No one ever said Parenting was easy! As Lionel Kauffman once said, “Children are a great comfort in your old age – and they help you reach it faster, too”. We’ve done a bit of collective soul searching here at Mykidstime HQ, and come up with 25 Things Parents Should Not Do. Now if we could only try to stick to it!
1. Don’t forget to tell them you love them
We so often get caught up in the daily routine, that we forget to tell our children, regularly, that we love them. You are at no risk of spoiling your kids, by telling them you love them, as spoiling is usually the result of giving kids things in place of love.
2. Don’t criticise the child, just the behaviour
Easier said than done, we know, and this may require some serious self-control, but try focus on the behavior instead. When your child acts up, rather than telling them they are bad, tell them their behavior is unacceptable and suggest alternatives.
Children benefit from structure and routine. Don’t be afraid to say No and mean it, even if it results in hours of sulking/whining. They will soon understand that when Mum or Dad say No, they mean it!
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4. Don’t compare
Hard not to do, but try not compare your children to their peers, and more importantly their siblings.
5. Don’t publicly humiliate
Tough not to do, if your toddler decides to have an almighty melt-down in the biscuit aisle of the supermarket, we know! However, better for all, that if they misbehave in public, you take them aside, and scold them privately.
Recommended Read: Tips for Avoiding Supermarket Meltdowns
6. Don’t be too quick to rescue them
Don’t be too quick to rescue their child from the results of their own actions if the consequences are not severe/dangerous. It’s how they learn!
We all love a hug, and even as your child gets older, it’s important to make some time regularly for hugs and cuddles!
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8. Don’t ever stop listening
In our busy worlds, full of noise, and electronics, need to remember to keep listening. They might be telling you something very important!
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9. Don’t invade their privacy
Just as us parents like our privacy, so too do your kids – give them space and respect their privacy.
Recommended Read: Things To Tell Your Teenager
10. Don’t fail to give structure
It’s important to set boundaries about screentime and bedtime and curfew so that kids know the limitations.
Don’t forget to spend time individually with your child.
We get caught up in busy family life and sometimes taking an hour with your child alone to do something nice together is a great tonic for both of you.
12. Don’t give them too much choice
Try and limit their choices – particularly important with younger kids, as they find it too hard to pick one.
13. Don’t always do things for them
Oh, we know – this is a tough one – the urge to just do it instead, as we will be faster! However. resist the urge to do things for them/save them from a “fall”. Sometimes you just need to back off. This helps them prepare for life, instead of you protecting them from it all the time.
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14. Don’t avoid having hard discussions
Don’t avoid discussing issues such as drinking and drugs and sex. Make it clear to them that you are there to listen any time they need you.
Don’t make decisions for them all the time.
Yes, we know Mum and Dad are always right, but they need to learn to think for themselves and to live with the consequences of their decision.
16. Don’t be afraid to be the parent
You can be their friend, but never let them forget you are their parent. That is what they need most.
Recommended Read: Important Things to Tell Your Tween
17. Don’t push them into too many activities
Don’t push your child into too many activities. School life is busy enough and sometimes play time is all they need.
18. Don’t compare yourself to other parents
It’s hard being a parent, and it’s even harder still when we compare ourselves to other parents, that we perceive are doing a better job than us! Go easy on yourself and trust your instincts – you know your kids best!
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Another tough one, we know, but one to which we would all like to aspire!
Most children respond better to a calm, reasonable request or command. Save yelling for emergency situations when you really need to get your child’s attention.
20. Don’t nag
Never nag. Instead make firm, consistent requests and praise and reward a quick response. Give a warning if needed and impose a negative consequence if the task is not finished.
21. Don’t stop reading with them
Don’t stop reading with your child. Bedtime stories can tail off when the child learns to read by themselves but reading together gives time for cuddles and you can talk about the story and take it in turns to read.
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22. Don’t forget to laugh together
Don’t forget to laugh together! Sometimes being a parent is tough so make sure you have a giggle together now and again.
Don’t be afraid to apologise to your child, if you do something wrong.
It’s really important because it models what to do when we do something we are not proud of or something we regret.
24. Don’t back down
Don’t back down. Don’t threaten but then not act. Repeating a warning but not acting gives the child the message that they can continue. If a child misbehaves, there has to be a consequence.
Give a warning, and then, if your child does it again, give an immediate consequence such as a time-out. If they continues, leave the situation.
25. Don’t be too hard on yourself or other parents!
It’s a tough, thankless job – we all want to be the perfect parent, but everyone makes mistakes. Go easy on yourself and others – we rush to criticise ours and other parent’s skills, when we should be just enjoying our time, when our kids really need us!
“The trouble with bringing up children is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed” – Author unknown.
Over to you! Let us know your good parent tips in the comments below.