Advertising
Advertising

Ten Parenting Mistakes That Can Negatively Impact a Child’s Future

Ten Parenting Mistakes That Can Negatively Impact a Child’s Future

When these beautiful gifts of children are born, parents often fantasize about the life the child they have brought into this world will have and all of the great things they hope them to accomplish. Being a parent is in no way a simple task. Parenting is a complex, full-time job that is very different for every family. There do seem to be some common characteristics shared by families whose children go down the wrong path in life, however. Unless you want to stop saving for your child’s college tuition and start saving for bail money and attorney’s fees, avoid these ten parenting mistakes that can lead to a future of despair, educational and professional struggles, and even a life of crime:

Overprotection

In a world where the news is plagued with stories about murders, child abduction, human trafficking, gruesome results of drug and alcohol abuse and a society with one of the world’s highest incarceration rates, parents are more worried about protecting their children now more than ever before. Teenagers whose parents are overprotective seem to be worse off and at higher risk for getting into trouble than those with parents who treat them like responsible human beings. The teen learns quickly whether or not their parents will not allow them to go to a party, or to the mall with friends, and when the teen already knows a parent is too overprotective to allow them to do all the things their friends can do without a second thought, they begin to become secretive out of necessity and learn to be excellent little liars. The teen whose parent forbids them from doing simple things like talking on the phone, or going on the computer without being under constant surveillance, will cause them to question their parent’s authority when they see that their friends’ parents are not as overbearing. A teen’s first authority figures are their parents. A parent that abuses their authority with their children will cause them to lose respect for other authority figures, and question the authority of other important adults in their life such as professors and police officers. Don’t be the parent who shelters your child to the point of rebellion. It never works out well for anyone, especially the children.

Advertising

Lack of stability

Children that come from unstable homes are exposed to more adult behavior and situations then those that come from stable living environments. Children whose families do not follow schedules and make general plans for how the family will incorporate each family member’s respective schedule and commitments can be left feeling as though they are not important or not valued enough to have their needs acknowledged at home. As a parent, knowing and anticipating what your child will need to do their best at school, sports and other extracurricular activities is important to their progression as a responsible and independent adult. Kids or teens who have to assume the parental role when their parents have failed to provide money for school events, supply the child with the resources and materials necessary to complete school assignments, or provide the transportation to get the child where they need to go will usually seek out their own solutions for these unfortunate situations their parents have put them in. Teens that are forced to develop a hustler’s approach to life will replace long-term goals with short-term goals without fully realizing what they are doing. When a teen has been forced to find a way to quickly earn cash, or find a last minute solution to a problem, they are preparing for a life of crime without even knowing it; not a prosperous life that will come with long term problem solving and planning techniques. Don’t force your child to be their own parent, and be consistent—don’t pick and choose when you feel like being a parent; be a parent all the time or don’t be a parent at all.

Being your child’s best friend

Everyone has seen the effects of children whose parent desperately wants to be their friend rather than their parent (just look at Lindsay and Dina Lohan for a very public example). There are many psychological factors that are involved in this type of parental behavior. When your child begins to think that their parent is their friend, the parent loses much of their authority as well as their child’s respect to some degree. A teenager needs boundaries, and without an active parent close by to set those boundaries, they tend to set their own. Be a parent and educate your child on the consequences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do not be so concerned about your child liking you that you forget to protect them from a situation they do not know they could be in danger of encountering. There is a big difference between being overprotective and not being protective at all. Be aware of that difference, and be a parent, not a codependent “friend”.

Advertising

Medicating your child

In an age where there seems to be a pill for everything that ails you, parents should take an investigative approach to their child’s health. When a doctor tells a parent that there is a pill that will quell hyperactivity and make their child easier to deal with, they should err on the side of caution and do their own independent research prior to forcing them to take psychotropic drugs. Find out what your child’s doctor wants to prescribe, what the side effects are, and what the natural alternatives to synthetic prescription drugs are. Teaching a child that there is a pill to cure everything will create the mindset in your child that they should medicate themselves every time they are facing something difficult. It is easy for a teen who has been medicated their entire life to have the misconception that they can swallow a pill and their problems will disappear. This idea can quickly translate from taking a prescribed anti-depressant like Prozac to experimenting with dangerous drugs, such as opiates like oxycodone or common street drugs such as ecstasy. Remember, the main difference between the prescription ADD drug Adderall and meth you would find on the street is basically just a prescription pad and an orange bottle from a pharmacy. So when your teen’s doctor quickly prescribes your child “Amphetamine Salts” (aka Adderall) look up what it is instead of just feeding it to your child without question. Being a parent for eighteen years is very challenging. If you don’t feel like you can raise a child without drugging them to keep them docile, you probably shouldn’t have kids in the first place.

Lack of accountability

Not holding your child accountable for things like lying, cheating, stealing and other inappropriate behaviors will surely instill an attitude that the rules do not apply to them. When children are consistently held accountable for their actions from a very young age, they quickly learn about consequences for inappropriate behavior. By that same token, they learn about the positive results that appropriate behavior yields. Making a child understand that they will lose the freedoms and privileges they have earned if they steal or lie will instill a cause-and-effect thought process for the child’s future behavior. Not immediately coming to your child’s rescue once they have acted out in such a way that has brought about negative consequences will also help to create a sense of accountability. They will quickly learn that they are in the undesirable situation because of the choice they made to act inappropriately and now it is up to them to get themselves out of it. When teens learn this concept early on, they are less likely to make poor decisions later on in life that can land them in jail, or worse. Children that are not held accountable by their parents early in life are often held accountable as adults later on, only by much less forgiving authority figures such as police officers and judges.

