Many people can recall ways in which their own parents behaved that did not help them be a successful adult. They may wish for a different childhood, but the guilt or shame that parents may unintentionally leave with children is not what any parent wants their own children to experience. Avoiding these 8 behaviors is important to set children up for success.
1. DISCOURAGING TRYING NEW THINGS
One parenting behavior that can hold children back from being successful is discouraging them from trying a new skill. Sometimes, parents have the best intentions in restricting behavior, when they have a reasonable belief that their child will fail. However, failure is also a part of life and learning to deal with it in a positive way is important for success later in life.
Doing any chore for your children that they are capable of doing, and should be doing in order to be a well-functioning adult, is a parenting behavior that keeps children from being successful. An example of over-coddling would be doing laundry children when they are teenagers (or even young adults).
3. PRAISING SMALL THINGS
Believe it or not, overly praising children can keep them from being successful. Praising small accomplishments that children have mastered is not going to motivate them to keep driving themselves to accomplish more and more. For example, praising an 8-year old for dressing themselves is not encouraging them to do this behavior on their own without praise. Focusing praise on the significant accomplishments that children make, for example, in their educational performance does hold importance however.
4. DISCOURAGING FRIENDSHIPS
Researchers reviewed the prior research on maladaptive parenting behaviors and found that positive outcomes for successful children included parents who helped their children create effective social networks. A strong social support system was helpful for children to rely on in times of uncertainty or stress.
Hovering over a child’s every move is not only annoying, but it leads the child to an unfortunate conclusion; mom or dad do not believe in my ability to be successful on my own. Unfortunately, this parenting behavior leads children to distrust in their own abilities and take fewer risks, even when they are capable of doing something on their own.
6. OVERLY STRICT PARENTING BEHAVIOR
Research by the University College London found that harsh parenting behavior had effects on the level of self-control for children and that these effects lasted and were also correlated with conduct problems later in life. The researchers say that ‘Harsh parenting predicted conduct problems for both boys and girls. Self-control at age 9 predicted conduct problems and emotional difficulties at age 12.’
Lower self-control levels were the result of strictly overseeing children’s behavior and being overly restrictive in the boundaries given to children. Allowing children, especially as they learn to manage their behavior within the reasonable boundaries that they have already mastered, to experience greater and greater freedom is essential to children being successful.
7. DISCOURAGING EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION
A healthy parent-child relationship is mutually beneficial to both child and adult. A balance of give and take early in a relationship is one of the best predictors of childhood success. To build this connection, honest discussion about frustrations, worries, and things that upset you can help children learn about negative emotions and how to handle them without suppressing them.
8. NOT PRACTICING WHAT IS TAUGHT
With all of the guidance parents give their children, children still watch to see if the parenting behavior matches what they have taught. If you do not share with others, but you teach your children to do so, they are receiving a mixed message and they may experience confusion about what is really right.