Parenting Mistakes We All Need To Avoid

By Lauren Mccluskey 9 months ago

1. How you deal with problems

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When you're a parent, there is a high chance that it's not always going to be smooth sailing and you're likely to run into various problems throughout your parenting journey.  Some of these might include anything from battles at bedtime and tantrums in younger children to behavioral issues as they get older.  Misunderstanding, under or over-estimating problems, as well as neglecting to solve the problem effectively are common parenting mistakes to avoid.

2. Inconsistency

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Being inconsistent in your parenting style can really confuse your kids and cause issues for both you and them.  The truth is, you can't one day punish your child for bad behavior by taking away screen time, and then not carry out the same punishment if they behave the same way next week.  Even if they catch you in a different mood, letting it slip and being inconsistent can actually do more harm than good.

3. Not listening to them properly

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When your child speaks to you, not listening properly to them can really give the message that you're not really interested in what they have to say.  Even if they have been going on about Minecraft for the last hour.  But if they feel like you're not interested, when it comes to really confiding in you, they might think twice because they might feel like you're not going to listen to them or understand what they're saying to you.

4. Not spending much quality time with them

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Quality time with your kids is like gold dust.  It's so precious and magical and can help you forge some really beautiful memories together as a family to look back on.  But life can get so busy sometimes and it's easy to lose yourself in work rather than prioritizing that quality time.  And as the years pass, you might look back and wish you'd have prioritized that precious time with your kids.

5. Being too critical of their mistakes

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Kids make mistakes.  It's a huge part of growing up and many agree that making mistakes is actually the best way to learn.  So being too critical of their mistakes is just counterproductive and super unhelpful.  Not only that but being overly critical of your children can play a huge role in knocking their confidence, probably so much that they are worried about ever trying anything new.

6. Not limiting screen time

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Now we all know how much our kids LOVE their screen, whether it's watching cartoons on the TV or playing Roblox on their tablets.  And to be honest, some screen time can be really beneficial for them.  But if they're on them ALL the time, then that's obviously limiting what else they can do, not to mention limiting the amount of exercise they get too.  Not teaching them about screen safety or limiting the content they can access, particularly when they're online can lead to all kinds of issues.

7. Not letting them get bored

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Kids need to get bored, even if they try to convince you otherwise.  Allowing them to get bored is actually a wonderful gift and if you don't believe us, just try it and observe them.  Having that time allows them to start to become more imaginative about what to do with their time, developing their creativity.  Not only that, it teaches them to sit with that uncomfortable feeling of boredom, making them more resilient and content as they grow up.

8. "Do as I say, not as I do"

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The saying, "Do as I say, not as I do" can be really problematic when it comes to your parenting because eventually it's just not going to work at all.  You see, if your kids see you doing certain things, like drinking too much cola or breaking certain rules, no matter how much you tell them not to, they are eventually going to copy your behavior.  It really just goes without saying because they are learning from you all the time.

9. Not leading by example

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As a parent, one of your main duties is to be a role model to your kids.  You see, whether you want it or not, they are going to be looking up to you and probably mimicking your behavior because you're the parent!  So if you don't lead by example, what you say is going to become meaningless, and you'll probably find that they're not listening to your rules anymore and behavior might become a problem.

10. Minimizing your kid's feelings

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Feelings are real and nobody can really fake their true feelings.  And when you're a kid, these feelings can feel absolutely enormous.  So as a parent, minimizing their feelings and telling them to stop crying or calm down because you don't think they should be feeling this way or this intensely is only going to teach them to suppress strong emotions, which can be pretty damaging in the long run.  Let them feel!

11. Always saving them from failure

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As a parent, it's probably only natural to want to protect your kids from everything in the world, including failure.  However, that urge to always protect them from failure is counterproductive to their development.  How are they supposed to learn if you don't let them fail once in a while?  And how do you expect them to learn how to deal with failure if you're constantly bailing them out?

12. Expecting perfection

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Nobody is perfect.  Absolutely no one.  So why would you always expect perfection from your kids?  This can be for anything including their scores at school, their performance in sports, and even mundane tasks like cleaning their room.  If you always expect perfection from them, that's a lot of pressure for them to deal with and you might run the risk of making them feel like they're not good enough.

13. Not allowing them to explore

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You want to keep your kids safe, that's only natural.  But sometimes, parents make the mistake of restricting their kids' freedom to explore the world.  Whether it's their young kids wanting to jump in muddy puddles, or their older kids wanting to become more independent.  Not allowing your kids the freedom to explore the world can be super restricting.

14. Making threats

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We all know the, "If you don't clean your toys away, I'll throw them away" threat.  It sounds harsh, but it is common for parents to make threats to their kids to get them to understand what the future consequences of their actions might be.  But most of the time, they're empty threats, and the kids eventually become wise to it and you'll find that they just don't work anymore.

15. Reacting to things in the moment

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Sometimes, as parents, it's easy to react to certain things in the moment, and when you do, it's probably an almighty shout that rattles through the house.  Then you calm down and become upset and feel guilty about blowing your lid, wishing that you had dealt with whatever was better.  So taking a step back when something has happened and thinking about how to react before you react can save a lot of upset in the long run.

