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5 Parenting Behaviors That Are Detrimental To A Child’s Growth

5 Parenting Behaviors That Are Detrimental To A Child’s Growth

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” – Anne Landers

Good parenting means that you are in it for the long haul. Think of sound, long term investments: they pay off handsomely. When we do that and avoid certain mistakes, the chances of our kids turning into decent, caring, and well balanced adults are much higher. Here are 5 parenting mistakes to avoid.

1. Making life easier for kids

The problem here is that kids may rarely experience frustration, disappointment or anxiety. This basically means that as they face adulthood, they are ill equipped for the ups and downs that life, work and relationships will inevitably bring.

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When they fail in a test or their team loses, we should be there to encourage and support, not prevent these things happening. Let us concentrate on the tools we can give them to cope with setbacks. Psychologist Madeline Levine says that we have to let toddlers fall when learning to walk. That policy has to continue as kids grow up and face other challenges.

2. Being careless about remarks

John Chirban, psychology instructor, at the Harvard Medical School has warned about careless remarks. Negative judgements or comments can have a lasting, harmful impact. Imagine the fallout from hurtful, uncaring and harsh remarks. These can adversely affect a child’s development and hurt his/her self esteem. Parents have to watch what they say and also be careful about body language.

3. Parents overpraise and overshare

This is the other side of the coin to being hurtful and insensitive to a child’s needs and worries. Here, parents tend to exaggerate with praise and they rarely praise the effort but tell the child that s/he is really smart, cute, good at sports and so on.

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According to research done at Stanford University, praising effort rather than talent in 1-3 year olds pays off. Five years later, they seem to be better able to cope with challenges and are more motivated.

Kids tend to overshare on Facebook too, which is another way of inflating the child’s ego. These kids are at risk of becoming unproductive, incompetent adults according to some experts.

Parents often tend to brush bad behaviour under the carpet. This is the perfect recipe for children learning how to lie and cheat to get out of difficult situations, rather than taking responsibility for their actions.

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4. Children are never at risk

“We mustn’t wrap our children in cotton wool, but allow them to play outside so as to better understand the opportunities and challenges in the world around them, and how to be safe.” – Ed Balls , Member of Parliament, UK.

There is an interesting article which explores the area of how many risks children should take while playing. Learning to take risks means gaining confidence but also learning about limits and boundaries. This has been echoed in the UK where the emphasis on allowing children to play safely outdoors is an integral part of the government’s Fair Play project. This project emphasises the need for kids to take risks and to learn how to manage them. This is a crucial element of growing up.

In one survey of 7- 12 year olds in the UK, over 50% said that they had been banned from climbing trees as it was considered to be too dangerous.

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5. Parents are unable to stop children nagging

Many parents are forced to give in to a child’s nagging when they want something. If we give in, the child learns that persistent nagging really does work and it will ruin any efforts for imposing consequences and setting boundaries later on.

I really like the solution in the Positive Discipline books written by Lynn Lott. The second time the child starts to nag with the same request, just say three words, “Asked and Answered”.

You can then explain that the question has already been asked and answered. You can even repeat what the child first asked and then repeat your answer, just to make it crystal clear! Now this saves you tons of time, you do not have to start nagging yourself or even start lecturing. You just establish this technique and be consistent in using it.

Parents are often seen taking the easy, fast way out but they are sowing the seeds for more and more trouble later on. Well worth investing in the tried and tested solutions above.

Featured photo credit: Catched kid/ Jordie Alvarez via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Freelance writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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