Did you know that by saying certain things in the name of demonstrating love and care, you pretty much will be misleading your kids?
Or, did you know that there are a multitude of things we parents do as we raise our kids that effectively amount to us lying to them? Or
By unintentionally misleading your kids as they grow up, you effectively set them up for failure and unhappiness as they leave your care to face the real world on their own.
I got thinking about this after meeting Kristina Kuzmic on YouTube and getting to watch her videos.
This post reinforces what Kristina says in the video below.
The Big Problem
Most, if not all, of the time when we mislead or lie to our kids, we do it unintentionally because granted, most normal parents love our kids.
Or at least some pretend to.
The problem with the lies some parents tell their kids and the wrong direction they lead them towards arise from these parents’ misguided belief that they have to be their kids’ friend.
While there is enough people to argue that parents should be friends with their kids, I will not go into this topic here.
Suffice it say though, I think developing a friendship relationship with one’s kid is misguided parenting.
But that’s my view.
Misleading your kids behavior #1 – Giving them everything they want
Messed up as this might be, there’re parents that seek the approval of their kids. These parents avoid anything that they feel might anger or make their child unhappy.
This behavior is most demonstrated when parents give their kids everything the kids want.
These parents are afraid that if they deny their kids certain things the kids would hate them.
As a result, the parents end up spoiling the kids by indulging their whims which ever way how.
By giving the kids every little thing they desire, the parents unwittingly set the kids up for some rude awakenigs in adulthood.
Because in real life nobody gets everything they desire no matter how strong the desire.
It is true that a child who gets everything, or most of the things he or she desires grows into an adult who believes he or she is entitled to everything he or she desires.
This is a big lie.
Nobody gets to have all their heart’s desires granted.
Not in this life nor in the one to come.
So when a parent raises a child giving in to most, if not all of the child’s demands and requests, this parent is responsible for the kid’s massive disappointment when life hits her smack in the face as an adult.
Misleading your kids behavior #2 – Avoiding making them unhappy
Making our children happy most of the time is a good feeling or thought for a parent to entertain.
When a parent however works overtime to avoid their child becoming unhappy in the short-term, this parent is just misleading and lying to their child.
Because there are things in life that bring unhappiness that just can not be avoided.
Death of a family member for instance.
I want my kids to be happy but I also have a responsibility, as their parent, to teach them to understand that life is not all about being happy.
Yes, there are things in life that bring joy and happiness and we should guide kids to optimize their lives for those things.
On the other hand, there are things, like sickness or the loss of a loved one for instance, that bring much sadness and can’t be avoided.
It is grossly misleading to a child to be raised and be sheltered from sadness and unhappiness because like it or not, sadness inducing events will find their way into the child’s life.
So why not help your child prepare to deal with the inevitable sad episodes of life while you, the parent are still present to provide guidance, not avoidance?
Misleading your kids behavior #3 – Fixing kids’ disappointments
Ever wondered why the fast food joint closest to a kids’ sports arena gets filled up first by parents and kids from the loosing team?
Wonder no more.
It’s called let’s-fix-your-disappointment.
Going the extra mile to help a child going through disappointment is one misleading action that some parents take when they feel they have to help their kid deal with a disappointing event.
Many parents go to heaven and back, then don a diving suit to go under the sea in search of a remedy to fix their children’s disappointments.
Not only is this just plain wrong, it is blatantly misleading to the child in question.
I’m not advocating that we don’t help our kids deal with rough emotional events.
I’m saying that children should be trained to handle disappointments on their own without parents pitching in to lend a hand all the time.
Letting children deal with disappointments on their own is the only way to train them to deal with disappointing events that are sure to come their way as adults.
Misleading your kids behavior #4 – Doing everything for them
Doing things for kids that the kids can do for themselves is another truly misleading parenting behavior many parents engage in.
For some weird reason, parents who do almost everything for their kids see the need to do things like laundry for their kids as well as prepare AND pack lunch for them.
If this growing human has two working hands and legs, a head with ears and eyes above his or her neck, sure this human can listen to and follow instructions.
This of course applies to kids who can do things for themselves.
Like for example, what in the actual heaven is a parent thinking to be found cleaning the bathtub after a 12 year old living human being has used it?
Doing things for children that they’re old enough to do for themselves misleads the kids into thinking life is like that.
You get stuff you can do for yourself done for you.
But is this how life is like in the real world?
So when a person who grew up having mom or dad do everything for him or her finds him or herself being expected to do stuff not only for him or herself, do you think this person will have a happy life?
I don’t think so.
I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to be prepared to face the real world and crush it when they leave our nest.
I want them to enter the real world fully knowing that they can be or have everything they want, but they just will not be able to have everything they want right when they want it.
Some things, especially the really good things, they will have to put in work in order to have them.
We’re working to raise our kids to understand that nothing is going to be provided by the universe free of charge like some of these motivational crackheads are teaching.
I also want to see my kids growing up to be comfortable dealing with sadness because whether I like or not, whether they like it or not, sad stuff gon’ happen.
It’s a fact of life and they have to learn to deal with it. Now.
When it comes to disappointment, it’s smart parenting to raise kids to understand that disappointments are to life what trees are to forests.
They’re part of the package deal.
My goal as a parent therefore, is to help my kids learn how to deal with disappointments on their own the best way they can.
And finally, I would have failed as a parent if I don’t prepare my kids to take care of their own basic needs.
That means past Grade 1, lunch is prepared for you, but you pack it for yourself.
It also means you clean up after yourself, ESPECIALLY if you mess the toilet, you help out around the house and you work your butt off to develop into a human that I’d love to hang out with later in life.
What are your thoughts on this?