How to Remedy 5 Common Parenting Blunders

Encouragement and boundaries are the cure for ailing parent/child relationships.

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Mistake #1: Thinking of Your Child as a Mini-Me

Parents often mistake children for smaller versions of adults. Children do not have the same knowledge and experiences as adults.

Remedy #1: Remember That Kids Will Be Kids

Treat children like children. Remind yourself that kids are just kids. Teach them to be the kind of adults you want them to be.

Mistake #2: Labeling Your Child

Sometimes parents classify kids in roles - “good one/ the bad one,” “the trouble maker,” the “drama queen" - or compare children to each other. Kids often behave how their parents typecast them.

Remedy #2: Acknowledge Your Child's Uniqueness

Avoid a self-fulfilling prophesy. Acknowledge the special abilities of your child. Resist outwardly comparing children as a way to motivate. Validating your child can enhance his self-esteem and make him more well-rounded.

Mistake #3: Being Lax About Rules

Not following through with consequences or rewards you set for certain behaviors.Children need solid rules with corresponding consequences. Not sticking to the rules you set can cause you to lose authority and respect.

Remedy #3: Create Consistent Consequences

Chose non-threatening consequences you can consistently support. Enforce simple rules with consequences that fit the behavior. Build trust with consistency.

Mistake #4: Leaving Children in Charge

Allow kids to assume authority over themselves and each other with the power of a parent. This mistake encourages children to fight to get their way. When parents feel it is "easier" to give in they deprive themselves of their parent authority. Kids feel safe and secure when they know their parents are in charge.

Remedy #4: Show Your Kids a United Front

Parent as a team. Work together to make decisions about what is best for the children. Choose your battles. If you agree to give in to the kids, do it together. A united front will show your children that the parents are running the show. With clear rules they will feel protected and cared for.

Mistake #5: Letting Your Mind Wander

Your body is with the kids, but your mind is somewhere else. Your children know when you are truly with them. It makes a difference when they feel their parents truly care.

Remedy #5: Enter Your Child's World

Enter your child's world by making a conscious effort to block outside demands. Plan time together. You don't need to be with your child all the time, but make your time together high quality. Focus on what your child is doing or what you are doing together. Having a genuine interest in your kids gives them the confidence to be successful in life. They are also more likely to confide in you during times of trouble.

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