5 Parenting Failures (& What to do Instead)
Being a Mom is Hard
Make the child a three-year-old & it’s even harder. The truth is that feeling like a parenting failure is extremely common among parents.
In fact, according to moms.com:
|“About 60 percent of mothers feel as though they are not doing enough for their kids, compared to about 45 percent of fathers who feel the same way”|
& this is only within the first year of becoming a parent.
I don’t know about you, but the toddler years seem to be the most difficult so far & I’m sure the teenage years will have their own set of “I failed as a parent” moments.
The truth is failing as a parent is going to happen. We will all have our moments, but there are steps we can take to avoid that same mistake in the next time.
In this article, I’m going over the 5 biggest mistakes parents make with toddlers & preschoolers and what you can do instead.
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Toddlers are in a constant state of learning
Before we get into the parenting failures, it’s important to note that toddlers and preschoolers are constantly learning and growing.
The key here is that they are learning from you! They watch everything that you do; and will mimic it often.
The more gentle parenting approaches you can take, the better!
I’m a huge proponent of Love and Logic && I tend to say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” whenever my toddler has a problem. It was quite a moment when I had a problem and Jolene responded with, “well mommy, what are you going to do about it?”.
They listen && want to be just like their favorite person in the world!
We have to take on that role model job every single day && I know that’s why being a mom is hard, especially with everything else going on in our lives.
Above, I gave a sweet example – but the truth is, that’s not the only thing she’s copied out of my mouth!
Parenting Failure Moment: My toddler called my mom an “asshole” – I wonder where she learned that word…
Give yourself a Break
I’d be willing to bet that you’ve beat yourself up enough over whatever parenting failure moment you had. Your child is going to be okay. You are going to be okay.
Give yourself a break & do better next time.
Parenting Failure #1 Yelling or getting angry with your child
This one is easier said than done. I get it. I have failed as a parent here.
Toddlers have a way at driving you completely insane, in the most adorable way. I have been at my wits end with mine, that’s for sure.
The problem with yelling and getting angry when we are upset is that when our toddler gets upset; they will also start to yell and get angry.
We want to teach our children how to deal with stress & anger. How we deal with it, will be how they do too.
Again – they do everything that we do.
Do this instead:
- Instead of yelling when you get upset; stop and walk away (make sure your toddler is in a safe space).
- If you need a break; ask for help.
- Take your toddler time-out so that you can also take a moment.
Parenting Failure #2 Giving your toddler what they want after a temper tantrum
This is another big no-no! We’ve all seen it happen.
I’ll give the grocery store example here: A toddler wants a toy, candy, etc – but mom says no. The toddler quickly gets agitated and starts to scream and throw a tantrum.
The mom, in fear that everyone is watching, gives the toddler what he/she wanted.
Unfortunately, this may take care of the problem in that moment but be prepared to spend a ton of extra money anytime you take your toddler out in public.
When we give our child this power; we will always lose.
Even if the toddler eventually calms down – we must have some sort of consequence for that tantrum. Don’t give them what they originally wanted, or they’ll repeat the same course of action over and over!
Do this instead:
- Hug them and tell them you love them no matter what
- Ignore the tantrum (make sure they are in a safe place)
- In public – leave wherever you are and take them outside away from the crowd.
Honestly, if you need to, get out of there – but do not give your child what they want. This will always end badly.
Parenting Failure #3 Bribing them to do what you want them to
I’m guilty of this. I’ve given JJ a pop so that I could sit down and take a break. I have even offered her toys in order to get her to eat her food.
This is a big one. The problem with bribing is that when it’s consistent – our children will only do something for a reward.
As a teacher, I’ve seen the impact this can make on kids. I’ve had kids actually ask me, “what will I get if I do blank”. It’s a sad realization.
We need to instill a sense of doing out of love, or even earning something – but we can’t teach our kids that they should only do things for a reward.
Do this instead:
- Set up a system to where they have to earn something, nothing in life is free.
- If your child isn’t doing what you ask; have a consequence
- Lead by example && do things for people without wanting something in return.
Parenting Failure #4 Doing everything for your toddler
I’m going to be real here && let you all know that this is a huge pet peeve of mine. If your child can do something – they should do it.
I get that we are all busy and sometimes it will get done faster if we just do it, but we have to stop and assess the long time outcome here.
It’s important to raise children to be self-sufficient. That is, they need to be able to do things on their own. Things can’t just happen for them, because that’s not real life.
Let them make mistakes; let them fail. You can’t really accomplish something until you’ve failed at it a few times.
Do this instead:
- Let them fail – it’s okay to not be good at something. Kids need to learn this from day one.
- If your toddler can do it, they should do it.
- Praise your toddler when they accomplish big goals!
Parenting Failure #5 Spanking your toddler
Oh man, I’m being brave with this one. Let me say something right off the bat – if you spank your child, you do you! I am not here to judge you or shame you.
We all have different parenting strategies. Today, I am going to try to convince you why it might not be a good idea, but by all means, let me know below in the comments if you disagree!
I would love to discuss! Heck – you can even email me about it if you want!
Okay – I’m going to use a story here. The other day, JJ was being her usual rambunctious self but she crossed a line.
I was in the middle of doing something else, so instead of using my normal methods (mommy fail here!) I quickly smacked her on the butt.
It wasn’t hard at all, but she turned around and said, “well, I’m going to hit you back!” and then proceeded to punch me in the arm.
If we teach kids that when they do something bad they get spanked, then what do they think they should do to us when we are bad or worse their friends at school when they are bad?
If they learn that this is the answer, how do we change that mindset?
Do this instead:
- Use the 1-2-3 Magic Method
- Put your child in time-out or time-in
- Give some sort of other consequence that they won’t like (take away privileges)
Avoiding these common mistakes will make a world of difference. It’s important to do your own research and decide for yourself what’s best for your child.
In the meanwhile, try to avoid these 5 mistakes that most parents make.
Which mistakes are you making? Let me know if the comments!
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