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If I Had My Time Again! 10 Parenting Mistakes Which Impact A Child’s Education

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: September 10, 2012 | Categories: Children, Education, Family and Health, Guest Posts, Parenting

Having a child, especially for the first time, is one of the hardest things you will ever have to deal with, not helped by the multitude of conflicting advice that will be thrust upon you.

Sadly babies don’t come with a user manual and as they grow into little people and then oh-too-quickly into adults, as parents it can be difficult to always make the right decision.

Every parent makes mistakes from time to time, usually with the best of intentions, but in hindsight it can be easy to see how you might handle things differently if you had your time again. Here are 10 parenting mistakes which could ultimately have an impact on your child’s education.

1) Over protection

As a parent it’s natural to not to want your child to suffer but in reality, it’s necessary for your youngster to work through life’s ups and downs to develop the necessary coping skills. Of course you can be there to support them but sheltering them from any possible upset will make life much more difficult for them to cope with in the long term. And this could well have a knock on effect firstly in the classroom, then later with their social skills and job prospects.

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2) Use the word ‘no’ sparingly

A young mind is like a sponge and curiosity plus a natural thirst for knowledge are some of the best motivators for a child to learn. Being too strict and stamping out an inquisitive nature can lead to a child being too afraid to engage or ask questions.

3) Not every story has a happy ending

Children need to understand that not everything ends with a happy ever after and protecting your child from anything which has a less than perfect conclusion can give a false impression of the world. This can make real life feel far more shocking and leave the youngster unprepared to deal with bad news or even things which don’t quite turn out as planned.

4) Don’t help them to make excuses

Helping your child to tell fibs to their teacher about why their homework wasn’t done, or even worse making up reasons yourself, teaches your child that they do not have to worry about cause and effect. If your child has not done their homework, they need to appreciate what the consequences will be. Learning cause and effect helps children to understand about taking responsibility for their actions.

5) Let them fight their own battles

Of course, if your child is being bullied, getting involved is sometimes essential but everyday playground disagreements and scraps can be resolved without your intervention. Your child needs to develop the social skills to resolve conflict and you hovering over them constantly ready to help them out will actually hinder their progress.

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6) Making choices

You might shake your head in bewilderment over your child’s choices but making their own decisions, big and small, from a young age will help them develop self confidence and decision making skills. You should never rubbish your child’s choices, even if they are a little eccentric, but discussing why you think something else might be better can help to change their mind in a more subtle way.

7) Labeling children

This is an easy mistake that most parents make at one time or another. ‘He’s so good’ or ‘she’s a little madam’ repeated often enough will become a self fulfilling prophecy with the child adopting the personality they have been allocated.

8) Not following up on punishment

When children are misbehaving it can be incredibly frustrating and threatening them with dire consequences can be a desperate way of getting them to behave. However, if you do not follow through on what you have warned, your child will learn that they can behave how they like with no effect. A lack of discipline can lead to educational problems caused by a poor concentration and focus.

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9) Comparison

‘Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?’, a phrase often uttered by despairing parents at the end of their tether. But comparing children is a short way of creating animosity and jealousy between siblings and also causing a lack of confidence in the child being berated. This could ultimately result in a lack of effort at school, preferring to deliberately misbehave instead of failing.

10) Show your child it’s OK to be wrong

If you make a mistake, showing your child that’s it’s OK to admit it and say sorry is one of the most powerful lessons you can provide. This will teach them to learn from their mistakes and that everyone gets things wrong sometimes.

Conclusion

Education has a lot to do with attitude and behaviour, more so than children’s academic ability. The willingness to try hard, to ask questions and not be afraid to speak out contributes a huge amount to the performance of a child at school. By avoiding the common parenting potholes everyone trips up on occasionally, you can help equip you child with the skills necessary to give them the best chance to get a good education.

Image Credits: Tampa Band Photos, mrlins and DamoBiddles.


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12 Responses to If I Had My Time Again! 10 Parenting Mistakes Which Impact A Child’s Education

  1. I agree that the word no loses its power if it’s heard too often, and so with you on the consistency and follow-through too.

  2. Dandi D says:

    Great advice! So glad you posted!

  3. Great tips. I try not to be to over-protective of my children, but as a parent, it IS my job to protect them.

  4. Mike Davis says:

    excellent review on parenting– We take a test to drive–But nothing to be a parent.. Scary thing in itself. Every parent falls short of the highest goals that the parent wishes..but we are raising the future citizens,doctors, lawyers, and indian chiefs. Thank you for your insight.

  5. Linda Shuttleworth says:

    11. Always remember they are children!!! I discovered that because I am so independent – I am raising a very independent child. Because of this, I almost began seeing my girl as a lil lady instead of a lil girl. Children need time to be children. They grow up too fast and adulthood last a long time! Playtime is critical and it doesn’t always have to be structured or learning time! :)

    • Amber says:

      I love this! It’s such a good reminder. My oldest (6) is tall for her age and has good verbal skills. I often expect so much for her that I’m surprised when socially or emotionally she acts like a 6-year-old! I’ve also found that my children learn so much more in unstructured activities that structured lessons.

  6. Susan Harp says:

    Those are all wise pieces of advice. And a parent shouldn’t be too hard on themselves, we’ve all been there. We try to do our best, but we are only human, and sometimes things don’t go as we planned. The one regret that I have now that my children are all in their twenties is that I didn’t relax and enjoy the moments more when they were younger. They grow up way too fast and now that I’m older, I honestly believe in the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”

  7. Tammy Klain says:

    These are some really good tips..my biggest obstacle is being over protective..My baby is 13 and I am still so neurotic!

  8. u nver really think about these things till you see them in black and white and i honestly didn’t think about cause and effect but your sooo RIGHT
    thank you

  9. Marcie W. says:

    Wonderful tips! They all seem so easy to forget yet so important to remember. Thank you for the well needed reminder.

  10. Kelly says:

    I really love this and will have my hubby read this too. He is extremely overprotective.

  11. Julie Klein says:

    This is such a fantastic list. My mom was very protective and in turn it made me scared to do anything or try anything new. I think this is such an important lesson to learn. Bad things happen to good people and sometimes there is nothing anyone could have done to change it. It is so hard to let go but hopefully giving them the proper tools to try to avoid some of those situations will help them and if not it is about being their for them to help them get through it.

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