Parenting can be a minefield. Good intentions can go wrong and you could end up with a wedge driven between you and your child which will fuel frustration, emotional baggage and bitterness in both of you.
But what’s worse is that in extreme cases you could scar your little one and trigger some serious personality disorders in him/her. Here’s a look at some innocuous mistakes parents make which could have a far-reaching impact on a child.
1. Helicopter Parents Micromanaging Their Kids
These parents have their child’s interests at heart but insist on overseeing and managing every aspect of the child’s life in a bid to drive them to the zenith of perfection. As a result, their children grow a little too reliant on their guidance. This affects their independent decision-making faculty. They grow up with a shortfall of confidence and the ability of self-governance.
Instead, teach your children to be self-reliant, let them make their own decisions. Don’t hover!
2. Too Many Choices
Spoiling your kid for choice is unwise. Children feel overwhelmed. Don’t decide for them, but give them just about the right number of choices so that they do not feel like you are being dictatorial yet do not feel swamped either.
3. Buckling to their Demands
One of the commonest and most damaging mistakes that a parent can make is to pander to their child’s every whim. This makes children think they will have the upper hand in all relationships, they will recoil from hard work, become irresponsible, moody and very likely grow up to become bullies.
The way out is to be a firm but gentle parent and enforce some discipline.
4. Being Abusive or A Poor Role Model
Parenting can be supremely taxing, but some handle the pressure by venting out their anger on their children. They scream at the children, punish them harshly or intimidate them.
It doesn’t end there, parents bicker in front of their children, use hurtful language or expletives without realising the effect it has on a young mind. And unconsciously, adults often do those very things that they had expressly forbidden their children from doing and set a bad precedent.
Instead, lead by example. You have to be the kind of person that you want your child to become. Children naturally look up to their parents turn to their parents for guidance. They will mimic your positive traits. And never fight in front of your children, it sets in motion a vicious cycle of toxicity.
5. Comparing One Child to Another
Nothing could hurt and emotionally cripple your child more than being compared to a sibling or another child. And yet many parents compulsively do just that. Comparing or constant hectoring will dent your child’s self-esteem and make them lose faith in their own abilities. Moreover, your actions could foster anger, misunderstanding and rage and close all lines of communication between you and your child.
Parents don’t do this advertently, but it is sometimes the inevitable fallout of our busy schedules. Parents get caught up in their work, and even when they are home, they are some times too pre-occupied with grown-up worries to pay much attention to their child’s seemingly banal angst or complaints. This creates a divide between parents and children because they like to feel that they have a safe harbour in their parents. Emotional neglect could prompt behavioural and mood problems in your child.
This issue can be sidetracked easily if you simply listen to what your child has to say. Remember, with incident rates of child sexual abuse on the rise, not paying attention to what your child is trying to convey to you could have a dreadful consequence on your little one.
There is no such thing as the perfect parent. But there are some terrible mistakes that parents make that are best avoided if you want your child to blossom into a happy healthy human being.