Parenting ways are subject to fuzziness. Nothing is ideal. Mistakes happen due to negligence of less significant needs in lieu of priorities. Besides oral care, improper car seat installation; listed here are often neglected ones that take a long term toll on emotional personality of a child.
Pulling the pacifier abruptly: Kids tend to create different security blankets to feel safe in: pacifier object(s)/people. Abrupt dissociation without replacement may infuse insecurity in them. Insecure child eventually shows safety issues like sucking thumb.
Gender typing: This is an easy fix for “No means no”. Often we demean genders/chores/emotions by asking “Are you a Girl/Boy?” This gender-ization creates inequality at the very base: for child everything is either too boyish or too girlish (not kiddish).
Worshiping child: Lessons of selflessness and selfishness are important too. Considering yours is perfect is alright unless you protect them from bearing consequences of their deeds or overly praise them. Doing later leads to self centered individual. Teach them to own up to their mistakes and world comprises of others whose opinions/feelings are ought to be considered.
Your second chance: Competitive parenting/ forced dreams come from raised expectations of what we wanted and could not achieve in our own past, and not from what we have. Happiness then is a measure of how many expectations met, not enjoyment seeing wonders of childhood. Parents can then become tiger parents hyper critical, pushy, having strong focus on achievement with total neglect towards child’s skill level. They are not your backup plan.
Being a role model: We expect the child to learn everything which is ideal. Even when we don’t follow it ourselves; we conveniently forget that actions speak louder than words. When child does not obligate we spank or shout of anger, yet we expect our kids to use their low voices even when they are angry. Our behavior towards them suggests that spanking/shouting/being angry is ok, yet we confuse them saying ‘Its not ok’. If you panic over everything then your kid learns the same. It’s ok to panic in stress
Trusting unreliable sources for advice and judging other parents/kids: No one knows your situation better than you. And you do not know others’ situations. Having others decide what is best for you is as baseless as you judging someone else’s parenting styles.
Deluded concepts on religion/ tradition/ culture/ and withholding sex education: Of these touchy and controversial subjects, it is far more important to prompt children to ask questions (why’s-how’s-when’s) than just imparting/forcing ideologies. These topics are the most shame shunned or fear shunned.
Fear tactics – FEAR of unknown: Unfortunately fear tactics are the most used escape for not letting kids play/learn dangerously or make them obey. When used extensively child fears the unknown all their lives. This unknown has many forms – animals/humans/god/ghost- yet form is never explicitly defined. We fail to impart the courage of facing unknown. Hence the resistance to change
Discounting feelings: Crying is one of most important part of emotional development. Not letting them cry or vent emotions can affect adversely on emotional intellect of child. Reason of crying could be a petty thing for you but for a crying person it holds much importance, and stopping them cry is demeaning the importance of reason. Sometimes we gender type crying with girls, neglecting emotional need of a boy child.
Not letting speak or failure to listen: Everyone has their opinion, and so does a child. At times parents fail to listen to what child has to say. Whatever be the reason, even opinion is illogical to you, listen. Do not stop them from sharing what they feel. By reasoning their opinion you not only give them security of you being there, but also you can correct any misunderstanding. Underestimating character eventually affects their decisive power.
Too small to help: Due to age and developing bodies, sometimes it is just easier to do the chore yourself. It might take longer for you to finish that chore but you will instill independence, importance of teamwork, confidence in your very young child.
Not letting kids get bored: By over indulging them or keeping them too busy, handing them screen for convenience, we hurdle their exploration. Boredom leads to creativity. We should let them get bored sometimes so they can explore ways to keep themselves busy.
The more judgmental I become, the longer the list gets. I would like to shun myself here with a hope that you acknowledge your child personality needs and act what you feel is right!
- Neelu Soni
- June 21, 2016
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