Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Most Common Parenting Mistakes - Are you making them too?

Most of us learn TRUE PARENTING only by experience. Books, “parental” advice from all and sundry, past life experiences, blogs, videos, etc. help to some extent, but what truly makes the difference is what you learn every single day as a parent.  And parenting is a journey, one which is filled with many ups and downs, highs and lows, good and bad, joys and tears, learning’s and un-learning’s!

As parents, we all make mistakes. But some mistakes are more common than others and impact children in more ways than one. Most of us would have made mistakes / are making these mistakes in our parenting journey; or would have experienced these as children ourselves.

So, what are the most common parenting mistakes?
(1)    We assume, We don't ask – Just because we are the parents, many of us tend to “ASSUME” everything for / about our children. And we don’t ask for their choices / views / opinions till a particular age. I agree that it’s not possible to ask your kids for their choices / views / opinions all the time for every single thing, but for something’s – Would it not be nice to ask your little babies for a piece of their mind?

From personal experience, I can say that when you ask your children – You will be pleasantly surprised to discover the “little genius” in them responding. They know more than we think they know. So a little patience and a little hearing and a little acknowledgement and just a little credit – And they love it! Right from the age of 2 years – Ask me! I speak from experience here 

(2)    We order, We don't explain – Another classic mistake. Most parents tell their children “Do this”, ‘Do that”, “No, Don’t do this” – But rarely do we make the effort to explain the big WHY? In many cases, we ourselves don’t know the WHY’s, but just know that’s the way it’s always been!
And I don’t necessarily advocate an explanation for everything all the time, but for some lessons which you want your children to carry through life – Make the effort to learn and explain to them the BIG WHY?

From personal experience, I can say that if you make the effort to explain the big WHY just once and they understand it – You’re better off in the long run. You don’t really have to order them again and again and again!

(3)    We question, We don't answer – Again, we think as parents we have an exclusive right to question our children about everything and they should answer us, but we don’t have to answer all their questions. Let’s be fair here – Either we both answer each other all the time, or we can choose to not answer / ignore each other’s questions once in a way. Perfectly reasonable deal – Don’t you think?

From personal experience, I can say that it’s OK to not answer your kids all the time & let them discover the answers for  themselves; and its perfectly OK for your children to not answer you all the time - as long as things are not really WRONG here!

(4)    We expect them to listen; We don’t listen – The next mistake many parents make is related to “listening”. It’s a busy world out there and time is a scarce commodity, especially for working parents. So many parents don’t have the time to listen to what our kids have to say.

And yet! We expect our kids to drop everything and listen to what we say all the time – Like we are the source of the most interesting and captivating conversations all the time! Let’s get real here on our expectations!

From personal experience, I can say that the only way is “To listen and make them listen”. What goes around usually comes around! There’s no short-cut or easy way here! You’ve got to go the full mile!

(5)    We judge; We expect not to be judged – Many parents are guilty of judging our kids many / all the time – Primarily based on comparisons with other kids or with the “ideal view of how a kid should be”. And in our assessment, passing judgment is OK!

However, what’s NOT OK is when our children judge us based on their views of “how a parent should be” or based on comparisons they make with other parents they see. And as parents, many of us cannot digest the judgment our kids pass; and feel very hurt. Agreed that children probably lack the maturity and experiences to pass judgment, but then if you are the parent (and are supposed to be wise, mature and have “lived” life) – Why are you passing judgment on your kids all the time?

From personal experience, I can say that as parents its best to dispel judgment for many things as far as your kids are concerned. The unnecessary stress and pressure because of all this “judgment” on you and your children is just not worth it in the long run!

On that note, Live Laugh and Love
For your kids and with your kids
It’s all worth it!

That’s my view on the most common parenting mistakes which most of us usually make. What’s your view? Leave a comment to let me know

Originally published here. Edited and re-published on the blog

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