Off The Record
11 Habits of Toxic Parents and How They Ruin The Children Without Realizing It
Parenting is difficult. As soon as you have a child, you are concerned with raising them right, giving them the right kind of love and attention and doing everything that every parent needs to do for their child. In pursuit of becoming perfect parents, you often end up reading dozens of books on the subject and still feel helpless.
What you fail to realize is that there isn’t a standard way of raising kids but each child needs varying upbringing practices – good and bad are relative. Where we can go wrong, however, is very much similar: giving too much or too less is damaging. You need to find the balance.
Therefore, be cautious of the following 11 habits if you want your child to grow into healthy, successful, happy human being.
1. Being disrespectful of the boundaries
Surely, as parents you have set boundaries for your children as to what they can do and cannot do and which rooms and closets are off limits. Moreover, you expect them to follow these boundaries. Similarly, there are certain areas of their privacy which are out of bounds for you – you need to respect them and not go snooping around.
2. Failing to provide affirmation and security
It is quite a common practice to prepare our children for adversities by punishing them. Parents feel that tough love is how you make them learn when, in reality, unnecessary punishments can impair their ability to stand against life challenges. What you need to do is make them face reality as an adult, trying to teach them to be better on their own.
3. Being overly evaluative
Parents usually have this habit of imposing their dreams and hopes on their children. Doing so leaves them with very little choice and with unrealistic expectations that our children will live up to them. Such practices do not make the kids stronger but weaker in the face of real life challenges.
4. Not Following Through
There’s an idea that being your child’s best friend is how you do parenting. It may be, but we shouldn’t forget that there still needs to be certain rules and regulations. Now, setting these rules merely depend upon what works best for your child and what doesn’t – you will need to experiment it before you put them into effect. Then, you need to follow through, adjusting and manipulating the rules along the way so that your child develops good habits.
5. Not giving enough space
Children don’t do better under their parents’ shadow all the time. They need space to grow and explore the world on their own. Parents can’t be there for all the problems all the time, so you need to make them learn to “figure it out on their own”. Sure, help them in the process but leave the figuring out part to them alone. You will have to let your baby go and allow them to grow.
6. Serving your kids
Sure, it’s cute offering your child whatever they ask or need but until when? Of course you can’t do it all the time. You need to know that when they are old enough, you ought to teach them essential skills, for example driving, cooking and doing laundry. You can’t really pamper them throughout their whole life. It will only leave an adult who doesn’t know who to deal with mundane chores.
7. Threatening and intimidating your kids
It is not really healthy to threaten your child all the time, telling them if they don’t do this then this is what will happen to them and passing remarks like this. It doesn’t help them but instead lowers their confidence in you. It is very damaging for them as well. There doesn’t need to be ultimatums and threats all the time.
Must read: The Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 9 Things
Yes, okay, it is cute when parents are available for their child 24/7 but they can’t really move on with it throughout their life now, can they? Of course not. So, as your child grows, let them go slowly. You will need to allow them to learn on their own and teach them to learn from their mistakes.
9. Not listening
It is absolutely essential that you pay attention to what your child is saying to you. It will leave a lasting impact on them which will follow them through their life. If you don’t listen, they will distance themselves from you because they would feel like their interests do not interest you.
10. Being a lazy parent
There are some parents who are just too sluggish – they hardly seem to be doing some productive work for their child. It isn’t healthy for your kid – not at all! Parenting is hard work and you need to be willing to put in efforts. You can’t just have dinners in front of the TV without having actual conversations or make your child sit in front of the TV for 6 hours. Teach them what they need to learn!
11. Being friends with your child
It is a major misconception that you need to be your child’s best friend. Of course you need to be, but not before a certain age, i.e. somewhere between 17 and 19. Before this age, you need to be their parent alone, teaching them, guiding them and helping them grow into responsible adults.