Top 5 Bad Habits of Highly Ineffective Parents
By Sylvia Cochran – Christian Parenting
Although the Bible is quite clear in its calling for parents to take the reigns of their kids” upbringing, the good book is a bit vague on the details. As a Christian parent, you understand the admonition to talk about God to your child at all opportunities and to impress a godly character upon the youngster while you still have a chance.
Yet what does this look like in detail? As parents are forging their own ways with a chart that is somewhat reminiscent of Dora the Explorer’s map – big on landmarks, small on details – there is plenty of room for error. While a parent who is consistent in her or his study of the Bible frequently has a leg up in this department, there are those who are relying on second-hand knowledge – often to their detriment.
In an effort to help you look at your parenting habits and their likely outcomes, here are five habits of highly ineffective parents.
- Bringing personal baggage into the parenting relationship. It does not work for romantic relationships, so what makes you think that dragging your past into your parenting relationship will be any different? Whether your dad was emotionally unavailable or your mother was overly emotional, let it be. You have a new chance at a parent-child relationship. Make the most of it. Deal with the baggage by getting help from a counselor.
- Righteous indignation is rare. In 1 Peter 2:23, the Bible recounts Christ’s unwillingness to retaliate in anger when he was tortured and murdered. While your children – and particularly teens – do not interact with you thusly, the little barbs and disrespectful comments quickly get your blood boiling. Do not open your mouth for a lecture or comment that you will regret later on.
- Acting as though the rules do not apply to you. If I had a dollar for every parent I see at my child’s school who is skirting the rules that are laid out neatly in the handbook, I would have enough for lunch and dinner on a daily basis. Breaking small rules is a small thing. You might reason that as long as you do not do anything big, you are okay. Then again, your kids are watching your every move. While it may seem silly to stop at the red light when everyone else is walking and there is not a car in sight, doing so sends a powerful message to your child. Going with the herd also sends a powerful message. It teaches that rules are arbitrary and that your child can later on pick and choose which of your edicts she will obey and which she will skirt.
- Playing the blame game. Whose fault is it that you did not pay your rent or mortgage? Who is to blame that you did not get the promotion you wanted? Is the child’s lousy math grade really his fault? After all, why did the teacher not work a little harder with your youngster? Then there is the teen ministry. Why are they not a little more involved in your child’s life and helping her to stop hanging around with the girls who are having a bad influence on her? In short, it is everyone else’s fault that your life is not turning out as you had hoped. Guess what your child is going to do?
- Discounting parenting advice. Well-meaning friends, family members and church family members may have offered you some input on your parenting. You have made it very clear that you do not need any help. Besides, nobody could truly understand the unique makeup of your family and parenting challenges. Never mind that Ecclesiastes 1:9 is rather clear in stating, There is nothing new under the sun. You do not want to take advice. Mind you, there is a fine line between asking for advice and seeking permission. Too many times, parents mistake the one for the other. Getting input from the experience of others is crucial to evaluating the potential outcomes of your parenting decisions. While it is true that only you know what makes your kids tick, others with similar experiences may be able to help you see the forest for the trees.
Here you have the five parenting habits of highly ineffective parents. We have all been guilty of one or more of these at various times with our children. Knowing what the pitfalls are helps with avoiding them in the future.
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