The following is a random list of parenting mistakes. These are my own personal ideas about what I consider to be the most common and/or most detrimental mistakes that parents make.
1. Giving in to tantrums, threats, and other manipulations made by the child. Doing so only reinforces that negative behavior.
2. Using consequences that are belittling or humiliating to your child. Nothing destroys a child’s self-esteem faster than this type of discipline.
3. Setting a poor example (being a negative role-model). It’s amazing how many parents act like idiots in front of their children. Don’t be one of them.
4. Over-reacting to minor misbehavior. Okay, so your 16 year-old just swore in front of you for the first time ever…no need to ground him/her for a month. Be reasonable, fair, and, most importantly, be calm.
5. Setting unreasonable expectations for your child. Let your kid be a kid. There’s no reason why he or she should be burdened with the stress of living up to expectations that most kids wouldn’t even be able to meet.
6. Making excuses for your child’s misbehavior. This only enables your child and sends the message that the behavior is okay.
7. Being distant or unavailable. When you aren’t there for your child then he or she will seek out others and get from them what they should be getting from you. This doesn’t always end well. Take the time to spend frequent, quality time with your child.
8. Lack of structure and/or consistency. Children thrive when their environment is structured and when their behavior has predictable consequences (whether positive or negative).
9. Ignoring “red flags.” If your teen stumbles home with bloodshot eyes and is slurring his words then it might be time to accept the fact that he has been drinking. Address the issue.