The 5 Biggest
Parenting Mistakes and How to Correct Them
by Phillip Mountrose
When it comes to handling
kids, most parents know they're amateurs. The challenge is they're
supposed to be professionals. Parents are somehow supposed to
know just what to do with children on a daily basis.
the following list, remember to be kind with yourself. Some forgiving
of yourself may be in order. We all make mistakes, and, like
we tell our kids, we're supposed to learn from our errors.
Here then are
some common parenting mistakes and practical remedies:
If you don't follow through on our rules, children learn that
you don't really mean what you say. Your inconsistency also produces
anxiety in both you and children. (The exception is when you
determine that your decision is unworkable or unsuitable. Then
it's time to acknowledge the error and explain the needed changes.)
The old advice still holds true: Tell kids what you want them
to do, and then have them do it.
talking too much. "Kids just don't listen." This common
complaint by adults brings up the question: How did kids acquire
these poor listening skills? Adults tend to dominate discussions
with children. When you talk to kids after careful listening,
you are more informed and aware. Then your words mean more and
kids naturally listen to you.
3. Words not
matching your actions. Too often children see their elders blaming, denying,
and excusing instead of owning up to mistakes. Children welcome
it when you admit that you erred or don't know something, acknowledging
that you struggle, too. Like fresh air, your honesty comes as
a relief to kids. They are liberated, no longer dependent on
the all-knowing adult. Children then become freer to learn from
their mistakes and grow as well.
4. Poor boundaries. Here is an easy explanation
of boundaries for children: Tell them there is you -- your body
and possessions -- and the rest of the world is not you. Some
other boundaries -- such as not discussing a person's income,
weight or age -- may vary from person to person. Children should
be sensitized to these areas. Also, help children become aware
of approaching a person who has experienced upsetting changes,
such as a divorce or the death of a loved one.
5. Not spending
enough quality time with kids. Realize you are doing the best you can
with the daily demands of your schedule. But maybe you could
do better in the future. Find ways to have fun with your children.
Ask them what they want to do. Remember to listen to them. Enjoy
the silent times, too, when you are just together. Set a goal
to spend time doing things and being with your child. It will
Now that you
have read the above list, identify the mistakes that you want
to correct. Set a goal. And remember to forgive yourself for
those mistakes. Know that your future will not be free of errors,
but you will be freer to experience more enjoyment with your
- The above article is excerpted
award-winning book Getting
Thru to Kids: Problem Solving with Children Ages 6-18 (Holistic Communications,
800-929-7889). The newest book in his series is Tips
and Tools for Getting Thru to Kids. Phillip is also available for personal
consultations on family matters and personal growth at 916-972-9921.