Monday, January 12, 2009

Mistakes Parents Make That Create Bad Habits

I found a great blog post over at Handprints on the Wall. They outlined seven things parents do that create bad habits that often stick with a kid for life. Wow, I loved this! The original post is HERE: "Mistakes Parents Make that Create Bad Habits" but the list (with explanations you'll have to go to the original post to read) includes:
  1. Letting your child sleep in the bed with you.
  2. Using "white noise" to help your child go to sleep.
  3. Using a baby wipes warmer.
  4. Allowing your child to carry around a special blanket or stuffed animal everywhere you go.
  5. Feeding your child off your plate.
  6. Never making your child drink plain water.
  7. Cutting the crust off bread; always peeling apples.
I am adamant about #1. I was always terrified of sleeping with my babies/kids. Plus, I don't sleep a wink when they're in my bed. Doctors warn against co-sleeping, and I wholeheartedly agree. As for #2, unfortunately we live in a basement apartment, and our upstairs neighbors are early-risers so we have to use "white noise" or we'd all be up-and-about by 6am. No, thank you! The rest I'm fully on-board with and are things we've always done in our family.

I consider myself a fairly conscientious and assertive parent. I think we all want to do best by our children, but lazy parenting is at the top of my list of pet-peeves. With that said, I'd like to add a couple more things to the list:
  1. Making your child clean his/her plate. The "Clean Plate Club" is a bad idea. Teach your child to listen to his/her stomach and stop eating when they're full. Don't set your child up to have issues with food/overeating later in life.
  2. Threatening something you won't follow through with. So many times I've heard parents threaten a child if the child doesn't change his/her behavior. For instance, "Johnny, we're going to pack up and leave the zoo if you don't start being nice to your sister!" That's all fine and nice if you're prepared to do just that if Johnny's behavior doesn't change, but when all your friends and their children are at the zoo with you and he KNOWS you have no intention of leaving, he's not going to believe you. Your credibility with your children diminishes drastically when you blow hot air and throw out empty threats.
  3. Not making an effort to stop unpleasant/unacceptable/age-UNappropriate behaviors. It's one thing if your infant is crying in the store because he/she is hungry. It's another if your preschooler is crying because he/she didn't get the sugar cereal they wanted. I tell my child to stop screaming. Yup, I sure do. And I make sure they stop. I'm not mean or hurtful or threatening. But I don't stand for it. I will (and have) left my grocery cart in the middle of the aisle and taken the child out to the car for a "time out" to calm down when the behavior warrants it. It is one of my biggest pet peeves to hear a child crying/screaming from one end of the grocery store to the other without the parent making an effort to stop the behavior. Teach your children to control their emotions and deal with disappointment in an appropriate way. And screaming/crying in the store for a half-hour is NOT appropriate at ANY age, in my book.
With all that said, each family is individual and parents have to make decisions based on what is best for their family. I'm not here to attack anyone or tell anyone they are a bad parent. These are simply suggestions of things that I have found to be valuable in raising my own three children. Take it or leave it.

Do you have any other suggestions of mistakes parents make that create bad habits??


  1. Excellent post!! The only thing we're working on is weaning the kids off of the white noise because of our apartment days!
    I love your post down below this one too- IM definitely taking notes!! Thank you so much!

  2. Kim--love your blog. Great ideas. I knew you were organized but I had no idea. I love this.

  3. I'm not sure if my previous comment went through. Just wanted to tell you that I love your ideas. Great blog!