As parents, we all want to do the best job we can in raising our kids. However, despite our best intentions, we often do things that we shouldn’t. After 35 years of raising our 8 kids, I can look back and see where I struggled. I would catch myself exasperating my kids, and had to tell myself to JUST STOP.
7 things parents should stop doing.
Stop repeating instructions.
If our kids have the ability to obey after we have told them something three or four times, they are capable of obeying the FIRST time! Why not require it?
When our kids are in the habit of not obeying till the 3rd time they have been told, they are doing so with our permission. We’ve unintentionally trained them that way by not requiring them to obey the first time.
Stop giving warnings or idle threats.
We should stop saying things like: If you don’t do what you’re told, you’re going to be in big trouble!
Repeating our commands or giving warnings to get them to listen, is training them to disobey. Children need to learn at a young age that they need to listen to the authority of their parent’s word. Tell them a few times that they must be obedient, then hold them accountable to listen and obey the first time.
Stop having always to be right.
As parents, we need to be willing to acknowledge and admit it when we have made a mistake, or we are wrong. Don’t excuse or justify your wrongs, but admit and ask forgiveness.
Stop over-protecting our kids.
As our kids get older, we need to increase their independence gradually. They may fail, but that’s how they learn. If we never step out of the way and let them try new things, they won’t learn.
We also need to stop protecting them from the consequences of their wrong behavior. If they steal a pack of gum from the store, make them go back into the store, apologize, and give it back.
Our kids need to learn that they have to answer for their actions.
Stop criticizing or lecturing them when they share their thoughts with us.
When our kids open up their hearts to us, it is NOT the time to lecture. That teaches them that you aren’t “safe,” and they will quit sharing their hearts with you.
An example of this (from my experience) was the time my teen son told me that he wanted to save his money and get some expensive sports car. My immediate (wrong) response was: `”Oh, that’s such a waste of money!” To him, I was saying that his desire was stupid. Why would he want to tell me his thoughts and open his heart to me again?
Now I think that there are times when we should sit down and address concerns about things our kids have shared with us, but NOT when they have just told us. WAIT, and bring it up in conversation at a different time, and talk about different thoughts that relate in a non-critical way.
Stop scolding or punishing them for something they’ve done in an area where we haven’t trained them.
We shouldn’t just expect our kids to know what behavior is acceptable or appropriate if we haven’t taken the time to teach them. For example, don’t get upset if you take your child to the store and they start running or touching everything. Before you go to the store, tell them what your expectations are.
Stop embarrassing them.
We shouldn’t scold or correct our kids in front of others. We need to treat them with respect and discipline them in private. This isn’t only when they are with their friends but in the home. We should try to correct privately, rather than embarrass them in front of their siblings.
What are some other things parents should stop doing?
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