Parenting is never easy; there are always ups and downs.  We try to do our best but sometimes it feels like not enough.  As parents, all we can do is give it our best shot and be willing to honestly review our own behavior from time to time and take steps to improve our own parenting skills.  Here are ten common parenting habits that you should break right now: mom on a cell

Technology Addiction:

We all now that being on your phone, tablet or device is not healthy.  If you are constantly checking  your device, it will be hard to tell your child that they are not to do it. (The monkey see, monkey do rule applies here).

Self-Hatred:

It doesn’t matter if you are a parent to boys or girls; if you want your child to have a healthy self image you need to lead by example.  Do not talk down about your body, weight, or any thing that you think is wrong with your body.  You are teaching you child, by example, that it is not ok to love yourself.

Healthy Meals:

I know you are a busy bee and don’t always have the time to cook a healthy meal but keep in mind that wolfing down a donut for breakfast when you have little eyes watching is a great way to teach them to not take care of themselves when they are older.

Being a “Growed Up Meanie:

Everyone knows that cliques don’t fizzle out after high school.  You cannot control what others are saying and doing but you have complete control over what comes out of your mouth.  When other parents are gossiping about nonsense, you can choose to not participate and show your child that they don’t have to either.

Being a Speed Racer:

If you have a lead foot and all those speeding tickets have not slowed you down, just think what you are teaching your teenager.  Imagine when your child gets a speeding ticket (ok, stop panicking).  Who has to pay for that ticket?  That nasty little speeding ticket habit you have will become their problem as well.

Cursing:

Ok, everyone has cursed in some way, shape or form in front of their kids, myself included.  Just because you let it slip a bit before your baby is chatting away, doesn’t mean it hasn’t made an impression upon your wee one.  Remember; kids are like sponges, they soak up everything they hear.  It may not be right away but you never know when it will resurface from their mouths!  (Great Aunty Myrtles 90th birthday party?).

Bad Sleeping Habits:

This doesn’t just mean a good bedtime.  If you are that fortunate parent who’s little ones sleep late,  setting a good example of how to get started with your day is important as well.  You’re teaching your child that being sluggish in school and late for classes won’t cut it in the real world.

Leaving the TV on All Day:

This one is hard to break.  We would turn on the TV on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons, news, etc.  Somehow, it would stay on all day, even if we weren’t  watching it.  Not only is it bad for the TV, but it teaches kids to be lazy even about watching television and then they don’t get the fresh air they need.

Not Following Through:

There is no manual for raising kids ( I know, I know, I wish too!) but at some point in their precious lives; children will push us to see if we follow through on punishments or promises we made to them.  As parents, we need to let our kids know that there are consequences for breaking the rules.  There are some parents who don’t go through with the child’s punishment because they feel guilty.  Fast forward about 15 years, you and your hubby are asleep, the phone rings, guess who! Yup, your child and they are calling from the police station begging you to get them out of there.  They are learning the hard way that breaking the rules has consequences, because you never taught them that lesson at home!

Giving in to You Kids Constantly:

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make your child happy but there are limits to everything.  If you say no and your child keeps asking over and over again knowing that you’ll get annoyed and give in, it’s a problem.  When kids know your limit, they will use the power of manipulation to get what they want.  Even children who are will demonstrate this before they can even talk fully. (Sneaky little buggers aren’t they?).  In the beginning it’s cute and you just want to cover them with kisses but by the time they hit the teen years it will become a nightmare, if not sooner.  Negotiating will feel like a losing battle that you won’t win.  The solution for children of any age;  think before you answer (to ensure you know why you’re saying yes or no) and then stick to your answer no matter what.

Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.