16. One size fits all

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If you have multiple children, you'll quickly come to realize that they're all probably very different in every way possible.  So using the same parenting techniques and approaches for all of your children just won't work.  It's not "a one size fits all" job and what works for one child will not necessarily work for another child.  The same goes for parenting styles from family to family too. Don't compare yourselves to other parents, just do what works for you and for each child.

17. Trying to be their friend

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You love your kids with all of your heart, and they're the coolest kids ever, so it's hard sometimes not to see them as your best buddies, even though they obviously are!  But trying to be their best friend rather than asserting yourself as their parent can really give them the wrong impression and eventually strip you of your authority when it comes to them following any of your rules!  It's best to strike a balance between fun and serious because you need them both!

18. Giving in

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Those 'butter-wouldn't-melt' facial expressions or the constant nagging that they want something, not to mention the tantrums, can really make it easy to give in to their demands.  But even though this seems easier in the short term, giving in only means that you are making a rod for your own back because, in the long term, they are going to know that if they kick and scream, they get what they want.  And nobody wants their kid to behave like that!

19. Undermining your partner

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Whether you are in a relationship and parenting together, part of a blended family, or separated but co-parenting, one mistake parents always make is undermining their partner, even if it is honestly unintentional.  They might have said no and then you say yes and this can cause friction between you, and show the kids that they can play you off against one another to get what they want.

20. Praising absolutely everything they do

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You're proud of your kids, we get it, and you want them to feel good about themselves.  So it's really easy to praise absolutely everything they do.  But this can be a mistake in the long run because they might think that they're the best out of everyone at everything.  And this can make them pretty unpopular when they grow up.  Now we're not saying tell them that they're not good at something, but some constructive feedback to help them to improve as well as feel confident enough to try new things can really go a long way.

21. Giving them too many choices

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Sometimes, you can run the risk of giving your kids too many choices.  Like have you ever taken them to the candy aisle and said that they can choose one thing from there?  You can see their brain cogs whirring as the pressure mounts up because they want to make the right choice.  They don't want to regret their decision later on, so they stand there ad seem to go blank not knowing what's best for them.  And this can apply to choices later in life.  Giving them fewer choices can help them to weigh up the pros and cons more effectively and take the pressure off a bit.

22. Over-scheduling

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You want to give your kids as many opportunities as possible, but the problem is, by doing this you could end up filling up all of their free time with activities.  They have school already, but by the time you've booked classes for every interest they briefly show, they have absolutely no downtime.  This can cause them exhaustion and they might not excel in anything because they're doing everything.

23. "It's good for you"

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Saying "It's good for you" to convince them to eat their broccoli can be really ineffective.  They don't care about that, they're not about to eat something they don't like.  And trying to convince them that it's good for them can only make their aversion stronger.  So providing a variety of healthy foods and allowing them to choose will get those nutrients into them but on their terms.

24. Projecting onto your children

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We all have our frustrations, it's just part of living.  But no matter how strong your emotions are, it's important that you don't project them onto your children.  If you do, you're only burdening them with your problems which is definitely what they do not need.  It's not theirs to carry, it's yours to deal with in much more effective ways than that.

25. Making empty threats

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If you tell your kids that they won't be able to have ice cream if they don't finish their cauliflower, but then they don't finish it and end up with ice cream anyway, this is an empty threat.  They are just going to learn to ignore all of your threats and expect to be able to do what they want because you're not going to follow through with them anyway!  And this is not helpful for anyone!

26. Giving their kids everything they ask for

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Giving your kids everything they ask for is another mistake made by many parents.  And this comes from a place of kindness and the want to dote upon your kids.  But giving them everything they want means that they are never going to understand the value of their possessions and the hard work that goes into being able to buy them.  And besides, your house will probably fill up pretty quickly so no one can move around without hitting their elbow on something.

27. Not discussing issues that are seen as awkward or difficult

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There are some issues in life that need to be taught and explored with your kids.  This is not at all an exhaustive list but there are issues in the news, sex education, consent, racism and discrimination, and so on.  And if you either feel like you don't know enough about the issue, or you feel awkward discussing it, then it can be easy to make the mistake of avoiding it altogether.

28. Not giving them more freedom as they get older

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As your kids grow, they're going to want to start to receive more freedom.  But one mistake that many parents make is not giving them more freedom as they grow older.  This can really make your children resent you for not allowing them to fully be themselves and be independent, even if it's coming from a place of love and the need to keep them safe.  However, if you restrict their freedom, they are never going to be able to learn about the world.

29. Forgetting the joys of childhood

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Your childhood might feel like it was a very long time ago so it can be really easy to forget the joys of childhood.  Restricting them from rolling in the mud or going out to jump around in the rain might make things easier now because it reduces your laundry, but what's a few grass stains on their clothing when they've fully enjoyed themselves?  Childhood goes fast and then they forget how to play so let them play and explore with freedom!

30. Not making enough ME time

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When you become a parent, it can be really easy to forget about yourself and neglect your own needs in favor of doing everything for your family.  But it is a big mistake to not take any time out for yourself to recharge your batteries and partake in some well-needed self-care. Because how do you expect to care for everyone else when you can't care for yourself?  You can't pour from an empty cup so be sure to fill it up once in a while.

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