Skip to main content

All The Rest Of The Mistakes You (And I) Are Making As Parents

So last week I started in on the first 4 of the 8 common mistakes parents make.  As promised I’m back with the final four.  If you want background, check out last week’s story.  Otherwise, let’s get right to it:

5) Overscheduling your child.  I’m already seeing this creep in.  Honestly, I can see how parents quickly fall into this trap and not only aren’t sure how to extricate themselves from it, but don’t even realize they are stuck in it.  It starts with a pool membership, then a visit to a bounce house place that everyone agrees was enjoyable.  And then of course you want a trip to the zoo.  And a museum is a must.  And vacation, you just have to go to the beach – the kids need to see the sea.  And then there is music.  Music is important; everyone agrees.  But isn’t that a lot of seated activities?  We really need more active activities.  What about soccer?  Suddenly, an entire summer comes and goes.  You are exhausted, your kid are exhausted, you are angry, your kids are whiny.  And then they are 18 and its over and you overscheduled without even realizing it.  As the WebMD article says, the fix is easy: “give your child time to unwind with free play when he gets home from school.”  That is especially important since:

6) Underestimating the importance of play.  Enrichment programs probably won’t give your kid an edge.  And if you are reading this blog, preschool isn’t likely to either.  Free play is likely much more important to your child’s development, especially brain development.  As your child learns – and yes, fails – to put that puzzle piece where it belongs their brain is developing.  All through the process your little one is learning how to manipulate the piece, how the edges match up, how they interact, and yes, how to handle failure and frustration.

7) Getting distracted by the daily grind.  I’ve argued that parents need to step back, relax and give their kids room in the past.  But its important to give them undivided attention as well.  As the story says, “kids aren’t stupid.”  They know when you are on your iPhone that you aren’t really engaged.  Rather than give them 50% of your attention, block out an hour, or even a half an hour, and give them 100%.  Then let them play independently for the rest of the time while you take care of whatever it was on your iPhone that was important.  You’ll be happier, and they’ll be happier, and in the end, that is the essence of good child rearing.

8) Overreacting to lies.  I have no experience on this one.  My kids have a vocabulary of probably 10 words at the far end and like 3 at the near end.  Using words is still an accomplishment.  Using them to deceive seems unlikely to ever happen at this point.  But I’m now well aware that I shouldn’t overreact.  Fibbing is a normal part of your child’s life.

I’m 6 out of 7, with one not applying to my 18-month old triplets.  How did you fare?

Note: Next week I’m exploring ways to raise your child’s IQ.  Hint: It involves parent-child interaction, not toys and Einstein-based computer programs. Be sure to check back, because, hey, who doesn't want to raise their child's IQ? Smart, er, bad parents, that is who.


Popular posts from this blog


A couple months ago I posted about a push up challenge, and at the risk of pushing this blog into a self-help section, I'm going to post something else that I really enjoy that I think might help a reader or two (all two of you!). currently runs what it calls "Mid-Week Meditations," which is a short story on some piece of ancient wisdom.  Oooohhhhhhh, its ancient.  Just so you know, I'm not one to fall for the whole "ancient" is best meme.

But this is legit good stuff.  They take a quote or concept from a philosopher in the past - think Marcus Aurelius - translate what the sometimes mumbo jumboish phrase means, and then kind of detail how you can apply it.

This week, its all about how to train your mind for constructive thinking.

One thing I love about the series is that it doesn't dress up the knowledge too much.  It doesn't make it out to be more than it is, or suggest that its great simply because some Greek guy said it 2,000 years …

Why I Gave Up My Opposition To Pink

When I first joined the world of Dad blogging I couldn't help but notice that lots and lots of Dads who blogged hated the way they had to dress their daughters.  There were plenty of articles in the mainstream press on the same issue.  Mommy blogs jumped in as well.

Were we limiting our daughters, or worse yet, damaging them, by dressing them in pink?

I was certain that society limits girls, telling them both subtly and not-so subtly that they can't do certain things.  And sure, an adult is free to do whatever an adult wants, but once those signals are broadcast its hard to overcome, especially when those signals are received early and often.

Now, my daughter wasn't going to run into quite the same situation, because she has to brothers the exact same age so they pretty much all play with the same stuff.  The boys play with Minnie and she plays with trains.  Though, somehow, she shows more interest in Minnie and baby dolls and they have more interest in trains.  Maybe I…

Is Mocking Redheads Bullying? If Not, What Is?

Its Super Bowl time, and since my team didn't make it, I haven't been paying very close attention.  But I got to talking with Aaron Gouveia on Twitter after I noticed one of his tweets about how a redhead would never QB a team to said Super Bowl.  Essentially, Aaron was mocking redheads.  My team doesn't have a redheaded QB, so we are safe (for now!), but I mentioned to him that this might fall under the term of bullying.  Aaron, in case you don't know, is rightfully well known in the Daddy-bloggersphere for his excellent Daddy Files blog.  Seriously, go read it now, and follow @DaddyFiles on Twitter.  And before I really get going on this rant, let me say: I get it.  Even as great as Gouveia is, he probably can't hold candle to the prestige, money and social status of a Pro-Bowl NFL player like Andy Dalton.  Andy Dalton could never do another thing in the NFL and probably still have more name recognition, money and power than Gouveia ever will.  This isn't exa…