There are many ways that children are negatively affected growing up, some of them being common mistakes by parents. During development, a child’s physical and mental health can be fragile, and many parents do not realize they could be causing long-term harm.
Even good intentions can be bad in the wrong situations. Research shows that some of these mistakes could even lead to future self-harm or murder. The following are some of the most common parenting mistakes that can be harmful to children.
Too Many Options
Some parents think the more choices children have, the better. However, children need guidance, and too many options can result in them becoming overwhelmed.
Instead, opt to give them a limited amount of choices depending on the situation. Other times, as the parent, makes a choice for them.
Attempting to ‘Make’ Them Happy
As a parent, it is only natural to want your child to be happy. However, children need to learn how to be happy on their own.
You can try to set the environment and provide the means, such as encouraging them to use their imagination, but you cannot force happiness. It also teaches them not to depend on others in life to be happy.
Praising For Everything
Parents, especially first-time parents, may get carried away praising their children for everything they do. However, this can affect their mental health by always expecting praise. Sometimes, developing into only doing something if they will be rewarded.
Instead, try praising the major milestones or achievements. Avoid praising after every successful summersault, but praise them for making the cheerleading team. Instead of praising for every A, they get, wait until their report card comes in and congratulate them on their overall progress.
It can be easy to make this mistake, but studies show overindulging children could develop compulsions and addictive behavior. They could start associating happiness with overindulging and chase a craving that never ends.
Strict Religion Lifestyle
If you raise your children to a strict religious lifestyle, you could be setting them up to call you out on hypocrisy. If this becomes a common occurrence, they may grow to resent both religion and their parents.
Parents make mistakes, just as kids do so. Instead of punishing them for mistakes or making them fear god, stop and assess the situation.
Keeping Kids Too Busy
Many parents enroll their children in sports or other activities in hopes of keeping them busy that will prevent time for trouble. However, if you enroll your son for sports and talk, breathe, sleep that sport, chances are they will burn out. This can result in them getting into trouble or being a bully to release their anger.
Instead, be supportive and allow them to choose if it is something they want. Let them know if they ever get burned out; that’s fine too.
Being Smart is Everything
Parents want their kids to feel important, but constantly talking about how smart your child is or drilling it in their head that being smart is a top priority can be a bad thing. In fact, it can result in children growing up believing they are smarter than everyone, treating others like they are dumb, and no one likes an arrogant person. Additionally, they may feel stupid and act as though they have to continue putting on an act to please others.
Hyper-Critical Over Mistakes
Some parents believe that extreme scrutiny will help create success. However, this type of behavior often results in children growing up believing perfection is everything, from sports and education to looks and being liked. If mistakes occur, they may feel worthless and could become extremely angry and sometimes cause harm to others or themselves.
Not Talking About Sex
It’s not topic parents tend to enjoy covering with their children, but it should not be avoided. They are going to learn about sex one way or another. Not talking about it can result in reckless behavior, and sometimes daughters have been known to get pregnant young as 13 years old, just to retaliate against parents.
Threats, Shunning, Shame
These are three things that parents should never use as punishing actions, as they all give the impression that you do not love your child because of an action. While it may appear they have short-term compliance, the long-term impact is often the feeling of abandonment, and they become distant.
No Limit On Screen Time
Screens are all around us, and the time using them should be limited. This includes texting, TV, games, tablets, etc. There are children who use texting to create a bond or relationship with others, and while this can be a good thing in limited periods, it can cause long-term health concerns when they do not allow anyone else in.
Making Children Do Inappropriate Stuff At Their Age
Do not avoid parenting by having the child do things too early in their development. For example, having your 4-year old babysitting a sibling or feeding themselves, so you don’t have to. This could result in children growing up and choosing not to have their own children because of feeling as they already raised a family.
Constant stimulation is not required, but many parents think kids should remain entertained all the time. However, without being bored, children will not learn to become creative and find ways to entertain themselves. This can result in them always expecting others around them to entertain them and getting angry if they are allowed to get bored.
These are just some of the common mistakes parents make. The list is long; after all, there was no manual with children. However, after many studies, there are strong opinions and evidence on how things parents unknowingly cause long-term harm with these actions.