Parenting Tips: 3 Mistakes I Learned The Hard Way While Raising Kids

Angry mother scolding daughter

Everyone makes mistakes as we’re human after all. Unfortunately, as parents we tend to become overzealous when trying to teach our children independence. I know from my own experience that we as parents can push too hard or try methods that can actually hinder progress. Think about your approach and makes sure to avoid these parenting mistakes.

1. Forcing Potty Training On Your Child

Every kid will learn to use the bathroom. Some learn it early than others, but eventually everyone will learn how to use the toilet. When I was training my first child, I made the mistake of adding additional pressure due to my frustration.  As a result, my kid was reluctant to learn and the process was much more arduous than necessary. I recommend that you be patient and do your best to avoid bribery and getting too heated.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

At some point, every parent goes through it, that dreaded time frame when you say must say no to your child.  I made the mistake of doing this sternly in the middle of a crowded store, causing plenty of onlookers and embarrassment. However, don’t let this prevent you from saying no. I’ve learned that children must get used to the notion that you cannot always get what you want. My advice is to stay calm, crouch down to meet the child’s level (to avoid an overbearing presence) and quietly explain why you must refuse their request.  Follow it up with an alternate solution that will appease the child, and you’re golden!  The world doesn’t always go our way, and a child who doesn’t know how to cope is doomed to failure when they are out on their own.

3. Following Through On Threats Of Punishments

My kids would always test my limits to see what they could get away with.  If they were being unruly and I wanted them to quickly be quiet, I would threaten to throw out their favorite toy. However, at the time I thought this was cruel and had no intentions of actually following through with it.  Because of this, my children refused to take any threat seriously and would continue misbehaving.  If you say you’re going to do something to a child, do it. By not following through, you not only lose effectiveness with your child, but you also give them the upper hand. They think they have become the decision maker and that there aren’t any consequences for their actions. As long as you give your child the power, they will do whatever they want to do.  Later on, I did end up taking their favorite toy, and after the inevitable tantrum, my child began to once again obey.  Of course, I never threw it out and simply gave it back to him once he earned it, thus showing him the notion of positive reinforcement.

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