If you want to raise healthy and successful children, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors

Mia Zhang by Mia Zhang | March 2, 2024, 8:00 pm

Raising healthy and successful children isn’t just about teaching them the right habits, it’s also about letting go of our own negative behaviors.

You see, our actions as parents can mold our children’s future in ways we can’t even imagine. And sometimes, it’s what we need to stop doing that makes the biggest difference.

Sure, it’s not easy breaking old habits. But trust me, saying goodbye to these 9 behaviors will set your child on a path to health and success.

In this article, I’ll guide you through changes that could turn your parenting around. Ready to take that step? Let’s get started.

1) Overparenting

Believe it or not, sometimes less is more when it comes to parenting.

I’m talking about overparenting. It’s that urge to hover over your child’s every move, to protect them from every little harm, real or imagined.

Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a trap many of us fall into because we love our kids and want the best for them.

But here’s the thing – when we micromanage our children’s lives, we inadvertently rob them of the chance to learn from their mistakes. We deny them the opportunity to gain independence and develop problem-solving skills, both crucial for success in life.

So next time you feel the urge to step in and take control, pause. Ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Remember, our aim as parents is not to shield our children from life, but to prepare them for it.

2) Criticizing too harshly

We all want our kids to do their best, and criticism, when constructive, can guide them towards improvement. But let me share a personal story where I learned the hard way that too much criticism can do more harm than good.

I remember when my daughter first started playing piano. She struggled with a particularly tricky piece and I, thinking I was helping, pointed out every little mistake she made.

And while my intentions were good, all my daughter heard was that she wasn’t good enough. Her confidence plummeted and she started dreading her piano lessons. It broke my heart to see her lose passion for something she once loved.

That’s when I realized I needed to change my approach. Instead of focusing on what she was doing wrong, I started praising what she was doing right. Sure, I still corrected her mistakes, but in a more positive, encouraging way.

The change in her attitude was almost immediate. She started enjoying her piano lessons again and even began practicing more on her own.

That experience taught me a valuable lesson – saying goodbye to harsh criticism is crucial if we want to raise confident and successful children. It’s about helping them improve without making them feel like they’re not enough.

3) Labeling

Ever heard the saying, “the way you speak about others influences the way you think about them”? Turns out, it’s backed by science.

In a study by psychologists at Stanford University, children who were labeled as “helpless” after failing a test were more likely to struggle with similar tests in the future. On the other hand, those who were told they just needed more practice showed significant improvement.

Labels, even when not intended to harm, can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies. If we repeatedly call our child “clumsy”, they’re more likely to act clumsily because they believe that’s who they are.

As parents, we need to be mindful of the labels we put on our children. Instead of defining them by their mistakes or weaknesses, we should focus on their potential and encourage them to learn and grow.

4) Neglecting self-care

This might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out. As parents, our instinct is to put our children’s needs above our own. And while it’s important to care for our kids, neglecting our own well-being can have negative repercussions.

When we’re constantly running on empty, we’re more likely to be irritable, impatient and less attentive – none of which are ideal for effective parenting.

Moreover, our kids look up to us as role models. If they see us neglecting our own health and well-being, they might grow up thinking that’s the norm.

Therefore, don’t feel guilty for taking some time off for a workout or a coffee with friends. Remember, a happy and healthy parent is the best gift you can give your child.

5) Comparing

It’s natural to compare. We do it all the time, often without even realizing it. But here’s the problem – when we compare our children to others, we’re setting them up for a lifetime of insecurity and self-doubt.

Look, each child is unique, with their own strengths and weaknesses. By comparing them to others, we’re not only undermining their self-esteem but also ignoring their individuality.

Furthermore, comparison creates a sense of competition, which can lead to anxiety and stress. Instead of enjoying their activities and achievements, children may start to focus solely on outperforming others.

Let’s say goodbye to comparisons. Instead, let’s celebrate our children for who they are and encourage them to be the best versions of themselves. 

6) Not listening

In our busy lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of tasks and responsibilities. But amidst all the hustle and bustle, we must make time to truly listen to our children.

Listening goes beyond just hearing words. It’s about understanding their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It’s about making them feel valued and heard.

When we don’t listen, we miss out on truly connecting with our children. We miss out on understanding their world and the challenges they face.

Moreover, by not actively listening, we might unintentionally send a message that their thoughts and feelings are not important.

7) Ignoring emotional well-being

Growing up, I remember my parents always focusing on my academic performance. While they certainly cared about my happiness, they never really acknowledged the importance of emotional well-being.

It was only when I grew older and faced the ups and downs of life that I realized the importance of emotional health. It’s just as crucial as physical health, if not more.

As parents, we need to pay attention to our children’s emotional well-being. We need to teach them that it’s okay to have feelings, it’s okay to express them, and it’s okay to talk about them.

By ignoring their emotional health, we risk raising children who suppress their feelings or don’t know how to deal with them constructively, which can lead to bigger issues later in life.

8) Discouraging independence

As parents, it’s natural for us to want to protect our children from harm and failure. But in doing so, we often unintentionally discourage them from being independent.

Independence is an essential life skill. It fosters confidence, resilience, and problem-solving abilities – all of which are crucial for a successful life.

When we’re always there to solve our children’s problems, they don’t get the chance to learn how to handle challenges on their own. They don’t learn how to pick themselves up after a fall and try again.

9) Forgetting to show love

At the end of the day, the most important thing our children need is to know that they are loved and valued.

In the hustle and bustle of life, with all its chores and responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to express our love for our children. We assume they know we love them. But assumptions aren’t enough.

Our children need to hear it. They need to feel it.

Final thoughts

Parenthood, in all its glory and challenges, is a journey of continuous learning and growth.

As we navigate this journey, it’s crucial to remember that our behaviors have a profound impact on our children’s development and future success.

Saying goodbye to these behaviors isn’t about achieving perfection. It’s about recognizing our areas of growth and making conscious efforts to improve.

Remember, every small change we make can play a significant role in shaping their lives. So let’s embark on this journey of change, for our children and for us.