Parenting is by no means easy which is why there are thousands of books on the subject and everyone has their opinion on the best way to parent. In fact even doing a list like this can be tricky because parenting is such an individualized task. However a list like this is possible because there are definitely some things that have been more than proven to be bad ideas. The goal of most parents is to raise happy and well-adjusted children whom contribute to society and while there are several ways to achieve this goal there are some things that are just a bad idea.
10. Being too much of a Friend and not enough of a Parent
Children really are neat people. They have so much enthusiasm about everything and haven’t had life dim their spirit. This is why it’s so easy to be friends with a kid. There is nothing at all wrong with being friendly with your child and finding the things they do interesting. There is no problem with engaging with your children and involving yourself with their lives. However, when you cross the line from parent to friend a child loses a bit of the structure they need to learn the way the world works.
9. Let them Sink or Swim
The idea of sink or swim came from the idea that if you threw someone who didn’t know how to swim into water their sense of survival would force them to learn how to swim. The problem is that while with some people this method did work, there were a lot it didn’t work for. Telling any child to simply go and figure things out on their own without instruction or directions is going to naturally result in a lot of failure for the child. While overcoming adversity is something we all need to learn, never succeeding can have disastrous effects on a person’s psych.
8. Protect them from Everything
Almost the exact opposite of the above entry many parents seek to protect their child from every possible injury they can think of. It’s natural to want to protect your child and one of the most important parts of parenthood is doing exactly that. However, there is a point where being overprotective can affect a child’s development. It really comes down to teaching them to make decisions on their own. As frightening as it is to think about there will be a point in your child’s life that you won’t be able to make decisions for them. If this point comes and your child hasn’t ever been given the chance to make a bad decision and learn from a mistake this can cause a lot of problems.
7. They can make their own decisions about everything
Someday your child will grow up and will have to make decisions for themselves and there is a lot to be said for letting them learn from natural consequences. The problem is that if you never step in as a parent and stop them from doing something harmful to themselves or others, they never have a chance to see what a good decision looks like. Yes, sticking your hand in a fire is a great way to learn that fire burns but if they cripple their hand in the process it’s a very expensive lesson. It’s tricky to balance allowing your child the freedom to make mistakes and to stop them from making really bad ones but by simply not stepping in at all, you are risking the safety and life of your child.
6. If you don’t like it you shouldn’t have to do it
All of us remember being forced to attend gym class even though we hate it. More than one of us was forced to play a sport we had no interest or talent for. Because of these events in our lives some parents have chosen to adopt a philosophy of not forcing their kids into anything they don’t want to do. There is no doubt that forcing a child to stay on the football team even though they loathe it can have a harmful impact, but by never forcing your child to do something they don’t like never teaches them the value of perseverance which later in life is a necessity.