Parenting is an ever-evolving process that’s learnt on the job. While no one can guarantee they have the perfect parenting method, what you can do is try and achieve the best ways to raise your child where they feel happy and confident – both mentally and physically.
Making mistakes as a parent is only natural and you do learn from your own shortcomings on how to raise a better person. However, it’s also necessary to keep a tab on how your seemingly forgettable mistakes can have long-term implications on your child.
This is particularly important from your little one’s mental health standpoint.
Your child’s personality issues or even a disorder may be affected by several factors like biology and genetics. However, the environment at home also plays an important role in aggravating or suppressing the symptoms.
So, in order to maintain your child’s mental health in the long run, stop making these three mistakes as a parent. While you may think of doing these in good faith to help your child, their effects are adverse.
3 Bad Mistakes You Are Making As A Parent
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1. Not holding your child responsible for their actions
Unchecked love is problematic. It may seem innocent in the beginning, but it tends to overshadow all the red flags of bad upbringing.
In the parental context, unchecked love can often overshadow your child’s mistakes in front of your eyes. This also brings in accountability for failing to keep promises, not completing tasks and bad behaviour with other people.
For instance, if your child scored poor marks in a subject, some parents may choose to question the school teacher about their child’s results rather than ask the child why did they not study.
If your child genuinely has a problem with learning, you can be a facilitator and work with their teacher for special attention. However, if you choose to blame the teacher for your kid’s poor grades, that’s just ignorant on your part.
At the same time, just giving in to your child’s every demand is just a one-way ticket to ‘spoiltsville.’ Your child wants the new PlayStation even though he barely plays with the current one. They then break the existing one so you are forced to buy them a new one.
Would you go out and buy them a new one or discipline your child for breaking the gaming console?
By supporting your child’s bad behaviour, you become an enabler. Instead, reason with your child why it’s wrong to not take responsibility for their actions. They may not like you at the moment but you know it’s the right thing to do.
2. Protecting your child from discomfort
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Not all kids are quick to adapt to changes and they do struggle with anxiety in an unfamiliar environment. However, this does not mean that children need to stay protected from unfamiliar things and experiences.
Much like happiness, kids also need to learn about other emotions including anger, resentment, frustration, disappointment and more.
You will not be around the protect them forever and they will go through these emotions at some point in life. The earlier you allow them to experience these, the better equipped they will be in handling themselves.
For instance, introverted kids often find it difficult to mingle with other families and children. They would rather not come to a public gathering or choose to spend time alone instead of mingling with other kids. It’s easier to not bring your child to the gathering or let them play alone. But that’s a discomfort they will carry at every public event from hereon.
When you side with your child on things that make them uncomfortable, you are validating their fears and the fact they are weaker than other children who are able to do the same tasks. That’s not good for your child’s morale – to think of themselves as weak.
Instead, hold their hand and help them ease their anxious mind. Your child’s brilliance and fun nature should not be relegated to the confines of your home. Let the world see it.
And that can only happen once your child overcomes their social discomfort.
3. Making your child a victim in every situation
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Sympathy can be a strong tool for understanding your child’s pain. Whether it’s physical hurt or mentally, sympathy or empathy will help you be a supportive parent to your little one.
However, the problem is when children start seeing themselves as victims in every situation. If your child wasn’t selected in the school choir, the easier way to calm them would be to say that “the teachers liked other kids more, and they don’t know how good of a singer you are.”
But when you say things like these, you are only making your child realise that they have been discriminated against.
Now, this may not at all be true and something you made up to ease your child’s pain. However, it creates resentment and masks the actual problem that your kid needs to practice singing a little more. The other kids were probably just better.
Instead of throwing the teachers under the [school] bus, you can make this a positive experience and encourage your child to work on their talent a bit more and try again later. While sympathising with your child will only ease the pain today, it’s not taking them forward.
When kids go through incidents that damage their self-esteem, they can develop paranoia and borderline personality disorders. But encouraging them to work on themselves will pay dividends in the long run.
No mum and dad would want to intentionally hurt their child. Making mistakes as a parent that go unchecked aren’t helping your child grow and learn.
While we understand that’s not your intention, being responsible about parenting will only help your child achieve their goals as they grow old. Learn from your mistakes and raise them right.