Parenting is a tough job, no one's going to dispute this fact. Think about it: you have the responsibility of affecting a person's life and if you do it wrong, guess who's going to get blamed?
Too bad that there's no standard guidebook for parenting. Yes, there are books on the topic but no "one-size-fits-all" methodology will work, unfortunately. There are just too many variables to consider. Some of these include the personality characteristics of the child, threshold tolerance of parents, social environment and number and age of siblings. There are many more as well and these are just icing on the cake. Unfortunately it's impossible to know what to do to be the perfect parent who will be the reason behind the perfectly successful, well-loved and well-revered adult.
That being said, there are parenting methods that are known to be detrimental if not downright damaging to a child. Try doing these and you'll more or less guarantee that your child will grow up to be a person who, let's say, won't be the most well-liked or respected in their social circle.
The following are the top five parenting mistakes that parents can't afford to make.
1) Inconsistency - Saying one thing, doing another, or changing gears mid-stream is a huge no-no when it comes to raising kids. First off, kids remember everything, so don't count on the fact that your actions will be yesterday's news anytime soon. In addition, kids want their parents to be the deciding force behind important (and not-so important) decisions because they don't have all of the answers. You have more experience and wisdom and they know it. Wavering or second-guessing yourself is never a good idea and kids will notice it if you try. What will likely follow is your weaknesses being exploited. Never good, don't give them the chance.
2) Never Saying "No" - Your child is not your friend. They're your child and they want boundaries and parameters. Though it may seem that they want you to agree with everything, they don't. No one wants to have a Patsy as a parent, including children. They want a strong role model with clear indicators about what should or should not be done, or what is right or wrong. Say "no" when you need to say no, and don't be swayed by guilt, fear of them not liking you or that you're making the wrong decision. You're not, and your kids will thank you for your ability to be the voice of reason when they get older.
3) Being Too Sensitive - This means not having a thick skin. When tween and teen years roll around, you'll need all the strength - both emotional and physical - that you can get. Kids wear you out at every age and they can get a bit of an acid tongue when the teenage hormones hit the scene. Conversely, younger kids are not immune to being hurtful with "I don't like you" and "I'm not your friend" being popular sentiments amongst the toddler and preschool set. Toughen up and remember that your kids will get through their various phases eventually. And while they're going through it, don't take anything too personally.
4) Spoiling Your Child - Indulgence in our precious children is one thing; spoiling them is another. By spoiling, think of overindulgence on steroids. Giving your child everything that they ask for and more, giving in to their every whim and request and never saying "no" is a recipe for disaster. Parenting is difficult, no doubt and often it may seem that it's easier to give your child what they want, rather than saying "no" or giving them something they need (and don't necessarily want). Don't do it. Your child will become a better person who is much better able to handle the difficulties of life when they're older. Spoiled kids grow up to become spoiled adults, and we all know how successful and well liked they are. The type of person that a spoiled child grows up to be is never one that is invited back to the dinner party, amongst other things. Don't spoil your children. It's never in their best interest.
5) Overprotectiveness - We all fear for our kids. After all, it's a big old world out there. That being said, we've become an increasingly more world-weary and suspicious society on a whole, and it's affected our children. Gone are the days where kids are told to "go out and play and don't come back until dinner" and as a result, we've fostered a new generation of fearful, timid and generally trepidatious kids. Whereas once upon a time, a parent would rejoice in the fact that their son was gone all afternoon, collecting bugs and other creatures from various spots in the vicinity, now we're horrified at the prospect of our child exerting any display of independence. We've got to stop the Helicopter Parenting, and stop it now. We're not doing our kids any favors. As a matter of fact, we're instilling irrational fears in them unnecessarily. A nervous and anxious child afraid of their environment grows up to be a nervous and anxious adult. We've got enough of them already. Enough. Let kids be kids, keep a reasonable rein on them and let them do what they do best: explore. They'll survive and will be better for it.
This article also appears at www.multiplemayhemmamma.com
Charlize Theron and Jackson stroll to Pinkberry for a treat.
Sarah Jessica Parker out and about with her precious twins, Marion and Tabitha Broderick.
The Affleck girls are out for a stroll on a sunny day in L.A.
Matilda Ledger steps out with her mom, Michelle Williams.
Kingston and Zuma Rossdale go for a spin in New York City.
Skyler Berman is guaranteed a front-row seat, especially at his mama's show.
Jessica Alba grabs a treat with with daughter Honor.
Katie Holmes and her daughter, Suri Cruise, step out in New York City in August 2012.
Alexis Denisof and a pregnant Alyson Hannigan step out for a walk with their daughter, Satyana.
