Are You Unintentionally Making Your Kids Mean?
Avoid these mistakes, mums and dads.
You put a lot of effort into raising your children to be polite and to treat their friends and classmates with respect and kindness. Besides correcting their behaviour if they are behaving badly, many of these lessons are taught through books and TV shows they love.
But did you know, your behaviour has an effect on your kids and you may be teaching them to be mean without even realising it? The last thing any parent wants is for their kid to be the one antagonising other children.
Here are a few behaviours to be mindful of when your little one is watching.
Not showing enough affection
When your kids or partner are frustrating you, it is easy to behave curtly towards them without realising the harmful ramifications of that attitude. No matter how busy or frustrated you are feeling, it is important that your kids feel they are in a loving household. Even something as simple as telling your partner you love them in front of your kids goes a long way. It influences how children will behave in their own relationships as they get older. When children don’t have this support, they are more likely to treat others around them negatively.
Remember that your child is a little sponge absorbing everything that he hears. When you’re sitting at the dining table ranting to your partner about how much you hate your boss or on the phone with your friends complaining about your marriage, your child will pick up your attitude even if they don’t completely understand what you’re saying. Seeing your negativity about things will cause your kids to have the same attitude towards things that are frustrating them.
Many kiasu parents in Singapore sign their kids up for an entire range of after-school and weekend activities. There's everything from tutoring to improve weak subjects to learning piano and playing football. While children should certainly be encouraged to follow their passions, over-planning their activities can quickly cause stress for your little ones. Studies have found that kids gain many benefits from free play so make sure your little ones have time to run around and enjoy unstructured playtime!
Fighting with your partner
Whether you are fighting with your partner in front of your children (hopefully not!) or having arguments after they’ve gone to bed, children are very quick to pick up on tension around the house. When kids get caught up in that tension, especially when they can’t exactly identify its source, they begin to feel powerless. They will look for situations where they can regain that power.
Gossiping is something adults get great pleasure from. There’s something about hearing scandalous information that never loses its excitement at any age. It’s undeniable that sitting down with a glass of wine and sharing a bit of gossip is a great way to bond with your friends. You want to be careful that you are not having these conversations in front of your kids. Often gossiping includes judging others based on their appearance or their actions. This can lead to your children feeling self-conscious and wondering what their peers are saying behind their backs.
Being Too Candid
The adult world is fraught with stress; everything from finances and relationships to how to raise your children can lead to potentially stressful situations. Letting children in on these problems robs them of childhood innocence. They will no longer see their parents as all-powerful beings who can control everything that happens. Young children who see that their parents are not infallible are likely to lash out at other children and even tease them for being supposedly less-worldly.
What other external factors have you noticed playing a role in shaping your child’s behaviour? Let us know in the comments!
Source: Washington Post