It is an undisputed fact that many parents would go out on a limb for their children. This just shows how much they love and care for their kids but sometimes, parents have a tendency to become overbearing.
They need to remember that they cannot live their children’s lives for them because children need to grow and learn for themselves. Here are 10 Don’ts to keep in mind when raising your children.
1. Talking on behalf of them
Often times, parent’s forget that their children have a voice of their own. When your child learns to speak let them answer questions posed to them, by themselves. A simple interaction such as when a child is asked their name only to be answered by the parent will be detrimental to their communicating abilities.
Give your child a chance to answer for themselves and keep in mind that you should not talk for them. Try to consciously stop yourself from intervening while someone is speaking to your child. It is good for your child to know that their voice matters.
2. Become their friend
Many parents try to befriend their children because they feel that if they are friends, their children will not keep secrets from them. Although there is nothing wrong with being on friendly terms with your children, you cannot overdo it. Children need their privacy and parents should respect that.
They will always be more comfortable confiding in their friends about their problems, as all of them would be going through the same thing. What they need from parents is love and support. Avoid infringing on their space to the point you become overbearing.
3. Wants vs Needs
As parents you obviously know what’s best for your kids because you have had the experience to grow into adulthood and learn from your various experiences. Try to persuade your children to understand what they need instead of saying no flat out.
Let them know the consequences of their actions to make them realize for themselves what they should and should not be doing. For example, many children will throw tantrums if they want candy therefore you need to sit them down and make sure they understand why they cannot have candy all the time.
Tell them they will get cavities from eating too many sweets or that eating vegetables is good for their bodies. Vegetables will help them grow strong and they can keep up while playing with their friends.
4. Help them with everything
It is true that children rely on parents for everything when they are infants but as they grow, parents need to start letting their kids do things by themselves. When children reach the age of 3 to 4 years old, they should already be able to put on their own clothes, wash their cups and also put their dirty clothes in the washing machine with minimal guidance.
They will actually be excited when you give them some responsibility. Therefore let them do what they can and ask you for help only if they really need it. This will help them learn to be independent and gain a sense of responsibility.
5. Choose their tastes
Many parents tend to want to live vicariously through their children and they should avoid this at all costs. Too often parents will want their children to like the same things they do such as their taste in music, books, fashion sense and so on.
They need to keep in mind that their children are individuals and should be given the freedom to develop their own likes and dislikes. This will help them be more sure of themselves in the future as they will have a greater sense of self identity.
6. Calculate their money
There comes a time when children need to know the value of money. This is a stepping stone as money virtually governs almost everything in the world today. Children should learn to think about how to save and spend their money accordingly.
Parents should not go after their children relentlessly when it comes to their money as it will kill their trust. Teach them how to manage their money and let them figure the rest out on their own.
7. Choose their hobbies and interests
It is true that children can sometimes be fickle minded because they may like something one day and can switch their interests the next. It is important to remember that they have interests of their own and they are just exploring the vast world around them.
Parents should be supportive of what their children’s hobbies and interests are instead of forcing them to pursue something that the parents want them to. Let them choose because this will let them know that you respect their choices.
8. Take their successes as yours
When children start to develop their motor and language skills, many parents see it as their own achievements. Children need to know that their successes are their own to celebrate as they will want to learn more and know that it will be accredited to them.
This will help them be sure of themselves and they will also learn to be accountable for their own actions.
9. Choose their presents
When children learn to speak, they will generally be able to express their desires and what they want by themselves using proper language. Therefore when they are asked what they want as presents by other adults, it is important to remember to let them speak on behalf of themselves.
Let your child choose their own rewards so to speak.
10. Intrude in their personal lives
Growing children will need to be given sufficient space to mature. They should be given their own privacy and even though they are bound to keep things from their parents, it is perfectly normal.
To intrude into their private lives is to break that bond of trust between parent and child. Let them come to you in their own time and if they don’t tell you certain things you should know that it is fine.