It is not an easy task to raise kids. Sometimes, you will find yourself questioning yourself if you are raising them the right way or not. But you are just doing the best that you can do. You read books about parenting, seek advice from other parents, and listen to other people’s advice. Avoid the following to raise well-behaved kids:
Not having them around other kids
No man is an island, and the earlier we instill this on our kids, the better. When they are around other kids, they learn to share, play fairly and treat another human as their equal, and to treat them with care and compassion. They learn that feelings can get hurt, and doing something bad to another person can make that person cry or upset. They become more self-aware and aware of others’ feelings when they spend time around other kids.
Giving them everything they want
Want is different from need. Basic needs are food, shelter, clothing which of course, we should provide. Want is just a desire for something. Toys, designer shoes, and that new Disney cartoon CD are examples of wants rather than needs. When you fulfill their wants immediately without having them wait for it, or without them having to show good behavior before they can have it, then you have a problem waiting to blow up. If you keep doing this, kids will feel like they can have everything that they want – right the very same second. And if they don’t, the dark, entitled, or “bratty” side of them comes out.
Failing to show them you are a watchful presence
If kids think that you are not watching them and they can get away with whatever prank they can get away with, then they will. You have to make it a point to let them know that you are there watching over them because you want to guide them to be better kids. This also instills in them the knowledge that all actions, whether performed in secret or in the open, have consequences and affect others.
Being on your phone or computer too much
Kids love attention. They crave it. And if they can’t get it, they start acting out to get it. No matter what it takes them, they will do it. And if they see that you are always busy, always on your phone, or your computer, with barely a second to turn and look at them, then that is their signal. They will go as far as not follow instructions to get your attention. So make sure you balance your time on your mobile devices and be sure to pay attention.
Not giving them choices
Don’t get into the habit of handing them three colors of candies, but authoritatively just giving them one color without having them choose. This habit instills stubbornness – and in the future, they will only want one particular object, and they will fight to have it, and nothing else. It will be the world vs. them in getting exactly what they want.
Not explaining why they are getting punished
If you punish kids and don’t explain to them why you are doing it and what good behavior you are expecting to come out of it, then you are just reinforcing bad behavior. Make sure you explain why, and what your expectations are, or they will just keep acting out for the pleasure of watching you scramble and get upset. And they would love to see you in that same situation over and over again as if it was an accomplishment.
Kids do not remain to be kids forever. However, when they are adults they will carry through the values that were instilled in them by their parents when they were still young. If you want your kids to grow up to be responsible and good adults, start developing good habits with them when they are still young.