The not so positive habits that can be formed formed over the years of motherhood are plenty; but one of the worst infractions in parenting habits would fall into the category of ‘giving in too easily’. Toys, food, play time, bed time; sometimes its just so much easier to let them have their way. That is, in the short term. Long term however, your little habit may have helped to create a little monster.
We love our children dearly, we want them to want for nothing. And we hate to punish our little monsters, but as the years have gone by and their little personalities have grown and begun to shape into who they will become; we see things we do not like. Maybe a slight lack of empathy at times, too demanding at others. Your child feels they should get ‘something’ every time you walk into a store. Maybe you’ve allowed the grandparents to overly spoil them, because you can’t say no to them either. This has only increased the problem.
So, to be completely honest with ourselves, our bad habits in parenting may be costing our children their selves. Their inner peace, their ability to express themselves in a way that gets positive attention. It’s our responsibility to fix this. Our habit did this, and breaking this parenting habit will bring us both out of this little world of chaos. According to Kate Miller-Wilson in her article ‘Effects of Bad Parenting on Children’ , there are seven ways your children can be affected. Poor social skills, psychological disorders, doing poorly in school, and problems with the law are only some; and no parent wants to see their child go through that.
We have the ability to stop it from happening, but it takes work. It means dealing with some tantrums while your child fights the changes. And if we can survive that brief stage of rebellion, calmer waters will prevail. It may not seem so in the throws of a child screaming and yelling, throwing tantrums and fighting every step of the way. It usually never does, but the first time you say something and your child, totally out of character, just does it, it’ll bring tears to any mothers eyes.
Here are some tips to help you break your bad parenting habits:
1) Look at how your child is acting. If you don’t like what you see, you need to honestly analyze what you are allowing them to get away with. The truth is, the buck stops with you. It can be incredibly hard to see our own mistakes, but if we want our children to act like the responsible, loving and empathetic little ones of our dreams we need to realize that they act the way we allow them to act.
2) Seek some advice. Our parents weren’t lying when they complained how we didn’t come with instruction manuals and they did the best they could. Now we are in the same boat. Luckily there are parenting groups, online information and child psychologists who can point us in the right direction. So find what and who works best for you.
3) Be consistent. This is the only way our children will understand that we mean business. Give in once and the whole effort will go up in smoke. Consistency is what children need and crave. When they understand the rules and where the boundaries are everyone can breathe a sigh of relief and start enjoying each other as a family.
4) Make a rewards system. Children respond better to rules and boundaries when they are consistently (there’s that word again) told how well they are doing. Whether it’s a star chart on the refrigerator so they have something to look at and be proud of or consistent verbal praise and reinforcement (or better yet, do both) of good behavior; your children will have a complete turn around from where they were heading.
It isn’t easy breaking habits, but when it will give your child the ability to become a better person. To make their lives easier, to increase the love and communication between yourself and your child, it’s worth it. It will always be worth it.