There is no greater responsibility in the world than to take care of a fellow human being, knowing that you have the absolute power to shape the life of that person.
Parenting is one of the most vital and delicate responsibilities and, sadly, while almost everyone has the gift of bringing a child into the world, not everyone can be a good parent or deserve to have children. A person’s character is largely determined by the quality of parenting s/he receives. Though the complete attributes of good parenting cannot be explained in a few sentences, here are but 11 things parents do that screw up their children.
1. Refusing to admit when they are wrong
Of course children see their parents as role models and it makes it very hard for parents to admit their wrongs when they are. But refusing to admit their wrongs in front of the children can have a very negative impact on them. Teaching children that anyone can be wrong prepare them better to accept new information and ideas without feeling like shutting themselves indoors out of embarrassment when they are being wronged.
2. Over protectiveness
When they try to shield your children from everything that might make the kids feel inconvenient, the parents are actually making them too dependent or are spoiling them. Of course there are times when parents need to keep a tight watch on children, but protecting them from even little struggles make them vulnerable in the long run. As grownups, they will struggle to make social connections, get jobs and face the many struggles that life is going to throw at them every day.
3. Giving low-effort answers to their questions
Many a times, parents and teachers try to shoo away the children who ask them questions. Children are naturally curious and they are going to ask questions, but when parents try to just send them away by giving half-baked, incomplete answers, or, worse, ridicule them, the children stop asking questions eventually. If parents know the answers to the questions, it is best to explain it in detail. It’s an investment parents are making. If parents don’t know the answer, they should try to find the answers or teach children how to find them. It’s fine to not know everything.
4. Never treating them in accordance to their age
Many parents still treat their kids the way they treated them when they were in their adolescence though the kids may be in their teens. This is a wrong way to bring up a child. If parents cannot grow up with the child and adapt themselves, they are just pushing the child away.
5. Giving in to the demands of the children all the time
If a kid is throwing a tantrum for something and a parent gives in and the same thing happens again and again, the parents are just damaging the child. Parents need to prepare the child for the future where they would not be getting everything they desire, and it is okay.
6. Comparing them to others
Parents need to understand that when they compare their children with others, it does no good to them. Rather it gives them the wrong idea that they won’t be as good as the children you are comparing them with and would develop a very broken self-esteem. In future, they will get into the habit of comparing their lives with others constantly and develop a pessimistic attitude towards everything.
7. Punishing children when they accept mistakes
NEVER punish a child physically or even scream if they accept mistakes honestly. Children are supposed to be making mistakes and break things. And being children, there are times when they will just reach out to their parents and tell them about what they have done. But if the parents, instead of being proud of their honesty, decide to teach the children lessons so that they dare not to do the same thing again, they are just pushing them on the path of being chronic liars, because, honesty obviously proved not to be the best policy to them.
8. Trying to live through kids
This issue was beautifully portrayed in ‘Taare Zameen Par’ 10 years ago and is highly relevant even today. Parents often tend to hijack the lives of their kids and try to live their lives through them, completely ignoring what their kids really want or enjoy. Often, parents want their children to take a particular profession just because it was the parents’ dream when they were young. We can only wonder how many Picassos and Newtons we forced to become average doctors and engineers.
9. Refuse to admit that the child can do anything wrong
It is becoming increasingly common to witness parents who would refuse that their children could do anything wrong and always seem to find faults in others no matter how much the cases are against their children. It sends a very wrong message to their children that no matter how much they screw up and no matter how many times, they are going to get away. Teachers in particular would agree that in the present context, such parents stress them out more than anything else and harm the character development of the kids.
10. Refusing to believe that their children could do anything right
It is the exact opposite of the point 9. Some parents would not even trust their children with even tying shoelaces properly no matter how gifted their children are. Not only this, such parents blame their own kids for everything wrong that happen and try not to know the entire case before coming to a conclusion. The moment someone brings a complaint, they would start yelling at their children. Such behavior doesn’t enhance respect but rather fear and eventually disconnects any emotional attachments they might have with the parents. Also, it demotivates them enormously.
11. Using children as emotional dumping ground
Children don’t need to know everything, especially if what they are about to hear can make them uncomfortable. Parents often keep telling them how much sacrifices they are making and how much it is costing them to bring them up. They do it in the hope of inspiring their children to work harder, but so many times it only ends up making them feel how much they are a nuisance for their parents and even after working harder they still fail, which is clearly possible, there is a very high chance for them to fall into depression.