Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Trying to be a nurturer, a disciplinarian, a teacher and an all-around cook and bottle washer is a daily balancing act.
Performing these tasks while working a full time job and running or supporting a household is a Herculean task. Yet, it can be done, as you see people with their families do every day.
No one can be expected to do the job perfectly. Everyone is human, and with that comes human frailty and weakness.
That being said, it is a grave mistake to think that what parents do with their own lives will not affect their children in either a positive or a negative way. To this end, a list of things you should never say to your older child has been put together. This article will touch on a few of the most important.
The first being, “If only you worked to your potential.”
It can be safely said that very few folks, at any age “work to their full potential.” As a parent, and grandparent, one must guard against measuring the child against your own standards, lost dreams and hoped for goals. The child is not you, he or she is an entirely new individual, who has their own alarm clock inside them that causes them to bloom in proper season.
“That activity doesn’t suit you.” / “You just need to find your passion.” / “That is going to be too difficult for you.”
Parental judgement weighs pretty heavily with a child, who should never be discouraged from trying new things. That is the only way to discover likes and dislikes. It is also terrible to decide that something is too odd or too hard for the child. Failure is part of life and how to handle the effects of failure gracefully should be learned, not avoided.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” / “You’re just making that up.”
A child’s imagination is a precious and wonderful thing. How else are writers, artists, movie makers, etc. created? Unless the child has a history of prevaricating, they should always be taken seriously.
As they get older, it is even more important to keep the lines of communication open!
Other things not on the list, but potentially just as detrimental, are the choices you make as a parent/ adult about your own life.
When a parent thinks that the paths they choose won’t affect their children far into adulthood, that is a misconception. When choosing to be a parent, it is important to realize that often you have to stand still in order for your child to move forward. It is a sacrifice and an inconvenience. If one is unwilling to make these hard choices and put their life on hold, they should rethink the option of being a mom or dad.
Both parents’ families belong to your child!
In-laws and out-laws are part of the formula. Maybe one or side or the other have awful habits, manners, religious, political views or other undesirable habits. Maybe they hate you or you hate them, but your child should not be brought into this drama. The child deserves to have two sides of the family in their life. Your grown-up feuds should be factored out, unless violence or abuse is evident.
The example you set is what your child will most likely follow!
If a parent acts in ways that are not socially acceptable, are vulgar or of a bad character, one can expect the child to follow many of the same paths. A parent cannot fault a child with behavior that was learned in their home.
Children are born to ordinary people as no test or license is necessary. The babies are sent home without a great deal of individual instruction, just the mainstream generality, and one size does not fit all!
It is a frightening and huge responsibility to this little human who is depending on parents for their every need.
Think about it!!!