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Nobody’s perfect, and this applies to adults and children alike. However, the most common parenting mistakes are related precisely to the issue of being perfect, or not. There is also a common need for excessive control or being over-protective, through which parents can unknowingly do a lot of harm to their child. This article describes some common mistakes in raising children. We not only suggest how not to raise a child, but also indicate the possible consequences of such parenting approaches. Enjoy your reading!

Parents and their parenting mistakes

Raising a child is a responsible task, and certainly one of the more difficult challenges a parent must face. This is what will shape the personality of a young person and how they will manage in life when they start to grow up and become an adult. Unfortunately, parenting mistakes are inevitable, because nobody is perfect and even if we try very hard, we may not be able to overcome these challenges. However, every parent wants what is best for their child, so it is worth knowing the most common parenting mistakes and, if necessary, making some changes in our approach.

The most common parenting mistakes, or how NOT to raise a child

1. Being inconsistent — Giving unclear signals and not sticking to your own rules results in the child ignoring them, too. If you make frequent “exceptions” to a rule, that “rule” will ultimately cease to exist, or will be treated as irrelevant. This is not only reflected in rules at home, but also those at school or in social circles.

2. Unrealistic expectations — You cannot assume that your child will be perfect and the best in everything. Raising the bar too high at the start is definitely an example of how not to raise a child, as it can cause the child to develop complexes and a feeling of helplessness.

3. Being over-protective — A child that is not allowed to do anything because they “might get hurt”, “because they are too small”, or “because the parent helps with everything”, is a child who has a problem with self-reliance and confidence in their own strength and abilities. This is also a child who does not learn from mistakes, because the parents do not let them make any. These parenting errors are often made by loving mothers who want to protect their little ones from the whole world, and unwittingly harm them in this way.

4. Need for excessive control — Everyone needs a little privacy, including children. Excessive interference in every area of their life robs them of their right to freedom and makes the child feel that the parent does not trust them. This is not about fearing for the safety of the child, but about excessive control in every aspect of their life.

5. Undermining authority — Critically speaking to a child about the other parent, teacher, educator, grandmother, or even a doctor or other authority, causes the child lose respect and trust, and become confused.

6. No appreciation — Parents often tend to rebuke their kids for bad behaviour, but they fail to appreciate small progress or proper behaviour, considering it “normal and desirable”. A child who is unappreciated gets discouraged quickly, because they are not praised for their efforts anyway.

7. Too much criticism — Nobody likes to be criticised. When the child hears that they are doing something wrong every step of the way, not only are they discouraged from doing anything and trying (because it will not be good enough anyway), but they also have problems with self-esteem and may develop complexes.

8. Setting a bad example — It is hard to expect something from your child if you have a problem with it yourself. Parenting mistakes associated with setting a bad example are not uncommon. Your child is a great observer and will not understand that an adult is allowed to do something that they are not.

9. Giving in — Clearly defined rules and limits are the foundation of parenting. It is not about “military” discipline, but about security and your child having the sense of this security.

10. Not hearing your child’s opinions — Some parents still mistakenly believe that the child has nothing to say and it is adults who rule at home. It is not about letting the child make decisions on important matters at home, but the child should have the right to express their opinions or decide on certain topics, in particular those relating to them personally. If you do not allow your child to speak, they may be unable to form their opinions and defend their interests in the future.

11. Not offering appropriate attention — We live in a digital age of computers, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices, which are unfortunately often used to earn parents some peace and quiet. Lack of attention and substituting it with technology are the most common parenting mistakes of our times. But the child needs their parents’ attention, contact and time spent with them. Technology will never replace that.

12. Doing everything for the child — Doing everything for the child not only extends the time they need to learn a particular activity and self-reliance in this respect, but also shows the child that they are not handling something well enough, which also affects their perception of themselves.

13. Showing too little emotions — Cold family relations unfortunately affect the child’s future relationships with peers and make it harder for them to find their place in the society. The child needs intimacy, affection, empathy, a sense of understanding, showing love or sympathy. In this way, they also learn to show such feelings to others.

14. Ignoring the child’s problems — A problem that is trivial for an adult can be almost the end of the world for a child. A feeling of not being understood or supported in everyday challenges can, over time, cause the child to stop asking their parents for help with more serious problems.

15. Projecting your goals onto your children — The child will not become a doctor just because their mum wanted to be one, and will not become a fire-fighter to fulfil their dad’s childhood dreams. The child has the right to discover and develop their own interests, even most distant from their parents’, and the parents should support them in nurturing these.

What are the possible consequences of parenting mistakes?

As mentioned above, parenting mistakes are probably inevitable, but this does not mean that the parent should not work on themselves, especially if they know which areas of their parenting approach need improvement. Mistakes in parenting can affect many areas of the child’s life. Over time, they will turn into problems, and these will become visible in early childhood and build up in adolescence. Parents who do not know how to raise their child, or are not interested, are likely to raise adults who will have problems finding their place in society, starting a family, or in relationships with others. The most common parenting mistakes we have mentioned above can make the child become withdrawn, develop low self-esteem and complexes, have problems complying with the rules, showing their feelings or expressing their opinions.

We also recommend the following article: Baby talk – What does an infant want to tell us?
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Also watch the video “15 parenting mistakes that disrupt the development of a child — how NOT to raise a child”.

We also invite you to watch a movie in German „DIE 15 HÄUFIGSTEN ERZIEHUNGSFEHLER - WIE MAN EIN KIND NICHT ERZIEHT". 

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