Every parent goes through a guilty-parent phase where they question themselves if they are raising their kid in the right way. From time to time, parenting evolves and methods change. Today, your parents’ parenting techniques might be obsolete.
Every parent goes through a guilty-parent phase where they question themselves if they are raising their kid in the right way. From time to time, parenting evolves and methods change. Today, your parents’ parenting techniques might be obsolete. Several of the other techniques as well have turned into bare parenting myths. Which do not benefit your child in any way.
I remember reading a very important line that has changed my whole perspective of being a parent. The line read:
This is so true. Children today are far more advanced than you and I were back in the ’80s, ’90s, or even early 2000s. The techniques used then are mostly useless today. Parents find it difficult to manage their kids today.
One of the biggest reasons is that we try to practice some of the obsolete parenting techniques. And we completely ignore the fact that they might be parenting myths and not best practices today!
Here is the list of most followed and trusted parenting tips and tricks that do not work for the betterment of your children anymore:
1. Strict parents = Well behaved children
If you thought that being strict will enforce discipline, then you are wrong. It’s one of the most trusted parenting myths. Like I said earlier, kids today are far smarter and awake to the environment around them. They are creative, risk-takers, and innovative.
Although research has shown that strict parents have well-behaved kids but that being said, the kids are only well-behaved in front of their parents. What’s the use of being monster strict to your kids when all they do is lie right in your face. Your child will find a way to sneak around and do his own thing. You will lose your respect and the trust of your child.
Being extremely strict and authoritative can also impact your child negatively for the life-time. Retaliative behaviors and lower self-esteem may begin to rise. Research has also shown that strict parents may lead their child to the worst of habits like alcohol, smoking, and drugs.
Rather than being strict try to be reasonable and calm. You should definitely lay down some house rules and limits to make a safer environment for your child. But take your child’s input as well. Make them feel a part of the decision. Telling your kids why you have certain rules will make them feel the importance of that rule. Efficient communication is key here. The more you try to enforce something, the more you kid will retaliate.
2. Spanking doesn’t hurt my kid
Well, children do learn what they see. This technique wasn’t one of the parenting myths until Millenium. I’m sure most of us had been through the wraths of our parents. But now the times have changed.
In the early years of your child, spanking and hitting can alter their understanding of violence. It might translate to them as “causing pain is okay”. And then soon they will repeat this behavior on you, a sibling, a friend, or anybody who makes them angry.
The bigger truth is that spanking and hitting does no good. It tortures your child mentally, lowers self-esteem, promotes aggressive behavior, shakes the child-parent trust bond, and makes the child more rebellious.
Avoid spanking your kids for everything bad they did and try effective time-outs and other discipline strategies that work.
3. Putting your children first
Becoming a parent doesn’t obligate that from now on everything in your life should circle your children. That’s one of the most negative things you can do to yourself, your relationship with your spouse, and your children.
Children who are put first in their households pick up the attitude of being self-centered and they don’t care about what other people might feel. Hence, it is a parenting myth.
It also completely throws off the balance of authority in your household. Moreover, you need to understand that the real world doesn’t revolve around your child. So, treat your kid like that. Put yourself and your relationship with your spouse first.
A happy parent can raise a happy child. You will never be truly happy or satisfied with yourself if you keep putting your children first. You have to take care of yourself first. By doing so you will show your children that by taking care of yourself, you can succeed with everything else in life. You can become more compassionate, productive and a better human being all together by just putting yourself first and still love other people.
4. Screen-time is bad for the kids
You will come across many people who will shame you for allowing screen-time to your kids. While yes, excessive screen time is bad for your children but if managed correctly and in moderation, it can be beneficial for your children as well. Read more about how can you monitor and control your kid’s screen-time effectively.
Firstly, you need to understand that there are two types of screen-times; active and passive. Active screen time engages your kid and increases the brain activity while passive is just sedentary and doesn’t help the child in any manner like watching tv.
Secondly, we all know that only screen time comes in handy when you want to keep your child in place and peace. Try to replace tv time by playing a game on the screen that involves cognitive skills like problem-solving or just drawing on the screen with a fingertip. Imitating the dancing steps of a baby shark can be much more fun and then just sitting and watching the cartoon.
All you have to do is think about how can you promote some kind of activity whether it’s physical or mental during your child’s screen time. Be sure to monitor your child’s activity. Screen time in moderation is good but if it exceeds 45 minutes to an hour then it can become harmful for your child.
5. Protect my kid like a bird protects her eggs
Being protective comes with the parenting package. But the reality is among the biggest parenting myths today. An overprotective behavior towards your kids will make them lose their self-esteem. It can make your kid anxious and may also lead to depression.
