Parenting is one of the toughest and most unappreciated jobs on the face of the earth. It can also be the most rewarding. There are, however, methods of parenting that will grieve a child. Here are just five that I have personally observed.
1. Constantly saying “no” to your child because in saying “yes” you have to do something you don’t want to do. Lazy parents use the word “no” more often than they use the word, “yes.” Why? It’s too inconvenient to stop what they are doing and give their child time and attention. When you don’t want to take the time to play a game your child is politely asking you to play, then your adult world is just too important. You, Mr. or Mrs. Parent, are missing your child’s childhood. Charles Swindol once said that if he could change anything in raising his family it would have been to say “yes” more often to his children.
2. Making excuses for unacceptable behavior in your child. “He missed his nap.” “If the other child would not have…my child would not have…” Excuses will come back to haunt you. One day your child will be making them just like you are and you will be dumbfounded as to why. Stop making excuses and start taking the time to train your child. Yes, I know it’s inconvenient, but his or her future attitude is dependent upon it.
3. Thinking that more gifts and more stuff is what your child needs. Your child needs fewer things. Children in America are inundated with toys and technology. Around the world I often observe children playing with sticks (the number one toy of all time), a “discarded” tire, a totally worn out soccer ball or even a two liter plastic bottle. They are outside getting exercise and using their imaginations. These kids often appreciate what they do have more than the children who have it all. Truly, sometimes less is more.
4. Thinking that quality time makes up for quantity time. Your children need you. They need your presence, your laughter, your instruction, your reading to them, your story telling and your correction. It all takes time. It is not the babysitter’s job, the school’s job or the church’s job – it is your job. You took the time to bring this child into the world, now give the time he or she needs from you to raise them, to hug them, to love them and to look them in the eye and tell them how special, wanted and affirmed they are. Of course it’s inconvenient to have a “helper,” but making your home a haven of acceptance rather than a pit of rejection will make life-long and amazing memories.
5. Yelling at your child rather than getting up, going to them and speaking face to face. This is another lazy parenting tactic. Lethargic and idle parents stay in one place and scream commands expecting their child to come running. Really, did you enjoy that as a child? Is your child not worth more of your personal attention than your household pet? Parents who do more yelling than speaking respectfully will one day be on the other end of the screams. Trust me, having been a child welfare social worker it is inevitable. A calm spirit, full of heart and compassion will sow seeds of life into your child. The end result will be that they will know your love, acceptance and approval because you honor them for who they are – your flesh and your blood.