Parenting is hard, no-one gives you a manual on how to raise children, it’s a learning curve with lots of ups and downs. Parenting mistakes happen everyday, I think we all need to give ourselves a break and stop trying to be a perfect parent. To give you a quick heads-up, It’s not going to happen!
I know how easy it is to react to a child in a way you really wished you hadn’t. Children are meant to test your patience and push the boundaries, that’s how they learn where that final line is.
I have noticed recently with my leg being bad and having to deal with more pain on top of my daily issues as well, my patience is wearing really thin and my parenting is starting to suffer a bit, This has made me look at my parenting mistakes and start being more mindful and less on auto-pilot when it comes down to my children.
I have picked my TOP 5 PARENTING MISTAKES and really looked into how I can fix these mistakes.
#1 FOCUSING ON THE NEGATIVES AND NOT THE POSITIVES.
I’ve come to realise I am quite a negative person and negativity plays a big part on how I behave. I find myself saying ‘NO’ a lot. No you can’t play in the garden, No you can’t have sweets before dinner. Also I say things like ‘ Why have you got every toy out the box, your room is a mess’ and ‘ Do you really need all that glitter and paint out’ ( Yes I know as I’m writing this I sound like a really crappy mum, but I’m working on it) WHAT I’VE LEARNT – I should be trying to sound a bit more positive and look at things in a more positive way, for example, ‘You can play in the garden when it stops raining’ and ‘ If you eat all your dinner you can have sweets then’. Instead of moaning about the toys, I should have realised my daughter has been playing really nicely with her toys for past half an hour and it really doesn’t matter how much glitter and paint she gets out, the excess can be cleaned up and we can get some more. I am really going to be keeping an eye on my immediate negative thoughts and try to turn them around into positive thoughts.
#2 HAVING HIGH EXPECTATION THAT MY CHILDREN CANNOT MEET.
This article has made me realise my expectations for my children are way to high. Before this I would expect my eldest to be able to remember everything I had asked him to do. I would expect my middle daughter to complete her chores properly. I would expect my toddlers behaviour to start improving as she got older. WHAT I’VE LEARNT- My eldest has just started secondary school and there is much more he is learning and so many new things to remember that the things to remember at home have to be put into second place, sometime I just need to give him a gentle reminder and he will jump into action. My middle daughter cannot possible do her chores properly or in the correct way because she has never been taught how to do them properly, I just assume she would be able to do them. Right now my toddler is in the tail end of the terrible twos and If I start spending more time doing activities with her and showing her the right way to behaviour her behaviour will improve. I’ve come to learn that I need to lower my expectations of my children and not put too much pressure on them to meet them expectations.
#3 FORGETTING MY CHILDREN ARE WATCHING MY BEHAVIOUR AND COPING MY ACTIONS.
I forget that my actions are louder than my words, If I am telling my children to use kind words and not shout then they see me and their dad having a petty argument and shouting at each other they are likely to forget what I’ve said and just copy my actions. My children are watching me all the time, trying to figure out the best way to handle situations, watching how I deal with anger, frustration, excitement and how I interact with other people. If I behave in an unacceptable way, I am giving my children permission to act in that same way. WHAT I’VE LEARNT – I need to be more patient and think about how I behave around my children. I need to start responding to situations and not just reacting to them. I need to remember my actions are teaching my children the foundations for their behaviour in the future.
#4 NOT BEING CONSISTENT WITH DISCIPLINE.
I didn’t really have a discipline technique that I would stick to, I would threaten to take things away or stop them from doing an activity but never actually go through with it. Sometimes I have found myself giving them warning after warning and they still carry on with the bad behaviour, I would get to the point where I was really annoyed and give them an extreme punishment, like they lose all technology for a week. Other times I find myself getting angry and shouting at them, then I feel guilty because I’ve made them really upset or I’ve made them cry and not give them a punishment at all. WHAT I’VE LEARNT – I need to stick to one discipline technique and follow through with it, also I’ve learnt its better to stop the bad behaviour sooner rather than keep giving them too many warnings. I’ve come up with something that seems to be working. My older two children are really in-to YouTube at the moment and I can use that to my advantage. They get one warning about their behaviour and if they carry on they lose 20 Minutes of YouTube time, If the behaviour continues they lose another 20 Minutes and it keeps going up. This seems to be working well at them moment, My son only has to be given a warning and he will stop the behaviour but for my daughter it’s taking a bit longer to realise I’m actually being serious and I’m going to take away her YouTube time but she is starting to learn though.
#5 NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME WITH MY CHILDREN.
Being an adult is a lot harder than I thought it would be when I was a child. My adult life seems to taking over my entire life right now, There are so many responsibilities being a wife, homemaker and a parent. Things like spending time with my hubby, laundry, cooking, keeping the house presentable, Homework days, doctors appointments, making lunches, uniforms as well as everything with my leg, I have to change my dressings twice a week, keep on top of my pain medication and now the possibility of a fractured foot. With all of this going on sometimes I forget my children need to spend 1-1 time with me and time together as a whole family. WHAT I’VE LEARNT – Now I physically cannot do as much as I normally would my children are taking full advantage and we are getting to spend more time together and hubby has taken over the housework, I’ve noticed my husband has been doing my normal morning cleaning routine and my evening routine but he hasn’t been rushing around trying to fit in a million other cleaning jobs in between like I normally do and the house seems to staying in a decent state, I’ve learnt I really need to start writing more things down and not to try to keep them all in my head, I’ve learnt that by being more organised and sticking to my plans, I will be less stressed and have that extra time I want to spend with my children.
Some people say ” When you get to three children, you must be a pro by now” but actually I’m not, I’m still making mistakes and learning new things everyday. I never will be a perfect parent and I give up trying to be, I’m going to be the best mum I can be right now and that’s all I can hope for.
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