If there is one thing that all the parents across the world will mutually agree upon, it is the fact that parenting is no child’s play. While there is no right or wrong way of upbringing your child, at times, it may also feel like a constant battle between not doing enough and smothering your little one. Since parents do not have their very own bottle of chemical-X to complete the parenting puzzle (here’s looking at you Professor Utonium), they often rely on imbibing what their own parents did or did not do right.
You might be unintentionally hurting your child
It is also true that no matter how noble your intentions are, there is no parenting handbook or guide which will help you avoid the bumps and bruises on your journey of raising your child. While it is important to maintain a healthy and healing environment at home, it is equally necessary to be aware of the hurtful expectations and benchmarks we hold our kids to. So, even if you are hyper aware of your interaction with your tiny tots, we shed light on certain toxic traits which may still creep in.
Yes, we are talking about worrying how a certain kid in your child’s class always seems to be better at everything than your little one. It frustrates you to no end as you continuously try to crack the code of their A+ performance. This is where you need to stop.
It doesn’t matter if you always excelled at academics as a child or were the Jack of all trades, it is not your competition anymore. Your child’s academic results are not an indication of his/her cognitive abilities. So, when you compare your little one to his/her peer or batchmate, you inadvertently bring down the self-esteem and confidence levels of your kid.
Remember, these toxic comparisons also include unhealthy sibling rivalry which stems from pitting one child’s abilities against another.
Creating gender-specific roles at home
When you tell your girl child to do the dishes as your boy just seems to put it in the washbasin, you end up creating a toxic divide in your children’s mind. Even though gender-specific household chores are not as deep-rooted in Indian households as they were a decade ago, they are still there.
So, as a parent, you need to be conscious of what roles you are assigning to your children and maintain gender equality at home. Remember, your child will inadvertently imbibe what you are teaching him today and this cycle will continue, till you decide to break it.
Not placing enough importance to their mental health
This is one grey area a lot of parents need to work on with dedicated focus. As our favourite celebrities continue to speak about their mental health journey (thank you Deepika), it is time we understood the importance of sound mental health. Do not dismiss mental health conditions and any signs that your child may be suffering from one. Even if your pre-existing notions dictate otherwise, it is time to educate yourself about mental illnesses and be the torchbearer of change in your family.
It is also important to note that certain situations can put your kid at an increased risk, which can include a family history of mental illness, facing or witness trauma at home or a major setback in your child’s life.
“I did this for you…” attitude
Yes, we know how our world completely changed when a little one tiptoed in our lives. You changed your schedule, you spent countless nights staying up with them and even learnt to multitask. However, if you keep reminding your kids about the ‘favours’ you did for them, it won’t do your relationship any good. Trust you kids enough to believe that they already know what all you have done (and continue doing) for them. They don’t need verbal reminders and taunts for the same.
You don’t respect their privacy
Between ensuring that your little one stays safe to not hovering on his head, we understand it is a thin to walk. Even though it is important to check on what your children are up to and whether or not they are staying safe, it is also important to not poke around for all the intimate details.
When you turn something your kids’ share with you to a full-blown lecture, they may have trouble trusting you with their secrets again. As a parent, you can always guide them about the correct path and make them comfortable enough to trust you when things get tough. However, you will also need to give them the space to walk on the path on their own. Your greatest job as a parent is to let your children know that you are there for them, without any shed of doubt.