One thing I find that all parents have in common is the fear that they are THE worst parents on the block. They worry they are becoming the worst version of their own parents. Perhaps worst of all is their anxiety that everyone is watching and judging them, and everyone agrees that you are doing a crappy job. So I thought I’d lay out 7 of the worst habits of highly unsuccessful parents I have met over the years.
1. Not stressed out about grades: What! You don’t check infinite campus every 10 minutes to monitor your daughter’s progress? Are you insane? She might start getting behind and you know what that means: no Ivy League college.
2. Electronics warden: You’re not allowing your girl to have a phone until late middle school, and she has to earn the privilege to obtain one? And you have a ‘no social media’ policy until high school? The next thing you’re going to tell me is that your family all takes breaks from technology regularly, including mealtimes, car rides, and during any time together. Your poor children; they must be so calm, carefree, and close to their family. I pity them.
3. Work: You let your middle and high school kids have jobs? Are you crazy? Just because everyone in our generation held jobs starting in grade school or middle school doesn’t mean your kids should have to enjoy making their own money and interfacing with diverse people out in the real world. Who needs street smarts anyways? What, you say she’s also required to do her own laundry and weekly chores. And you don’t pay her to do them; now you’ve crossed the line into child abuse. I hope you enjoy raising your Cinderella to become a self-reliant princess with grit.
4. Activities: You won’t allow little 7-year-old Suzie to play on 3 club soccer teams year round? Don’t you want her to make her high school team and get a college scholarship? I know she’s had two ankle surgeries and two concussions, but come on; she’s definitely going to get behind her peers here. I hope you enjoy having meals and down time together with all of your free time.
5. Advocacy: Your daughter is upset because she thinks the teacher is being unfair to her, and you’re making her have a face-to-face sit down with her? This in addition to encouraging her last season to talk to her coach herself about getting more playing time. Talk about negligent parenting! Isn’t that what we’re here for: to fix our kid’s problems and rescue them? Your daughter told me your favorite expression when she comes to you with problems is, “So what will you do?” What kind of parent empowers their kids like that?
6. Coaches: The cheer coach’s policy is that girls on the team can’t miss two practices all summer or they’re kicked off the squad. Doesn’t that seem like a fair rule for 10 year olds? I can’t believe you told the coaches that your Sally was going to miss several weeks of practice because of family vacations and going to a fun summer camp. Then you had the gall to try to get all of the parents to stand up to the coach in order to change the policy. Have you lost your mind?
7. Family time: What’s this I hear about you having family dinners together every night? How is that possible when we have three kids who have nine activities combined? We don’t get home three nights a week until 9:30, and by weeks end we’re all so exhausted we just go out to eat. I also heard you have long tuck-ins with each child every bedtime. Who has the time and energy for that? Plus, my kids prefer to fall asleep watching Netflix.
I hope that you caught my sarcasm. These are some of my pet peeves when it comes to raising kids today, and I hope you take away a new perspective about what might really be important for your children and your family. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Spock.
Relax parents; you’re probably doing a better job of parenting than you think you are.
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