One of the most prevalent parenting mistakes that affects modern moms is the lack of attention given to their children’s thoughts. Mothers are often so used to tuning out the whining, fussing, and back talking that they forget to tune in when their children are sharing what is on their mind. You might just find out why your little one has been crying more in day care lately, or why your teenager’s grades have been slipping.
It’s so important for us to tune in and really listen to our children. What kids need most is to feel emotionally safe enough that they share their fears and struggles with us. Kids need to be built up, and listening to them is an important way to shape their self esteem.
Another important part of parenting is to give kids permission to make mistakes. We need to provide both constructive criticism and forgiveness. Kids need to know that if they reach for the stars and fall short, they’ll still land on the moon. It’s ok to make mistakes, whether in potty training or in sports. The key is that your child wants to try, even if it’s not a guaranteed success.
Our job as parents is to encourage them to follow their dreams and to always do their best. Push them to try out for the soccer team that they’re afraid they might not make. Or, to take the honors class, even if they are worried about the work load. Push them, but support them in the case of failure. Kids should be just as comfortable with trying and failing as with succeeding. This is how we teach them and help prepare them for the ups and downs of real life.