Child-rearing is a hard work to do, and like any other work, it requires a lot of efforts and self-control to be done well.
All parents want the most important project of their life—child rearing—to be successful, and they do their best. However, parenting styles differ.
While some parents prefer not to be involved in the child’s life at all, others become hostages of their own fears and misconceptions and grow with their child together.
Despite the differences in approaches, both miss a very important detail—balance.
The danger of unbalanced parenting style isn’t obvious. But this is exactly what specialists call neglectful parenting and what can affect a child’s life in the future.
The words that seem appropriate to parents at a certain moment or their usual behavior can harm children. The only reason parents didn’t get rid of these child-rearing mistakes earlier is a lack of knowledge. So, let’s connect the dots to prevent unwelcome events in the future.
1. Overprotection → Dependence
During the first years of their lives, children depend on parents completely. At this time, it is necessary for parents to forget about their personal life and be around children day and night. However, as soon as children seek for some independence, it’s time to give it to them (in the amount they can handle).
For example, it’s better to let toddlers gather their toys by themselves instead of trying to help them or to allow preschoolers swing. It’s impossible to save a kid from the dangerous outside world. And they don’t need it. You need it much more than them, for the sake of your own calmness.
However, by overprotecting their children, parents make them dependable and unable to make their own decisions. Further, these children will turn into adults who can’t carry responsibility and deal with the simplest domestic problems. These adults remain immature and indecisive.
To not let that happen, parents should allow their children to take risks and be responsible for their actions. Life isn’t always a holiday, and they need to understand that.
2. Lack of supervision → Uncertainty
Lack of supervision is the other side of the overprotection. It’s all about balance, remember? Thus, lack of control when it comes to child rearing might also have unpleasant consequences.
Giving children too much space, parents leave them alone face to face with the big world they haven’t explored properly yet. When children don’t look for help, parents shouldn’t force them to use some. But if they ask for help or piece of advice, parents always have to be there.
Evidently, children need to learn by themselves, but they also need a person they can trust. And this is their parent whose main task is to be a lighthouse and show their children the way when they get lost.
In case children didn’t receive help when they needed it and were on their own, they probably wouldn’t be able to develop confidence in their deeds. They will feel lost in the sea of life often changing the direction or just drifting out there.
To raise a purposeful and confident person, parents have to be ready to help on request.
3. Neglecting of parents’ relationship → Misguided perception of the world
To tell the truth, this is the most popular child-rearing mistake most of the parents make. As soon as they have a child, they forget about themselves, their interests, lives, and personalities, and focus on a child. Such behavior is normal if it is temporary, but it can’t become constant.
To children, the actions of parents speak louder than words. So, if parents tell them they love each other but do not show it, the words will be futile. Sure, children can be jealous of parents kissing as they need to be loved and feel significant.
It’s absolutely normal, too. However, putting children in the center of the world won’t help them to feel loved. It just teaches them that everyone is submitted to them. And this is not how the world works.
Instead of making the world rotate around their children, parents should show they love them and each other. It is important to show children how much parents’ relationship improved after they had them, to make them realize they are the reason for love to grow.
This way, your children will not turn into people who are seeking for attention and adoration. They will become content and self-sufficient adults who are able to share happiness and love with others, build strong families and supportive communities.
4. Selective honesty → Double standards
They say the best way of child-rearing is to raise yourself, not your children, as they will be like you anyway. This statement is the one many parents have to stick to in everyday life. Unfortunately, they use another way. Parents demand their children be honest and at the same time, they do not follow this rule themselves.
For instance, they need children, to be honest, while they are trying to solve a conflict between their peers on the playground. But they don’t see anything inappropriate in saying that their children are younger than they actually are to get a cheaper ticket.
Often, parents don’t even pay attention to such things, but children notice the tiniest details, especially when parents do something opposite to what they said earlier. If parents set the rules, they need to follow them, too.
Honesty means honesty. A parent who acts opposite to how they expect their children to act teaches them to trick others and look for the excuses for their misbehavior. Thinking this way, children will be less likely to find good friends or earn a good reputation in the society.
They won’t be trusted or supported. Only the fair game will save children from this course of events. Instead of being a judge, parents have to play on the same team with their children.
5. Praising talent instead of efforts → No motivation to improve
Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work. These well-known Albert Einstein’s words probably remain unheard by many. However, just hard work can raise us to an unbelievable height. When parents praise children’s talent and ignore the efforts they made, children feel that their work meant nothing or something that wasn’t enough to make a difference.
This way, children see no reason to work harder and keep improving. Instead of it, they will expect others to value them for their talents, but people, on the other hand, will expect them to work hard.
Such confusion will make your grown children feel underestimated and useless, and those are the reasons for depression and apathy.
To avoid it, parents have to pay more attention to what children do and less to what they were born with. Indeed, parents love their children for who they are, but the world isn’t so favorable. So in order to have a happy and successful life, a child has to get used to it.
It could be difficult for parents to adopt another parenting style. But they should understand that fixing these child-rearing mistakes might take their children a lifetime.
The future of kids depends on their parents. So, no matter how hard it could be, it is worth to invest in it changing yourself. Do you agree?
Author Bio: Maya Gaspar is a content manager and social work volunteer who runs her own educational platform https://www.writemypapers.org/. She admires young talents and contributes to their development.