Being a parent is the most beautiful phase of your lives. Watching your child grow from an infant to a toddler, to a preschooler is heartwarming yet fairly challenging. While their antics are endearing and put a smile on your face, their misbehaviour and lack of discipline can be equally frustrating. In an attempt to discipline and play your role as an effective parent, it is normal to slip and invariably commit one of these parenting mistakes.
Here are five common parenting mistakes that can be avoided to help boost your child’s self-esteem, growth and development.
As parents, there is a tendency to draw comparisons between your children against your sibling’s children or friends’ children. While it is okay to share parenting tips and acknowledge the trials of parenting, comparing isn’t a healthy practice. These comparisons vary from your child’s developmental progress, to exam scores and choice of extra-curricular activities, etc. Subjecting your children to comparisons makes them question their abilities and lowers their self-esteem and morale.
A conscious effort to avoid drawing comparisons of your children with others goes a long way in boosting their morale and self-esteem.
Expecting beyond the child’s ability
Unrealistic expectations from your child is another common parenting mistake. The likelihood of a six-year-old bedwetting is fairly normal but your reaction to it can have a far more adverse effect on the child. When disciplining your child, pause and reflect about your choice of words, the action, their age, etc. to correct their behaviour.
An age-appropriate behavioural expectation from your child is a win-win for both.
Young children need to abide by rules and regulations that help them develop discipline and a sense of responsibility. Often as parents, another common parenting mistake is being too strict on one occasion and lax on another. These extremes confuse the child and they do not know what is expected of them.
Setting clear rules and abiding by them teaches children the importance of responsibility and discipline.
Practice what you preach is an old adage. As parents, expecting children to follow what is told to them as opposed to, what they see you do, is an impractical desire. Children see, children do! Asking children to sleep early or eat healthy when they do not see you practice the same is a classic example of bad modelling.
Your children mirror your habits and practices. Choose them wisely and watch their behaviours turn around for better.
Restricted or unclear boundaries
Being protective and watching out for your children is an important attribute of being a parent. However, this can sometimes trigger a parenting mistake of imposing too many restrictions or none at all. As children grow, their boundaries and restrictions need to expand so that they have enough space to make mistakes, learn and grow.
Clear boundaries and room for growth are necessary for young children to thrive.
While we easily fall trap to these five common parenting mistakes, there are a few more which affect you as a parent and an individual. Watch out for the next part of common parenting mistakes that discusses the effects of some parenting choices on yourself.