Five Common Misconceptions Parents Have about Raising Children
No two children are alike in terms of behavior, attitude, and thoughts. This is why raising children is quite complex. Discover some common parenting misconceptions here!
Raising children isn’t an easy task. One thing parents must always bear in mind is that every child is different – no two children are ever the same in terms of behavior, attitude, and thoughts. Children come into the world as a blank canvases.
More often than not, parents tend to have preconceived ideas about how they must act. Before their child is born, they seem to think they know everything about parenting and that they’ll do a perfect job if they follow the rules they find in parenting books. Something many parents don’t realize is that as their children grow and learn, they learn along with them. Being a parent means constantly learning and discovering more about yourself.
That being said, parents aren’t exempt from making mistakes. As their child grows, they continue to learn the best way to parent them. This means that learning from their mistakes is essential if they want to raise their children right. Up next, we’ll be mentioning some misconceptions regarding raising children.
“Parents are never wrong!”
This misconception is actually quite old-school. Most adults have heard this from their parents at least once. According to this misconception, parents are examples for their children. Now, we’re not saying this isn’t true. However, being an example doesn’t mean being perfect. Making mistakes is human and parents aren’t exempt from this. It’s important to leave this misconception behind since it puts huge pressure on children.
Think about this: if you believe your parenting skills are perfect, that you rarely ever make mistakes, and want your child to be just like you, how would you feel if you saw that your child wasn’t as ‘perfect’ as you? Do you think the pressure you’re putting on them is healthy? It isn’t because it can stress them out.
Furthermore, experts are completely aware of the fact that parents make mistakes all the time. However, they don’t reprimand them for this because it’s completely normal. On the contrary, they believe mistakes are perfect learning opportunities.
“Don’t say ‘no’ to your child, it’ll frustrate them!”
Some parents believe that saying ‘no’ to their child is a bad idea and that, instead, they should always give them what they want to keep them happy. However, frustration is a normal part of life. Does this mean that you should purposely frustrate your children? No. Things aren’t either black or white, there are nuances to everything, especially to parenting and raising children. Thus, you shouldn’t say ‘yes’ to everything nor deny the child’s wishes just because.
If your child has a tantrum, giving them what they want so that they’ll stop crying is not the solution. It’s quite the opposite, actually. A firm response and inviting your child to reconsider their attitude usually yields better results. Just remember to be patient with them. In the end, they’re just kids.
We know it isn’t always easy to do this. Sometimes it’s quite difficult to be patient, especially when their behavior is inappropriate. However, over time, you’ll start seeing positive results. On one end, this improves children’s behavior and attitude. On the other, it teaches parents to stand firm in their convictions.
“I know exactly what my child needs”: A common misconception about raising children
This is another common misconception about raising children. It goes hand in hand with the first one we mentioned. Answer this: is it actually possible to know every single thing children want? Are we so empathetic that we’re able to enter their mind and know exactly what they need and wish for?
Parents who believe this tend to fall into authoritarian attitudes. As a consequence, they ignore their child’s ideas and needs. What if the tables were turned? I bet you wouldn’t like it if people didn’t listen, value, nor understand you. So why would you act that way toward your child?
Parents shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that they know what their children need better than they do. One of our duties as parents is to listen to their needs and try to meet them as long as they’re within our possibilities.
“My child is going to LOVE this activity!”
It’s crazy how common this misconception is. A lot (if not most) of the time, parents want their children to like the same things they do. Even worse, they make them participate in activities they don’t like so they can achieve things they weren’t able to. For example, if we like football, we might insist that they practice it. We want them to be painters, writers, actors, athletes, musicians… Instead, we should just ask them what they’re interested in.
Maybe your child doesn’t have the same desires as you. There’s nothing wrong with that, nor in encouraging them to try things out and see if they like them. Some children do have the same interests as their parents! However, the mistake is making them do activities they don’t enjoy simply because we want to. We all want to do things that make us happy, and children aren’t the exception!
“We’re the parents, so we have the power.”
This is another erroneous belief about raising children that a lot of parents have. In many cases, arguments end with phrases such as “Because I said so!” or “You’ll do it because you live in my house!” Can you imagine the powerlessness and frustration that this produces in children? Have you ever tried to put yourself in their place?
Imagine how frustrated you’d feel if your boss gave you those kinds of responses. Your children feel the same way. Remember that even though you’re the parent, they should also have some independence and leadership. Parents do have more experience and always want what’s best for their children. However, you should also take your child’s opinions into account. This will encourage them to trust and rely in you.
The truth is that, no matter how difficult it may be, you have to try to argue with your children as calmly as possible. Coming to an agreement with your child will always be better than resorting to corporal punishment or anger.
This article is meant to be a guideline for parents. However, we don’t expect them to follow every rule every step of the way. If these common misconceptions don’t ring a bell, perhaps you should experiment with them and see the results for yourself. It’s important to be aware of the way your children react to stimuli so that you learn what’s best for them.