Children learn from their surroundings; they imitate what they see. Usually, parents are the immediate surrounding of a child. Whatever parents do, children copy. Parents may not realize this at first, but their actions have an everlasting impact on a child. So when it comes to bad parenting habits, children will learn these too.
Children not only soak up their parents’ poor manners, but such habits also have an everlasting impact on a child. It is easy to blame parents for poor parenting habits. But it isn’t right, because parents too are human beings. Before being too strict on parents, one must realize that the day-to-day activities can take a toll on just anyone, including a parent. Parents have not so good days too, which can lead to a parent losing temper quickly, being too harsh on their child, among other things. If a parent realizes that such outbreaks are not suitable for their children; at least, there is hope for some improvement.
Hence, a parent must be enthusiastic about being a role model for their children. This drive to be a better parent will help you get rid of poor parenting habits. Identifying bad habits is the first step in improving as a parent.
What are some bad parenting habits?
Parents practice poor parenting habits without being consciously aware of it. These parenting habits may not be as extreme as abusive parenting; however, these are also damaging to a child’s social, psychological, and emotional development.
Here are a few poor parenting habits that parents should avoid:
Not sticking with the rules
Not having rules in place can be problematic for parents in the long term. Since children are curious by nature, there should be limits in place for their safety. Another point to note is that parents often waive limits to please their children. Even though a parent may have rules in place, not following them can also pose problems.
For example, a child may ask a parent to stay up late at night. A parent may permit the child. If this happens once or twice, it is okay. But if a parent regularly allows the child to stay up late, a child may take this for granted. A parent will have a hard time forcing their child to go to bed early. Because the parent was lax with the rules, the child thinks that the parent wasn’t serious. Hence, they didn’t bother with following the limits that you set in place.
The bottom line is parents should have some rules in place. Here are a few rules that parents should strictly follow:
- Not using digital devices during meal times
- Going to bed on time
- Doing homework during the allocated time
- Watching TV for a specific amount of time in a day
- Being responsible for certain chores
Giving in too quickly, or being too strict
Parents can change some rules as the child grows. Hence, parents should try to modify the rules according to the needs of a child. For instance, as your child grows up, you can change the time your kids go to bed.
Having limits in place is essential for a child’s growth, but being too strict is not the way to go about it. As a parent, you must strike a balance. Parents should provide a healthy environment for their children so that they can explore their interests while also being within safe boundaries. Hence, parents should let their kids be curious, but also have limits in place. A child needs a parent’s guidance along the way.
For instance, your child wants to stay at a friend’s house. If you are a strict parent, you will answer with a straight no. If you are an easy-going parent, you will let your child stay at their friend’s house. Both of these approaches are wrong. The right way to go about this would be to ask your kid about the friend, his/her parents, the friend’s address, whether you’ve met the friend before or not, etc. Only if all of these things check out, you can allow your child to go.
Not having the time for yourself
If you don’t take care of yourself, it reflects how you deal with your child. When a parent is stressed, a parent may lose their temper quickly, snap at their kids, and be irrational. Such behavior drives a child away from their parent. A parent’s intention is never to hurt a child. But the stress and anxiety brought about daily life make it difficult for a parent to function normally.
Hence, parents must take care of their mental well-being. Taking care of yourself is equally important as taking care of your child. Self-care is a necessary part of parenthood. Parents must take some time from their busy routine for themselves. Spending time with your partner or friends can help. A parent may also need emotional support, which they can seek in the form of counseling or therapy.
Technoference, a term coined Brandon McDaniel, refers to the overuse of digital media to the point where it affects our relationships. Parents are guilty of technoference. On average, a parent uses a digital device for about 3.5 hours a day. Research shows that parents who use digital devices excessively become hostile towards their children. When a parent is engrossed in their smartphone, it leads to a child feeling neglected. Because of this, parents spend less quality time with their children.
When a child feels neglected, they may throw temper tantrums and show signs of misbehavior for a parent’s attention. If children notice that their parents use their phones a lot, they may be prone to using digital devices themselves. If all members of the family are engrossed in digital devices, the family does not spend quality time as it should. Hence, the family suffers due to a lack of connection. Moreover, children may turn to other means of comfort and support.
As a responsible parent, you must observe the time you spend on digital devices and be mindful of whether it affects your children or not. If you are continually on your phone, you must cut back on your screen time.
Upbraiding the child excessively
If you regularly reprimand your child for the slightest mistake, it can affect a child negatively. A child may grow fearful of the parents. Moreover, to a child, it may seem like they are not good enough. They may feel like their achievements go unnoticed. It can drive a child away from the parents. If you find yourself scolding your child, it can serve as a blow to their motivation. Moreover, they may seem withdrawn and refuse to participate in activities that they enjoy.
Children make mistakes all the time. Your job, as a parent, is to help them improve, sometimes it may involve using a stern tone. However, if you notice that your child angers you a lot, it is time for you to step back and reflect. Notice how your anger affects your kid. If you notice that they make a lot of mistakes, correct them by using a softer tone. In addition to this, try to be observant of their achievements and let them know that you are proud of them.
No rulebook tells you how to be a perfect parent. Parents learn as they go along. Sometimes, parents have bad habits, which has a detrimental effect on a child. Hence, a parent must identify their mistakes and correct them.