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10 Signs of Bad Parenting Styles in The 21st Century 

10 Signs of Bad Parenting Styles in The 21st Century

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Now, before you get worked up over the signs of bad parenting styles discussed below, rest assured there is no such thing called perfect parenting. We all succumb to parenting howlers every now and then, but somehow get to do the right things when we have to. Matters are not getting any better now that we are living in the 21st Century. The demands are that we have to tweak parenting to suit the new century, to avoid many would be blunders.

Question is, how do we navigate around these unfortunate instances to our advantage?

Unlike traditional parenting styles inherited from the last century, we now deal with the protracted influence of digitalization and globalization. computing devices are everywhere, and urban settings are crammed with too many people, from diverse cultural experiences. This can be scary, and the situation can easily get out of our control if we choose to remain ignorant of the new world.


Just a few signs of bad parenting to address

Despite everything, certain fundamental basics will always remain at the core of parenting, and our ability to embrace them fully or partially will make or break our children.

We have to watch out for negative excesses mentioned below:


1. Unmetered Tech Use

cell phone off the menu
Cell phones during mealtimes is a sign of bad parenting

The invasion of tech and related devices demand we twist parenting styles to suit technology. We have to adopt and adapt. It all starts when we get involved with the nitty-gritty of technology and globalization in order to stay ahead of ourselves. It is through an informed understanding of the emerging challenges that we will know better what to do.

An informed dad and mom will have to start by using technology in order to understand the weaknesses that come with the interactions. Only then shall we understand the matter of addiction and health-related side effects. It also involves plenty of reading and discussions with parents and experts. These steps must be accompanied by guided responsibility on our part not to abuse technology. We must parent and lead by example.

For example, it is bad for us parents to use cell phones during mealtimes and spend the whole evening on social media while rebuking children for doing the same. Double standards should not be tolerated!

Instead, guidelines must be set and followed and tech use in the house should be set to a minimum during family interactions.


2. Indifference in Parenting

This is perhaps one of the most damaging examples of bad parenting. When we choose or unknowingly allow everyone else but us to raise up our children, we cross all known parenting boundaries. This way, we leave our children exposed to ideas and behavior provided by volunteers. Everyone else but us will parent them and make choices for our children. The community will take the lead in doing what we should be doing.

And since society does not abide by streamlined parenting guidelines it will unleash both good and bad. The latter usually takes precedence. Children will grow up with no moral foundation and will thrive on peer and foreign influence.

When we are indifferent, we are also disengaged, unconcerned, uninvolved, unsupportive, unresponsive and care little about the desires and the wellbeing of our children. We fail to praise, advise, admonish, correct or even punish them for wrongdoing. Consequently, they indulge in negative excesses detrimental to their upbringing and wellbeing.

To avoid indifference, we should do these with our children:

  • Listen
  • Admonish
  • Correct
  • Help
  • Love
  • Talk to them face to face

3. Lack of Affection

Go ahead and love that child. It is a cool thing to do

We live a busy lifestyle today that we easily forget the importance of emotional indulgence with our children. The hustle and bustle of life, the stress, and other obstructions easily take center stage and lead to bad parenting styles.

The fact is, children love constant emotional treats and doses of loving warmth from us, parents.

Higher self-esteem, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavior problems have been linked to warmth and affection between parent and child.

This is according to Child Trends, a leading nonprofit organization that is involved in extensive child research. Positive warmth and affection also make children achieve academic excellence when they join school. They are also less likely to adopt deviant behavior during this period.

Children feel loved when parents, hug, compliment, thank, walk and sit with them to read, talk and watch movie.

Lack of emotional indulgence is known to lead to unsocial behavior such as selfishness, social disorder, substance abuse and other forms of negativity.


4. Poor Listening

It is interesting how ignorant we probably are about our poor listening skill. We are so eager to speak and command but less willing to listen.

One symptom you are not listening to your child is when he or she repeatedly calls you out, and for one reason or another, you remain unresponsive because you are attending to other matters. Your attention will be drawn back only when your child screams out.

It is fulfilling when children get us to listen to them. When a child yells out ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mummy’ make sure to pay attention, look them in the eye, and partake in the communication. It does not matter where you are, with whom or whatever situation. Lean over, listen and attend to your excited or otherwise worried child. The feeling that we are listening and care builds a healthy and emotional relationship with them.


