There is no doubt that every parent wants to give good care to his child but sometimes inadvertently or due to lack of knowledge, some parenting mistakes are made by parents in the upbringing of their children, which can affect child’s over-all personality.
Here are 10 common parenting mistakes that every parent needs to avoid:
1. Comparing your child
When you compare your child with their siblings or with other children on the basis of looks, intelligence, behaviour, talent etc., the child starts thinking that he is not good enough to be loved or accepted by others because he sees other children loved by parents, teachers and friends except him. This develops feeling of jealousy in children and as they grow this feeling becomes part of their personality.
When children develop feeling of jealousy with other children which make them sad and affect their mental well-being, they become reluctant to play with other children and consequently they start spending their time alone or with some toys or gazettes.
The feeling of jealousy stops children to appreciate other children on their success or good performance and stimulate them to criticize when other children do something good or better than them.
Children slowly start feeling low inside that can develop ‘inferiority complex’ in them which negatively affect their overall personality which also lead them to face many problems in future.
2. Expecting beyond their potential
Every child is unique and there are individual differences. One of your children will be completely different from another child in nature, intelligence, talent etc. One of your children can be a good singer, while another can be a good doctor. You cannot expect a child to become a doctor who has no interest in medical field, if you force for this your child will develop self-doubt.
When children develop self-doubt about their potential because parents force them to do such thing which is beyond their ability, children develop fear of performing in front of others because they have not been able to perform according to expectation many times before.
This fear of performance and self-doubt will make children to be afraid to take initiative and responsibility for any new or challenging opportunity because they believe that they are worthless, cannot do anything, not intelligent enough to think or share their ideas, people will make fun of them if they fail.
3. Taking all the decisions for your child
“Boy child: I want a kitchen set to play. Parent: I think this doctor set is good for you to play.”
“Girl child: I want to wear jeans. Parent: No dear, you are a girl and girls wear frock.”
If you also make decisions for your child and set norms, then the possibility is that your child will develop fear of taking decisions because he is not able to decide what is right or wrong and what is good or bad for him.
This fear also hinders children on daily basis. Children may not be able to make quick decisions for trivial things such as which dress they should buy.
If children develop fear of taking decisions this will lead them to ask for approval from others regarding their decisions because they have developed self-doubt for their own choices. They will always choose conventional path to avoid any risk and later they may become passive.
As they become dependent on others choices which may sometimes wrong or against their own wish, they will always be unhappy and unsatisfied.
4. Not helping them to fight with their fear
Children learn to develop fear form their failures and from punishments given by others. If you don’t help your child to fight with his fear, he will develop anxiety with particulars, such as exam anxiety.
Anxious children get frustrated easily when they have to face such situation. You must have heard that many children suffer with fever, headache and stomachache during their school exam or even after publishing exam schedule because their failure in exam developed exam anxiety in them.
If this strong fear and anxiety with particular situation, object or person continues, your child will surely develop phobia, which is a mental disorder.
5. Not giving proper attention to their problems and emotions
Giving less attention to the problems of your child because his problems are not as big as yours is a very huge mistake that every parent make. Children’s problems may be small but its impact can be high on their emotions and mental health.
Children get hurt very quickly and easily so it is also very important to give proper attention to their emotions otherwise they can develop the belief that no one cares and no one loves which can affect their thought process and overall personality.
Paying too much attention to your child’s problems and solving it right away will make your child weak to face problems in his future life and he will not be able to develop the ability to solve any problem on his own.
Paying too much attention to your child’s emotions and trying to make him feel comfortable immediately will make your child attention-seeker and he will not be able to cope with negative emotions on his own.
6. Being too harsh on their failures
Failure is not a bad thing; it is the part of life. Everyone fails and failure is necessary to find mistakes and to improve skills.
Scolding and punishing children for their failure is very bad reaction from many parents. If you also do so with your child, it will develop fear of failure in him consequently he may not be able to cope with failure when needed, he will never understand the importance of failure that teaches many things.
