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Parenting isn’t always the easiest job in the world…
There is no perfect way to raise up a child and as long as you are always there for your kids while they are growing up, you are definitely a great parent. Having to raise kids for about two decades until they are old enough to assume responsibility for their own lives and choices is no easy task.
There is no clear cut route to perfect parenting and every parent shouldn’t worry so much about ‘trying’ to be a great parent. Parenting is already difficult as it is to allow anyone to teach you how to do your job. Every parent that is there for their kids deserves a pat in the back for a job well done.
Parenting involves being affectionate, compassionate, patient and kind to your kids while trying to instil in them core moral values that will live with them for the rest of their lives when they finally become adults.
Every parent wants the best for their kids and as such would do everything within their power to make that happen.
Not to be overly religious, but the Holy Bible says to train a child in the way that is appropriate for him, and when he becomes older, he will not turn from it. That is what every parent should bear in mind when raising kids. That in the long run, the way you treat your kids as they grow older will ultimately determine how they turn out later on.
This shows that just being there for your kids in their early life as they mature into adults isn’t always enough. You need to train them the right way. That’s what ultimately matters in parenting. Here are just a few ground rules to put in mind when raising your kids;
1. Expecting perfection from your kids
This is the first thing you should always have at the back of your mind as a parent. Just as you shouldn’t expect to be a perfect parent, don’t also expect perfection on the part of your kids. Kids will always make mistakes. They will always get things wrong sometimes. In fact, they might get more things wrong than right, and so you shouldn’t see it as a failure on your part.
No matter the effort you put in, one of your kids might lie more often than usual, he might have low self-esteem, and he might not be as academically sound like the others. It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself over it. As parents, there is only so much we can do. One thing you should have at the back of your mind is that different kids will respond differently to whatever training you instil in them.
Kids are in their early stages of life, and as such, every experience for them is a reason to learn.
For them to get the necessary experience needed to navigate through adulthood, they need to also make mistakes. Plenty of mistakes to be exact.
Experience is the best teacher they say, and this universal rule also applies to kids. Giving them a bunch of dos and don’ts about what is wrong and right will not always make them learn. Most times it is in experiencing things and finding out the consequences of their actions first hand do they ever truly learn. A person who makes few mistakes makes little progress, says the author, Bryant McGill. So have this in mind and embrace mistakes every day because inside every mistake is the true lesson really learnt.
2 No rules in your home
According to a popular quote, “a city without rules is a city without sin” and by not setting some ground rules that your kids ought to follow means they can do whatever they like, even if they are wrong without anyone questioning them.
There can never be two captains on a ship, so leaving your home free from rules for your children is like having a ship with two captains which is generally just leaving room for disaster.
If your child is the master of his own will or actions, that means you are not doing a really great job as a parent.
Making rules at home is a way of creating a stable and healthy environment for your kids to grow up in. Giving your kids rules to follow is not about restricting them, but rather helping shape them into better people because at their tender age, they are still trying to discern between what is good and what is bad. It is in making rules for them that they know what they ought not to do or do.
It could be laying down simple rules like when to go to bed or when to turn off all electronic devices.
When a child grows up without boundaries the child tends to find it difficult to adjust in situations outside the house where they have to follow rules.
3. Lifting your hands
Children are very sensitive. Just a single mistake from their parent’s side can cause detest, fear or even hatred.
Lifting your hands at your child can make him distance himself away from you, which will, in turn, reduce child-parent relationships and create a big gap.
More so, children subjected to physical punishment always show a high tendency of having psychologically related health problems as they grow older.
Lifting your hands on your kids can have a negative impact on them, especially after they have already owned up to their mistakes. When you lift your hand on your kids it makes then scared to tell you the truth the next time something happens. This makes them dishonest in most of their dealings with you.
Lifting your hands on your kid continuously has a vast psychological impact on your child.
It shrinks their dignity and makes them less confident. It brings about major scars in them that follows them into adulthood and affects how they view the world around them in general.
4. Depriving your kids of your time
When it comes to parenting, your kids need more than just money and all the beautiful gifts in the world. What your kid needs from you are your time and attention.
Depriving the kids of your time and attention can impact negatively on the life of your child. Your kids need you to spend time with them.
They don’t want you to simply buy them stuff or think that giving them money is the most important thing for them. Ignoring your children and not bothering to know what they are doing and leaving them to fall into dangerous situations can lead to their own destruction.
Due to their quest for quality attention, kids sometimes fall into the wrong crowd. Sometimes due to lack of attention, these kids feel worthless and look for attention anywhere they can find it and this sometimes leads to them being taken advantage of.
Neglect can also be harmful to their mental health and hinder their social growth. It can even leave psychological scars on them.
If you are guilty of not spending quality time with your children, then you need to start doing your best to spend more time with them.
As a parent, it is natural for you to be overprotective. But at the same time, you shouldn’t overdo it. When you are overprotective, it can have a rather negative effect and strain your relationship with your kid.
Trying to be overprotective with your kids or trying to wrap them in a bubble is doing more harm than good, especially when most times these harms you are trying to protect them from are just a figment of your imagination.
