If you’ve heard “None of my friend’s parents do this!” at least once – you are doing a great job. Parenting is a messy job. Your kids will constantly tell you that you are making bad parenting choices. If they are good, they will get you to question your sanity and your parenting at times. Are you being too harsh? Are you doing bad things when you try to keep your kids safe? When you are trying to help them evolve into successful adults?
Here are 5 “bad things” good parents do:
Check their kids’ phone and computer regularly
Good parents get that they need to check their kids’ phones. Your kids will scream, “I need my privacy!” and “It’s my phone/computer you have no right!” But, now a days electronics are a back door for predators and unsavory people. Combine that with the naiveté and impulsivity of kids and it can be a scary combination.
Don’t let their kids sleep over at other people’s homes until they’ve met the parents
In my practice, I have noticed a pattern. Bad things happen when kids are sleeping over their friends’ houses. This is when they sneak out. Do drugs. Have sex. Meet strangers on the computer. Watch porn. Sext. Get molested by fathers, brothers and uncles. I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but this stuff is happening.
Your kids are going to spend 24 hours with these strangers. Do you trust them? Do they seem like they watch over their kids or is it a free for all? When in doubt, have your kids invite them to your house.
Make their kids have regular responsibilities around the house
Do you know what happens to kids when you do everything for them? They grow up with the same expectations. Why should only mom and dad clean up, cook and do laundry? Find age-appropriate tasks for your kids and teach them that a family pitches in.
Don’t help their kids on large school projects
Your kids might think you are the worst parent in the world when you don’t help them create their school masterpiece. You might even feel the same as you sit in the school drop off lane watching kids carrying projects worthy of the corporate boardroom alongside your kid’s project.
This is your kid’s project – not yours. Yes, if you do it for them the project will wow the teacher and their peers, but what is your child learning? That their mom or dad is awesome at science or history?
Empower your kids by taking a supportive role in their homework and projects.
Make their kids earn desired toys and extra clothes
Your kids will think you are horrible when they have to – dare I say – earn extra toys, clothes and activities. If parents have the means (and sometimes even when they don’t) they love to spoil their kids. You want them to have what you didn’t. You want them to get what their friends get. I get it.
If kids get most everything they want – they learn to expect it. When kids earn everything they want – they learn that hard work pays off.
Just remember, your parenting report card is not written by your children. It is written by the adult version of them. What they may view as bad parenting now, they will view as invaluable when they are old. When they are living in their own home, earning their own successful income, making their own great choices – all because of what you taught them!