Would any parent get into bad parenting? No! Well, that is what it appears to be apparently but in effect, parents are getting more and more involved into bad parenting.
As a parent each one of us is extremely ambitious to give the society a well mannered, well educated individual who will make a good name for himself as well as for his parents. Most importantly the struggle is to get a good name for ourselves. But do we at all in the first place think of how we were as children? Were our parents really as strict with us as we are now with our children?
In this struggle to make the child an ideal person in every sense, parents are committing a series of mistakes that are leaving an indelible mark in the tender minds. What are these mistakes that parents are continuously committing?
- Is your child lying to you in numerous instances?
If you have detected this recently, then ponder as to why he is doing so. Take some time out and retrospect. You must have overreacted to the mistakes that he has committed in the past. So, in order to avert your anger the child is choosing an easy way out…telling you lies and getting away with the situation. Now, you ascertain for yourself if it is to be encouraged or discouraged. What if you had been a bit patient to listen to your child and had reacted in another manner than scolding or beating your child? Your child would definitely not have taken to lying.
Overreaction will also lead to your child becoming extremely secretive with whatever is going on with him. Be composed, interact with the child, get down to their level and you can explore a new world with them altogether.
Are you advising too much to your child?
Parenting is definitely a tight rope walk. Too much of advice will also make the child develop poor self-esteem. The child does not feel good and confident about himself anymore. Ensure that you encourage them adequately; give a pat on their back for the good work done. Such small gestures will help keep their self-esteem intact. Words like ‘you can never do it right’, or ‘I knew you would fail’ will only reinforce their feelings of low self-esteem.
Allow them to make their choices
You are providing them with all they want and yet they are yearning for things that others have. This happens because you are not allowing them to make their choices. Do give them some space to decide what they want. True, children are inexperienced when compared to parents but when given a free hand to make choices; they will learn that in some cases, parents’ choices are to be adhered to. Anything learnt from experience remains for a longer time.
Do not make your child a coward
True, tough situations are always perplexing. But, do not help your child too quickly. For, next time a tough situation arises; he will come running for you. He has to learn the right way to tackle different kinds of obstacles that come in his path. Just provide them the reassurance that you are there for them, come what may. But, insist that they face the battle on their own. When you do this, you will be stopping your child from becoming a coward.
Do not compare your child with other children
Parents fall prey to this comparison syndrome either knowingly or unknowingly. The comparison may be between the siblings or with other children of his age group. We should bear in mind that each child is a unique child possessing unique capacities and capabilities. Consistent comparison with someone or the other will make the child develop jealousy which is not a healthy sign.
Parenting is of four types:
- Authoritarian: You are extremely demanding and at the same time show high levels of support, responsiveness and warmth.
- Authoritative: You are highly demanding and at the same time show low levels of support, responsiveness and warmth.
- Uninvolved: You are less demanding parents with low support, responsiveness and warmth.
- Permissive: You are less demanding parents with high support, responsiveness and warmth.
We must realize that Parenting is not yet another job but a commitment made for a lifetime. No doubts our hectic schedules and preoccupations make us fall prey to the habitual behavior but also remember to break the habits.
I have completed 30 years of teaching and research in psychology at the Department of Psychology and Parapsychology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.