How to Make Your Children Misbehave


So often adults use the adage “Do as I say – not as I do” and then wonder why their children have problems while growing up and when they become adults. Your bad habits and theirs can be passed down to the fourth and fifth generations, as well as for decades. In order to avoid creating a monstrous situation, it is crucial to look in the mirror, take a self-inventory, and make changes.

Here are some things to consider:

1. Never commit to anything you know you won’t be able to keep. Often I see disappointment in youngsters who wait by the window for a parent who fails to pick them up or has a birthday “forgotten” by a busy schedule. As adults they may expect their parents to pay for their university tuition, give them the farm or buy them a house “just because”. Unfortunately, trust can be lost easily and is often impossible to regain.

2. Don’t support or encourage illegal activity. Buying alcohol or drugs for a minor is against the law – no matter how much they beg or “deserve” a celebration. Driving a car without a license not only starts a seed, but it also increases risk and cannot be reversed. When a parent gives their child permission to break the law, the child will struggle to understand how to treat others with respect as an adult and is likely to set a bad example for future generations.

3. Praising a child for being “special” can blunt his motivation to try new things. It is better to compliment a child for making a good effort so that s/he can practice a new task without fear of failing than to let him/her think that nothing can or should be tried if there is a chance of losing the “special” status. Because they were never forced to try new things, so many adults today lack the skills and abilities they should have.

4. Respect grows when people ignore or disparage societal leaders. Viewing politicians as all “bad” or all “good” can prevent children from researching and forming their own opinion about issues. Without sufficient research, criticizing teachers can obstruct a child’s main source of education. Instead of fostering understanding, racial and ethnic discrimination fuels conflict and uprising. Respect yourself and others if you want to be respected.

5. A child may suffer lifelong effects if an adult’s expectations are placed on them. To help them mature and develop into healthy adults, families are given to children. It is your responsibility as a parent to teach independence so that you can eventually stop working. The child is not your friend, therapist, or unpaid assistant. You cannot expect a child to make wise decisions without practice, guidance, and supervision.

6. Never forget how influential you are. Will your child be required to attend meetings for adult children of alcoholics? Will addictions sabotage special family moments and memories? Will unpaid bills be or unfiled Income Tax be part of your families’ “normal”? How many wives, husbands, or partners are you willing to accept into your extended family’s and your own lives? If you’ve been unkind to your parents, how will your children treat you as you get older?

7. Recognize the boundary between you and the child. Ensure that you are present in your child’s life as a support but refrain from doing the work for them. While it is your responsibility to inform the child of expectations for behavior at school, it is the child’s responsibility to uphold those expectations. It’s not a good idea to let your child live with you or treat you like an ATM when they’re adults, and it definitely doesn’t promote independence or maturity. Feeling sorry for someone else can lead you to act in ways that are probably not best for you in the long run.

8. Do not think that your child “owes” you because you raised him/her. Plan ahead so that you can live independently for the rest of your life.

9. You are not always right, and it’s likely that your child will have different interests and viewpoints from your own.

10. Love without needing to “fix” There are few heroes in the world and not many “safe” places where people can know that they are loved and cared about. Make sure your child understands how much you value and care about them while also emphasizing that you are not a crisis service. A good formula for handling trouble is to empathize and then ask “What are you going to do in this regard?”

Oh, and you don’t have to accept responsibility for your children’s mistakes or constantly blame yourself. We all have the ability to make our own mistakes because we all have free will.

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