Parenting is hard. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but there are some things that are a major uh-oh! if you're doing them on repeat.
1. You Dish Out the Praise
Well done, darling! You're so clever! You're so fast! The piece of art you did in school could rival Picasso! You are such a genius! Look at how amazing you look in that dress! *PUKE!*
If you constantly shower your kiddo with praise for practically farting, it's time to put on the brakes and cut the boloney. As much as we think our sproglets are the most incredible beings in the universe (on a good day at least), leading them to believe it is a one-way ticket to narcissism central. If you want to screw up your cherubs by giving them reality problems when they enter the real world, or have them figure out that your talk is cheap and nothing you say can be trusted, be our guest. Or you could stop wetting your pants every time they do something good and hang fire on the overblown sentiments, okay?
2. You Moan About Your Body
Muffin top? Bingo wings? Saggy knees? Withered boobs? If the answer to any of these is yes, guess what... your kids do not need to know! Unless you've spend parenthood living under a rock, you may have noticed that our minions learn by mimicking - and that includes... you. No matter what inevitable cruel travesties your body might be inflicting on you at this point in time, unless you want to raise an aspiring body-hater, you know what they say - if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.
3. You Tell Them Not to Cry
It's been a long, hard day and your patience is running thin. Tonight's dinner is already burning and your child is having the mother of all crying fits about something you have yet to be clued in to. Sure, listening to them crying at this point in time might feel like a bushfire burning through your brain, and you're probably screaming "Please shut up already" in your head, but kids have huge emotions in little bodies and need to let them out, not bury them just to please us judgy adults.
You might think what they're crying over is as silly as a goose, but to them, it's like being told not to cry when you've just been fired by your boss. So unless you want to create a time-bomb of suppressed emotions just waiting to go KABOOM! in adult life, please just let them cry. Anything else is futile anyways.
4. You Label Them
Kids are not wine, cheese, or any other food product that happens to need a label, so why would you give them one? Unless you're counting on having a bossy, naughty, or shy squirt, labeling your child gets a double-thumbs down. Sooner or later that label will stick in their mind and they'll start taking center stage as the typecast you've made them out to be. In the words of the greatest typecast that ever lived, John Wayne, "Life's tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid." So please, don't be.
5. You Compare Them
Let's take a moment here - how would you like to constantly be compared to your brother, sister, neighbor, or any other person who happens to be within spitting distance of you? Our guess is you would rather take a bath in setting concrete or stand on top of a hill in a thunderstorm waiting for lightning to strike. What's more, you can bank on acquiring a hot mess of an inferiority complex - unless you are one of the lucky few to be driven forward with a competitive vengeance.
You know what they say - comparing is the thief of joy. When it comes to comparing your tykes to their siblings, classmates, or any other kid in the neighborhood, you can wager that it'll leave your child feeling dumber than a sack of doorknobs - or nine deep in a triple whammy of stress, low self-esteem, and lower self-worth. Remember, it's the effort that counts, so praise their strengths or zip it, comprende?
6. You Try to Be Their Friend, Not Their Parent
7. You Tell Them You Wished They Were Another Gender
Do you tell your daughter that you were hoping for a boy? Or how you wished your boy was a girl so you could make him look all pretty? Say whaaaaaat? No, just no! Not ever, even if the end of the world was nigh! Whatever you had hoped for, it didn't happen, so move on and get over it. Genders are confusing enough without you adding to the calamity. Embrace the child you have, pronto.
Suspect you could be making these parenting mistakes? It's time to level up, reboot, and gain some perspective. And break the habits of nearly every parent who ever went before.