Sometimes, it is possible that the things parents perceive as good may not be the best for their child. They have to take into consideration the long term effects of their actions. Here are few common mistakes that parents make while trying to be a good parent.
Being Over Possessive
Does your child play with friends that you have hand-picked? Do you ground him when he comes home late? Do you keep tabs on every event in his social life? Some parents tend to do these things to ensure the safety of their child. After all, it is a dangerous world out there with many risks to young children. Over possessive parents have the best intentions at heart when they limit the freedom of their child, but it may not necessarily have the desired effects.
Parents must realize that by restricting a child's movements, they are also limiting his growth as an individual. Protecting a child all the time can lead to him becoming dependent. Not letting him take decisions by himself will also lead to him being unsure of his judgement.
Taking away a child's privacy can have far more negative effects than positive ones. Therefore, parents must learn to let their child have his freedom. However, to ensure he does not face difficulties, parents must educate him about life and the many obstacles that he could face. It is best for parents to have an open relationship with their child so that he can speak to them freely about his issues.
Pushing Children to Perform
The world has become a very competitive place for children today. Fields like academics, sports, talent contests, etc. require the child to perform extremely well. It becomes a parent's duty to encourage his child and push him to doing well so that he can get an early start in life.
But pushing children is a good thing only when done in moderation. When parents get overzealous about their child's competition, it can have hazardous effects on the child. News of children committing suicide after bad results appears frequently. While children do require gentle encouragement, parents must realize that insisting on excellent results can put a lot of stress on the child.
Parents should reassure their children that scoring highly or winning is not everything. It is important that a child does not feel like a failure if he fails or does not clear an exam or competition. As a parent, it is vital to make the child feel secure about himself. And the best way to do this is by not pushing your child too hard.
Over Indulging a Child
Some parents love to pamper their children. They frequently buy their children toys, new clothes, and plenty of chocolates and sweets. Shopping trips often include a lot of unplanned purchases for the child. And parents ensure that their child's room is filled with the latest gadgets, accessories and toys.
A parent's spending habits are often inherited by the child. If parents tend to give in to their child's demands easily, it is likely that the child will not be responsible with his money either. It is observed that a child, whose demands are met immediately, tends to be just as demanding at a later age as well.
To avoid this, parents must teach their child about the importance of money. A child must be taught to evaluate his needs and compare them against the costs of the same. For example, telling a child that he must get good results in his exams to earn a new toy, teaches him both the importance of hard work and the value of money. Giving in to a child's demands immediately makes him ignorant to the value of things. Being responsible with money is one of the best lessons parents can teach their child.
Improper Behaviour In Front of Children
Some parents introduce their children to their own social life very early, by taking their children along for events and parties. They prefer to party as a family unit, as parents like to have their children around when they have fun. Parents may indulge in an occasional drink or smoke at such get-togethers. Alcohol has almost become a norm at parties today.
Drinking, or even smoking, in front of children is not advisable at all. When a child sees his parents drinking or smoking, he feels that it is okay to drink and smoke as well. Though the parent may be responsible with it, a young child cannot be just as responsible with drinking or smoking. Though the child is eventually exposed to these bad habits in his teenage years, it is important that you teach your child about the ill effects of drinking and smoking.
Here are some more tips on how to be a good parent:
1) Do not use violence in front of children. If they see adults behave in a violent manner, they too feel that it is okay to use violence.
2) Do not use foul language in front of children. Children are quick to learn and remember foul words, and it is possible that they may use the same words in the future.
3) Always explain yourself, when you ask them to do something. Saying "Because I said so!" to your children makes them think you are being stubborn, which will encourage them to behave in the same manner. For example, when you want them to turn off the TV and sleep, explain that sleeping late will make them late for school and not getting enough sleep can make the next day difficult.
4) Be patient with children. Assuming that the child is being disinterested in the activity and not grasping the subject can make you very impatient. Always explain to the child slowly how it works. If he does not seem to learn, keep the activity for another time. Alternatively, try and generate interest in the activity.
5) Some parents do not pay attention when their children display a lack of civic sense in public. They do not say anything when their child bullies another, throws garbage on the streets, breaks a queue, behaves irresponsibly, etc. This is not very advisable as it could have negative effects over the years, on both the child and the environment. Teaching a child civic sense is vital, especially in a country like India where it is severely lacking.
As a parent, you have to be a role model to your child and it is no easy task. But as long as you genuinely wish the best for your child, you can avoid being a bad parent!