3. Making empty threats
Let’s say your child is drawing and decides it’ll be fun to scribble all over the walls, floor, and coffee table.
You remind him to create art on paper instead and tell him that if he continues to vandalise the house, you’re going to take away all his crayons.
But he chooses to ignore you and keeps drawing all over the livingroom wall.
You contemplate taking the crayons away from him, but end up just sighing and letting him continue with his graffitti because you’re too tired to argue or deal with him crying when he doesn’t get his own way.
WHY THIS IS A MISTAKE: He probably won’t take you seriously when you’re trying to discipline him in future because he knows that you won’t follow through with what you tell him.
According to Dr Hansa Bhargava, a pediatrician at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (USA), “Toddlers and preschoolers can easily pick up the difference between an ’empty threat’ and actual punishment. We really love our children, and we want what’s best for them, but it’s really important to follow through (on punishment).”
Bhargava also warns parents that if this keeps up, your child eventually might not look at you as a figure of authority, and when he grows up he could turn elsewhere for guidance.
4. Giving them a sense of entitlement
We all love our kids and try to build up their confidence by showering them with praises and making sure things go well for them.
We want our little one to know how special he is and every tiny task he completes (like putting his plate in the sink after he’s done eating) is celebrated with much fanfare.
WHY THIS IS A MISTAKE: Amy McCready, author of The Me, Me, Me Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World, believes that parents play a major role in this problem with children of this generation.
“None of us intends to raise an entitled child, but often in our loving attempts to do the best for our kids, we over-parent. We over-indulge, over-praise and mow down any obstacle in their path with ninja-like swiftness. And when we do? We rob kids of the opportunity to do for themselves, learn from mistakes, or overcome adversity”, she explains.