All parents are guilty of a “fail” moment every now and then. However, no child has ever been harmed by their parent forgetting to pick up milk or being too tired to find them matching socks in the morning.
It turns out that some parenting habits we’re guilty of are a lot worse than others. Children are sponges. They don’t just take in the lessons we teach them on purpose, like how to brush their teeth or sing the ABCs. They also learn subtle behaviors we carry out each day without even realizing it.
The five parenting habits on this list can negatively impact your kid’s moral development and future, as well as your relationship with other adults. Take a look.
1. Holding back discipline.
You probably know at least one parent who refuses to discipline their child. Contrary to what they believe, kids actually thrive on discipline and structure.
In your house, you’re the boss, and that needs to be clear to any children or parents who come through the door. Things like hitting, swearing, and bullying are not to be tolerated — and that goes for you as well. There are plenty of non-violent ways to discipline without passing negative behaviors onto your child.
2. Bragging on social media.
A survey recently found that the average parents shares nearly 1,000 photos of their child before they turn five. And that doesn’t even count written posts and other updates.
We all want to share our children’s accomplishments and milestones, but we should take care not to overshare. Parents today are creating a digital footprint for their kids, all without their consent. Remember, one day little Johnny will be a 30-year-old man with a career, and he might not want his peers to know the details of the first time he went “doo-doo in the big-boy potty.”
What’s more, the constant bragging can be a major turn-off to other parents in your network. If you do post updates about your child, make sure that it’s not in a way that compares them to others.
You better believe that if your kids hear you gossiping, they will follow suit.
No one want to raise a mean girl (or boy), but the propensity for gossip starts at home. It can be tempting to gossip at play dates, especially for parents who’ve been craving contact with other grownups. However, there’s a lot more to talk about than other parents or you kid’s friends.
Remember the mantra: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Instead of gossip, turn to positive subjects such as books, film, or travel. You might be surprised by how much you have to say!
4. Excluding others.
You will meet many parents with different values than you, but excluding them from social circles is a form of bullying.
It might be hard to see eye-to-eye with some parents, but one thing we all have in common is love for our kids. By including others and encouraging your child to do the same, you’ll foster an aversion to the dreaded formation of “cliques.”
5. Being a bad sport.
We’re all familiar with the image of an angry parent yelling at a coach during a Little League game, but that’s not the only way you can teach your child to be a bad sport.
Parents are often guilty of only cheering for their kids, rather than the whole team. Remember to hoot and holler for everyone, and if someone on the other team has an amazing play, it’s okay to express enthusiasm for that, too! If you’re confronted with a “bad sport parent,” move seats. It’s better to address your concerns after they’ve cooled down, rather than in the heat of the moment.
Read More: 22 Parents Who Just Couldn’t Parent Today