If children develop fear of failure, then it is possible that they may also develop the fear of performing difficult task specially in front of others because this fear also leads to low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
The impact of fear of failure can be very high on children. They can develop the thought that ‘failure means end’ if it is not get resolved. They will feel difficulty in coping with the feeling of failure and this may also lead them to depression.
7. Not exploring their real or inborn talent
As I already mention in this article that every child is unique and has different talent which can be inborn and of their interest. If you don’t put effort to find or explore your child’s innate talent or the talent, he is good at, it will be difficult for you and for your child to choose right career in future.
If you force your child to choose a career which is good according to you but your child doesn’t have any interest in it and which is not related to his innate talent, your child will not enjoy his job in future that will also make him unsatisfied with his life.
Now-a-days every career option or job requires new skills to be learnt or developed due to the changes which happens every day. Such as photographers are required to lean new techniques or strategies to click best photos to compete with other photographers. If your child doesn’t like his job and doesn’t enjoy it, he will never be ready to develop new skills for his job when needed.
8. Fulfilling all the demands right away
Child’s demand is completely different concept from child’s need. It is very necessary for every parent to fulfill their child’s basic needs for his growth but there are a lot of parents who fulfill their child’s demands immediately without thinking about the impact of this behaviour on child’s personality.
A child demands for toys, for clothing, for junk food etc. if you fulfill all your child’s demand right away, he will become demanding and will always want instant gratification.
Because of the fulfillment of all the demands instantly, your child will never learn to respect what he has or what he gets. He will also not develop the sense of effort put for getting something.
And this is also possible that the immediate fulfillment of demands of your child will make him stubborn and he will be reluctant to wait for the fulfillment of his wishes.
9. Over or under pampering your child
If you solve every problem of your child immediately so that he doesn’t need to face any emotional disturbance and restlessness, if you fulfill all his wishes right away and if you always try to save him from getting hurt, then this is the sign that you are over pampering your child which can make him weak to face any problem in his life and he will not be able to solve it on his own.
Because you solve his problems immediately that’s why he is not able to sense the effort put for solving the problems that make him to take everything or everyone for granted and he will also become ill-disciplined.
If you don’t listen to your child, if you don’t understand his problems and if you don’t give your time to your child, then this is the sign that you are under pampering your child which will make your child to believe that no one love him, one care about his problems and no one has time for him to spend. These beliefs can make your child less social and less emotional.
Being less social and less emotional can create problems in relationship with his friends, colleagues and spouse in future.
10. Not disciplining your child
The habit of being disciplined can be easily learned in childhood. To be in discipline means behaving according to the situation, treating elders with respect and youngers with love, finishing homework or any task on time.
If you don’t teach your child to be in discipline, if you don’t tell him the difference between good and bad behavior, then he may learn to make mischiefs because he has never been scolded for his bad behaviour.
If your child does not learn to complete his work on time, he may develop the tendency to procrastinate, and due to the procrastination, he will face problems in managing his time which also make him to feel over-burdened.
But you also don’t need to over discipline your child because it can make your child too rigid to his own principles.
There are no specific rules for upbringing children but yes some parenting mistakes can be avoided that affect children negatively.
Children should not be compared, they have unique personality. Never expect beyond children’s potential, they may good at something else. Parents should not take all the decisions for their children, let them decide for their selves. Their fears should be resolved. Their problems and it’s emotional effect needs proper attention.
Parents should not be too harsh on their failure, let them understand the importance of failure. Try to explore their inborn and hidden talent which will help him to succeed in life. Children’s demand should not be fulfilled right away, let them learn to wait. They should be pampered and disciplined in a proper manner.
Charu, Founder of PsychoSafari, is an Assistant Professor at Amity University and have research interest in Positive Psychology. She is a certified Guidance Psychologist and Counsellor.