Who said being a parent was easy??
Let’s face it – parenting is hard work and takes many a cup of coffee to get through any given day! Anyone who is not a parent will probably scoff at the thought that being a parent is tough. Little do they know that there are so many pitfalls which new parents can fall into, that it is just not funny! In this blog I will discuss 3 of the possible pitfalls and follow up in each of the next two blogs with another 3 mistakes for you to try and avoid when you become a parent. Hopefully, by being aware of a few of these parenting mistakes you may avoid making them!
So now it’s time to dive into the first three of those pitfalls
1: The Question of Discipline
Many occasions will arise when you are just too tired, too embarrassed or just feel that you are always nagging your child. So you choose to let that particular moment pass without discipline. You want peace and harmony, not a power struggle, especially if you are in the middle of a supermarket! But it is a big mistake not to correct whatever mischief/temper tantrum your little one is exhibiting as the lack of discipline will backfire in the long run. Your child will get the impression that they are running the show. If your child doesn’t hear your “no” they soon pick up that if they push hard enough, they will get what they want. If you shrink from disciplining him or her, you will only end up with headaches later and it does your child no favour either. Stick to your guns, be firm but compassionate, in the way you discipline and above all, be consistent in your manner of discipline.
2: Controlling parents
This goes hand in hand with the discipline conundrum. Whilst you want to be consistent with discipline, it can be all too easy to head off into the world of control. If you land up in that world it will lead to them acting out later on as in order to shake off that “control” from the parent, the child will eventually rebel. When a child is small, he or she will probably have no option but to submit to the parent’s control and this makes it so much easier for the parent. But the child misses out on making his or her own decisions by submitting to the controlling parent. So trying to force your child to eat ALL the food on his or her plate or fall asleep at a certain hour, to name two examples, will only end in frustration on your part and out of control behaviour from your child.
3: Negative labels
Giving your child a negative label may be one of the worst mistakes a parent might make. Your child could carry that label for the rest of his or her life. Most parents don’t realise that kids keep whatever they are told about themselves deep inside themselves and it becomes the voice they hear inside their head. For some, this lasts a lifetime.
It’s important that when your kid is doing something that is driving you up the wall, focus on the problem behaviour and not the actual child. For instance, if your child has made a total mess in their room instead of telling him or her that he/she is a messy person, rather say “it’s bathtime now but this room is so untidy – pack away all your toys and then you can have a lovely warm bath and play in the water” . This lets the child know what he/she can do to correct the situation without demeaning him/her as a person.
The opposite side of the coin is “positive” labelling. If you want to encourage certain behaviour it helps to give your child praise for that. For example, “you gave your teddy to the baby, you are such a kind person”. Don’t go overboard with positive labelling, but do give praise where it is deserved.
In this blog I have mentioned only 3 of the possible mistakes parents may make – there are many more to tell you about in the next 2 blogs. Hopefully, if you are aware of them and discuss with your partner how you are going to handle certain situations as they arise before you even have children it can make life when you do become a parent much easier and a total pleasure! Whatever you and your partner decide if you consistently stick to your decisions, then your child will grow up to be someone you are proud of.
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