Parenthood
11 Things That Good Parents Shouldn’t Do For Their Kids
What are your thoughts on these?
Cedric Jackson
02.22.18

Kids don’t come with manuals, and sometimes, it can be hard to know what to do as a parent. Many parents think they are doing well by their kids but are actually hurting their confidence, trust, and independence. Here are 11 things that parents do for their kids that they shouldn’t .

1. Talk for Them

This limits children to what they can say and what they think they can feel. Children need to know how to speak for themselves, and if they are never given the chance, they can’t learn to do that. It’s OK to give a hint about what to say, but you shouldn’t answer and speak for your kids once they can talk.

2. Be Their Friend

Too many parents think it is more important for them to be friends with their kids than parent them. Parents are supposed to protect their children, and if they are too busy worrying about whether their kids like them, they can’t do that properly. Kids need and want structure and authority.

3. Wants vs. Needs

When kids want something, parents often tell them they don’t need it. This tells kids that their feelings and desires aren’t necessary and can confuse them. It is better to redirect and simply explain why the thing that they need is a necessity.

4. Too Much Assistance

Many parents are guilty of doing too much for their kids. This can prevent kids from learning new things and have a sense of independence. Instead of doing something for your kids, let them do it and help them if they ask or clearly need it. Most parents are surprised by what their kids can do on their own.

5. Tell Them What to Like

A lot of parents try to push their beliefs and likes on their kids. Instead of asking them what they like, they tell them what they should like. This confuses kids and can cause them to struggle with have an opinion on their own and making decisions later on in life.

6. Tell Them How to Spend Their Money

Parents try to teach their children to manage their money by stopping them from spending it on things the parents think they don’t need. This makes kids questions their priorities, and if there is no reward for saving money, they might wonder why they even need to do it. Let them count their own money and save it for the things they want to buy with it.

7. Pick Their Hobbies

Parents who played certain sports or have hobbies and interests usually try to get their kids to follow in their footsteps. That’s fine if the kid shares those interests. Let your kids pick the sports and organizations they want to participate in.

8. Take Their Success

Parents want the credit for raising their kids, but you should take away their success. Instead of saying “We studied hard and got a good score on the test” or “We have been practicing multiplication,” just give the credit to your child. Even if you did help, you child needs to know that recognition is given for hard work.

9. Pick Their Gifts

Many parents have a bad habit of telling people what to get their kids for holidays and birthdays. Instead of answering or explaining what your kid wants or needs, let the kid choose instead. It is, after all, his or her gift.

10. Intrude in Their Personal Lives

Parents want to protect their kids from getting hurt and making mistakes, but intruding in their personal lives can actually make them less likely to talk to you about things. Instead, let your child come to you with information and problems.

11. Choose Their Clothing

Kids have their own sense of style, and you should let them express it even if you don’t agree with it. Of course, that’s hard when schools enforce dress codes, but parents should try to find a balance instead of telling their kids how to dress.

There is no way to be a perfect parent, and most parenting mistakes are done out of love with good intentions. Still, if you are guilty of doing any of these things, check yourself so you don’t ruin your relationship with your child or set him or her up for failure.

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By Cedric Jackson
hi@sbly.com
Cedric Jackson is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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