Is it possible that your actions (or inactions) as a parent might be contributing to the overall negative behavior that your child continuously displays? Certainly, your child is responsible for his or her behavior…but is there something you might be doing to sabotage his or her sincere efforts to “behave?”
Here is a list of parenting no-no’s that are sure to elicit cranky, whiney, over-stimulated children:
1. Allowing your child to consume too much sugar and/or caffeine!
Not too long ago, I was at a family-friendly eating establishment with a group of adults, many of whom brought their children. As the evening wore on, one of the adults kept complaining about how “hyper” her six year-old child was. I had to do all I could to bite my lip and not point out the fact that the six year-old was finishing up his second large caffeinated soda and was literally walking around the place with a large bag (even larger than a typical “movie theater” bag) of gummi bears…sour gummi bears!
No wonder this kid couldn’t sit still!
2. Over-stimulating your child.
If it’s close to bedtime and every light in the house is on, the dog is barking and whining outside, the TV is on in one room and the music in another, the dishwasher is running, the house is a mess, baby brother is crying, and mom is getting constant text notifications on her phone…then it might be time to alter one’s environment, and real quick-like! Children are easily over-stimulated and this can lead to irritable, fussy behavior.
3. Giving-in to tantrums, whining, begging, bargaining, and other negative behaviors.
“Giving in” to any of the behaviors listed above will likely result in a repeat of such behavior. Act quickly and swiftly when confronted with any of these annoyances!
4. Over-scheduling your child.
It’s great that your child plays two sports, babysits regularly, plays an instrument, has weekly scout meetings, and attends church-related activities each week…but give the kid a break! This is too much! Even if you think your child enjoys all of this…it is still too much!
5. Setting expectations for your child that are unrealistic or unfair.
Unrealistic and unfair expectations are a great way to destroy a child’s self-esteem and self-worth. It’s also a great way to create animosity and revenge-seeking behavior.
6. Ignoring or disregarding your child’s positive behaviors.
Just like the old saying regarding teeth, “Ignore them and they will go away!” So, too, will positive behaviors.
7. Maintaining inconsistent and/or unstructured discipline for your child.
How would you feel I f your boss changed workplace policies every other week? Or if your favorite TV show was on at a different time each week? Frustrating huh? That’s how your child feels when you fail to provide structure and consistency.
8. Failing to follow through with consequences.
Nothing says, “I’m a push-over” more than a parent that doesn’t follow through with consequences. To be an effective parent, one must possess a strong backbone!
9. Setting a poor example for your child (being a negative role-model).
As we all know (or should know), children are very observant…and will often pay more attention to what their parents DO as opposed to what their parents SAY.
10. Enabling and promoting your child’s sense of entitlement.
If you reward your child for behaviors that should otherwise be expected, then you may be guilty of this particular “parenting faux pas.”
11. Maintaining a cluttered and/or chaotic household.
Someone once made the observation, “A cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind.” I think the same applies to a chaotic environment/mind.
So there you have it! Eleven ways in which you might be sabotaging your child’s behavior!