Are you inadvertently doing these 10 ways that set your child up for failure? Sometimes we even think we are being good parents while doing them because we only want our children to be happy.
Parenting is hard and sometimes our best intentions don’t have the results we expected. Over the years, I’ve had to work on making sure I’m not guilty of these 10 things myself. It’s a constant self-check…
10 Ways To Set Your Child Up For Failure
1. Buy Them Everything They Want
The yearning for something greater, the desire to work hard to achieve it…these are the lessons we must teach our children. Fulfilling their every want will never teach them to be grateful for what they have.
2. Keep Them Entertained 24/7
This is one I’ve had to work on a lot. When it was just my first daughter, I thought I had to be with her and play with her constantly. But when my 2nd was born, I was too busy to do that. I learned that it’s good for kids to entertain themselves. To use their imagination. To (gasp) be bored!
They say “Necessity is the mother of invention” but I would argue it is boredom.
3. Disrespect YOUR Parents
If you think you can do this parenting thing all right and never make those “mistakes” your parents did, get back to me in 20 years. Because let me tell you my friend, we are figuring things out as we go. Just like your parents and their parents and their parents before them.
Yes, we have lots of new and helpful knowledge. We know a lot more about the makeup of a child and how to nurture them. But we get it wrong a lot of times…at least I do.
Show your child that your parents deserve respect, regardless of if they got it wrong or right.
4. Nurture Your Children Over Your Marriage
When I was about 8 I remember being SO angry with my mom because in response to my nagging question if she loved me or my Dad more, she finally explained that in some ways, she loved my Dad more. Because without the love for my dad, I wouldn’t be here. It took me 22 more years before I finally got what she meant.
5. Don’t Teach Personal Responsibility
You didn’t finish your homework? That’s okay, you were tired. You pushed a child at school? That’s okay, you don’t feel well. This leads to…You got drunk and drove a car? That’s okay, the bartender gave you too many drinks….See the problem here?
6. Make Your Child Feel Like The Center Of The World
Yes, it is extremely important that we make our children feel special and unique and the most important thing in our lives. But in the grand scheme of things, we are all just specs. We need to teach our children about God. About giving to others. About taking care of the world around us. One day, life will go on without us here.
7. Don’t Have The Hard Conversations
I hesitated to talk about death with my oldest child. I was afraid that talking about it would bring up the fact that one day I would die too. That none of us are exempt. And I’m embarrassed to say that because of my own fear, Hannah missed her own great grandfather’s funeral.
If we as parents are uncomfortable with the hard topics, someone else will teach our kids about them – death, failure, sex, drugs and alcohol. And is that what you really want?
8. Treat Yourself Poorly
Talk about how fat you are, how you hate your hair and you still have stretch marks. Don’t exercise or take time for yourself. Show your kids that you aren’t of much value and they will learn those same traits.
9. Teach Them Intolerance
This is a brave new world we live in. Every single day there is an opportunity to come in touch with someone who is different than you. A different race. A different culture. A different religion. A different sexual orientation.
And I’m not saying you have to agree, or even accept, everyone’s differences. But we CAN teach tolerance…we can show our children that different isn’t necessarily wrong. And that God loves everyone, regardless of if they love him back.
Which leads me to…
10. Teach Your Child They Are Somehow Better Than Someone Else
Let me tell you I’ve been poor and I’ve had money.
I’ve driven a used Corolla and a Mercedes. I’ve cut coupons and shopped sales out of necessity. I’ve prayed to find enough money as a child to buy a 59 cent loaf of bread.
I skipped a honeymoon because we didn’t have enough money.
I’ve been a have and a have not.
And through it all – I was the same person. Nothing inside of me changed. Money didn’t define me.
What I owned or could or couldn’t buy didn’t set my worth.
The way I treated others, the way I treated myself and the bond I had with my family. That’s what defined me then and today.
And when it comes right down to it, that’s the real way to set our children up for success.
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