No matter how perfect we try to be, we are all human, and thus, we unknowingly make mistakes all the time, especially as parents. Parenting is a complex job, and the more time moves forward, the more we are realizing how much we have had wrong all this time.
So many things that were once thought to be parenting wisdom are now parenting no-nos, not because people want to ‘coddle’ their kids these days, but because we are realizing how easy it is to destroy our children’s mental health without even meaning to. The thing is, if you are open to the fact that your techniques aren’t necessarily perfect and that you do errors and make mistakes, you can make the steps to change and be better for your child. We are all learning as a collective, and the important part is being open to learning.
Here are 6 common mistakes parents unknowingly make that impact their children later in life.
1. Being hyper-critical when your child makes a mistake.
Kids are going to make mistakes, much like us, because they are human. In this context, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck can be particularly helpful. This book offers insights into fostering a growth mindset in children, teaching them to view mistakes as opportunities for growth rather than failures.
2. Using shame, shunning, or threats.
As a parent, your love should be unconditional. To navigate the complexities of parenting without resorting to these tactics, “The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection” by Brené Brown is an invaluable resource, offering guidance on nurturing your child’s sense of worthiness and belonging.
3. Being a helicopter parent.
Have you ever seen a parent that is always standing over their kid, never allowing them to fall or do anything that the parent isn’t there to participate in or witness? These hovering parents are called helicopter parents, and if you are one, experts around the world would encourage you to take a step back. Studies have shown that helicopter parents ultimately make their children dependent on them (long term) and additionally, end up with more anxious kids.
4. Minimize your child’s feelings.
To better acknowledge and validate children’s emotions, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish offers practical and compassionate communication techniques, helping parents connect with their children emotionally.
5. Always saving them from failure.
It might be tempting to jump in and save your child every time they are about to fail or make a mistake. But, when you do so, you are robbing them of a valuable opportunity to learn. So, instead, if the mistake isn’t life-threatening, allow them to make it and learn from it.
6. Too much teasing.
To understand the fine line between playful teasing and potentially hurtful behavior, “Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish is a great resource. It provides insights into fostering healthy relationships and the appropriate use of humor within the family.