Children have very delicate minds. They are very perceptive and sensitive to things around them. When they see their parents displaying a certain kind of behaviour, they consider it normal and embrace it without giving a thought. Hence, the onus of modelling the right behaviour lies heavily on the shoulders of parents.
While it is understandable that there is nothing like perfect parenting and you may falter at times, there are still a few things you must avoid doing in front of children.
- Fight with Spouse/Others
Disagreements or disputes with the spouse, family members or others are bound to occur in everyday life. There are times when you will also feel like yelling at your kids when they do something wrong. But, when you engage in an aggressive verbal war or cuss words when kids are around, it will adversely impact their mental health. They may either get scared or insecure. They may think this is the right way to solve problems. If the fight involves some kind of physical violence, the repercussions may last on their minds for a lifetime.
Being adults, make sure you resolve your conflicts either talk calmly and maturely or better still, avoid them infront of kids.
- Comparing Your Child to Others
Parents always wish well for their children and want them to succeed in life. But, that doesn’t mean that you put unnecessary peer pressure by comparing your child to other kids. This will make your children feel that they are good for nothing and lose self-confidence.
Focus on your child’s strengths and encourage him or her to build upon it. Never compare their marks or performance to their peers.
- Body Shame Your Child/Others
It is very natural to call someone ‘fatty’, ‘skeleton’ or by other names, commenting on their body shape, size or skin tone. You must have grown up listening to such name-calling in your social circle – sometimes you might have ignored and sometimes you may have felt really bad. Today, this type of behaviour is called body shaming.
Never comment on the physical appearance of your child or others. Instead, let them know that they are perfect and beautiful the way they are. If you are worried about their unhealthy weight gain or poor health habits, explain to them the importance of eating balanced and nutritious food, sleeping well and exercising daily. Tell them that a sound mind and body is an investment in good health for the future.
- Smoke, Drink or Do Other Vices
If the child is exposed to smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling or any other vice regularly, it can harm their physical and emotional well-being in many ways. For example, they may think that it is normal to have these vices and they may start it at an early age. If you tend to handle stressful situations by indulging in these vices or lose control in some way, it would scar your children for life. They are likely to follow the path when they grow up.
The ideal course of action would be to get rid of your vices, especially gambling and drug abuse. But, if at all, you enjoy smoking or drinking socially, or play a game of cards involving cash occasionally, make sure kids are not around.
- Tell Lies
How many times do you speak lies infront of your kids? Sometimes, you even ask the kids to speak these lies on your behalf. Is it any surprise that kids take it acceptable behaviour and do the same thing with you or others?
Explain to your kids that telling lies is a bad habit and can land them in trouble when the truth comes out. However, you may want to make them understand that it might be fine to speak white lies (a harmless lie spoken to avoid hurting others’ feelings) if circumstances demand. For example, if they have received a gift they didn’t like, it is still ok to appreciate it to acknowledge the sentiments of the giver.
Would you like more things not to do infront of kids in this list? Please share your experiences and tips.