Parenting is a rewarding experience with the everyday quirks of raising children. That is further complemented by feisty arguments with your teenagers and toothy grins from toddlers. This riotous mix and a handful of slips and falls at your end, give rise to some common parenting mistakes.
Here are five common parenting mistakes that affect you as deeply as it would your children.
Not having ‘me time’
It is natural as a parent to prioritise and be there for your children all the time. However, if you fall into a routine where you fail to be there for yourself, it is a red flag. Making time for yourself will allow you to rest, recuperate and appreciate your time with your children ten-fold. It also equips you from falling into an empty nest syndrome later in life.
Children learn from you and model your behaviour. Treat yourself well and they’ll learn to do the same for themselves.
Half-time for the better half
With the arrival of children in your life, you may compromise your quantity and quality time with your spouse. Your relationship with your spouse may take a backseat with parenting being your sole focus. This move can be detrimental to your relationship in the long run. Spending time with your spouse is as important as your time with the children.
Research indicates that children who witness their parents in a harmonious and loving relationship grow up to be content adults.
Imbalance in work-life balance
Parenting and working simultaneously is one of the bigger challenges that you face as a working parent. The blurring of lines between your personal and professional lives can become daunting, resulting in another common parenting mistake. Ease your plight by drawing boundaries at both home and work front. Let your children know when you need to focus on your work and ensure they understand. Similarly, connect with your office folks to let them know that you wouldn’t be available after work hours with exceptions for an emergency, etc. A little planning and discipline can go a long way in helping you strike a balance and also save you from the impending parental guilt.
Practising discipline and following a routine in your work and personal life also helps you set an example for your children about setting and respecting your boundaries as an individual.
Healthy Communication = Power
A classic parenting mistake that is common across the world is yelling at your children to discipline them. As parents and adults, we misconstrue that yelling gives you power over your children and they’ll listen to you if you raise your voice. Contrary to this belief, yelling renders you powerless over them and they switch to the basic human response of ‘fight or flight’ mode. Their ability to listen to your reason and logic gets closed. Then, the key message that you wanted to convey through yelling gets lost.
The way through it is to calmly explain to your child and let them know firmly who is in-charge. Yelling indicates that the child can push you over the edge at their will and your core disciplining measure or message is lost in the battle of wills.
Safeguarding your child from the big bad world is another natural instinct that you have as a parent. Keeping your child under wraps and picking them up before they fall or helping them out before they can make a mistake does them more harm than good. In both these scenarios, children fail to experience disappointments, anger, failure and other emotions which are a part of growing up and something you frequently encounter as you age. When you choose to fix everything, you make yourself indispensable and they never learn to stand up on their own feet.
It is important to avoid letting your children become dependent on you and guide them to be independent and self-sufficient individuals.
It takes conscious effort and thought to reflect and revisit your parenting style and exercises. Parenting is a double-edged sword, one that affects both you and your child. And most important, don’t be too hard on yourself or your child, both of you are learning, unlearning and relearning, all the time.
Drop a comment below and share your thoughts about how you tackle common parenting mistakes. We would love to hear from you!
Mariam Taqui Ali (pro tip: the middle name is pronounced tuh-key) A Word slayer, pluviophile, baker, traveller; among other things, knows the correct usage of punctuation and the difference between your and you're. She spent some time (read a lot of time) writing, editing and keeping track of word counts. Her trysts with writing and editing has led her to interact with experts from diverse industries like healthcare, wellness, HR, business and technology. Having experienced all that, she continues her professional explorations, to learn, to grow and to be a value add. Drop in a line at [email protected] if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!
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