January Jones and baby Xander hang out by the pool in Topanga Canyon, Calif., in April 2012. (FameFlynet)
Jennifer Lopez hits The Grove with twins Max and Emme.
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden took their kids out for some fun in the sun in Santa Monica, Calif.
A very pregnant Jennifer Garner supports her back as she looks on at daughter Violet.
Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani take their littles out for a day of fishing.
Nicole Kidman steps out with baby Faith, 13 months.
Victoria Beckham was spotted with daughter, Harper, and one of her three sons, Cruz, at the MLS Cup Final in Carson, California.
Heidi Klum takes her kids to the Katy Perry concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Ben Affleck is on daddy duty as he spends the day out with daughters Violet and Seraphina.
Suri Cruise flashes her million dollar smile while out and about in New York City with Mom, Katie Holmes.
Kendra Wilkinson's cute little man, Hank Jr., had a fun day out with his famous mom and dad for a playdate in the park.
Hugh Jackman takes his daughter Ava for a dip while he and his family vacation in St. Tropez, France.
Sandra Bullock steps out with her little guy Louis for a day out in Los Angeles, Calif.
Reese Witherspoon enjoyed a stroll on the beach with her daughter Ava and some friends during a Fourth of July party in Malibu, California.
It was a family affair at the Fourth of July parade in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Ben Affleck and wife Jennifer Garner took their adorable little ladies, Violet, 5, and her younger sister Seraphina, 2, to show their red, white and blue pride on July 4th.
Pink and husband Carey Hart enjoy enjoy a beautiful beach day in Malibu, CA with new baby Willow.
Jennifer Lopez takes her twins, Emme and Max to the Parc Monceau in Paris, France where they played on the carousel and swings.
Heidi Klum spends a fun filled day with daughters Leni and Lou at a park in the Tribeca section of New York City.
Halle Berry wears a blue dress over her bikini as she takes her daughter Nahla shopping for groceries at Bristol Farms.
Ellen Pompeo holds on tight to her daughter Stella during a drink break from their play date in New York City.
Bethenny Frankel strolls with her husband Jason Hoppy and their daughter Bryn through the West Village in New York City.
Rachel Zoe and her husband Rodger Berman show off their brand new son Skyler Morrison at the "InStyle's Dinner With A Designer" for Rachel Zoe at Soho House in West Hollywood, California.
Ashlee Simpson shows off her stylish side in a mini skirt and hat as she carries her son Bronx through Studio City in Los Angeles.
Courteney Cox takes her little lady, Coco and a friend, for an ice cream break in Malibu.
Alanis Morissette leaves her home in Los Angeles with her hubby Mario and their 4-month-old son Ever.
Gwen Stefani heads out to Primrose Hill giving her son Zuma a push in the stroller in London, England.
Sean Combs aka Diddy takes his twin daughters D'Lila Star and Jessie James to the Westfield Mall in Century City, Calif.
Jennifer Garner makes her way out actor Adam Sandler's home with Seraphina who holds on to a balloon and has a painted face.
Katie Holmes and Suri spent a little time in the hotel pool and it looks like Holmes was trying to teach her little lady how to swim.
Rebecca Gayheart goes for a ride with daughter Billie Beatrice, spending a fun filled mother daughter day at the park in Los Angeles.
Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham take little Michael Wahlberg out shopping in Los Angeles.
Gavin Rossdale chases after son Zuma on the beaches in Malibu. He and Gwen Stefani spent their Memorial Day with their boys having some fun in the sun.
Rebecca Gayheart shops with darling daughter, Billie Beatrice in Los Angeles.
Halle Berry takes an after school walk with daughter Nahla Aubrey in Los Angeles. The little overall clad artist colored her mom a picture and carried a pink cartoon backpack!
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Violet Affleck is ready for the 4th of July as she sports some red and white stripes during a playdate with mom, Jennifer Garner, and a friend.
Nicole Kidman was all smiles as she arrived in Sydney, Australia holding hands with daughter Sunday Rose and baby Faith in her arms.
Halle Berry is a proud mommy as her daughter Nahla makes her way across the monkey bars at a local park.
Jennifer Garner gives her youngest daughter Seraphina a lift while out shopping.
Angelina Jolie exits Grauman's Chinese Theatre after the "Kung Fu Panda 2" premiere, holding the hands of two of her six kids, Shiloh and Maddox.
John Travolta steps out with his little man, Benjamin.
Marcia Cross takes her twin girls, Eden and Savannah to the Santa Monica Pier where they had a blast riding the rides.
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