Parenting is not easy, and it is sometimes difficult to know what to do in every situation. Although many parenting books are available, unfortunately, no comprehensive parenting guidebook is available that covers every circumstance or challenge. Parenting is a learning process, and you will inevitably make mistakes. However, there are a few common mistakes that can be avoided.
Kids chatter on, and many times, aren’t talking about anything particularly important. This is especially true when they are young, such as when they attend Ermington Preschool. However, they want to be heard when they express their feelings and thoughts. As a parent, you may tend to filter your children’s chatter, either ignoring them completely or only giving noncommittal or mmhmm-type responses. However, children feel valued and gain confidence when you listen to them. This is especially important if they are going through a challenge or something is really on their minds.
Also, avoid listening until you know the problem and then trying to fix it. Don’t criticise them or try to teach them a lesson either. Just listen, acknowledge their challenge and feelings and allow them to talk so they can process how they feel.
Listening builds trust and respect, and when you listen to the small things, your children will trust you with the bigger things. As they grow, they will remember how you listened and will continue to share important events, decisions and feelings with you. This will be especially important as they grow into teenagers and are faced with much more difficult challenges and decisions.
Your children are unique. They have very different strengths and weaknesses. Their personalities and feelings are also very different. They are different from other children as well. However, comparing them to other children, whether they are siblings or children outside the family, is harmful. Don’t compare your children’s grades to their classmates or their behaviour to that of your friends’ children.
Comparisons damage your children’s self-confidence. They can feel demeaned and unworthy, which impacts how they perform in the future. Instead of comparing your children to others, acknowledge the problem and work with them to fix it. If they are struggling in math, they know it and are probably just as frustrated as you are. Therefore, sit with them to find out where they are struggling and then help them or get them help.
Restricting Their Exploration
Just like you, your children are curious. As they grow and learn, they like to explore new things and places. They are always learning. As a child, play is how children learn, and their bruises and bumps teach them about the world and themselves. You cannot protect your children from everything, and you shouldn’t try. Yes, teach them lessons you learned as you grew, but let them explore and learn on their own as well. Then, they will be willing to try new things as they grow.
Tell Them to Do Something You Don’t Do
You have probably heard the saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” However, as a parent, you need to practice what you preach. Your children learn significantly more from your actions than they do from your words. You are your children’s role model. They look up to you and want to imitate you. The way you teach them to make wise choices or do the right things is by making the right choices and doing the right things. So, eat the right foods; avoid things that damage your health, such as smoking and drinking in excess; and treat others with respect and kindness. Your children will follow your example.
You will face many challenges and make many mistakes as a parent, but you can avoid those mistakes that many parents regret the most. Be conscientious about your actions and how they affect your child and be the person you want them to become.