If We Don’t Want Our Children to Become Spoilt, We Must STOP Making These 7 Mistakes!

If We Don’t Want Our Children to Become Spoilt, We Must STOP Making These 7 Mistakes!

“What a well-mannered child you have!” For a parent, this is one of the best compliments anyone can give, no matter what the age of the child. As babies, our little darlings don’t yet know the importance of rules, routines and behaviour. But as soon as they enter toddlerhood, they start understanding things super fast…

According to child development experts, the habits that we inculcate in children early (toddlerhood onwards) are responsible for their future personality. As parents, we have the power in our hands to raise kids who are well-behaved and well-mannered. We simply have to stay away from some harmful habits in day-to-day life.

Please check the following parenting mistakes that many of us make as Indian parents, due to various reasons, and often unknowingly. But for the sake our child, we need to STOP doing them at once.

7 Parenting Mistakes To Avoid To Raise Well-Behaved Children

1. Trying To Give Children EVERYTHING They Want

This is probably something most of us are guilty of. As parents, we definitely want to fulfill every desire of our children, including the time we spend together, toys and gifts, clothes, delicious foods, gadgets… However, what we fail to realise is – quality matters more than quantity. The key here is to strike a good balance. Being a parent does not mean making sure your children get everything they want all the time; it means telling them that they can’t always have everything they want in life.

What Should You Do?

Make sure you spend at least half to one hour with your child everyday on a one-to-one basis – just you and your child. Ask him about his day, about school, about what he learned, watched, played, did. Be there for your child when he demands your time, and understand any demands he makes. But don’t throw everything away and rush to your child or blindly fulfill his wishes each time he seeks your attention.

2. Giving In To Tantrums & NOT Sticking To Rules

Another common mistake we make is – we draw the line, but don’t always back it up. Rules need to be set with consideration, but they need to be followed and reinforced with equal firmness once set. You cannot say ‘no’ to something today, and then ‘yes’ to it tomorrow, just because it suits your situation better. Children are going to want to break the rules. But make sure you don’t cave in to their demands. For example, if the rule is that they can have pizza once a week, don’t cave in when they ask for pizza a second time! If the rule is that TV time is only for one hour, it cannot get extended just because your child starts fussing. Stand your ground.

What Should You Do?

Be realistic and considerate when you set rules. Make sure you are keeping your personal agendas and interests out of rule-setting. And always ensure the rules you set will bring about positive change in your children, and not just turn them into rebellious kids. But once set, rules MUST be followed. In this scenario, it is much more important to teach your child discipline than to cave in to opposition from family members, just because “you refused something the child badly wanted”!

3. Not Letting Children Think About Their Mistake

How many times have we thought that the child made a mistake because he is just too small to understand? Even at a young age, children can be taught about right and wrong, because every child is born with an innate conscience. We must only foster it and help it grow stronger… and you will never be required to ‘teach’ your child anything.

What Should You Do?

When your child errs in some way, instead of shouting at your child, point his mistake out to him. Give him some time to self-reflect on the problem. Ask him to come up with a fair consequence, if the same mistake gets repeated. This will make him realize the criticality of not committing the mistake again.

4. Justifying Our Child’s Behaviour As “Kids Will Be Kids”

Another very important things children need to realise to fully understand good and bad is – what’s bad is bad under all circumstances. If shouting at elders is wrong, it is wrong no matter what the situation is. You cannot say, ‘Oh he was upset because he lost the game, it’s okay, I know he won’t do it again.’ Why? Because this is how children learn to make excuses for their mistakes, shortcomings, misdeeds. If we as parents justify their actions as “something kids do”, it only encourages children to repeat the mistake!

What Should You Do?

If your child generally obeys you, and if you know his bad behaviour is in fact a result of something else, let it go for the moment. Instead of scolding him, ask him what the matter is. However, once the situation has passed, bring up the incident again and tell him that it is not okay to behave like this.

5. Scolding Our Child But Not Reasoning With Him

When we were children, it was often enough to not do something simply because Mamma/Papa asked us not to. It may have worked till our generation, but children now-a-days cannot be simply told to do or NOT do something. They always need to know why, or they are not going to listen to you. Now the interesting and important thing to realise here is – this is NOT an act of defiance, but only a sign of developed reasoning and logical abilities… which is a good thing.

What Should You Do?

Use this to your advantage instead of fighting it. Explain to them why wrong is wrong, why right is right, and why good and bad is so. Being able to question something is a definite mark of intelligence. Do not curb this ability. Use it to raise your child to become the kind of adult who can make his own decisions based on rational thinking.

6. Not Teaching Children About Respecting People’s Privacy

Privacy is a very delicate and yet important issue that many parents don’t give due attention to. Kids must be taught about boundaries and limits. As per research, children who do not understand the concept of boundaries or privacy are more likely to turn into stalkers. Stalkers have also been statistically proven to be raised by parents who did not stick to rules.

What Should You Do?

The simplest gesture is to start knocking on the door when you enter their rooms, and asking them to do the same. Purses, handbags, wallets, phones should be out of bounds for your children. Similarly, if they grow up and start to keep a diary, this diary should be out of your boundaries! Respect, privacy, and respecting privacy – all comes only when given.

7. Relying On Quick Solutions Like Gadgets and Fast Food

Finally, all of us know that parenting is not easy. It is very tough. The inputs required are huge, and constant, and the returns are evident only after a few years! It is only human to be tempted to take the easy way out once in a while. However, resist doing this. One very common example of this is when parents engage their children with some electronic device that will keep them ‘hooked’ when they are too tired or too busy to give their children time. We also give in to their demands of fast food, watching television, eating candies…simply because it seems like the thing that will keep them happy at that moment. But it can be very harmful in the long run, not just for their behaviour but also for their physical and mental health.

What Should You Do?

Share the load. Do not insist on doing everything on your own. Make your husband an equal partner in parenting so you are not overburdened by the ‘deliverables’ of parenting. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and so – make sure you make yourself a priority too… at least once a week! Make time for yourself, love yourself, so you can recharge and get ready to tackle parenthood anew, afresh!

Discipline does not only mean punishing bad behaviour; discipline is also the stepping stone towards GOOD behaviour. It is never too soon to start teaching children about right and wrong, good and bad. Most of the times, however, we focus our attention on rooting out bad behaviour without understanding what is triggering the bad behaviour. This does not solve the problem; it can even make things worse. As parents, we want to be strict but not too strict; we want to pamper our child but not spoil him. While there isn’t one ‘right’ way of doing things, it is important that we stay away from habits/mistakes that send children the wrong message.

Previous article «
Next article »