The other day, I ran across an article on Babble entitled, The 20 Most Common Parenting Mistakes, According to a Family Psychologist. I can’t afford a family psychologist, so I checked it out in the hopes of getting some free tips.
Then I read it. And, as I often do with these kinds of articles, I had some comments.
The advice in here actually isn’t that bad. It’s not always realistic, especially for a parent of a five-year-old, but there are some good tips that I’m totally going to forget by the time they’re relevant to my life.
But just because there’s some solid, viable advice in here doesn’t mean that I won’t mock it. It’s what I do! (When I’m not just mocking my son.) So here we go! (Read the actual article, minus my commentary.)
Most Common Parenting Mistakes
- Giving them too many choices – I actually agree with this. When I give my son a choice, it’s usually a fake choice. It makes him think he’s in control when he’s actually… totally in control but shut up that’s not my point! Even a fake choice is an upgrade from me childhood. When I was growing up, my parents gave me one choice: sit down and shut up.
- Praising them for everything they do – I definitely have this problem. Just last night, when I asked Detective Munch to clean up his toys and get ready for bed and he didn’t move a muscle, I said, “Wow! Great job ignoring me, buddy!”
- Trying to make the child happy – My five-year-old is actually MORE annoying when he’s happy, so I have no problem shutting that down whenever possible.
- Overindulging them – See above. And this.
- Keeping them too busy – I dunno about this one, if he’s busy, he gets tired. When he gets tired, he sleeps. I like that math.
- Thinking ‘smart’ will save them – We’re on the same page here; intelligence isn’t a cure-all. I like to think of myself as being pretty smart, but I still had two kids, so maybe not! So while I encourage my son to learn and think, this is America, so I mostly stress being rich and good-looking.
- Thinking a strict religion will give them perfect values and save them – Haha, no, I don’t think that. I’ve seen the news!
- Withholding common information about important topics — like sex – Again, good advice! I try to be open and honest with my kids about sex. But is our weekly Pornhub movie night going too far?
- Being hyper-critical of the child’s mistakes – Don’t worry, I don’t have the kind of time necessary to criticize my son’s mistakes. He’s five. All he makes are mistakes. He’s downright prolific!
- Using shame, shunning, or threats – Two out of three ain’t bad, right? Because we all threaten our kids. It’s either that or bribing them.
- Making kids do things inappropriate for their age – Do you mean “inappropriate” like forcing him to prep dinner? Or “inappropriate” like making him do the Buffalo Bill dance from Silence of the Lambs when we have guests over? I need more specifics.
- Not limiting screen time – This was never an issue for us… and then we had a baby. Sorry, family psychologist, but I need the five-year-old off my back for a bit. CUT ME SOME SLACK!
- Not letting kids get bored – There’s a way to stop kids from getting bored? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!
- Protecting kids from their own consequences and loss – Does pointing at him and yelling, “IN YOUR FACE!” at the end of another Connect Four blow-out count? If so, I have this covered.
- Not letting kids explore the outdoors – Not letting them? I’m begging them! We’re even installing a doggie-door.
- Not debriefing kids at bedtime – I am constantly asking my son about his day. But it doesn’t matter how many times I beg him for some info, it’s always “I don’t remember!” or “I already told Mommy!” or “UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH.” Kids are fun!
- Not reading to very young children – Despite my protests, I mostly enjoy reading to my kids. Does it matter what we read? I’m trying to finish the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy before it’s due back at the library and I figured we could multitask.
- Pulling pacifiers too soon – People pull pacifiers too soon? Detective Munch never took to one (he has a lovey instead), but I’ll let the Hammer suck a pacifier ’til he’s 18 if it means hearing “no!” less often.
- Not regulating food – This one is about not letting them eat too much. Haha, as if my kid will ever eat too much! The only regulating I do during meals is regulating how much time he spends hiding under the table and then regulating how many drinks I have before he goes to bed.
- Spanking children older than 5 – Wait, I’m allowed to spank them when they’re under five? WOO HOO!!!!