Every parent, even when meaning the best, can make a mistake. However, some of these mistakes can badly impact the future of your child. This post contains seven mistakes that you should avoid at all costs if you want your child to grow up into an upright citizen.
The list, originally posted on Forbes, is from Dr. Tim Elmore, an expert on leadership. Dr. Elmore believes that when a child is pampered too much, it may prevent them from thriving and also from fulfilling their full potential as leaders of tomorrow .
He goes on to say that both fear and lack of understanding play a role here, but it leads to the fact that each generation of parents is usually compensating for something the previous generation did. The primary adults in kids’ lives today have focused on now rather than later. It’s about their happiness today not their readiness tomorrow.
Many parents of today had parents who were very serious regarding readying themselves for tomorrow. They saved more money and did not spend it unnecessarily. Also, they were more concerned about preparing themselves for retirement. This led to many of the current parents to respond with a totally different message which was a clarion call to live life to the fullest by embracing the moment.
Many people heeded the call. This is what has resulted in credit card debts as well as their powerlessness to delay gratification. However, this may not necessarily be our main challenge. But there is one inescapable reality: parents who are longsighted and therefore focused on the future produce better results compared to those who are focused on the moment.
Unknowingly, we could be:
1. Shielding our kids from risk
Although it is only fair that we protect our children, kids who grow into adults without going through pain or normal failures like skinned knees or breakups are predisposed to developing phobias, becoming highly arrogant and also suffering from low self-esteem.
2. Not allowing kids to solve problems by themselves
Parents think that they are helping their kids by rescuing them too quickly. Nothing can be farther from the truth. This deprives them of the opportunity to solve problems by themselves. They are likely to grow into adults who cannot solve problems on their own.
3. Praising them too much
Praising children too much may work where a child suffers from low self-esteem. However, adopting the mentality of “everyone gets a trophy” and consequently turning a blind eye to bad behaviour can cause the children to cheat and lie while being unable to deal with difficulties. Ensure that your praises are specific and not necessarily about ability but effort.
4. Spoiling them
The common practice by most parents is to give children what they ask for when rewarding them. This is especially so with multiple kids. If one child performs well in something, some parents think that it would be unfair to reward that child and leave out the rest. This way, the parents miss the chance to enforce the notion that success depends on one’s own actions as well as good deeds.
5. Failing to share your own struggle stories
Do not feel embarrassed to talk about your past mistakes and frustrations. In fact, opening up can help your kids become tough.
6. Mistaking talent and intelligence for maturity
Kids who are smart might seem older. However, this does not imply that they are ready emotionally or otherwise to deal with various aspects of their lives. Just because they seem bright does not mean you should start heaping responsibilities on their young shoulders.
7. Not shaping how we want our children to be
For instance, we fail to instill the notion of “do as I say, not as I do”
While most of the tips above are essentially common-sense parenting tips, many parents easily fall into the short-term parenting trap rather than thinking of the future. The goal is to coach your child and not to coddle him. You want a child who can stand up for themselves even if left alone. Avoid the actions above and you will raise a child who is better prepared to meet life’s uncertainties.