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10 Modern-Day Parenting Mistakes You Should Avoid Making (And How To Handle These Challenges Instead)

10 Modern-Day Parenting Mistakes You Should Avoid Making (And How To Handle These Challenges Instead)

Everyone thinks they are expert parents, except when it comes to doing some parenting themselves!  How many times have we shuddered as a child throws a tantrum in the supermarket? We probably think, ‘parents these days haven’t got a clue.’ But, more often than not, that poor parent is actually trying to establish some limits and we should be less disapproving and more supportive. Here are the top 10 modern-day parenting mistakes that you see all the time. Time to face up to the challenges of positive parenting.

1. Mistake: You give in to have a quiet life

Supermarket owners are not really that parent friendly, I have discovered. After all, those candies and snacks are plonked right in front of the child’s nose at the checkout.

Mistake: Many parents give in because they have to juggle credit card, shopping, trolley and a screaming child. The only problem about giving in and hoping for a quiet life is that the child has learned a new strategy. This will be used again and again. It works!

The Fix: The best way to avoid any of this is to:

  • make sure that the child has had his snack before going shopping
  • avoid shopping with a child in tow
  • use delivery services as much as possible
  • lobby supermarkets to stop stocking checkouts with junk food

2. Mistake: You do not insist on limits

Mistake: If a child is spoiled and cosseted at every turn, the consequences will be that he or she will grow up as a rather demanding and selfish adult. If they encounter setbacks at school or later on in the workplace, the parent may well be to blame.

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The Fix: Emma Jenner, in her book ‘Keep Calm and Parent On’ has pointed out that there is a happy medium between being over strict and being far too lenient.  The solution is to make sure that there are limits and consequences for unacceptable behavior.

3. Mistake: You do not tolerate other carers who discipline your child

Mistake: I remember when a schoolmate of mine was punished for smoking in the school grounds. His father rushed to defend his son and blamed the headmaster and waged a war of attrition against him for many months afterwards. That boy grew up to be a heavy smoker and drinker. He is now obese. That was quite a rare event in those days but nowadays, parents rush in to stop people disciplining their children. Teachers and other carers have to be tread very carefully when reminding children how to behave and become responsible citizens.

The Fix: Parents should be reassured that others are watching and observing their children.

4. Mistake: You do not follow through on consequences

Let us say that you have established there are certain limits and there are consequences when these are not followed.

Mistake: The problem  many parents face is that they are not consistent in following through with the consequences. The result is that control is lost and the children start to take over.

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The Fix: Make sure that you apply the consequences as soon after the misbehavior and on a regular basis.

5. Mistake:  You do not empathize with your child

Mistake: Taking time to empathize with your child is a great investment. When things get tough at school or during homework, take time to express solidarity and sympathize. It does not mean you have to indulge your child or let him off certain tasks. But at least, when empathizing, you are connecting with your child. Now that is much better than yelling or just insisting that chores have to be done by a certain time.

The Fix: When kids get mad, emphasize that verbal communication is always more effective than reacting physically.

6. Mistake: You model your parenting on how your parents raised you

Mistake: This can take two forms. One is that if you were brought up strictly, then you are going to follow that pattern. The second option is to rebel against that awful disciplining and go to the other extreme, by letting your children run rings around you! It is interesting to reflect that the verb ‘to parent’ only came into existence in the 1970s.

The Fix: But parenting is not rocket science. It is just using common sense and ensuring that you do not have to beat your kids, yell at them, or use bribes. It also ensures that you are in control.

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7. Mistake: You set a bad example

Mistake: Parents are role models. If you fly off the handle at the slightest provocation, then your kids will assume this is normal behavior. Shouting, raging and insulting people will set a lousy example. Similarly, eating habits will inevitably be copied as unhealthy food is all that is available.

The Fix: Allowing children to make wise food choices is another great way to encourage healthy eating. Explaining why foods are good or bad is much better than simply labelling them as OK or off limits.

8. Mistake:  You do not spend enough quality time with your kids

Mistake: Are you really giving your kids your full attention when you spend quality time with them? Inevitably, it seems that devices of one type or another are competing with the kids.

The Fix: Switching off the computer, smartphone or even the TV is one of the best tricks out there, if we really want to spend quality time with your kids.

9. Mistake: You do not teach your kids patience

Mistake: Many parents want to put their kids first and forget about the importance of teaching patience. Every child is going to have to learn some coping skills when they have to wait.  Whether it is the bathroom, taking turns, waiting for the bus or long lines, every child has to learn how to be patient.

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The Fix: The best way is to mention that the task, game or whatever needs patience and remind them that it may take a long time. Teaching patience will reap immense rewards in adult life.

10. Mistake: You do not give your child guidance

Mistake: Parents tend to give lots of orders and instructions. Just think of the negative energy they are emitting. They spend so much time doing this that there is little time for engagement, making connections and empathizing.

The Fix: Now, if parents redirect and give proper guidance calmly, then this gives off positive energy.  Reminding them that the rule is X, we don’t do Y because of Z, and please do A instead of B, can be a great help.

Modern-day parenting mistakes can be easily avoided by setting limits and following through on consequences.  Above all, being there to guide, support and love your kids will pay handsome dividends later on.

Featured photo credit: Joy has a tantrum/Citril via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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