We all want the best for our children, right? We want them to have what we never did, experience what we couldn’t, and enjoy the things that just weren’t available to us. I feel the exact same way when it comes to our little Carleigh. But there are things that we as parents can become immune to or in other words, blind to see. Sometimes when we think we are doing great things, we could be crippling our children from becoming their greatest version of themselves. When we think it’s helping, we are blinded to see we are disabling them from growing. Here are seven things that hopefully will open your eyes and your mind so that you may help your children to grow into amazing individuals they were meant to be.
1. Make Sure You Practice What You Preach. First is one pretty obvious one that us parents tend to overlook a lot. I remember my parents telling me when I was a young girl, “do as I say, not as I do!” It worked…for awhile. I grew up actually mimicking my mother in her awful habits. Biting her fingernails followed me to my twenties and so did her nasty smoking habit. I quit smoking cigarettes and biting my fingernails but I wanted to show a real example of how my parent told me not to, but I did anyway.
2. Check Yourself That You Aren’t Mistaking Intelligence for Maturity. We like to think with some random intelligent acts, certain talents or gifts, and behavior that was an influence, that our children are mature enough for the world. We’d like to believe our children are responsible enough and sometimes its just not the case. Gage this step by observing other children in the same age group and see where they compare. You may be delaying your child’s independence, or providing too much.
3. Be Open And Honest About Past Mistakes. As your child gets older, especially in their teens, you want to be honest and open about your past mistakes. It might sound like a horrible idea, I know, but its a great way for your up and coming adults to hear the harsh reality on some things their parents had to go through. They will ultimately make their own decision but just having the memory of the sincere talk they got from their mother or father could be just enough to steer them away from making some regretful decisions.
4. Do Not Let Guilt Steer The Wheel. It happens all the time. Your child gets into trouble and here comes the consequences. They cry, sob, and beg for forgiveness. The look on their face almost makes you melt and wanna take them out for ice cream to make it all better…STOP right there. Do not let your guilt deter you from setting a good example. Make them take their consequences like responsible children. Be strong!
5. Let’s Not Be Quick to Praise. This is so common in society it is looked upon as normalcy. Facts have shown though when we take the “everyone is a winner,” mentality to our children, not actively picking out the negatives, our children ultimately become stunted in their growth. Because we disregard poor behavior children have had more of a tendency to lie and cheat to deal with situation where they aren’t being treated “special.” All because, the parents haven’t conditioned the children to face such a thing being negative.
6. Should They Trip And Fall, Let Them Dust Themselves Off And Get Up On Their Own. Comparing our young to generations before us, is definitely different. The children now a days can’t do things on their own and a lot of times think they are just entitled. This is from parents being too eager to help and too eager to rescue. When they are young, they fall down, you pick them up, and when they got older they needed help with something, you helped out again. As parents there needs to be a line drawn as to whats being helpful, and whats doing too much. Best thing to do is let the child go through it, figure it out, problem solve, and they will be better the next time it happens. We all know it happens again.
7. Risk Can Be A Good Thing. I have a tendency to shelter my child from certain things. I am trying to keep away the negative and unhealthy things form her knowledge. Little did I know I was starting her off to have either high arrogance or low self esteem. Healthy risk taking in our kids is great! Let them have it. A scratch on the elbow is good for them to go through and experience. Facts show a child that is held in the house and never really gets to play outside, experience the risks, and go through them often grow up with constant phobias. Teenagers naturally will go through the boyfriend and girlfriend stage but this allows them to appreciate long lasting, sincere relationships when they are older. Let them experience life, just with your super vision and know bouts, that it.
Communicate with your kids, toddlers and teenager alike. Be honest and open about goals, life, and situations. Be aware of yourself and your actions. Even when you think your children aren’t watching. Think of yourself more as a coach and trainer than just treating them to things and cuddling. Keeping these things in mind will hopefully create more leaders that this world so desperately needs.