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I’ve been a daddy for 10 years now so I have learned a lot from my mistakes along the way. By no means am I perfect. By no means am I a failure. I enjoy being a dad in every moment of the day.
Every parent makes mistakes. Geez, if we didn’t make mistakes, we’d never learn how to parent our kids the next time the issue comes up. There are several mistakes that are avoidable. Here are 5 mistakes I have learned that are completely avoidable. I hope they are valuable to you!
Mistake #1: Putting work first
Our jobs have lots of demands on them and we often spend valuable family time every day working and preparing for the next day. I learned a long time ago that the best place for work is at work. I found that 99% of the work I was doing outside of work could have been saved for the next day. Our kids will never be the age they are at today ever again. Babies grow up and learn so quickly that the blink of an eye can cause us to miss something important. Put your family first and enjoy the ride. Work is work but it can’t replace your kids.
Mistake #2: Allowing co-sleeping
We did the whole co-sleeping thing mainly with my now 9 year old. He never had the opportunity to really develop solid sleep patterns. He now sleeps in his room all night, but it hasn’t been easy getting him in the habit. I’m not a fan of co-sleeping as I believe that it prevents the child from gaining independence and falling asleep on his or her own. Parents need the marital bed as much as the kids need their own bed. The occasional crawl in the bed for a few hours in the morning is okay, but all night is something I am completely against.
Mistake #3: Give in to a screaming child.
Children have wants and needs just like the rest of us, but haven’t fully developed a way to properly deal with being told “no.” When my kids scream in response to something I’ve told them no to I always try to keep a level head and avoid giving in just to end the screaming fit. Giving in is a big no-no because it teaches them that by screaming at mommy and daddy they can get their way. My daughter tried it this morning when she was not being very cooperative about what she wanted for breakfast. Don’t find yourself in a position where you are becoming an over-negotiator. Your kids need to know that you, the parent, establish the rules and consequences and they do not.
Mistake #4: Arguing in front of your kids
We all have disagreement from time to time and is impossible to never argue. Since we can’t avoid arguing, we need to practice healthy ways of communicating and resolving the issues at hand. Our kids are watching us 24/7 and will learn our behaviors so modeling how to calmly discuss, compromise and resolve arguments is very important. Raising our voices, calling names and belittling our spouse only teaches our kids that the behavior is acceptable.
Mistake #5: Avoiding travel
It’s hard to go 10 minutes down the street let alone on an 8 hour journey to grandma’s house. We used to avoid long distance travel because we knew it would end up taking twice as long to get there. Flying is almost impossible for us today simply because 6 plane tickets would break our bank account and then some. I have learned that kids need to experience new places and cultures. Don’t stop or avoid traveling because of the hassle. Let the journey to your destination be a part of the adventure! We have taken several cruises, trips to Gatlinburg and Georgia to visit my parents and countless trips to the beach. Even though they may have been very young, it surprises me how many times one or more of my kids will say “Hey dad, remember when we went on that trip to…?”
What are some of the mistakes you are trying to avoid? Feel free to share in the comments!