Seven Parenting Behaviours That Can Harm Your Child’s Future

Seven Parenting Behaviours That Can Harm Your Child’s Future

Every parent makes mistakes, even with the best intentions in mind. Some behaviours, however, are more crippling to a kid’s future. If you don’t want to ruin your child for life, take a look at these seven behaviours to avoid.

Picture: izatrini_com

The list, posted on Forbes, comes from leadership expert and author Dr Tim Elmore. He says that too much coddling keeps kids from thriving and fulfilling their potential as leaders in the future:

I think both fear and lack of understanding play a role here, but it leads with the fact that each generation of parents is usually compensating for something the previous generation did. The primary adults in kids’ lives today have focused on now rather than later. It’s about their happiness today not their readiness tomorrow. I suspect it’s a reaction. Many parents today had Mums and Dads who were all about getting ready for tomorrow: saving money, not spending it, and getting ready for retirement. In response, many of us bought into the message: embrace the moment. You deserve it. Enjoy today. And we did. For many, it resulted in credit card debt and the inability to delay gratification. This may be the crux of our challenge. The truth is, parents who are able to focus on tomorrow, not just today, produce better results.

Unintentionally we may be:

  1. Insulating our children from risk. While it’s only right to want to protect them, kids who don’t experience normal failures or pain (a breakup or a skinned knee) can develop phobias, high arrogance and/or low self-esteem.
  2. Rescuing kids too quickly, not letting them solve problems on their own.
  3. Over-praising. This can do more harm than good for children with low self-esteem, but the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality and ignoring poor behaviour can also lead to children cheating, lying and not being able to confront difficulties. Praise should be specific and more about effort than ability.
  4. Spoiling them. “As parents, we tend to give them what they want when rewarding our children, especially with multiple kids. When one does well in something, we feel it’s unfair to praise and reward that one and not the other. This is unrealistic and misses an opportunity to enforce the point to our kids that success is dependent upon our own actions and good deeds.”
  5. Not sharing our own stories of struggle. Talking about your past mistakes and frustrations can help kids become “grittier”.
  6. Mistaking intelligence and giftedness for maturity. Smart kids tend to seem older, but that doesn’t mean they’re emotionally or otherwise ready in every area of their lives.
  7. Not modelling how we want kids to be — the “do as I say, not as I do” mistake.

Most of this is common sense parenting, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of short-term parenting instead of thinking of the long term.

Head over to the full article for more insights into each of these areas and how to start coaching rather than coddling.

(Also, don’t duct tape babies to a wall.)

7 Crippling Parenting Behaviours That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders [Forbes]


      • if required

        I am in full agreeance with this. Smacking your child is perfectly fine, as long as you use it in the correct way and they understand why its being done.

        I see too much of either parents smacking their kids all through supermarkets, and having their kids swear and despise them, as well as unruly kids causing havok while their parents look on because they know they can get away with it.

        Personally, I was pretty well behaved as a kid because I knew that my actions had consequences. Ran around screaming in a restaurant? We wouldn’t go again. Did something terribly wrong (ie verbally abused someone) then a smack was waiting for me. You learned pretty quickly that acting a certain way was rewarded.

        • Yeah recent studies show there’s a correlation between smacking kids and decreased brain functionality. The only parent that hits a kid is one that can’t deal with the situation in an intelligent / alternative manner.

          I know parents who abide by never hitting their children- and instead teach them concepts like objective and subjective thinking before double digit ages.

          These children are far more empathetic and intelligent when compared to your average kid.

    • I agree. More and more research is showing that it is not effective in behaviour management and potentially has a long term effect.

      Additionally – What is your message to your child around this? Its ok to hit people? Its only ok for your parents to hit people? Its only ok for you parents to hit you?

      To be honest I am actually a bit surprised that I am the first person to respond ‘against’ on this and that you got a negative vote for your comment.

      • Me too, although the down vote did make me chuckle – there could be a great Ask Lifehacker question here. Something like “As I try to raise a happy, emotionally intelligent human being capable of empathy and reason, I sometimes hit them – am I doing it wrong?”. There’s too much easily accessible information on this stuff for people not to educate themselves on the damage it causes.

    • I’m not opposed to a parent smacking their child. What I hate seeing though, is when a parent does it out of anger/frustration. It’s then showing the child an acceptable emotional reaction to something they don’t like… but i guess you could say that about a smack… At the end of the day, the child needs to learn what is and isn’t acceptable, and it’s really the responsibility of the parent.

  • I’m a bit of an over praiser………..then again I’m easily pleased, quite excitable and over praise everyone…….even when I’m telling someone there work sucks I’m telling them how good there other work is.

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