Make no mistake. The only reason I can blog about BIG mistakes in parenting is because I’ve made them.
And the sad thing is, I didn’t always realize it until it was too late. Now that my kids are older and I have two grandsons, I find myself with a different perspective. So, I’d like to share a few of my blunders, in hopes of saving you some trouble down the road.
(By the way, you are a great Mommy, mistakes and all!)
#1 Step in and do it for them
Junior gets easily frustrated with his building blocks so you build it for him. This is one BIG mistake you don’t want to make. Letting kids figure things out while giving help when really needed, is crucial to developing patience and perseverance. These are character qualities that will be needed in school, jobs and relationships. By always rushing to ‘rescue’ your child, you may be setting him up for a lot of frustration and lack of follow-through.
#2 Reward poor behavior
Sally throws a fit because she doesn’t want to go to Kindergarten so you take her out for a donut. This is a sticky situation-literally! She may need some ‘Mommy’ time and it’s fine to make an exception occasionally. But my suggestion is to surprise her unexpectedly with a day off from school so that she isn’t using tantrums to get her way. A better option might be to reward her by taking her for ice cream after she’s gone to school without incident.
#3 Control Everything
Follow your kids around and micromanage every single thing they do. Sounds like good parenting, right? Wrong. Being on your child’s case for every little thing will breed anger and resentment. Kids need some breathing room just like adults. Especially in instances when they are just being kids, let them make a mess or be silly. Loosen the reins just enough to give them some wiggle room.
#4 Make them think they can’t do anything right
Ouch. This one is a doozy. Please, moms, take a deep breath and realize your kiddos will do things differently than you. They need us to be their biggest cheerleader in life! I’m not suggesting we overlook poor behavior, but we need to encourage them often. Bite your tongue when you are tempted to criticize and instead, offer helpful advice.
What mistakes have you made that you didn’t even realize you were making?
I am sure the wonderful things you do for your children far outweigh the bad. You are loving and nurturing and truly want the best for them. Just take a few minutes to re-evaluate what changes you can make. And always encourage other moms with the lessons you’ve learned!
Here is a comprehensive list of parenting books to consider. My favorites are Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman and The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. http://www.christianbook.com/page/bestselling-christian-resources/parenting-bestsellers
The best way to avoid making unnecessary mistakes is to learn from others who’ve been through it. What lessons have you learned?
Be sure to leave a comment for the rest of us!