Are you sure you’re not a “bad” parent?
Posted on: March 8, 2018. Comments ( 1 )

Hectic lifestyles and the scrimmage between professional and personal life have left parents with almost no time to discipline their kids. With a massive workload to manage both at home and work, certain parenting styles could, consequently, become unwitting habits with raising kids.

A parent friend of mine was very concerned about her 15-year-old girl behaving in a disobedient, aggressive way with elders — either being totally aloof of their presence around the house or using disrespectful language in replying to them, and at times, even harming herself.

Subsequently, this was the first question to cross my mind: From where does such behaviour begin and how? Obviously, such unacceptable behaviour had to stem from somewhere. Was it her growing-up days as a youngster? How was her home environment and growing up experiences like?

A child’s mind is as tender as its body. Parents, by the way of their parenting, write their children’s future upon their minds, each of which is like a clean slate. The maximum influence on children is by their parents, and children are the product of their environment.

Your child’s behaviour is an echo of your manner. Are you bothered that your child doesn’t respect others’ feelings? Do you order your child around, not giving importance to his or her feelings? Children will replicate only the same manner by which their parents behave towards them and others. Children will identify with their parents and behave respectfully, if your behaviour towards them and others is respectful.

Affection, emotional stability (via quality time) and care are things kids would always crave for from their parents. It makes them feel safe, comforts them, makes them feel accepted, and nurtures their self-esteem. However, if a parent doesn’t respect your child’s feelings, he or she will reflect the same, and consequently, not respect others’ feelings/words too.

Furthermore, if a parent has always been ordering the child around since his birth, he or she might, subsequently, become verbally short-tempered and throw tantrums. The child’s aggressive behaviour to hurt others—many a time for no proper reason—is his way of taking revenge for the love that was not shown to them.

Setting no rules. Kids would act only out of their own—going to bed late, getting up late, not studying properly, watching television and often playing video games—if there are no rules levied. A child who would grow up knowing what is right and what is wrong would do so only through parental discipline.

Overprotection. Rebellious teenagers are the result of overprotective parenting, and being rebellious just because it is against their parents’ will, they could potentially damage themselves. Overprotective parents must step down and let their children explore things of interest to his or her age. They must however continue to make sure that there is no danger in their children’s freedom or independence, or explain to their children, beforehand, the consequences of a deed.

Abuse. It need not necessarily have to be physical or even verbal. The one form of abuse that stays for a lifetime in a child’s mind is emotional abuse — such as manipulation, lying to, or humiliation. This is the worst thing and the obvious sign of bad parenting. No child needs to be physically abused — if a parent is not able to control himself or herself, it is the parent who needs help.

Giving-in to kids’ demands. Doing so would especially teach kids, very early, how to negotiate. While this would not seem so problematic initially, a parent might have to face constant battles with the “child” as an aggressive teenager. For a child to have well-informed decision-making skills as an adult, a parent needs to guide and help that child become a responsible adult.

Parents do things for their children, right from the time they are infants, which eventually turns into a habit. Instead, let your children help you in household chores suiting their age. Chores are not punishments — they give children a sense of belonging and self-worth.

Lack of Trust. A child must never be punished just because others complained about him or her – a common trend. The child will perceive this as a mark of complete distrust if a parent has punished him or her unfairly, resulting in dishonesty. If any of the signs of bad parenting are shown by you, knowingly or unknowingly, it is never too late to check them.

So parents! Treat the child the way you want to be treated and be the person you want your child to be.

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    Hamesh Kumar says:


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