As our kids grow we envision them thriving in both their younger phases and adult years. Yet sometimes we fall into a few parenting pitfalls that actually hinder or even prevent our child’s ability to flourish.
So..if you don’t want your child to succeed at adulting—be one of these three types of parents.
1. The Equity Enabler: Treat each child the same regarding expectations,personality or ability level rather than as a unique individual. (NOTE: I’m not saying have a favorite or favor one over another)
Result: Envy is stirred and jealousy fostered. The person believes life should be equal regardless of effort or talent. Entitlement develops.
Remedy: Don’t compare kids. Encourage and nurture. Adjust your parenting according to what the individual child needs.
2. The Expectation Expert: Without taking the reality of who the child is into consideration, this parent expects perfection and dictates behavior. He is overbearing and uses words like: wouldah, shouldah, couldah, oughtah— a lot.
Result: Anger and frustration are created. The child may rebel or withdraw.
Remedy: Know your kids. Don’t shame. Allow the child to learn from mistakes and failures. Have high yet reasonable expectations. Challenge with compassion. Provide unconditional love.
3. The Intense Intruder: This person is UBER-involved in everything his child is into. In fact this parent isn’t just involved she takes over: does the projects, makes all the child’s plans, speaks for him or her, and solves the child’s friend issues for him.
Result: Insecurity, lack of confidence, and fear develop. The child will feel trapped and express great resentment toward the parent.
Remedy: Stop. Wait. Give the child the opportunity to learn by doing and speaking up for himself.
Eventually we release our kiddos into the world. So our task is really to raise adults. We want our kids to launch well and be prepared to “adult.” That step doesn’t have to be a giant leap. As our kids grow we can equip them and give them practice in the areas of finance, relationship, or job challenges. Our young people will need to figure out how to grow spiritually, manage their schedule, and maintain good health. We can encourage, nurture, challenge, show compassion, train, and support them in their efforts to move into adulthood.
If our children know we have confidence in their ability to handle challenges, they will develop self-confidence and have the mindset to persevere. If our children believe they will be loved by us and by God– just simply because of their intrinsic value and not because of their performance — they will have the courage to risk failure, take the needed time to refine their skills in order to become proficient and capable in tackling problems.
We hope that in the midst of adulting they don’t just scrape by on survival of the fittest skills but actually thrive by becoming the people God has created them to be, people who pursue their passion and God’s call on their life.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:11
By Lori Wildenberg
Wife to Tom, Mom to 4 (plus one more! A daughter-in-love)
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting and co-author of 3 parenting books
Lori is available for speaking and parent consulting. Click here to find out more or click to subscribe to her Eternal Moments blog.
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