What are the worst mistakes a parent can make? Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids! But parenting is challenging. It’s also a journey of discovery and growth. Sometimes it feels like every day there are new challenges that arise with children.
Raising children can be tough, but it’s worth it! I know sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything wrong, but just remember that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Many parents think that the most common mistake parents make is yelling at their children. This is definitely a big one, however, there are some additional parenting mistakes that can push your kids away.
It is important to know how these mistakes affect our children, so we can avoid them and instead provide a nurturing environment for our family and win our children’s hearts. Today I’m going to share 3 parenting mistakes you should avoid that can turn your child’s heart from you!
3 Parenting Mistakes That Turn Your Child’s Heart From You
1. We strive to LOOK right but fail to emphasize the heart issues that are important.
If you look at the way you discipline, often you may discover that you spend much of your time on changing their behavior, rather than changing their hearts. This isn’t how to reach your child’s heart. Their heart isn’t touched, and God is concerned with the heart.
From the book Parenting is Heart Work:
The greatest parenting tip we can share wtih you is this: maintain a strong connection to your heavenly father. He offers spiritual guidance and direction to help you work through your own heart issues so you can become effective with your children. Ask God to show you the real issues your son or daughter is facing, then PRAY.”
2. We strive to keep our kids from the wrong while failing to befriend them ourselves.
In order to develop a relationship with our children and be connected families, we must spend time with them! It’s not enough to protect them from the wrong influences, people, or activities. We have to fill that void, by spending time with them. We need to make that a priority!
Unfortunately, it’s not something we can always do on our own timetable either. I think it’s important to allow time in your schedule daily just to spend time with your kids, but I have found that often they need my attention or a listening ear at times when I’m busy with something else. Nothing is more important though than being there when they want to talk.
They open up on their schedule, not just when you are ready to listen and say “Hey, what’s on your heart that you want to talk about? I’ve got 15 minutes.”
If you are available to listen, or just be there for them when they’re going through a difficult time, as they share their emotions with you it will create a bond. They then are more willing to hear you out, because they know you care.
The key is availability! ( It is also very helpful to just include them in your cooking, cleaning, errands, etc.)
3. We strive for compliance and forget the relationship that will bring compliance.
In our efforts to raise “good children” and require obedience, it’s easy to become harsh as we strive to be firm. That harshness and/or anger is something that will quickly destroy the relationship you have with your children.
It’s much, much better to appeal to our children on the basis of love, rather than using fear of our anger to get them to do what they should.
In the booklet Solving the Crisis in Christian Parenting, it talks about this very thing and says it SO well:
What we didn’t realize was that there is a great difference between intimidating children into subjection and winning their hearts into submission. Intimidating children into subjection merely gains outward compliance. Having their hearts means gaining greater opportunity to influence their values.”
It’s so important to also remember that anger doesn’t address the issue of the heart, and confuses the learning process. The child is focusing more on avoiding your anger, than changing their heart.
Dr. S.M. Davis counsels many Christian parents who are struggling with their children and has made the observation that when there is rebellion in a young person, there is almost always anger in one or both of the parents. The anger causes the parent to lose the child’s heart, and over time they rebel.
Are you raising a rebel? If you are ready to actively examine your parenting for these mistakes that can lead to rebellion, then this study is for you.
4. We strive for compassion without noticing their feelings.
We all want to see our children through the life circumstances that bring them pain. We want to guide them through these situations and hopefully build strength and character as they learn to navigate tough seasons in life.
But oftentimes, we relate our own feelings to the situations, based on our own experiences, and we miss how THEY are feeling in the process.
Listen first. Pause before you speak and try to see the situation through their eyes. This will help you see your childs heart in the tough times.
5. We strive for long-term results while missing the season they are currently in.
Even when our children are small, we dream about their futures. We picture them 10..15.. maybe even 20 years down the road as we try to imagine who God is growing these children to be.
But we need to not get ahead of ourselves. We need to meet our kids where they are at today as God is molding and shaping them into the role He has for them. They will try many things, fail at some and excel in others. So we as parents need to be careful that we nurture them where they are at, instead of pushing too much where WE want them to be.
How do I get rid of parenting mistakes?
We know there will be parenting mistakes. But with God’s help, we can ask Him to make us aware of any mistakes we may be making with your kids. He will give us the strength to repair damaged relationships when we ask how can I make up this parenting mistake He will show us! He will purposefully work to win the hearts of your children!
How do you recover from parenting mistakes?
Join me for a free 5-day series: 5 Parenting Mistakes that Lead To Rebellion
We will look at five ways you can inadvertently instill a rebellious spirit in your child’s heart, and Biblical answers will be given as to how to deal with early rebellion. A daily email will be sent for 5 consecutive days.