Parents play an essential role in the overall development of their children. It is the right guidance of parents that develops the child’s character. Every child is unique and so is the parent. Although every parent has their own way of raising their kids, there are many similarities between parenting styles. Each of these parenting styles impacts the child’s personality in a different way.
It is the upbringing of parents which shapes the character of the child. Parenting is a never-ending job. It is not something you can get away with, because children need their parents to guide them and let them be on the right track.
For every child, his parents are the biggest influence. Children try to imitate their parents. The way parents behave impacts the child and pave the way for him to develop into a strong individual. So, it is very much essential for a parent to set a good example to their children.
It is the responsibility of the parents to give their child an environment that helps him grow into a mature and confident person. It is often seen that many parents go to extremes either by being extra loving or by being a hard disciplinarian. Either way, it is the child who suffers and may lose his self-esteem. Loss of self-esteem leads to a lack of confidence and in the future, he may not be able to handle life’s challenges successfully.
There are certain types of behavior a parent can and should avoid. The important thing about making mistakes is learning from them and correcting them. Here are a few mistakes which are often made by parents.
- Not investing in quality time:
“Children are attention seekers”. They crave their parents’ attention towards them. When they don’t get it they become cranky and do things which in turn irritate the parents. So, spending quality time every day with your children lets them know that they are important and not only that you love them, but also enjoy spending time with them.
- Play games with them.
- Go out for a walk.
- Read stories.
- Ask them how their day was spent.
- Take them out for grocery shopping etc.
- By spending some quality time with your child, you will build the child’s trust in you.
- Doing Everything:
Doing everything for a toddler is the greatest mistake parents do. Usually, toddlers are uncoordinated, but doing everything for toddlers will not help them in the long run as they will never learn due to lack of opportunity in doing the activity by themselves and it will, in turn, spoil them. Having toddlers do things for themselves is the quickest way to improve self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment. Even if you make them do a part of a task (such as doing their homework or putting their socks etc.), their feelings of self-accomplishment will help the child to be independent.
- Let the child fend themselves and learn from their mistakes.
- Allow them to do small things like tying a shoelace, eating food, packing their school bags, etc.
- Comparing with Others:
Comparison is a common approach by parents to ascertain the performance of your child, which is not correct. Parents should understand that no two children are the same and comparisons will only result in stress, feeling suppressed, jealousy, sibling rivalry and lack of self-confidence. So, treat your child as an individual.
- Appreciate the effort, even if the writing is not good. Set a benchmark instead of comparing it to others work. This builds confidence in the child.
- Encourage the child to overcome his fears.
- Always support your child and give him the love that he needs. Engage in friendly talk, encourage him to practice more and always appreciate his efforts in public.
- Expecting perfection:
Research suggests that pushing children too hard, such as in pursuit of good grades or doing things perfectly, may lead to undesirable consequences. The pressure imposed on the child to be a perfect person will create a fear of making even slight mistakes. For which the child blames himself and over time, such behavior may be detrimental to the child’s well-being as it leads to depression, low esteem, nervousness, and anxiety.
- Rather than evaluating things parents can help the child learn from their mistakes.
- Put more emphasis on the process rather than the outcome.
- When your child makes a mistake, try to respond rather than react. Tell them it is okay and it is natural to make mistakes. But we should correct our mistakes and that is the only way to learn the right way of doing things.
- Fulfilling demands:
When your child asks you to buy a new toy, you might want to make him happy and doing that once in a while is okay but if you make it a regular thing then the issue begins. It’s important to teach children the value of working towards the things they want, not simply being handed to them. If a child doesn’t get what they want, they often try, and then try again, and again. However, it’s important that parents don’t give in to their demands just to help create a connection or make the child from being cranky. If the child is angry, so be it; giving in teaches children that they can manipulate to get what they want. Also never offer gifts to the child as a bribe as it teaches him that being good is doing u a favor which inculcates destructive behavior.
- Parents should learn to say “No”. Make a rule in your house that says, “When you make demands of mom or dad in front of your friends, the answer to the demand will always be “No”.
- Communicate with the other parent or adults in your family when your child is into demanding things. This will prevent the child from going to others with their inappropriate demands.
- Teach your child the magical words like “please” and “thank you.”
- Make sure your child understands that you only respond to polite requests. Over time, responding only to polite behavior will reinforce the expected behavior.
- Invalidation of Feelings:
When your child comes and expresses his feelings and insecurities to you, don’t contradict them, correct them, offer advice, or use it as an opportunity to tell about your experiences. Kids want to feel that their feeling is validated and they are understood. Many symptoms of hyperactivity, defiance, and mood problems are generated in children of parents who invalidate their feelings.Moreover, the kid who feels invalidated cannot figure out how to deal with their feelings viably, which may push him to emotional imbalance down the line.
- When a child is frightful do not tell them “Stop saying that, there’s nothing to be afraid of.” This is an emotionally invalidating response; it does not just impart to the kid that his emotions are invalid but also that he is weak for having emotions.
- Rather, the parent can respond by saying, “I understand you’re feeling of being afraid. Tell me what’s happening to make you scared.” (Even if the parent may not agree that there is an objective reason to be scared). Reinforce his abilities and capabilities and nurture his confidence and make him feel powerful in tackling his fright.
- Letting Technology play in:
Always set an example for your kids. If your kids see you on your phone or computer very often, they will also want to use technology all the time. Save the prime time sessions for after they’ve gone to bed. Although navigating this world of technology can be quite tricky, it can also have many benefits for both kids and adults. However, in this digital age, it is quite challenging for a parent to restrict the usage of gadgets especially for entertainment purposes by their kid. This can be done only by being an example ourselves
- Parents usually hand over the phones/ tablets to engage the child to stop the child from crying or being cranky. This affects the child’s development.
- Parents can spend more time with their kids either indoors or outdoors, or socialize with friends in ‘real-life’ instead of online.
- Let your child make his books as his best friends that he would love to read stories etc.
- Limit your child’s usage of gadgets every day. Talk to them about what seems reasonable and keep their schedules in mind. During the limited screen time let your child pick a TV show they are really excited to watch.
- Over Disciplining:
If you are constantly correcting your child’s behavior every time he breaks a rule, eventually, he will tune you out. That is why discriminate disciplining is so important. Pick the behaviors that truly require discipline. If you overreact to a small mistake, your child may have a tough time recognizing when he seriously crossed the line.
- If your child behaves well while you are out running errands, commend him. “You were so good today and I really appreciate that!” then he will be more likely to listen to you.
- If your child talks too loudly at a restaurant, remember that he is still a kid. Gently tell him not to talk in a way that disturbs others.
- When you gave up and take a breather by stepping away from the situation, then gently remind about the right course of action.
Parent contribution to the child’s early growth can extend the classroom experience of a child to things that happen in the home. Parents who are in tune with the school curriculum and keep themselves updated with what is going on in their child’s classroom are better equipped to have a good association between home and school.
It is said that “A parent is their child’s first teacher” and should remain their best teacher throughout life. There is no such thing called “Perfect Parent and Perfect Parenting”.