There are a lot of unwritten rules and gestures that makes you a good parent. But there are unintentional mistakes too that parents tend to make.There are times when you know that you are wrong, but you still go along with it and it eventually becomes a habit which is very counterproductive for kids. So, don’t shy away from learning how to be a good parent and learn the tricks of the trade with these ten bad parenting habits that you must break.
Not listening to the kids patiently
Kids need to be heard and since they are growing up, there is so much that they want to discuss and share with you. It always works well for a relationship to become more stronger when you lend a patient ear and hear out the kid, without any signs of boredom. Kids will be kids, and their talk might appear too naive and frivolous. Be patient and listen to them and make them feel that you are there for them. By paying undivided attention to your child, you are offering them security, understanding and comfort that will go a long way in sealing your relationship for life.
Being sarcastic most of the time
Sarcasm is viewed as a great insult by kids. They get disturbed when parents keep criticizing their decisions and think sarcastically. Sarcasm hurts the child’s confidence, self esteem and emotionally drains them. Open conversations and discussions with your child should be done in a healthy manner by correcting them if they are wrong and accepting certain shortcomings of yours.
Criticizing and comparing your child to others
Indulging in negative comparison is a habit that parents must let go off. Your criticism regarding your child’s mediocre achievement in the presence of others, would affect your child adversely. Try not to do that, even if your intention is not negative. Even constant negative comparisons to siblings can offset a child’s ego and such an act can be likened to verbal abuse. It can impact the brain development of your child negatively. In some cases, criticism and comparisons may depress an emotionally weak child, leading to long-term impacts. These verbal putdowns shouldn’t be termed as constructive criticism by parents because it in no manner motivates the child, but only leads to feelings of humiliation and betrayal by the parent.
Be a friend to your child rather than a responsible parent
Modern parents try to bridge the gap between two generations by befriending their kids, rather than acting like parents. A parent undoubtedly has to be multifaceted with many roles to play. Remember that first and foremost you are a parent. The initial years of your child require the care and guidance of a parent that eventually cements the bond and leads to a friend-like rapport with the child during his adolescence. Being a parent to your child ensures that your child understands the responsibility and emulates that whenever he/she grows older. Never give up your role as a parent by giving in to pressure because you are the one who is responsible for their behavior and this might make them lose their respect for you, resulting in outrageous behavior from them. Children draw immense security and look up to their parents and want them to be in-charge of everything.
Getting intimidated too easily
There are certain times when we lose our cool with children who become too demanding. These situations require a lot of patience for parents to gain control of their composure and realize that fuming and raging won’t solve the crisis. Children emulate and imitate their parents and seeing you handle the situation in a very crude way would only imprint this in their young minds. Whenever you feel like your children are driving you up the wall, try to remain calm by cutting yourself out from the situation rather than yelling and threatening the kid with your authority. Intimidation will shut down the communication with your child, who will not try to open up his/her emotions to you out of fear.
Bribing your child time and again
Bribing your kid into doing what you want, seems to be an easy way to elicit good behavior at first, but things do get out of hand after a while. Bribing kids with goodies would inversely affect the way they perceive things and eventually you will end up giving in to all their bribes. Giving food rewards in form of junk food can also have a bad impact on your child’s health. The best way to reward your child would be when he/she does something good rather than to make them do something good with rewards. Over a course of time, bribery with kids can become ever-increasing with soaring demands and you would be unable to buy their way out of bad behavior.
Not setting disciplinary limits
Try to enforce discipline as a parent. A lot of liberty does not help the kids to learn what their limitations are. You should be more responsible as a parent to inform your child about the kind of behavior that is acceptable and the kind that is not. Children who are raised without disciplinary limits are either under-confident or are misbehaved. Developing limits is a good way to make a child feel secure and responsible for individual actions. Limitations shouldn’t be regarded as being negative by parents.Try to keep the limits fewer and clearer, so that the children understand right from wrong on their own quite easily.
Being rigid and not stretching your limits
As children grow, they need more space to do things their way. This becomes the toughest challenge of parenting. You, as a parent, is responsible for setting limitations, but you are also expected to stretch them as your children mature. If your kids are mature enough and are in need of more space and less of parental protectiveness, be more accommodating. This is when they want to be more responsible for their individual decisions. Try not to be dominating and view the situation from their point of view, because rigidity can lead to a rebellious outburst in the child. Listen to your children and try to rewrite the rules with them and come to a mutual agreement by recognizing their contribution in it.
Not letting kids participate in routine chores
There are some parents who do everything for their children without asking them to help out in the routine chores. It is not wrong to ask for help when your child grows a little older. In this way you are not only teaching them a basic life skill but are also building their self esteem and worth in the family. Asking them to tidy their room or helping with the dishes is not asking for a lot. You should not feel guilty for asking them to help out with simple household chores, in fact doing something together would be a great bonding activity for the two of you.
Yelling and screaming at the kids
Yelling and screaming is what most parents resort to, when they want to make their child learn the right kind of behavior. This kind of behavior from a parent leads to a long-term impact on the child, who might become abusive at some point later on. There can be genuine situations that might require screaming, so save your lung power for instances when it is really needed. Project yourself as a composed and reliable parent, rather than showing yourself in an unfavorable light.