Being a parent is one of those rare occupations that has no job description or manual. We can think of it like a big test, where God said, “Here you go!” and you do your best to keep them all alive. We give a lot of ourselves as parents but here are the habits that you need to GIVE UP as a parent:
We’re parents and we’re tired. I get that. But one of the biggest mistakes we can make is to threaten a punishment and then do nothing about it.
“Billy, don’t touch that again or you won’t get any candy.” Two minutes later the boy is chomping on a package of M&Ms with a sly smile on his face. He touched the “item” again and still got the candy.
There are times when I find myself threatening some punishment from the comfort of the couch and when C doesn’t listen, it’s tempting to just let it slide. Kids learn quickly that if you don’t act on your words once, then twice, you probably won’t. They continue to do whatever action it is we want them to stop to push buttons and to see how far they will make it.
Although the first few times will be difficult and a tantrum might follow, stay firm with your punishment and it will get a little easier. I wish I could say they would respond for the rest of their lives but that’s just wishful thinking. Be firm and follow through.
Not disciplining your kids
For the love of all of us alive, please discipline your child! This is part of the first point but allowing them to wreak havoc and leave a wave of destruction in their wake is not okay. Yes, you want to let them have some space to learn and grow through experience but there is a time and a place. When you’re out at places with a lot of people and expensive items, this is NOT the time to let them run wild.
If your child yells at you, throwing a tantrum because they want a certain item, don’t just let it go. Whether you spank, ground or whatever, just stay consistent so they they learn what is appropriate behavior for certain situations. Take away games, phones or whatever will get the point across and like above–Follow through.
Too Much Phone Time
We are pretty attached to our phones, using them for work, and to check emails and social media. As good as they are to help us efficiently contact the people we need to, they can also suck up the time from being with our kids.
Life gets pretty crazy here and sometimes you just want to scroll through random posts on Facebook or Instagram. There’s nothing wrong with that to relax and connect with people you know. When it becomes a bad thing is when you do it at the wrong times. You can determine when that is but remember that what we think is only a few minutes can turn into 15 or even 30 minutes. Add that up throughout the day and we’re wasting a lot of time.
Set a time when you can just relax and check your phone, whether it’s in the car before picking up the kids from activities, at night when they’re in bed etc. If you’re checking while the kids are up, just limit yourself by setting a timer or something else to remind you.
Comparing your child to others
This can be bad both for you and your child. Kids come in all different sizes and shapes and learning abilities. So if your child isn’t reciting the alphabet at 12 months and another one is, it’s not the end of the world. Some kids develop faster and others just take their time in certain areas so don’t beat yourself up if they aren’t a child prodigy.
Comparing can also hurt your child by either making them feel like they are better than others or that they will never measure up to expectations. Praising your child for their strengths and helping them through their weaknesses will help them get better and will help you stay close as a family.
Don’t compare kids to their siblings. You shouldn’t compare them to your childhood either. Let kids choose what they want to do, even if you have no interest in it. They need to feel supported and not pushed into something they don’t care about, just because it was your thing. Granted, many times kids end up liking what their parents were interested in until they are pushed way too far.
Your Valuable Time
I remember a story about a young boy asking his father how much he made an hour. The father told him something like $20 and the boy asked if he could borrow $15. This caused the father to get angry, until the boy says he wanted to buy an hour of his father’s time.
Yes, there are only 24 hours in a day but we all have the same amount. Make time for your kids. If you have to bring work home, work on it after bedtime. Do your best to make that game/recital/performance because you’ll forget about the project you’re working on but you won’t forget missing those important moments.
This is something that we can all probably work on because it seems like there are so many things to get done in the day. Between household chores and all the other activities there are, it can seem like the day flies by and with it goes time with your kid. Make sure to take time to play with them and let them do their own thing.
If you can, include them in your work or plans. It’s amazing how much different we act when we feel included and like we are doing something important. The same goes for kids.
These things may take time to improve on but they’re worth it!
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Strong Relationships, noun.
1. able to withstand great force or pressure.
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