10 Common Mistakes Mummies Make With Their Kids
No one is perfect and this applies to mums as well. Here is some advice from a mum herself on common mistakes mummies make.
We moms aren’t perfect. There, I said it. Now the whole world of cyberspace is going to know, but it had to be said. Being imperfect isn’t really the issue, though. What is the issue is how we deal with our mistakes; specifically those we make with our children.
Here is some advice from a mum herself on common mistakes mummies make.
Say you are sorry. Never be afraid or ashamed of apologising for a wrong you do your children. To see you as human and willing to admit your imperfection is one of the greatest lessons you can give your children.
2. Being wrong
Admit when you are wrong. This is different than apologising because no wrong may have been committed. You may simply be wrong or misinformed. Don’t try to cover it up. Don’t make excuses. Just admit it and go on.
3. Setting restrictions
Say no. Don’t over-indulge your child by giving them things. Things aren’t really what they’re after, anyway. They want you-your time, attention and love. Too many toys and treats lead to a child who is spoiled and feels entitled.
Comparing your children to one another or to someone else…OUCH! Words such as ‘why can’t you be like…’ or ‘you act just like your…’ are hurtful and unfair. But if you lose your senses momentarily and say them, back up, apologise and reinforce their self-esteem by telling them what you love about their unique self.
5. Taking the frustration out
Don’t take out your frustration on your child. If you’ve had a bad day or are having marital problems, your child is not the one responsible. Even if their behaviour is part of the reason for your bad day, you need to remember who the adult in the situation is (that’s you) and remain calm. But if you lose your cool, apologies, take some time to yourself to regroup and move on. Tell your child what you did isn’t acceptable for you or them and come up with a codeword or phrase to use if you feel it happening again; a warning to our children that you need to take a few minutes to yourself.
6. Handling expectations
Don’t expect too much. You can’t expect your child to do things the way you do them-their hands aren’t big enough, their coordination isn’t as developed, they just don’t get it. And you can’t expect children to know how to do something properly unless you’ve instructed them one-on-one in the proper way to do things. FYI: the ‘watch and learn’ method of teaching isn’t effective in children. They get tired of watching so they don’t learn. But let them DO with you and you’ll get the message across.
7. Take it easy
Don’t major in the minors. By making too much of the little things, you greatly reduce your chances of being heard when it really counts. Ask yourself if what’s happening or their behaviour will matter in a week or a month. Parenting is grace; for your child and for yourself, as well.
8. Keeping secrets
Don’t hide things from your spouse and engage their help in keeping secrets. Involving your child in ‘marital espionage’ is wrong on so many levels it would take an entire book to cover it all. If this is you…STOP!!!!! How can you expect your child not to lie, cheat and disrespect people if they see you doing just that?
9. Managing embarrassment
Don’t ever embarrass your children (on purpose). Humiliating and embarrassing your children is so damaging to their self-esteem. What you say today may lead to eating disorders, self-deprecating tendencies, addictions and relationship problems in the future. Don’t discipline your children in front of their friends (remove them from the situation rather than putting it off or letting it go). Don’t comment on their weight. Instead, change their diet. Don’t talk about things like wetting the bed, spilling their milk and such to their friends or yours. If they want to share, they will. You wouldn’t want them telling anyone you farted in the movie theatre, making everyone plug their nose, would you?
10. Keeping your body language in check
Don’t underestimate the power of body language. Crossing your arms, tapping your finger, looking away, answering the phone, leaving the room and other acts of disinterest send a message to your children that they aren’t important enough to listen to. Give them your undivided attention and thank your lucky stars they are talking to you. Listening to your preschooler and elementary-aged child will open the door to having a teenager you have the privilege of listening to.
Ultimately, relax and enjoy!
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself the room to be less than perfect. Your kids know you’re not-but it’s so important for them to see you know this, too. Just don’t ever pass up the opportunity to let them know that in spite of it all, nothing means more to you than loving and nurturing them into adulthood and beyond.