Everybody makes mistakes, but it’s far worse if you don’t even know that you’re committing them. Here are 3 parenting mistakes you could be making without being aware of it. Here’s what not to do while parenting in this digital age.
The world’s most difficult job
Parenting is arguably one of the most challenging jobs that we will ever have to go through. We can’t clock out when it strikes 5 in the evening, and it’s basically 24/7. Parenting is a lifelong commitment – we don’t retire from parenthood when we hit 60 years old, it continues even until we’re old and gray.
No matter how much time has elapsed, we’re bound to make some blunders on our journey as parents. While it’s acceptable to make mistakes, it’s important we’re aware of them too. On some occasions, we could be committing some dire mistakes that we are completely unaware of. Here are 3 parenting mistakes we might unknowingly be committing:
1. Giving in
We all strive to give our children the best and to make them happy. We would do anything to put a smile on their faces. However, there’s a difference between making them happy and spoiling them. When your little one asks for a new game or stuffed toy, it might pain your heart to say no to that cute little smile.
But giving in to them all the time may actually harm them more than help them – it can breed a sense of entitlement in your little one and they might grow up being unable to face rejection. According to psychologist Dr. Kindlon, when we give in to kids too much, it could lead to consequences like pride and greed. We wouldn’t want our little ones to grow up like that, so it’s important we stand firm when and say no when we have to.
2. Fighting their battles
There comes a point where your child will be faced with a battle of his/her own. It could be a little tiff at the playground when your child’s friend didn’t let them ride the swing, or the time when someone at school didn’t want to share biscuits with your little one.
While we would never want to see our child get hurt or feel upset, we need to let our children slay their own dragons. While it’s alright to offer them a hand of support, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on, you should not intervene in their battles. Getting involved in every minor conflict can harm your children’s development in the long run as this may breed a sense of over-dependency. Allowing them to fight their own battles also helps to boost their self-esteem and communicate with their peers to resolve conflicts.
Unless the situation has gone code red and someone has been actively bullying your child, it’s best to trust your child to handle the situation on their own.
3. Letting technology get in the way
As a working parent, you might be swamped with a dozen and one emails to attend to and this may spill over to your time at home. And as much as we want to remain productive and make that appointment that’s been sitting on your to-do list for so long, it’s also important to know when to stop. Set that phone aside and spend time with your little one once you return home from work. Neglecting them for your devices and forgetting to spend time with them can harm their social and emotional development. This could lead to emotional disorders later on in life and may manifest in loneliness and anger.
The same goes for your little one! If your child is spending excessive amounts of time staring at the screen, ask them kindly to set the phone aside to spend some quality time together. Otherwise, the planoApp can help remind them to take device breaks every 30 minutes. You can even use it to schedule device-free periods on their phone so you won’t miss out on that quality time your family deserves.
The perfect parent doesn’t exist
There isn’t a one-size fits all answer when it comes to parenting models. Just as each child is different, each parent is different as well. However, it’s also necessary that we are made aware of our pitfalls and correct them. At the end of the day, our children don’t need the perfect parent, they need a parent who’s always there for them, who supports them, and loves them unconditionally.