Advertising

Closed communication

Letting your child know that they can come to you to talk about anything is just the first part of creating an open door for communication. If you want your children to open up to you, you must also open up to them and make them understand that they won’t be judged if they come to you with a problem. If you notice your child might be experimenting with drugs or alcohol, initiate an open conversation about when you were their age and you faced the same challenges and temptations. Don’t just tell them that you were offered drugs and you turned them down because you have always been a perfect person. Tell them about a time that you made a mistake and the effect that mistake had on you and on your future. Starting a conversation in a manner in which you bring yourself down to your children’s level where you can relate to them and this challenging time in their life will create a family environment where open communication is rewarding and not just an awkward challenge that results in a lecture. Closing the doors to communication leads to teens discussing important decisions with peers, who are also facing the same difficult decisions and cannot give sound advice because they haven’t lived long enough to understand the impact that the decisions they make as kids will have on their future as adults.

Tell them everything is bad for them

Parents who choose to take the fear monger approach to parenting might as well start saving for bail money during their first trimester of pregnancy. When parents try to instill fear in their child by telling them in one breath that watching a rated R movie will cause irreversible harm to them and also that drugs will ruin their lives are creating doubt and conflicting opinions in their child’s mind. When a teen is told that something like adult themed movies, music and video games are equally as harmful to them as becoming involved with drugs, alcohol, sex and criminal activity, they are more likely to view the truly harmful behavior you have warned them of as harmless. Once they realize that an explicit Eminem album or violent Call of Duty video game never actually hurt anyone they begin to question everything you have told them to avoid. If the parent were to make a clear distinction between behavior that is frowned upon by some, and truly dangerous behaviors with things like drugs, alcohol, and sex, this can be avoided. Rather than to take the lazy parents approach of labeling everything with the blanket statement of “No you can’t because it’s bad for you”, choose your battles wisely in order to keep your children safe without going too far and losing their respect.

Advertising

Forbid them from doing anything you think is violent

While this approach of sheltering your child from violence seems like the best approach to avoid having a violent child, it is not. Children who grow up in homes where they are not allowed to play with certain toys that resemble weapons like cap guns or light sabers, or play violent video games, or watch violent movies will still engage in these behaviors; they will just wait to do so when the parents are not around to tell them no. Children who are shielded from these type of items and media that is deemed as violent by the parent will still engage in the behavior and will more likely develop an obsessive attitude towards things that have been forbidden in their home. They are going to be exposed to violent movies and video games at friends houses and even in shopping malls, so the logic behind the notion that saying no to the new Grand Theft Auto 5 game is going to somehow keep them from being exposed to it and other things like it is inherently flawed and will only strengthen a child’s desire for these types of things, taking it to an unnatural level. The most violent television show in existence today is the news, so unless you want to keep them from learning what what the real world is like by banning the news as well, preventing them from witnessing violence is impossible. Rather than trying to censor everything containing fictional depictions of violence, be a parent and teach your children the difference between right and wrong in real life. This approach will yield much more positive results in the long run.

Being a hypocrite

Telling your child that a certain type of behavior is unacceptable and then carrying out the same type behavior you have forbidden them from doing right in front of them is a recipe for disaster. Even though drinking a glass of wine with dinner is quite different than polishing off a bottle of tequila, your child may not understand the difference. If you want your child to develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, then you should by all means have a few extra drinks instead of drinking responsibly in their presence. Telling your child that lying and stealing is bad and then not being honest about getting incorrect change at a cash register or not being charged for an item you put in your cart at the grocery store is very contradictory behavior; and you are displaying a public example of the same behavior you are advising your child against. Instead of just accepting a mistake like this as good fortune, be honest and let your child see how you live by the same rules you expect them to live by. Your child will respect you more when you lead by example, and will be more likely to follow your direction.

Never letting them grow up

Attempting to keep your child in a preserved state of adolescence will cause them to want to grow up as fast as they can, and leave them ill prepared for adulthood when its time to move on to college. By treating your teen like a baby you are just asking for them to engage in attention seeking, adult behaviors. Teens whose parents treat them like children in a very adult centered world will do more harm than good. Instead, embrace their transcendence into adulthood and explore the next stage of your relationship with them. You can’t stop your children from growing up, and trying to do so is not only futile, but also extremely detrimental to their emotional growth as an adult. Trying to prevent your kids from growing up is very selfish, and will negatively impact nearly every aspect of their life.

More by this author

Five Things Every Family Man Can Learn From Ozzy Osbourne Ten Parenting Mistakes That Can Negatively Impact a Child’s Future

Trending in Family

1 What Happened to Family Dinners? Why We Should Bring Them Back 2 How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Stop Feeling Lonely 3 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 4 35 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun 5 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

Advertising

2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

Advertising

6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

Advertising

9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

Advertising

Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

Read Next