5. The Anger Trap

Manage anger
Manage your anger in the presence of children

When we become overwhelmed with work, are fatigued and angry at everything around us, there is always the possibility we shall yell and scream at our children.

This is bad, and it gets worse if accompanied by swearing. Often times, kids do not understand the wrong they have done. If you yell once, which we all do occasionally, it is important to sit back and reflect and try not to do it again.

It is good to admonish, warn and make it clear what went wrong and what should have been done. This should be done in a friendly and warm tone. Reflect on the effect your anger and tone has on children.

An angry tone will probably scare but not change the child. On the contrary, the child will become fearful and will associate less with you. It could also turn him into an aggressive teen and adult. On the other hand, a warm and gentler tone is reassuring and makes them feel comfortable.

If you find out you are yelling at your child, make amends by apologizing and explain that yelling is bad.


6. Lying

speak the truth
Always speak the truth in the presence of children

Lying is an addictive sin many of us fail to shed off. It probably stems from inherited habits, or because it is easy to lie than to tell the truth.

Children learn the trickery early on before 3 years when they lie for convenience e.g. crying just to grab your attention. They will perfect the trickery if you fall for it every so often.

We usually tell our children lies to hide the truth. For example, we claim Santa is real just to cement the cult figure of Santa and for other reasons. We assume the white lies will protect the innocence in them against the harsh reality of the world.

Whatever the case, lying will cement the habit in the child especially when they are about serious stuff. In case a child dislikes the birthday gift from the neighbor, we nudge them to say report that the gift is wonderful!

As simple as this lie may appear, it is serious stuff. The trust and communication between the two sets of people receive a beating and may never be repaired. We need to be aware children know the truth or will find out eventually.

Excessive lying also leads to dishonesty and cheating which can derail truthfulness altogether.


7. Child Comparison

It is one of the not so much spoken ills in parenting: the habit of comparing one child against another.

As simple as the comparison may seem, it actually messes up the attitude and development of children that are deemed lesser. At a tender age, kids are not mentally accustomed to negative criticism. Just as it hurts adults, they too take it badly and will nurse the hurt for long.

Important to remember is that no human, not even twins share the same characteristics to the dot. The differences may range from the obvious up to the shocking. While the eldest child will excel in mathematical tasks the younger sibling may find solace in art. This is absolutely normal. In the event of this and other differences, we should never berate and favor one child over another.

According to research by BYU in 2015, comparing one child against another makes them remarkably different. The continued perception will create a rivalry that will last a lifetime!

Out of the many, the comparison may lead to,

  • low self-esteem
  • self-doubt
  • aggressiveness
  • nervousness

It is smart to accept, praise and appreciate the different abilities children have.


9. Excessive Pampering

Our desire as parents is to provide for our children in order to make their lives comfortable. This is a noble desire and of course, an obligation.

Problems come in when we are driven to provide whatever they demand to the extent of spoiling them. This builds the spirit of materialism and the assumption that anything is available at the press of a button.

When availing purchasing stuff for children we need to consider a few things:

  • They will take everything for granted
  • We should never provide what a child can acquire through input at home
  • They should not be made to worship material things
  • The stuff we buy should not keep them busy all day, away from human interaction
  • We may be nurturing egoistic teens and adults if we over provide
  • The stuff we buy should not be used to compensate for our absence

Ultimately only shop for what is necessary.


10. A Bad Role Model

be a good example
Set a good example by becoming what you want your children to become

Whereas we want children to do as told, little do we know that our actions matter more to them than our words. They look at us as role models and will re-invent themselves in our footsteps when they grow up.

How we interact with others, use technology, eat, drink, drive and even walk will be wired deep into their DNA. Everything we do and speak in their presence is absorbed and stored in bulk for future use. This starts right from the first year and intensifies through the 3rd to the 8th years.

Below are habits that children will pick from us:

  • Alcoholism, especially when we become a nuisance after consumption
  • Driving: driving very fast, not using seat belts, drunken driving
  • Smoking
  • Foul language
  • Bad manners and etiquette
  • Money; how we manage, borrowing and fighting over money
  • And all the other ills outlined above

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