3 Parenting Misconceptions

Parenting is hard. Your child is growing, learning, and changing. At the same time, you are also growing, learning, and changing as a parent. Your child needs different things at different stages and ages, so you continue to learn and change too.

There are some parenting misconceptions that we hear often. We address these misconceptions in our Parenting Workshop, but we thought we would go through a few of them on our blog too.

Hopefully these tips help you as you continue learning and growing as a parent.
1. Doing things for your child makes them spoiled, plus they won't ever learn to do things for themselves.

Has your child ever asked you to brush their teeth for them? Help them get dressed? Take their dishes to the counter? They say they are too tired or just don't want to do it? If we do this for them, aren't we just creating a spoiled child who won't learn responsibility?

In most cases, this is very far from the truth. When our child wants us to do things for them, they are seeking connection. By doing these things for them we are meeting their needs and that shows love, empathy, and kindness.

Try shifting your mindset from they aren't going to learn how to be independent to they are seeking connection, which I can give them.
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2. My child never listens to me. I need to make them listen!

We all want to be listened to and this can be so frustrating as a parent. But if we break down the word "listen", what are we really saying? Is our child not listening? Or is our child not obeying us?

Most likely your child is listening to you; they hear you. What you are wanting is for them to listen to you and then obey you. 

Try shifting your mindset from they never listen to my child isn't obeying me.

Now that you have shifted your mindset, what's the next step? Perhaps it's to get down to their level and look them in the eyes (this works well for younger kids who are engrossed in play while you are speaking). Perhaps you need to give two options (this works well for younger and older kids who like to have some control over situations). Perhaps you need to take a step back and think about why they aren't obeying. Do they not want to do what you've asked? Are they nervous or scared? Do you need to problem solve with them?
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3. Punishing them is the only way they really learn.

Punishment is counter-productive because it's a way of making someone to do something they don't want to do. This is a short-term solution. Your child may do what you want this time because they are scared of being punished, but what about next time or when you aren't around? 

Instead of punishment, it is important to find out the heart of the problem -- what's going on that results in this behavior? For younger kids maybe they need clear expectations that you create together. For older kids perhaps you need to use some collaborative problem solving.

It's also important to keep your relationship with your child at the center of your mind. How can you maintain firm boundaries and expectations while maintaining or building a stronger relationship?

Try shifting your mindset from they learn best through punishment to I wonder what's going on to cause that behavior? Get curious instead of angry.

You can learn more about punishment in our Free Coffee Chat or in our Parenting Workshop.

Want to learn more?

1. Check out our parenting workshop! It is designed for busy parents in mind.

2. Ask your school administration to use Seltrove's student SEL workbooks or digital class packs this school year with your child's classroom.
3. Read more SEL-aligned parenting books! Here are a few we recommend:
  • The Whole Brain Child by Dan Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • Raising Human Beings by Ross Greene
4. Keep checking back with us as we continue to create more parenting SEL resources.
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