In many ways, being a parent is the most delicate balancing act of all. Not only must parents lead their children into adulthood and encourage them to grow, but there is also a pressing need to act as their guardians to protect them from physical and mental harm.
This balance is difficult to achieve. Even with the best of intentions, it is possible to make inadvertent mistakes that impact negatively on the growth and well-being of one’s children.
With an awareness of these parenting pitfalls, as a mother, you can hopefully avoid them and protect your children from long-term harm.
One of such pitfalls is failing to practice what you preach. While children must ultimately be empowered to forge their own path in life, it is your responsibility as a mother to instil the values and principles that will guide their decisions as accountable adults.
Actions speak louder than words in the mind of a child, so it is crucial that you try to impart behaviours and values through a consistent, physical example. If your own behaviour does not match the values that you preach, your child will notice and develop a confused set of values which hinder strong decision-making.
Imposing your will on your children is another mistake mothers should avoid while raising their children. As a strong-minded parent, it is natural that you would want them to follow in your footsteps. There may be unhealthy psychological reasons for this, however, such a desire to control your child or live vicariously through their actions.
It is important to ensure that you do not inadvertently impose your will on your child as this can cause them to follow a future course that leads to failure or long-term unhappiness. So, while you should always offer objective advice to your child, you should refrain from imposing your will and unduly influencing their decisions.
Preventing your child from taking risks is wrong. Learning how to take and manage calculated risks is a crucial life-lesson that will prepare your child for adulthood. While it is your primary duty to protect the physical and mental well-being of your children, you must be balanced in our approach if you wish to achieve your parenting goals.
You shouldn’t allow guilt to interfere with parenting your children. Guilt is one negative emotion that prevents effective parenting. The cumulative effect of such behaviour manifests itself in a spoiled child with a sense of entitlement, which in turn can breed traits such as arrogance and selfishness later in life.
It is important to strike the ideal balance between oppressing or smothering children and leaving them to their differences. By sharing the mistakes that you have made, you can fill critical gaps in knowledge and experience while helping your child to make more informed decisions concerning peer pressure.
Just remember to educate your child on the consequences of these mistakes and how you can recover from them as this will help to prepare them regardless of the decision they ultimately take.