I’m sure that you know that there’s nothing easy about being a parent! We may have the best of intentions, but still often find ourselves in power struggles, wondering where we went wrong. What are some of the most common parenting mistakes that we can do our best to avoid?
Expecting Too Much From Our Children
With your oldest child, you may be shocked at how fast they grow and how old they look from one moment to the next. It’s easy to forget that even though they are your oldest, they are still relatively young.
Rather than thinking of them as your big kid and putting too much responsibility on them, try remembering what it was like for you when you were that age. This brings perspective and helps you avoid expecting too much from them. Always remember that they’re still children too!
Are You Being Too Strict?
Before the reality of becoming parents ourselves, many of us swore that our children would never be THAT kid. But as a consequence of this, we may sometimes try to push our kids into a submissive temperament by being overly harsh and strict. This can build resentment in your child, as they can easily see that your true motive was to save your own pride in front of others. Make the effort to be especially understanding of your children and show compassion about where they are developmentally.
Feeling Fearful about Everything
As first-time parents, we worry so much about our children. We are fearful of germs, cold air and bullies. It seems that everything has the potential to harm our little ones. Try to remind yourself that a normal child can handle most normal challenges, and allow them to live their lives. This will help them not to feel resentful of younger siblings who appear to be allowed to do more at the same age later on.
Giving Them Too Much Responsibility
First born children are often helpful and naturally responsible. Unfortunately, it can be easy even for good parents to take advantage of this quality. When asking them to help out, you might want to end your request with, “Will that work for you?” For example, “I need a babysitter for tonight, will that work for you?” Taking into consideration their needs and feelings will help dispel any type of resentment that may build up because of their extra responsibilities.
Pushing Your Children to Excel
We all want our children to reach their full potential, but this potential is often best discovered by the child at his own pace, and by parental pushing As your child grows in a nurturing environment, they will naturally be drawn to things they love and are passionate about. Sometimes we put undue pressure on our oldest child that we would never expect of our other children, and we need to relax and refrain from bringing this stress on them.
Comparing Your Children to Each Other
No two children are the same. Your children will all be great at some things, and will fail at others. Parent your children as individuals and don’t expect them to compete with each other. All of your children are unique individuals who should be encouraged to become all they can be, not forced into preconceived roles.
Parenting is tough, and with it comes many pressures. These pressures can cause us to make mistakes with our children. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be thankful that you never need to look back with regret.