Parenting is tough. There is no denying that. No one will tell you it’s easy, but it is also not an impossible task. Parenting is a special skill that takes patience, determination and a willingness to learn. Parenting can be a struggle, but it can also be rewarding. You will make mistakes. That is a given. Once you accept that, you may be able to relax slightly. Below are three of my top parenting mistakes that hopefully other parents can learn from.
1) Trusting Other Parents
This was a tough one, whichever way it goes for you. I have friends who never trusted other parents, and would never let their kids be alone with other families. I was always the opposite. I figured if I’d met the parents a couple of times, and they seemed nice enough, I could just drop my kid off for a playdate.
Both of these scenarios need to be altered.
Yes, you have to have a little trust, otherwise you will shelter your kids too much, and you want your kids to be socialized. We have a family down the street that is home-schooled, however, they belong to all the teams and clubs our town provides so that they meet people and make friends.
On the other hand, don’t trust too quickly. If you are not sure, make a playdate at mutual location like a playground so that way the parents are both around to watch. It will also give you a chance to get to know them better.
Yelling is something I hate doing, but I did it. My mother did it. So did my father. My parents always yelled at us for the stupidest things. At least, that’s how it seemed. Now that I am the mom, and I yell when they knock their milk over or walk inside with their cleats, I think to myself, “Wow! Now I am doing what my mom did!”
Think before you yell.
Thinking first is a tough order, however, when I do that, it calms me. When I think, okay, it’s just dirt that fell off the cleat onto my carpet and I can vacuum it up,” I am able to wait a second, and say to them quietly, “Next time try to take your cleats off in the garage.” Less yelling means less stress for both you and your child. And I notice that they do not wince as much when I start to open my mouth.
3) Letting the Younger one Copy the Older One
It’s hard to tell my five year old you can’t do what your 8 year old sister is doing when he see’s her doing it. If she watches a show on Nickelodeon, so does he, and half the time it is not appropriate for his age. I do try to lure him with other things like crafts or a computer game so that they can both have their own hobbies.
We want our kids to play together, but an age gap, and gender gap, can make a difference.
We need to tune in to that. Copying another person, whether it be a teacher, a friend or a sibling, is usually a compliment. You want to act or be like that person. But they also need their own identities and their own space. Copying can go too far, and a lot of times my kids end up fighting. That’s something that happens, but you want to avoid as much as you can.