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2 Parenting Pitfalls That Can Hold Children Back

by Joe Lawrence | March 3rd, 2015 | Preschool, School

child- (399x400)We all want the best for our children, and we want them to succeed in life. Even though our hearts are in the right place, our actions do not always contribute to the end goal. I have seen in my own parenting how I have let early successes linger for too long and allowed myself to relax a bit.

My daughter was writing her name from a very early age. In fact, I have a picture of her before she was three and the name was very legible. However, this was a case where I rested on my laurels and it was not until recently that we realized she never learned to write her last name and she is five and a half.

There are two reasons I have found why this could happen: letting the celebration period go on too long, and allowing life to get in the way.

The celebration period is the time after we achieve a goal and before we get to work on the next goal. When she first went to a toddler bed, she would get out of it six times a night and come into our room. Once we solved this problem there were other things we wanted to tackle (potty training mainly), but were still trying to recover from all those sleepless nights and did not have the energy to tackle a new issue.

The other parenting pitfall loves to creep in during this celebratory period. This is when our lives, schedules, and all the other aspects of life take hold of our attention and energy. I read an article years back that working parents only spend a mere 36 minutes a day of true one-on-one time with their children. That is insane! Most people think this is absurd until they do the math. Sure, we are with our children from the time we get home from work until the time they go to bed. However, during this time what is happening? We are cooking dinner, cleaning the dishes, tidying up the house, getting things ready for tomorrow, and maybe even excusing ourselves to handle work issues. This leaves our children to entertain themselves on the iPad, TV, or maybe some little projects we dream up for them.

Although I have always prided myself in leaving work at work, I was recently reminded of this via my two year old. I was answering text message questions from one of the guys at work and my son came over and took my phone and set it on the table. This broke my heart. How long has this been going on? Have I not truly been present for my children all this time that I thought I was being an attentive dad? I do know it was a wake-up call for me.

For our children to truly succeed, they need us to be present in their lives. We need to be the ones teaching those lessons, not Disney Junior or other people.  We are all great parents and love our children dearly and all of us have room to improve. To me, this is the most important area.

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