Habits to Avoid When Raising Kids
As parents,everyone wants to raise decent humans who grow up to be kind, independent and successful people. Every parent wants what is best for their child, but sometimes, parents model bad behavior without even realizing it.
Here are a few habits to avoid when striving to provide a child with a healthy environment and a loving relationship with you and most importantly themselves.
Turn Them Into Yourself
While everyone has regrets about dreams they didn’t fulfill earlier in life, forcing your kids to fulfill yours isn’t helpful for anyone. You need to help your kids find their own dreams and pursue their own passions,. Ultimately, they need to be their own person.
Force Them to Try New Things
If your child has anxiety about doing something, forcing the situation may make things worse. While parents usually have their child’s best interests at heart, pressuring them to do something may have the opposite effect. Instead of looking forward to trying something new, they may associate such experiences with your anger or disappointment.
Don’t Lead by Example
One of the best things a parent can do is to lead by example. When you demonstrate healthy life choices, your children will see you taking those actions and accept them as the normal way to approach life.
Encourage Unhealthy Eating
Another example you set is through your eating habits. If you frequently eat unhealthy foods, dine out, order in or avoid cooking healthy meals, your kids may not, either. Encourage healthy eating by showing your children that you make healthy choices as well.
Limit Physical Activity
While it can be tempting to let your kids enjoy their childhood however they see fit, it’s important to try and encourage your child to be physically active. Since you are your child’s first role model, show your kids that you prioritize physical activity as well.
Too Much Screen Time
While kids need to learn and grow with technology, too much screen time can be detrimental to their health and development. It can be tempting to let your kid sit in front of a screen all day so you can get things done, but there are better ways to keep them busy.
Poor Sleeping Habits
Lack of sleep probably affects almost all households with children. From stress at work, to stress with kids, sleep in many households is a fond memory. To help encourage better sleeping habits in your home, do your best to stick to a routine from birth.
Personal Hygiene Fails
Sometimes, you just can’t wait for your little one to brush their teeth or even wipe their own behind when you’re in a hurry. Nonetheless, as hard as it is to be patient, you should make room for letting your kids learn essential personal hygiene habits.
Not Making Reading a Priority
While reading may not be an activity for everyone, you should still give your kid a chance to cultivate a love of reading. When it comes to holidays and birthdays, encourage family or friends to buy books instead of toys. Maybe instead of buying a trinket on every vacation, let your kid choose a book.
Avoid Talking About Money
Money doesn’t have to be a taboo topic. While you don’t need to stress your kids out with every financial detail of your life, you should give them some insight into personal finances and your own situation.
Creating a Safe Environment
One of the most essential things for a parent to provide is a safe place for their kid to sleep, play and learn in. While this is usually your child’s home, it should also include their childcare situation, their school and anywhere else they spend a lot of time.
Not Offering a Place for Sharing
Kids need to be able to open up and talk to their parents. If they can’t communicate with them, a child may confide in the wrong person instead. While you want your kids to have friends other than you and have relationships with other people, make sure they know they can talk to you about their life.
Kids find routines comforting. Babies especially thrive in environments where their routine is calming and predictable. When you don’t have an order in place, your child may feel like they are always out of sorts. When a kid doesn’t know what is coming next, they stress out, and that in turn is likely to cause problems for you.
Not Partaking in Family Meals
While life with kids is always hectic, making time to sit down and eat a meal together is still worthwhile. It gives family members an opportunity to connect and check in with one another, and it establishes the family as a single, cohesive whole.
Hold Back Their Independence
While you want to keep your child safe, holding back their independence isn’t always helpful. It’s important to give your child opportunities to interact with the world on their own, since that is ultimately your goal in raising them.
Not Teaching Them Life Skills
Your kids need to learn basic life skills before they leave the nest. If you are constantly doing everything for them, they might be a little lost on their own. Starting at a young age, kids are fully capable of doing a lot on their own.
When your child needs rules, structure or discipline, it might seem easier to avoid conflict and just let them have their way. While you may need to pick your battles, you don’t want to set a precedent that your child can rule the roost.
Clean Up After Them
Constantly cleaning up your child’s messes is a bad precedent to set. Not only are you teaching them that they don’t have to clean up after themselves, but you’re also showing them that you are always there to do it.
Not Taking Time for Yourself
While your kids may think you are superhuman, that doesn’t mean you really are. If you never take time for yourself, your stress, anxiety and exhaustion could lead to worse care on your part and even lashing out at them. Moreover, it teaches them that they shouldn’t take care of themselves when they get older.
Talking Negatively About Your Body Image
When you’re in front of your children, be careful what you say about your body. Don’t put yourself down or say negative things about other people’s bodies in front of your kids. They hear and understand a lot more than you think.
Being Disrespectful to Others
Being rude, mean, or disrespectful to others is something parents would almost always be angry at their kids for doing. Show your child how to respect and treat other people well, and they will do the same. If they grow up in an environment where physical or verbal violence is acceptable, however, they may start to think it’s normal.
If you’re a shopaholic, chances are your kids have noticed. Despite how much money you have or don’t have, you should teach your kids the value of a dollar and that how you spend your money matters. By giving your child anything they ask for, they may not learn self-restraint and that things have value.
Let Kids Be Kids
That said, as much as your child needs to learn over the coming decade or two, it’s still important to give them space to enjoy childhood. Let them get dirty, explore nature, and use their imagination.
When Follow-Through Isn’t Important
If you constantly threaten punishments but don’t actually follow through with enacting consequences for your child, your warnings won’t be respected. Your kids will eventually see right through your words and know that you don’t actually mean what you say.
Not Making Health a Priority
Everyone should take their health seriously, and just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you suddenly don’t need to take care of yourself. Lead by example and show your children that health matters.
Insult Their Intelligence
Very often, kids are even more perceptive than adults give them credit for. When it comes to keeping secrets from them, whether for good reasons or bad, you should take care not to underestimate them. Even young kids often understand much more than they let on or can fully articulate.
Not Getting to Know Their Friends
If you don’t take an interest in your child’s friends, they may think it doesn’t matter who they hang out with. Whether you like all of their friends or not, take an interest in learning more about them. Even if you feel pushy or intrusive, learning about who your child hangs out with can help.
If your child shows an interest in something that doesn’t interest you, be respectful and try to be encouraging. You may not love going to dance recitals or football games, but if they are important to your child, try and make them a priority.
Not Teaching Them Charity
Being charitable isn’t something kids are always exposed to. If they don’t see you helping strangers, they may think kindness is something that should be limited to friends and family, or even just to themselves.
Not Showing Environmental Concern
If you don’t show your kids that the environment matters, they may not care either. Even basic tasks like recycling and not littering might not be picked up by your kid if you don’t make a point of demonstrating them.