Parenting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Like many parents, we assumed that we would know how best to raise our own children, after all doesn’t parenting come naturally? How wrong we were!We both had very different parenting styles and couldn’t agree on the best way to raise our children to make them responsible and self-disciplined.
When we realized that our ‘instinctive’ parenting techniques just weren’t working, we turned to the experts and the latest research to maximize our chances of raising happy and confident children who will thrive.
As parents ourselves we know exactly how hard raising kids can be, and despite all of our knowledge and experience we still make mistakes.
Here are some parenting mistakes that can create long-term damage and how to avoid them.
Parenting in anger or frustration
When we’re frustrated, it’s hard to parent with grace. We’ll likely say things we regret. We may weaken our relationship, thus hindering our ability to reach our child’s heart. We’ll also be prone to set consequences disproportionate to the misbehavior. Plus, we can’t train our children to manage their emotions if we haven’t done so ourselves.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
Give yourself a “time out” when tension rises. Say, “I’m frustrated and need a moment to pray. You’ll be more able to parent with wisdom and grace having first sought God.
Failing to listen
When parenting, it’s easy to do most of the talking, but we can’t reach our children’s hearts where true change occurs if we haven’t paused to listen. A child who feels unheard will feel misunderstood and is likely to tune us out.
Actively listen and ask questions with a genuine desire to understand helps children open up and strengthens bonds of healthy communication. As a result, they’ll be more ready to come to us, rather than hide from us, when they encounter problems.
Giving things instead of time
Not to sound cliché, but love is spelled T.I.M.E. We’re all busy, and it’s easy to allow meetings and little league practice to crowd out our relationships. But busyness can’t build a heart, and that’s our responsibility as parents.
Ruthlessly reduce your schedules so that you have margin for relationships. Block out time for lazy, unhurried interaction, knowing every smile, laugh, and silly conversation is strengthening your child’s heart.
Not getting help when needed
Parenting has become more difficult than ever. Our children are constantly bombarded with content, be it through social media, television, overheard conversations, or their peer groups, their brains aren’t able to process. Studies show this upcoming generation is more anxious, depressed, and lonely, and have poorer social skills than any preceding them.
Parenting is challenging and confusing and often feels like tossing arrows at a clouded target. Though we’re guaranteed to make numerous mistakes, with intentional prayer and grace, we can ensure our wins overpower our losses. With Christ’s help, we can raise healthy, resilient, God-loving children who become all He created them to be.
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