Even if you think that some things are good for your child, they may turn out to be very damaging to their personality in the long run.
Parenting is like walking on a silken thread over a pit full of snakes. One wrong step and your child becomes the snake. But really, no matter what you do, there will always be someone that will say that you are doing things wrong.
However, being too ‘something’ of anything means that you are stepping on a forbidden terrain that will eventually turn your child into something you will not like them to become. You cannot be too strict, and you cannot be too lenient, and so on, and so forth.
So, how can you know when you are crossing the line? Here are 5 things many parents do and do not notice that they are in fact spoiling their children.
Stressing yourself over every of your child’s whims and wishes
Children have a very easy way of making their parents do everything they wish for – crying and tantrums. Many parents think that a child should never cry, and that they should always feel pleased; that they should always have it their way.
Still, you are forgetting that your job as a parent is not to be a wishing machine that will fulfill every of their demands. Since when does a child know how to grow into a complete individual?
As a parent, your job is to teach your child that unless things are necessary, they cannot always have what they want and they cannot always have it their way. If they do not like it, they can cry it out, but you should not spoil them by stressing over their crying.
Instead, explain to them that they cannot have it their way always and that if they want to cry, they can just tell you when they are finished. Parenting requires some soberness. It is not like your child is going to stop existing if they start crying.
Attributing misbehavior to their age (and justifying it!)
No! If it is just a child, it does not mean that they can misbehave and act without any manners. Yes, children are of course childish, but that does not make them little monsters! Only by allowing such behavior because of their age will they turn into little (and later big) monsters.
The truth is, your child can do a lot more than you imagine. They know what respect, manner, generosity, self-control, and empathy mean. They know how to exercise these traits. They also know that whatever they are encouraged to do, they will do.
If you want to encourage good behavior, you should not justify bad behavior. Instead, teach them to apologize, disapprove any foul acts, and always encourage rational thought before irrational action.
Not allowing others to scold them
Bad manners are bad manners. And when your child does these things, it is not only you who notices them. People who care enough will try to explain to your child that such things are wrong, and they might get even strict while doing so.
So, why getting mad over this? Many parents protect their child from being disciplined by teachers or other adults, even if the child was the one who was misbehaving. Of course, a parent wants to protect their child from any harm, but this is not harm. In fact, the ‘protection’ your child receives at that moment is the greatest harm.
Jumping between the adult and your child because your child is being scolded will only send a damaging lesson. Your child will start believing that nobody would do anything to stop them from misbehaving because perhaps that behavior is a good thing.
Paying too much attention
You should pay attention to your child. But should you pay too much attention? Of course not. Whoever thinks that there is no such thing as too much attention, is wrong. Your child needs to learn to behave independently and to be on their own.
Some parents would gladly put their peace and health on the line because their child asked for something. You should teach your child of their responsibilities from an early age and help them learn how to do their part in the house.
Just like you are not a wishing machine, you are also not your child’s servant. Instead, teach them that you have a life of your own too and that although they are the biggest part of your life, you need to do other things as well – and that they can help.
Teach them to be attentive toward you as much as you are toward them, and you will balance things out.
This is perhaps the greatest problem of 21-century parents. Whenever your child gets bored and it is too often, parents put a screen in their hands and play them YouTube, give them games to play, you name it.
Perhaps technology is the easiest shortcut to a child crying out of boredom. Or is it? Shortcuts never pay off. In the short run, you will have a child whose whim has been satisfied, but in the long run, they will think that they should always get immediate satisfaction from everything.
Teach your child patience and explain to them that they cannot always get what they want the minute they think of it. And then again, as a parent, you need to know how to have fun with them and bond. Why leave them to their gadgets when they have a living person next to them?
If you are waiting for the bus, play ‘I spy with my little eye’; when cooking, have them help you around with easy tasks. You get it. Your child needs a parent who will also be their best friend.
Become a child and play with them – don’t leave them to glowing screens, while you are thinking of what the next shortcut should be to avoid them for a little while longer.
You are not a wishing machine, you are not their excuse to misbehave, and you are not their source for things. As a parent, do not forget that your job is to raise a healthy individual with high moral values and proper behavior.
So, yes: be strict, be loving, be caring, be attentive, be everything your child needs to become and never be too much of anything.
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A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.