By Victor Ochieng
Parenting is no mean feat. In fact, a pretty good number of parents just rely on how they were brought up as the benchmark for their parenting role. There is clearly no single right way of doing it, leaving so many parents to juggle things up.
What admittedly cuts across is that every parent wants the best for their children. That’s why it’s important to share some parenting tips and highlight some boundaries every parent should observe. This is to help us avoid mistakes that are likely to leave unwanted indelible marks in the lives of our young ones.
Below are some errors parents should avoid;
Failure to provide a supportive environment for the child – Some parents opt for tough love as a way to make their children independent. While this works just for that, independence, it often ends up raising a loner with serious commitment challenges. Every parent must understand that every child needs a fallback. Yes, when things go wrong for them, they should be sure that there is someone who loves them unconditionally; someone they can explain themselves to and give them a listening ear.
Over Criticizing the Child – It’s not wrong to criticize your child, but doing so on almost everything they do is demoralizing and eats away at their personal confidence. Everyone, but more so children, learn from mistakes.
Harmful Jokes – This is closely linked to being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Such a parent is likely to make some jokes about the child, thinking the child would take it as nothing but a joke yet it ends up hurting their pride and personality. Yes, you can destroy your child even with a not so well thought out joke delivered with a smile.
Stopping them from self-expression – Whether emotionally or verbally, children should be allowed to openly express themselves without fear of retribution, as long as their parents have served as good examples. When a child wants to cry, don’t stop them with phrases like “boys don’t cry” as that’s likely to train them to hold back their emotions in future. The result could be life-threatening.
Don’t be frightening – Parenting through principles isn’t a bad idea, but doing it in a manner that gets the child scared isn’t right. When a child makes a mistake, it shouldn’t automatically result in punishment. Children try so much to avoid parents who are so quick to punish them. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t punish your child, how and when you do it is what matters.
Forcing your dreams on your kid – If there are some things you wanted to do as a kid but didn’t do, don’t try to accomplish them through your child. They have their lives to live. Don’t force your child into, for example, doing law simply because you dreamed of being an attorney but failed.
Failing to acknowledge your mistakes – When we correct our children when they make mistakes yet fail to own up our own mistakes, they may feel they’re the only ones who err. As a parent, therefore, you must own up whenever you make a mistake, whether to your partner or child and say sorry. It’s quite powerful and equally humbling when you say sorry to your child when you wrong them.
Buying love from them – As a parent, your child shouldn’t love you because you bribe them through money and gifts. Let your children know you love them unconditionally and let them also love you because you’re a good and a caring parent. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t gift your children; no; it basically means it shouldn’t be your primary way of bringing them closer to you.
Respecting boundaries – One of the things many parents fail to observe is boundaries. They trespass on their children’s privacy. Some just bust into their children’s rooms without even knocking. Then we have the parent that’s very strict about timeliness but are always late. How do you expect your child to learn if you cannot yourself keep time?