There are literally hundreds – if not thousands – of myths parenting that range from children throwing temper tantrums is a result of bad parenting to the number of parenting behaviors alleged to “scar your children for life.” Some of these myths come from people with no children, some of them come from other parents but the one thing they all have in common is that they are not helpful and generally only serve to deplete a parent’s confidence in their ability to raise a relatively stable and healthy child.
Here are four of the most destructive myths that need to be debunked.
A child’s needs should come first
When you are on an airline, they tell you “put your own oxygen mask on first, before you try and help your child.” What’s true on a plane is true in life. When you are tired, stressed out and exhausted, you cannot give your best to your children. Over the long haul, constantly putting your own needs on the back burner can lead to a number of issues ranging from depression to major ailments.
Only bad parents “lose it” with their kids
Learning how to “push buttons” is a skill every child will master and eventually use mercilessly. “Losing it” with your child is not only a natural part of parenting, it’s a healthy one. Because right along with learning how to push people’s buttons is learning why you want to refrain from doing so.
It’s not okay to lash out and hit your child or be verbally abusive, but losing your cool within certain limits is perfectly normal, natural and healthy. It’s important to teach your children that actions have consequences, so if their actions have the result of sending you over the edge, that’s an important learning lesson. Another valuable part of the learning experience is watching mommy or daddy apologize or how they handle messing up. This can go a long way towards helping them build valuable social skills.
Children learn best from over-explaining things to them
Reality check: children learn from what you do not what you say. Over explaining to them won’t do you any more good than me trying to overexploit this to you.
Parenting comes naturally to those who love their children and have good intentions
False. Parenting – like having a good marriage or being a good employee or coworker – requires a wide variety of skills and disciplines that must be learned over time. No one is just naturally a good parent, but no one who is a good parent got that way by accident either. The good news is anyone can be a good parent, the bad news is no one is going to be a good parent that isn’t willing to work at it.