#1 Showing more interest in your phone than your child
I am the first to admit I have been guilty of this. Becoming so engrossed in my email, an article, something I'm looking up ABOUT my child, that I totally ignore their desperate cry for attention. Now I know, sometimes we need to check something, and that is totally fine, but what is not is when we constantly push our kids away to the point where they stop trying to get our attention. They are only kids for a short time, and one day we aren't going to look back at what we could have done on our phones/tablets. We are going to look back at the experiences and memories we have with our family. And those memories are being made NOW- it's your choice as to how many you create.
#2 The Birthday Party
Birthday Parties- they have taken on a whole new identity in the past 20 years from when I was a kid. What ever happened to having friends over, eating some cake, playing a game or two and opening some presents?! Now it has to involve an expensive venue, 50 friends or more, a full meal, bounce houses, etc. This may not be true for everyone but I am seeing it more and more. And the kids whose parents cannot afford that begin to feel as if they are not as important. Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't do something special for our kids because it might hurt others' feelings, but are these huge events really necessary? Especially when the child is young and won't remember it anyway, you have to ask yourself, is this really for my kid or for me to keep up with what everyone else is doing? I think birthday parties are great, but when they are more low key with close family and friends everyone seems to enjoy themselves a lot more!
#3 Preventing Failure
We all want to protect our children- it's a parent's instinct. And sometimes we need to, like if we see our toddler about to fall off a high ledge it's ok to reach out and grab them. But at the same time they also need to learn what will happen when their parents are not there. If we are always cleaning up their messes, fixing their mistakes, paving the way for their success, they will eventually fail when they get out into the real world and don't have you there to do it all for them.
#4 Using TV as a Babysitter
I definitely let my kids watch TV and am in no way condemning modern technology here, but what I'm talking about is when kids are plopped in front of the TV all day (or any other form of technology) instead of getting out and playing or learning to use their imagination. Kids need social interaction and stimulus other than a screen in front of them. I am all for using the TV when you need to get something done real quick, or when a kid is sick and not up to playing, or as a reward even for the end of the day. But too often I'm seeing kids over exposed during the day, and it's not good for them.
Children are all SO different. Once you start comparing your kid to other kids, you're in for trouble. This starts from when they are babies. I would find myself looking at a 3 month old saying, "Oh no mine's not rolling over yet, there must be something wrong!" Or when they're toddlers, "Mine is not talking as much as so and so." Kids are going to develop at different rates, and trust me, your Doctor will let you know if there's something you need to worry about. Until then just sit back and enjoy the uniqueness of your child. Don't be in a rush for them to do all those next milestones because it will happen before you know it and you don't want to miss the fun along the way.
This is one of my greatest weaknesses. I've always been a multi-tasker and want to get things done as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, I find myself doing this with my kids. For instance when we're trying to get ready to go somewhere, like getting groceries. I find myself rushing my son to get his shoes on when there is no deadline for getting the groceries. This has an affect on our kids and can cause them to feel stressed out, and interrupt them from their creativity.
#7 Feeling Guilty When You Fall Short and These 7 Things DO Occur
No one is a perfect parent, and we are going to mess up and just have lazy days sometimes. That is OK. We need to cut ourselves some slack when it doesn't seem like we're measuring up. If our kids are loved and feel supported and safe, then we are doing pretty darn good. We don't have to get it all right all of the time. So if you're reading this, chances are you're someone who doesn't want to be doing the "things we shouldn't", and chances are you're a pretty good parent already!
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