This tends to make the child scared of taking risks, making new friends or basically trying out new adventures.
Doing this consistently will cause a lot of damage between you and your child without you even knowing.
We know that there are a lot of hazards out there, but you can’t protect them from it all and sometimes they need to have their own life experiences and face these situations head-on so that they can learn and become better persons in life.
6. Comparing your kids to other people
It is common for parents to criticize their kids because they mean well for them, but during the course of these criticism parents sometimes compare their kids with other kids seemingly doing better than them and asking them to behave like the other kids in their peer group.
Comparing your kids with other others tend to send the wrong message to them and lowers their self-esteem, making them have confidence issues. Asking your kids to emulate their peers, behave like them or even act like them is not helping the child rather it harms the child physiologically.
It a common factor for all kids to behave differently and adjust in different situations in different ways.
So asking them to behave like their peers instead of encouraging them to be who they want to be is a sure sign that you are raising the child wrong.
7. Not leading by example
It’s necessary for every parent to lead by example. In a parent-child relationship, it ought to be a blend of do-as-I-say and do-as-I-do.
Whether we like it or not, our actions have an influence on our kids. They look up to us and emulate us both in our absence and presence.
As a parent, whatever action you take, your kids are watching you closely. More closely than you would care to imagine. So it is extremely common for little kids to pick up whatever they see you do or say. So sometimes before you criticize your kids you might just want to think about were they learned whatever they are doing or saying from.
So it is necessary for us to do the right thing around them. As a parent who smokes around the house, for example, there is a high tendency that your child would experiment with smoking as he or she grows older just by watching you do it.
Just giving out commands to our kids is never enough and so we must endeavour to lead by example if we hope to raise great kids.
8. Verbal abuse
Verbal abuse is when you forcefully criticize, insult or denounce another person. Most parents have formed the habit of verbally abusing their children without realizing the sort of psychological damage they are inflicting on the child.
Most parents tend to vent their frustration on their children, without realizing the effect they are having on these kids.
When you verbally abuse your kids you are causing them lifelong behavioural and psychological problems, this may even cause children who were verbally abused to struggle with poor physical and mental health issues.
They are other unseen symptoms that these kids suffer from like depression, anxiety or high-risk behaviours such as casual sex and other unhealthy behaviours.
Kids that are verbally abused tend to have low self-esteem issues and they lose confidence and have inferiority issues among their peers.
Tongue lashing might be necessary sometimes to scold your kids but when it becomes too much it might backfire thereby causing a negative impact on your kids.
9. Living your old dreams through your kids
Most parents try to make important life decisions for their kids instead of allowing the kids to decide for themselves because they feel they always know what is best for their kids.
Most parents see their kids as an opportunity to accomplish the life they wanted but could not succeed in having.
This makes life a whole lot difficult for the child. It puts the child at a crossroads, placing the child between their dreams and that of their parents.
They try to force their kids into accepting goals or career choices they do not want. They try to leave the life they wanted but could not have through their kids.
For instance, a mom or dad who wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer but due to circumstances could not, end up forcing their children into living that life for them. They do this without caring about the emotional and physiological effect they are having on that child.
Sometimes when parents force their kids into making such choices, the child ends up bitter and may not excel in that chosen path or even if the child does end up excelling, the child might not find fulfilment and satisfaction from there.
10. Not saying no to your kids
As a parent, you might think it’s best to give your kids everything they ask for even when they do not need it. It might feel like the right thing to do, but it’s absolutely not. In doing this, you are spoiling the child and not making the child feel self-dependent.
Most parents give their kids everything they want to make up for the lack of attention.
They try to use the money to compensate for lack of attention so when the child requests for any sort of material thing it is given to them to ease the parent’s guilt of not being there for their child.
Sometimes you should learn to say no to your child. When your child asks for something you should be able to tell the child no and not feel bad about it. Most kids need to learn to understand the value of working for things and not just having everything handed to them on a platter.
11. Denying them the chance to be self-reliant
Most rich parents often have the habit of assigning nannies or maids for their children even when they are old enough to do things on their own. The nannies end up doing partially everything for the kids. This is not a healthy habit for parents to adopt.
Kids who grow up this way most times end up being spoilt and lazy and find it difficult to cope in the outside world without the help of mummy and daddy.
Your kids should learn to be independent at an early stage. They should be able to make their beds when they wake up, clean their rooms, do the dishes and so much more. They shouldn’t have to rely on someone else to get the job done.
Most times kids need to be accountable for themselves and when you over pamper your kids you are denying them the opportunity to be reliant on themselves in the future.
It’s your duty to help them prepare for the future by helping them remain self-reliant because they won’t be stuck in the comfort of their homes forever.
Studies show that children with bad negative attitudes from home have a higher susceptibility to depression and some of these actions that lead to depression may include a low level of emotional support.
Most bad parenting may not be intentionally done, but this does not reduce the negative impact on the child.
Like I stated earlier, there is no perfect way to raise a kid. As long as your kid is happy and morally brought up right then you are good to go. You shouldn’t see your self as a bad parent because you feel you aren’t doing things right. Just do your best and try to impact positively on your child and be there for them every step of the way.