Mistakes as a Parent
Being a parent is perhaps the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do in your life - but also one of the most difficult. We all inevitably make mistakes in raising our children, we’re only human after all. And what some might see as an error is completely acceptable to others. But can we learn from our mistakes and develop a stronger, healthier emotional bond with our kids? To help you identify your weak spots, we’ve rounded up some of the most common mistakes parents make.
Being a poor role model
One of the most important jobs you can do as a parent is to model good behaviour to your kids. But parents who act selfishly, burst into rages, act the victim or tell lies are showing their children how to act in the same way.
There’s no point in blaming your children for bad behaviour if they are simply mirroring how they’ve seen you behave. Only by identifying and correcting your weaknesses will you be able to prevent them from being repeated by the next generation.
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Criticising and comparing
It’s understandable, we all want our children to do their best but some parents make the mistake of criticising everything their children do. Rather than valuing their kids’ achievements, it seems that nothing is ever good enough for these perfectionists. They may also fall into the trap of comparing their child with others who appear to be doing better. Constant carping will quickly undermine your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
Children will internalise thoughtless criticism from a parent as a negative internal voice that can make them wary of tackling new challenges. If your child seems to be lacking confidence and social skills, Bach flowers mix 64 has been developed to help them avoid panicking in new situations and to deal with stress better.
Parents who are controlling tend to bully their children. Like a fearsome Victorian father, they try to get the best out of their children by directing and ordering them about and even by violence. Sadly, however, constant intimidation leaves children anxious, with low levels of confidence and often fearful of forming intimate relationships.
It’s far better to try and understand your child’s personality and adapt the demands you make on them accordingly. Bullying parents might seem to be getting their way, but their relationship with their child will suffer in the long run.
Not many parents think of themselves as neglectful but many are. Neglect isn’t always physical, emotional neglect can also be very damaging. If parents are too absorbed in their own lives and careers, they sometimes delegate their parental responsibilities to nannies, grandparents or even older siblings.
Naturally, these sources of childcare are indispensable to many families but parents must continue to make time for their children and provide them with emotional support, however busy they might be. Children who suffer emotional neglect often demonstrate attention-seeking behaviours. If this sounds familiar, spend more quality time with your child, sharing the moment and listening to them. You’ll soon reap the rewards.
We’ve all heard about the "helicopter parent" who has to manage every aspect of their child’s life and just can’t let go! Micromanaging parents are hardworking, dedicated people who want their children to do well but the problem here is that they just do too much. This means that however intelligent their children may be, they remain emotionally immature, lack motivation.
In some cases, children with parents who micromanage their lives may fail to ” fledge the nest”, remaining dependent on their parents even as adults. One of the most important parts of being a parent is to provide your child with the skills they need for their future life - and this means watching them make the occasional mistake!
Not setting boundaries
The secret to good parenting is to never forget that you are a parent! Children need to know where their limits are and it’s also essential to create some space for yourself within the family. Providing structure and clear boundaries will help your children to develop good judgment and avoid dangerous or risky behaviour.
While some parents don't provide clear enough boundaries, others are too rigid and inflexible. Getting the right balance will ensure that your children are prepared for the challenges they will meet as they branch out into their adult lives.
Ignoring learning difficulties
Some parents are quick to explain bad behaviour and failure to make progress at school as laziness and lack of motivation. Undiagnosed learning difficulties such as ADHD and dyslexia are often missed by parents and teachers alike and such conditions can make school a distressing and confidence-draining experience.
If you suspect your child might have an undiagnosed problem, seek professional advice as soon as possible. In the meantime, Bach Flower Mix 55 is formulated to help reduce hyperactivity, calm your child and boost their concentration at school.
Enabling (or “spoiling” as it used to be known) is perhaps one of the most catastrophic parenting mistakes. While their parents might mean well, a child whose every need has been met is unlikely to fare well in their relationships. They will probably have a significant sense of entitlement while tending to avoid hard work and new challenges.
Children with enabling parents seem to expect others to pander to their wishes while, strangely, also suffering from low self-esteem. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to encourage self-reliance in your child and allow them to develop a sense of responsibility for their actions.
Parenting is a rollercoaster of emotions, packed full of joy and despair, highs and lows. While it’s a useful exercise to reflect on your mistakes, let’s not forget that no parent is ever perfect. As long as you’re good enough, that’s all that matters!
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