Parenting in today’s fast-paced lifestyle is as hard and overwhelming as one can possibly imagine. It is even harder for the new parents as they lack experience and do not know what to expect, what to do and what can be most effective. As parents, we all assume that we 'intuitively' know what is best for our own kids. But many a times without even realising we miss out on some very important things and do not comprehend which of our actions are actually being harmful for our kids in the long-term.
For all the parents, who are concerned if they are doing any parenting mistake, we have listed out few common ones to help increase your awareness. Find out what effect such mistakes may have on your child and what to do instead to make your parenting style the most effective in the long run.
“You are only a child” vs “Grow up! Don’t be so childish”
From “Go to your room”, “Don’t interrupt when an adult is saying something”, “This is beyond you, you’re just a kid”, to, “Grow up”, “Don’t act so childish” - didn’t you hate it too when our parents twisted the catch phrases according to the situation confusing us between whether to act like kids or adults? Let’s not do the same to our kids, shall we? We need to act wise and respect our kids irrespective of their age, treating them as the adult we want them to grow into. Even when they act childish, do not scold or get disappointed but teach them how an adult is supposed to act in such situation and tell them that you expected your child to be an wise adult who knows how to behave. Kids love to get attention and approval from elders they look up to (like we all do) and will definitely respect you and your ideology in return of the respect you show them.
Parents are parents, not friends:
There is practically no one right way to be parents. You have to try out different techniques to be the best role model to your kids. Many believe that parents should be strict with the kids to control them and their behaviour. But excessive control makes the kids either rebellious or suppressed, either way disturbing the development of nature or personality of them.
We may think or know what’s the best for our kids but by imposing our decisions on them ignoring what their perspective is, only pushes them away. It is very important to be humble with your kids and not to pass judgement. Listen to them just like a friend would do and rather than forcing your ways on them, put them forward as suggestions.
Insults, scoldings and punishments:
The more strict you are, the more rebellious they will be. Do not try to control their lives all the time. Most of us believe that punishment help kids understand their mistakes or at least establish a fear in them for not repeating such wrongs. Have you really observed this technique to be really effective? No? Then how do we teach our kids?
You surely want your child to assume responsibility for his actions, make amends and learn to never repeat his mistakes whether in your presence or absence. The most important thing here is to make the kids understand their mistakes and why it is wrong. Let them learn on their own, guide them if you must but do not rule them.
Make sure to never insult or punish your kids in front of other people. This really hurts your child's confidence and the embarrassment haunts them for much longer than you can imagine. Instead, if you really must, use creative techniques to control their behaviour and discipline them.
My child can never do that:
Yes they can. How many of us hid or probably are still hiding something or the other from our own parents? The answer is most likely to be – all of us. We all regretted it though and wished for our parents to be a little “cool” to accept our flaws (or mistakes) without getting disappointed or furious. Our kids are certainly no different. Be that cool parent you always wanted to have and let your child learn from their mistakes. Of course you need to keep an eye on them so that they don’t get too carried away from their path but never impose your control over their lives.
Also, refrain yourself from praising your kid too much (on a regular basis) in front of others. This not only make the other kids be envious of your kid but subconsciously let your kid believe that he can never be wrong and will have a hard time accepting failure in his adult years.
Having unrealistic expectations:
Yes, those Sharma Ji ka Beta jokes are so popular for a reason. Our aspirations regarding our children has only known to climb the ladder so high that we often forget or ignore to see the real picture. No, your child cannot be all the superheroes at once. Genetically speaking, if you and your husband both could only manage to touch the passing marks somehow in your times, it is highly unlikely that your kid will bring straight A’s throughout his school years.
Every child is different yet special. Do not push your tomboyish girl who defeats all the neighbourhood boys fair and square in outdoor sports, to stay in home and learn Ballet or your genius little Picasso to learn how to properly throw a ball. Bring out the inner speciality of your child by encouraging them to do what really makes them happy and they will surely make you proud one day.
We may just observe the impacts of our mistakes later on when our kids are in their adolescence by which time it is significantly harder as it is almost too late to repair any harm that has already been done. Regardless of whether we are excessively strict or excessively indulgent, neither one of the approaches is truly effective to raise our kids to end up confident and self-sufficient adults in the long haul. Therefore, we must give enough freedom to our kids to be independent in making decisions and teach them to be responsible for themselves.