They say parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world and luckily, pun intended, it does not come with an instruction manual. I have been one for a couple of years now and I can guarantee you it’s not a walk in the park. But we do our best and cross our fingers that our kids turn out okay. And most times, they do! But what happens when a parent effs up their parenting and the child ends up a total mess? Granted, a parent is prone to making mistakes. But there are mistakes that could actually affect a child in the long run.
Growing up, John was always reminded of the fact that nothing he would do will ever satisfy his parents. You see, John’s parents demanded the impossible from him; Perfectionism. They wanted him to be an A-plus human. In turn, John tended to always second guess himself and always kept wondering if whatever he did was good enough for his parents. It messed up with his self-esteem, and always lived with the fear of failing. He often didn’t engage in things he thought would be interesting as he thought people would find him mediocre. He never maintained a relationship as he always demanded perfectionism. Eventually, John had to seek professional help when he realized that the life he was living was not ‘normal’.
Therefore, it is crucial for parents to know potential mistakes they intentionally or unintentionally make and which could be detrimental to a child’s adult life. These are, but definitely not limited to;
A child is at risk of being neglected or ill-treated when exposed to bad parenting. Issues such as physical abuse, violent behavior, child labor and substance abuse will deeply affect a child not only in his childhood but also into adulthood. Not showing love and affection or being distant to your child can make them become emotionally disconnected to you and to others as well. This can also make a child develop antisocial behavior. Other issues like parental absenteeism affect the stability of a child because a stable and strong space must to be present for a child to thrive. It is important to understand and recognize poor parenting behavior because these traits can be passed from one generation to another.
Downplaying a child’s feelings
Emotional growth and development contribute to a kid’s general health. It is necessary to encourage a child to express and talk about their emotions. As a parent, you can acknowledge a child’s feelings by recognizing them. Pay close attention to cues such as gestures, sounds, facial expressions, etc. Suppressing these emotions can possibly lead to an adult who is not in touch with his feelings and this affects a person’s overall wellbeing. This usually includes both interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships where one cannot cope with emotions within and outside his surroundings.
Not encouraging your child
Encouraging your child and believing in them is a parent’s most important responsibility in terms of character and confidence growth in a child. When a parent is always positive towards their child, they feed off the positive energy and end up being secure and self-assured with themselves. When a parent encourages their child to be and do better, the child will always strive to be the best he can be. Children who are always discouraged in participating in activities or told they cannot amount to anything always have their spirit broken and in turn, society ends up with timid and insecure adults.
Failing at education
One of the major factors that contribute to a child’s success or failure is education. Going to school contributes to a child’s confidence which is impacted by the knowledge gained in school. Therefore, as a parent, you should know your attitude towards education can have a lasting impact on a child’s success in their life. Not emphasizing the importance of school to your child at an early age will certainly negatively influence your child’s outlook. A simple act as attending the parents’ school meeting will not only keep you informed about your child’s school progress but also, set an example of the importance of being part of a child’s school life. This is something that can be emulated when your kid becomes a parent as well.
A parent who does not take their children’s health seriously can easily lead them down a rabbit hole. A parent who constantly neglects to give their child medical attention when they need it can affect the child’s wellbeing later in life. We have heard of cases where a parent was negligent of their child’s health, some even accusing their children of pretending or being attention seekers, only for the child to pass away. Parents who do little or over-medicate their children in the name of being good parents have been seen to bring some irreversible damage to their child’s lives. As they say, health is wealth.
Lack of financial knowledge
There is this old adage that most people sail on; “I am bad with money.” Truth is no one is. It only takes a single step to become accountable for one’s actions around money. Not having money talks with your child will eventually lead to poor money control. Issues like impulse buying, incurring bad debts, overspending, etc. always occur to many people. It is essential to teach your child money management from an early age. Poor money management risks a child making poor financial decisions in the future. A simple act as following your budget while with them instills knowledge on matters money.
Allowing bad habits to develop
Often times a parent would want to always make a child happy. And this will, sometimes if not most of the time, involve turning a blind eye to some bad habits, in a bid not to offend them or make a child hate you. Nurturing bad behavior such as defiance, disrespectfulness, being rude, backtalk, etc., will not only be projected to you as a parent but also to the rest of society. This always leads to rude, disrespectful, uncouth grown-ups. Reprimanding kids at an early age will help mold them to have good morals and behavior and end up being straight-up humans who are well adjusted and respectful.
Not empowering a child to make personal decisions
Helping a child have his own voice and choice lets a person be independent. This helps people find purpose in life as they will know what they want. As a parent, making decisions for your child will hinder the development and growth of a sense of independence. The inability to make decisions makes a person incapable of problem-solving; hence, outsourcing for a second opinion even on simple matters could become a norm. Being independent-minded helps a person become assertive which helps in standing up for one’s beliefs and principles.
Not expecting a child to help around the home
It is important for children to learn how to help around the house regardless of gender. This is because kids who have been trained to take up household responsibilities are likely to step up and do things for others and most importantly themselves. Children who help around the house end up to be self-sufficient adults who can take care of themselves with no difficulty. Learning the basic duties around the house also teach children to be responsible and well-adjusted. So what happens when parents do not nurture or encourage kids to be resourceful at home? This kid will not have basic life skills to live independently e.g. when they are off to college or when they finally move out. With family participation, a child will understand that he needs to take and share responsibility so as to have a far easier time living with other people.
Although a parent can do and show the best to their children, some children may end up quite the opposite. But remember the key to great parenting is being a present parent, acknowledging your child’s feelings, guiding them into the right path, and always setting a good example.
Learn. Relearn. Unlearn. Happy parenting!