Nobody’s perfect and that includes parents as well. Even though every parent wants the absolute best for their children, sometimes mistakes are unavoidable. It is, after all, the human condition to screw up from time to time. The good news is, you can learn from other people’s errors and make sure you don’t commit the same blunders others have unwittingly perpetrated in the past. Here are four common parenting pitfalls that are sure to pop up at some point –– along with solutions to avoid them entirely –– or at the very least lessen their impact:
Few kids enjoy perfectly idyllic school environments. Something tends to go wrong at some point. Maybe they have a run-in with a bully; or perhaps they find themselves struggling in chemistry class. The point is, school can be as frustrating and difficult as it is ultimately rewarding. Unfortunately, you can’t always be there to help your little one when they begin to struggle. You can however, make sure that they know you’re always ready to support them. In this instance, merely listening to their problems will often provide all the solution they need. At a certain point, kids need to learn how to handle conundrums on their own; and while you shouldn’t be reticent to offer a helping hand on the occasional homework assignment, you should also keep that in mind too.
For many kids, going to the doctor’s office –– even for a routine checkup –– sparks waves of anxiety and nervousness. After all, a doctor’s office can be an intimidating place for a youngster to encounter. In order to quell your child’s sense of unease and ensure productive, uneventful trips to your pediatrician, make sure to properly acquaint them with the doctor, the staff, and the environment. Even asking the doctor to explain different equipment like scalpels or drawing needles can help remove some of the stigma associated with a trip to the doctor’s.
Hope is a powerful emotion that can also cause new parents all sorts of problems. And one unfortunate experience every child lives through at some point is that of acute disappointment. No matter what your child’s interests, something at some point is going to let them down. However, you can help them get through these frustrating periods and use them as “teachable moments” to impart an important lesson. Additionally, plenty of parents have expectations of their own that they project onto their children; in fact, too many parents naturally assume their children will share the same hobbies and passions as they do. That’s usually not the case, though. Remember, if you don’t have your own expectations in check, you’ll never be able to help your little one get their emotions under control.
Dealing with Success
Is your kid the best player on their soccer team? Or perhaps, they’ve been singled out for an award at school? Chances are, your child has an amazing talent –– and it’s your job to nurture it. Still, part of being a good parent is working to keep your kid’s feet on the ground. You don’t want them getting a swollen head or begin to feel complacent. It’s a delicate balance to strike for many parents; trying to be both supportive while also motivating them to push themselves further isn’t an easy trapeze act to pull off. If you’re not careful you could end up inadvertently shattering their confidence. So handle these situations delicately, and be willing to move out of your comfort zone if you have to.
No two children –– and no two familial situations –– are alike. While good advice transcends time and space, the truth is only you know what’s best for your child. As long as you take the time and care when dealing with these difficult parenting decisions, you’ll likely come to a solution that works for everyone.