Parents for the most part only want the best for their children.
And sometimes, that leads to certain parenting habits that can backfire once the child grows up.
However, if you can recognize these mistakes early enough then there’s a good chance your kid will grow up to be a wise and happy person. And if you’re only about to become a parent, count yourself lucky you found out about these mistakes in advance!
1 – Being a helicopter parent can result in their children not having friends.
Scientists at the American Psychological Association discovered that helicopter parents constantly tell their kids what to do and how to do it.
While it’s normal to want to keep a child safe, not leaving them enough space to grow will leave the child unequipped to manage their feelings and emotions and make it difficult for them to make friends, analyze behavior, or adapt socially.
Instead, be sensitive to their needs and if you see that they are capable of managing a situation, leave them to it. Guiding them through tough times is okay but try to take a backseat and let them solve their own problems.
2 – Spanking as a disciplinary tool can lead to respiratory problems.
Spanking is a widely accepted form of discipline. I fact, a 2012 survey showed that 94% of parents spank their children.
However, experts say that physical abuse can result in antisocial actions, psychological disorders, and drug and alcohol dependence, among others. There are also subsequent health problems like cancer, cardiac disease, and asthma. If you want to discipline your child, firm, reasonable, and nurturing communication works better.
3 – Comparing leads to low self-worth.
You must have heard it dozens of times growing up. “Jack gets it much faster than you!” or “Susan knows how to share!” But if you think such comparisons will motivate children to do better, think again.
Psychologists say that comparing one’s child to others lowers self-esteem and self-worth. You could also create a gap as your kids will feel insecure and lose their trust in you. Instead of comparing, talk about the problem instead and try to come up with a solution from there.
4 – Inconsistent parenting makes a child more vulnerable
Asking your children to clean up their toys one day and then doing it yourself without a word the next or punishing the kids for an innocent joke on a bad day yet letting them do what they want on another are sure ways to confuse kids as to what parents want out of them.
This could negatively affect their self-esteem and make them more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. That’s why it’s important to have a few rules and to set limits so that children know their boundaries.
5 – Yelling only worsens a kid’s behavior.
Practically all parents have done this at one point. After asking them to calm down nicely as much as three times, the tendency is to explode. While it can help you vent pent up emotions, experts say that yelling can make your child’s behavior worse as well as lead to anxiety, depression, and even chronic pain.
6 – Exceedingly high expectations will backfire.
Having high hopes for one’s child actually motivates them to perform better. But when these expectations transform into unrealistic goals, it can lead the child to suffer from insomnia, tantrums, fatigue, or anxiety.
Ryan Hong, a scientist of the National University of Singapore, explains, “Children become fearful of making mistakes when their parents expect them to be perfect.” Knowing when to set limits to one’s expectations is the key.
7 – You may only have yourself to blame.
Children are like sponges who absorb everything around them, including the values and behavioral models that their parents show them. So if you’re wondering where your child learned “those bad words,” take a closer look at yourself.
While school, friends, and other activities do contribute to your child’s personal development, they only reinforce the values and behavior they learned at home.
8 – Scare tactics don’t work.
When a child is being recalcitrant, sometimes parents resort to scare tactics like, “If you don’t stop, this man is going to lock you up!” It can work, but psychologists don’t recommend it.
This is because fear uses the lower levels of our brain and children will not be able to think about their behavior when they’re scared. They may also develop phobias towards policemen, doctors, or other people that parents use to scare their children. It also conditions their brains to quickly be afraid.
9 – Not discussing sensitive topics like s– is detrimental.
It’s normal to feel uncomfortable discussing s– related issues with one’s children, with most hoping that their children learn it from school or from friends.
But scientists say this is irresponsible. Research shows that teens will have s– later and use birth control if parents don’t ignore these issues.
10 – Too much emphasis on your child being special can breed arrogance.
Everyone wants their kids to feel special but over-inflating their sense of importance can lead to unexpected results.
Brad Bushman, co-author of one of the studies that looked into this, highlights, “It is important to express warmth to your children because that may promote self-esteem, but overvaluing them may promote higher narcissism.”
Balancing encouragement with humility is the key.
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