I'm an ex-teacher and these are the things YOU'RE doing to make your kids naughty

BEING a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and sometimes it can be difficult to know if we're doing the right thing to ensure our children are well-behaved.

Even the smallest thing can influence a child's behaviour – which is why it's so important parents are aware of the common mistakes made that can have a negative impact.

Here, 'Super Headteacher' and dad-of-three Leon Hady – also founder of E-learning platform Guide Plus – explains the common mistakes parents make and exactly how this can impact your child's behaviour…

Avoid labelling your children

We all know how easy it can be to say things that we don’t mean in the heat of the moment.

However, it’s exactly these words or “labels” that stay with our children long after we’ve said them and can cause our child to think of themselves as this trait.

Equally, overhearing you talking about them with other adults and labelling them, can have the same effect.

Instead, be mindful of the narrative you are creating and strive to label the behaviour, not your child. 

Using threats

There are countless examples of threats that parents use with their children in an effort to have them listen.

For example, “No bedtime story if you don’t brush your teeth,” or “No going on holiday if you don’t get this work done.”

Whilst these threats might work in the short term, they erode your relationship with your child allowing space for resentment and this creates a power struggle. 

No consistency

Setting boundaries and ensuring you consistently follow through on these is an important aspect of parenting and a big part of creating a safe environment for your children to grow and thrive in.

However, a common error is creating a boundary and not being consistent with enforcing it.

For instance, saying no TV before bedtime on one evening, and then allowing TV the next evening sends the message that the rules don’t need to be respected.

Demonstrating bad examples

Children are like sponges and pick up on your habits and behaviours, often without us realising.

Always watching, they see how you treat others, how you handle stressful situations and they observe how you deal with your feelings.

Model the behaviour you want to see from your children, as it is often what you do that becomes far more important than just what you say.

Comparing your child to other children

Comparison is the thief of joy.

As parents, it’s an easy thing to do, and often a way of ascertaining the performance of your child.

At times, we may compare in an effort to motivate our child to do better.

However, it’s these statements that do the exact opposite and can often lead to stress and low self-esteem.

It is key to remember that no two children are the same, and every child develops at a different rate.

Instead, learn your child’s talents and interests and use these to praise and motivate them.

And remember – the most important thing is to try your best to set a good example.

For more useful advice, including how to get paint and play dough out of everything, stopping tantrums and how to get crease free uniforms with no ironing, you can visit our parenting section.

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