Coping With the Long-Term Aftermath of Parenting Mistakes

January 6, 2020

One of the biggest challenges with parenting is understanding the long-term effects of your actions. Something that you do or say to your child could have a drastic effect on their personality or how they feel about certain things, and that could lead to some undesirable outcomes a year or two down the line.

For instance, something like serving your child the same foods won’t expose them to a wider range of tastes and flavors, limiting their palette in the future. This seems like a rather minor thing for many parents, but it can actually make it awkward for your child in social situations if they aren’t very cultured or experienced in different aspects of life.

But how can you tell if you’ve made a parenting mistake?

The short answer; you can’t
We can’t predict the future, so it’s impossible for us to tell you what the long-term effect of your parenting mistakes is going to be. However, what we can do is cope with the aftermath.

The solutions are going to depend heavily on what’s happened to your child. Again, we can’t predict everything, but we can give you some advice on how you can manage any long-term effects that your parenting mistakes have caused.

1. Don’t blame yourself for everything
Sure, something you said or done might have had a negative impact on your child. However, a combination of factors will likely have pushed your child into that position. For instance, if your child is currently facing an addiction, then it’s likely caused by a number of things such as their influences at school, popular culture and also partially your parenting.

2. Find a solution, not someone to blame
Even if you don’t blame yourself, it’s important to start looking for a solution. For instance, if the situation is related to addiction, then you may want to consider looking for an inpatient rehab center to help your child recover. Instead of looking for someone to blame and point fingers at, you need to put that effort into finding a solution to help your child.

3. Understand that there will be resistance
One of the most heartbreaking things you’ll hear from a child when you confront them about a problem is “you made me do this”. Perhaps it was your own bad smoking habits that eventually led to your child picking up their first cigarette. Maybe you never did things as a family, leading your child to care less about spending time with their relatives and loved ones during holiday seasons. You’re going to get a lot of the blame, even if it’s unwarranted, so do expect resistance and grit your teeth while you try to fix the problem.

4. Understanding works both ways
As much as you want to fix the problems in your family life, you need to be understanding from your child’s point of view. For instance, if you neglected your child and they refuse to spend more time with you, then understand that your child could be going through many different conflicting emotions as a result of your parenting. They need time to process their emotions, so make sure you don’t give up.

*contributed post*

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