional and physical space between individuals. Instilling the right balance to your kids will help them to be better prepare for their future.
Podcast Ep. 131 The Biggest Parenting Mistakes Dads Make
5. Comparison and criticisms
Nobody enjoys comparisons and criticisms, most especially your children. Yet many parents tend to compare and criticize their children. Unknowingly, it affects their self-esteem and hurt their frail egos. They will grow up as underachievers and outsiders. Most of them do not see themselves worthy and do not celebrate their strengths because they have the negative voices of their parents at the back of their minds. It will only take a thoughtless comment to hurt your kids with comparisons and criticism, but it will be a lifetime to heal.
As a parent, we are humans, too, and we are bound to make mistakes. We are not perfect in what we do. And when do make mistakes, it should not stop us from being a parent, pick ourselves up, and keep on trying every day. Life is not about dwelling on our parenting mistakes but learning from them.