Enhance your parenting life by cutting out these ten bad habits.
Parents tend to focus all their energy on the things they think they need to be doing to better their children's lives.
Read more: Parenting without regrets
How to avoid life's greatest regret
Sometimes parents need to let take a step back and look at what they should stop doing instead.
Get off your phone
It's so easy to get carried away with modern technology's messaging and communication systems. When you spend the entire time during the school run chatting to your best friend or mother-in-law (hopefully using your hands-free-kit), you're really missing out on some of your child's best stories and conversations about their day at school. When you're busy urgently texting and replying to emails, you give your child the impression that they're less important that whatever the matter is that you are attending to.
Rushing through life
Life is short and we need to treasure every moment we have while our kids are growing up. Stop whizzing through it. Enjoy as much as you can with your children because before you know it, you’ll be wondering where on earth all the years went and how your kids grew up in a blink of an eye. Constant rushing can stress your child out and turn them into an adult too soon.
Stop shouting so much
Consider that every time you shout, you're teaching your child to react the same way to similar situations. There's nothing worse than a parent who flips their lid and shouts at absolutely everything. Sure, sometimes a good yell is necessary when your child is out of line but you don't always need to scream and shout to get their attention
Your kid's homework
It's easy for parents to want to help their kids with the massive amounts of homework that schools seem to dish out in bulk, but don't do it all for them! A lot of homework exercises are meant to prepare your child for exam-time and you won't be able to write their exams for them. All parents want their children to achieve their best at school, but it's important to let them do it for themselves. Teachers know when a child has had a parents help them with a project.
Procrastinating about a family holiday
So often, parents spent the entire school-term talking about where they'd like to go on holiday with their kids and only start planning and booking the trip in the last week of the term when everything is booked up and unavailable. So you end up spending another family holiday in your garden trying to come up with different ideas to keep the kids busy. Planning ahead of time will broaden your options and give you a chance to enjoy putting your family holiday programme together.
Say goodbye to your clean house
There's something odd about walking into a squeaky-clean house that kids live in. Your house is never going to stay consistently spotless. You have kids. Embrace the bits of mess. This doesn’t mean you need to live in complete clutter and dirt, but toys lying around here and there is all part of having kids. Set yourself twenty minutes twice a day to clear some clutter and get the kids involved.
Stop trying to protect your kids from everything
It's impossible to shield your kids completely from making mistakes or wrong decisions. Overprotective parents mean well, but be careful of blinding your children to the realities of life. You can't control your children and expect them to agree with every decision you make on behalf of them. Part of understanding consequences is learning from your own mistakes, so allow for this to happen naturally with the understanding that your kids can come to you for advice and support when they fall.
Over-scheduling your child’s week with extra-curriculum activities
After-school activities keep your child occupied and prevent them from sitting in front of the TV every day after school. But many parents tend to cram their child's week with extra school-sports and after-school activities. The pressure of having a heavy schedule at a young age can lead to a burn out and anxiety. Doing nothing may seem like a waste of time but sometimes it's important for a child to have a bit of quiet time after school.
Stop smoking around kids
There is nothing safe or healthy about smoking around kids. Smoking around your children or exposing them to second-hand smoke can lead to ear infections, asthma and chest infections and you might be influencing them to start smoking one day, thinking that it's the norm. Consider quitting or at least refrain from smoking when your kids or in close proximity of you.
If you're divorced, stop bad-mouthing your ex to your kids
Blaming, name-calling and lying about your ex in front of your kids is something that a lot of parents do without thinking about what impression it leaves on your kids. Your children are 50% your ex's and bad-mouthing their other parent can leave your child feeling belittled and harbouring feelings of animosity towards both parents. Co-parenting can be tough, but think about what you're saying in front of your kids and the impact it will have on everyone involved.
What have you stopped doing that made things easier for your family?