5 Mistakes Parents Make with Their Kids
“Since my mother never let me eat chocolate, I buy my little girl a piece every day,” “My father would ground me if I didn’t study, so I’m going to let my son do what he wants in school.” Do these ring a bell?
There’s a multitude of books that tell you how to be the perfect or ideal parent; however, only perfect practice makes perfect, and in the real world it’s not so easy to execute that advice that seems so great.
In fact, surely you went through some kind of “injustice” when you were a child. It’s possible you also swore to never do the same to your children. Maybe you’re succeeding, but that doesn’t mean it’s doing them any good.
Did you know that half of the self-help books available in bookstores are about how to be a good parent? Apparently, the fear of making mistakes or repeating past mistakes is so strong that it dictates what adults are reading.
But beware and don’t confuse making mistakes with failing. After all, no one is born wise. One of the most frequent mistakes that parents make is keeping their children from “suffering” what they went through in their childhood. This happens because we tend to think negatively of those things when in reality our parents “were doing it for our own good.”
For example, if our mother didn’t let us eat chocolate every day, it wasn’t because she was evil. It was because that habit would have provoked cavities, obesity, and other issues. If our father asked us if we were doing well in school, it was because they couldn’t let us make a free-for-all of our studies.
According to studies, we not only inherit genetics from our parents, but also trauma and emotional characteristics, and it’s very possible that we’ll end up passing those down to the next generation as well. Aside from the usual expressions you heard when you were young and surely repeat to your children, it often happens that your children end up suffering the consequences of your childhood problems.
The Typical “Déjà vus” of Childhood
“Ask for it and it’s yours”
You feel guilty about leaving them all day to go to work, so you buy them anything they ask for, and agree to their whims, no matter what. Since you’re not there when they’re being raised, you feel like you should ‘cleanse’ yourself in some way. But how? Gifts.
“The teacher has it against him/her”
It used to be that when we came home with a bad grade, we were punished. But nowadays when this happens, parents run off to talk to the teacher and ask for explanations on why they’re disproving of their child. Don’t try to excuse the situation by thinking the teacher is against your child or that it’s not your child’s fault for not studying.
“Let them watch TV”
This is one of the ills of modern life that maybe our parents didn’t have to face as much because years ago there wasn’t as much programming, as many video games, social media pages, websites, etc.
You may have gotten mad at your parents once or twice because they sent you to your room to study without letting you watch TV. Now you let your kids sit in front of the screen for hours, since it also lightens the load of taking care of them.
“They know I love them”
It’s never a bad time to express your feelings to your loved ones. When they’re babies it’s easier to tell them they’re the light of your life and that you love them, etc., but as time goes by, that habit disappears.
When they reach adolescence, for example, kids ask their parents to stop being so effusive because it embarrasses them. Inspite of this, it’s important that you keep on expressing your love.
“They only understand when I punish them”
Grounding our children may be a quick way to get your child to not repeat whatever he did wrong. But… how long does that lesson last?
If they know that a few days later you’ll forget about the whole thing and let them do what they want, your word isn’t going to mean much to them.