Correcting Parenting Mistakes Made With Your First Child

First-time parents are often riddled with anxiety about getting everything just right. Once your first-born arrives, your worrying ascends to new levels and you stress out over everything from their food, sleeping habits (or lack thereof), clothes and toys.

Sometimes this worrying, stressing and fussing over the first child continues as they grow and new challenges crop up. This is to be expected as there’s nothing quite as demanding and frightening as becoming a parent. Children don’t come with manuals and while you can take courses and classes to prepare you, you will still make mistakes. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent, you are simply doing the best you can and learning as you go along.

Fixing Common Parenting Mistakes

Ask around and most parents will tell you that they too had some mishaps before they figured out what works best for their kids. By the time their other children arrived, their parenting skills had improved.

Here’s how to fix common blunders that most rookie parents make:

  • Failing to give children enough space. It’s natural to want to protect our children and shield them from the harsh realities of life. However, coddling them and becoming a helicopter parent does more harm than good. Instead of stepping in and always doing things for your children, allow them to struggle and fail sometimes. Their slip-ups will help nurture their creativity and independence as they learn to solve their own problems.
  • Comparing your child to other people’s. Thanks to social media, we now live in an era of competitive parenting. Seeing other kids hitting their milestones while yours lags behind can leave your questioning your child’s abilities. Whenever this happens, remind yourself that kids are individuals and they grow at their own pace. So instead of comparing them with others and damaging their self-esteem, adjust your expectations according to their abilities and be generous with your approval.
  • Being overly strict or lenient. First-time parents find it difficult to gauge how much discipline their child needs. As a result, they end up being too strict for fear of raising a delinquent child or too lenient to avoid the “strict parent” label. The truth is that children thrive where there is structure and routine. So ensure that you are consistent with your rewards and punishments.
  • Believing that your child is perfect. In the early stages of parenthood, you dote on your child and everything they do is precious. As they grow older, you refuse to hear anything negative about them. Instead of reacting emotionally and attacking the messenger who tells you of your child’s misbehavior, how about pausing to consider the veracity of their concerns? This way you can tell whether your child requires an intervention in order to get them the help they need.

Although mistakes are inevitable while bringing up your first child, learning from them helps you adjust your parenting to suit the whole family.

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