Mental health now more than ever is a hot topic for adults and even more so for young people. As we continue to navigate through daily stressors, it is imperative that parents take care of not only their health, but that of their children as well.
It is important to make sure that kids are strong for today and that they are able to tackle what awaits them in the future. Even though parents try their best to make sure that they are on top of the game, sometimes they may not be aware of the fact that they are not, doing more harm than good. Here are six parenting mistakes that destroy kids’ mental strength.
1. Minimizing your child’s feelings. Kids need to know that it is healthy to express their feelings whatever they may be. When parents say things such as “don’t be sad” or “it’s no big deal,” they are minimizing their child’s feelings, sending the message that they don’t matter. Kids pick-up on this and will start to suppress how they feel and that does much more harm than good. Encourage them to express their feelings, teaching them how to properly manage emotions.
2. Saving them from failure. Parents tend to always want to fix things for their children. However, keeping them from failure isn’t letting them learn. Failure is a part of success. If kids never learn to fail, they will not learn to persevere.
3. Overindulging. Research shows that when parents give kids whatever they want, they are missing out on self-discipline, growing up to thinking that everything will be given to them without having to work for it. Parents can still give their kids “stuff,” but it should be when they have earned it.
4. Expecting perfection. Parents want their children to aim high and be the best, but make sure that you are not expecting them to be perfect. No one is perfect, and subconsciously setting the bar too high will lead to self-esteem and confidence issues later on down the road.
5. Comfort first. Just like failure, kids need to feel “uncomfortable” at moments to build their mental strength. Trying things new will unquestionably make kids feel uncomfortable, but it is the first step to realizing that they might find a new food that they like, make new friends, be good at a new sport, etc. Give them that gentle push, letting them know that you will be there for support.
6. Not setting boundaries. Kids can express themselves by making decisions; however, you need to let them know that you are in charge. Kids who are mentally strong know that they have freedom under established boundaries and consistent behavior.