These 5 common and easily fixable parenting mistakes can prevent kids from living up to their potential.
We all make mistakes in life.
I, for one, feel like I make a lot (A LOT) of mistakes as a result of feeling like an overworked modern mom.
This morning, I left our backdoor open and our dog temporarily ran away. This weekend, I accidently left a wet load of laundry in the washer for 2 full days until it stunk. And last week I left my coffee on top of my car as I sped away to get my son to baseball practice.
I am not above admitting that I make mistakes in parenting too. Are there days when my kids spend too much time on their screens? For sure. Do I sometimes hide in the bathroom when I hear my kids fighting so that I am not involved? Yup. Did I accidently send my second grader to school in pajamas because I could have sworn it was pajama day (and it was not)?
Most of our parenting fails are harmless (as long as you call sending your kid to school wearing pajamas harmless). However, what parenting mistakes actually have a negative effect on our developing kid’s mental strength?
What is Mental Strength?
Mental Strength is the ability to find inner peace, work towards goals, and overcome challenges when faced with discomfort.
Think of your child’s brain as a ‘muscle’. We have a responsibility, as parents, to help our children exercise their mental strength and train for obstacles they will inevitably face.
These 5 parenting mistakes, as confirmed by psychologist Tracy Hutchinson, can actually damage your kid’s mental health. So, if you want to raise mentally indestructible kids, refuse to do these 5 things.
1) Rescue Your Kids from Failure
It is said that Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before successfully inventing the the light bulb. When asked how it felt to fail 1,000 times, Edison simply said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention of 1,000 steps.”
I am just saying.
Grit, or strength of will, isn’t necessarily about coming in first place or earning the big bucks. It isn’t about the outcome.
It is about the process. Let your kids experience the entire process. Failures and successes alike.
Mental strength is earned when kids at least try to fix their problems on their own.
Related: Teaching Kids how to Lose Elegantly
2) Give in to Every Whim
Kids love snacks, toys, and gifts of any kind and at anytime.
However, research shows that when we give in to every request and overindulge our kids, it impacts their mental strength.
Encourage your kid to try new things, battle through adversities, and learn to get up after they fail. These simple parenting tips are designed to give kids confidence to try new experiences in life.
3) Avoid Boundaries and Consistent Discipline
I’ve struggled with this one for sure. I am not a routine-oriented mom. I am more of a go-with-the-flow mom.
When you provide (and stick to) set boundaries in your home, you give your kids a sense of stability in life. Your boundaries don’t have to be military-like. They can be as simple as “no technology at the dinner table”.
Giving in and allowing rules to be negotiated too often can lead to power struggles between you and your kids.
You May also Like: 5 Ways Parents Cause Unnecessary Stress for Kids
4) Forget That to Ere is Human
Mentally strong kids set goals, but learn that not all goals are easily achievable.
However, as parents, we must accept our kid’s shortcomings and help them to understand that perfection is impossible. Your kid WILL forget to do their homework sometimes. They WILL not always win the spelling bee. They WILL strike out sometimes.
Support your kids when they fail. Take losses as an opportunity to teach kids how to set goals and work hard; however, use these moments to also teach your children that no one is perfect.
Consider learning more about the gentle parenting method. Gentle parenting focuses on developing mutual respect, teaching mindfulness and empathy, and setting healthy boundaries.
5) Minimize Your Kid’s Feelings
When we say things like “stop worrying about that” or “you’re fine!”, we are dismissing their emotions.
It is important for kids to feel comfortable expressing their feelings.
When your child seems upset or wants to talk start the conversation of right by saying:
- I see you are feeling__________
- Tell me why you feel that way?
- What would make you feel better?
Validate your kid’s feelings and help them learn how to talk through the uncomfortable things they may be feeling.
Final Thoughts on Parenting Mistakes
When you make these simple parenting adjustments, you will raise kids who can tackle any obstacle that comes their way – even being sent to school in pajamas on a non-pajama-theme day!
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