Rather than shielding your kid from every loss and harm, try to help them process the information in the best way possible. You know what the limit is. Leaving your kid in the open market so that he can manage on his own is not the best idea. But telling your kid what he is supposed to do in case he gets lost in the market is going to prepare your kid to have the right information.
Telling your child about the demise of a pet or a close one is much better than hiding it or making stories about it. You know your child better; you know how to frame the information that doesn’t negatively hit your child. Then you can be with your child to talk about his or her feeling.
Let your kid fly and flourish. Your duty is to be there when they need you.
6. I know what’s better for you!
Yes! You aim and hope the best for your child. But what you think is best for your kid might not be. Parenting myths are proof in themselves that what you might be practicing with your kids, may not be the best.
Parents often believe that they are the eternal authority and the kid is supposed to do a certain thing because “they said so”. While this may be an amazing way to end an ongoing argument between you and your child but it brings no good in the longer term.
The kids in today’s age have a voice. They want to be heard and acknowledged. Therefore, if you want your kid to do and follow as you like then, you have to main an efficient two-way of communication. There’s no harm in hearing what your child has to say.
This way you and your child can have a common ground. Your child will trust you more and will appreciate the fact that he/she is heard in the house. It will also tone down the rebellious behavior and promote a much healthier and happier environment.
7. Parenting is all instinctive
While you must have heard this one a million times. When you are freaked about your parenting and everyone tells you that no worries, parenting will come naturally. NO! It doesn’t. Eventually, you learn a few things from your mistakes and that’s not instinctive.
Trusting your maternal or paternal instincts is good but blindly relying on your instinct is like standing in the middle of the road – blindfolded.
Don’t fall for this trap. Such parenting myths may even become dangerous for your kid.
Alternatively to this myth, learn and educate yourself as much as you can. There a million people out there who are writing and sharing their experiences about the same problems that you might be facing. Learn from their mistakes, how they managed them, and their overall experiences.
Nobody is saying or expecting that you will become a perfect parent overnight. But all that you have learned will help you understand your child much better. You can try different techniques and then see what works best for you and your family.
8. Rewards are necessary for good behavior
While you should appreciate your children for good behavior but making it a routine to reward for good behavior will spoil them. This is my favorite one among other parenting myths. Almost every parent does this at some point. This practice has a higher negative aspect. It encourages the children to be at their best when they expect to get a reward in the end.
Tangible rewards like toys, candies, trips, etc should be kept at a minimum and used only when extremely necessary. Like when you want your child to sit patiently while you are at a formal function you can tell your child that you will buy a toy car at the end of the day if he sits quietly.
When it’s not an emergency or extremely necessary then you can use intangible rewards like hugs and kisses to appreciate good behavior. But, don’t overdo the rewards because then they will lose their charm.
Your children have to learn that they have to be at their best behaviors without expecting to get rewarded every time.
9. Bad behavior should have a consequence
If you will react to each and everything your child does or says then your child will most definitely become more fidgety around you. The first thing that really important is establishing house rules. I believe every household needs a set of rules that the family needs to follow in harmony to function properly.
If your child breaks a certain rule or misbehaves then rather than bashing your kid, you can ask why did they break the rule? And guide them about why bad behavior isn’t a great choice. If they make the same mistake again then you can use effective disciplining techniques like time-out or taking away the privileges to make them understand that you have the authority to punish and they can’t take you for granted.
Also, remember that children are meant to make mistakes. That’s why you are there to support your child. So, don’t beat yourself up if your child misbehaves in the middle of the party. Every parent has gone through the same phase at some point.
10. Your baby should be a mini Einstein by age 5
As soon as the child turns one, most parents start to obsess over teaching their toddlers everything possible. Well, you should not expect your two years old to learn Spanish on a road trip just because you saw it in a movie. This is one of the parenting myths that’s parents seem to practice unintentionally.
Kids can indeed grasp a lot of things much quicker than adults but that doesn’t mean that you start to bombard them with everything all at once.
Observe your child and its learning patterns and then introduce new skills one at a time. Overloading your kids will make them more anxious and pressured. Make learning fun and not a task that your kid has to achieve.
Don’t let people judge you and your toddler if he hasn’t started to talk yet or your pre-schooler who doesn’t know how to talk in perfect English. Every skill takes time. If they haven’t learned it yet, it doesn’t mean that they never will.
Food for thought
Every parent makes mistakes. That’s inevitable. What’s makes you different is acknowledging that you have done something wrong and then trying to rectify it. We are no Gods. Like children, we can make mistakes too. Don’t let your ego come in between. There’s no harm in accepting your mistake and then correcting it. Be the human that you want your kids to be. Your kid will learn more from you than from anything in this whole world.
Parenting is difficult and there will be times when you will feel like exploding. But remember that children are very sensitive. What you say matters the most to them (even if they don’t show it). Don’t do or say something that might hit your child in the wrong way and traumatizes them for the rest of their life.