Every parent tries to do what they believe is best when it comes to their child’s upbringing. However, no matter how good our intentions are, some corrective tactics can negatively affect a child’s sense of identity and self-esteem.
Children of any age are delicate and haven’t yet fully developed their personalities. That means that they can easily be affected by a parent’s behavior. Here are a few mistakes parents may be making that can affect a child’s self-esteem.
1. Comparing children to their siblings or other children their age
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes parents make when it comes to raising a child. Most parents make comparisons with good intentions. They believe if they compare their child’s behavior to their well-behaved peers, they will most likely start to improve.
This can seriously harm a child’s sense of self-esteem while they are still very young. When being constantly compared to others, a child may come to believe they are inferior and that they will never be able to become as good as those around them.
This behavior can prevent a child’s from expressing their individuality and may leave them unsure of themselves and unable to have confidence in their own abilities.
2. Making a child take sides during a separation
Breakups may present immense difficulties for families. And because children usually can’t fully understand such a situation, they may end up blaming themselves for a separation. A mistake many parents make is making their child choose sides.
Instead of trying to force your child to tell you which parent they love most, focus on making sure they know any separation or divorce is not their fault and that both of you still love them the same as you always have.
A child needs to know they are free to choose what is best for them. Making a child choose sides will only make them more insecure — and they may feel as though they are letting one of you down. Refrain from saying negative things about your former partner, too. Allow your child to keep the image they have of their parent in their head without stripping their childhood away from them.
3. Not praising a child enough
There are some parents who believe children should not be praised, fearing a child may end up being spoiled and thinking too highly of themselves. While that can happen, some parents take this concern to an extreme and never praise their children for anything positive they do.
Praising a child when they do something positive is necessary if a parent wants their child to reach their full potential. If a child is not praised when earning good grades or behaving well, they may not know this behavior should be kept up. Let your children know how well they are doing and praise them so they believe in their abilities and continue to better themselves.
4. Always focusing on their mistakes
No child is perfect and they will have to make mistakes to learn. Growing up is a learning process and making mistakes along the way can teach them many valuable lessons about life, interacting with others, and the importance of their personal decisions.
Make sure you don’t talk down to your child when they make a mistake. If you continue mentioning a child’s mistakes, the child may lose their initiative as well as the trust in themselves. They might also end up becoming overly anxious and unwilling to take risks — for fear of failing and being scolded.
Instead of focusing on your child may have done wrong, help them understand what they could have done better, so when they find themselves in a similar situation, they will overcome it and thrive.
Raising a child is hard work
Whether you’re raising your child with your partner or as a single parent, it is important for both of you to be aware of these mistakes and avoid them so you can raise a child that can stand on their own feet and be happy.
The more you focus on letting a child know you love them and you are proud of them, the more the child will thrive. Allow them to make mistakes and to learn by doing, without pressuring them to be like their peers. Each child is different and should be praised for their individuality.
About the Author: James Daily is a professional writer and blogger with a Master’s degree in Leadership and Teacher Education. Currently, he works as a content writer for urgent essay writing service. He counts astronomy, psychology, and cinema among his myriad interests. Feel free to contact him via his personal blog.