When you’re a parent, life is inherently more chaotic and often more stressful. Sometimes, this can lead us to take shortcuts or continue doing things that we know might not be the best option.
However, with a little recognition and effort, it’s possible to break even the worst and most ingrained habits.
The following are things that we as parents do but should work on changing.
Parents are sometimes guilty of having the worst driving habits, and these can be some of our most dangerous habits in general.
It’s tough not to be distracted when you’re a parent, and you’re behind the wheel.
You may be trying to find different friends’ houses and locations for practices and classes on your phone, simultaneously trying to make sure you don’t miss important work emails and of course, your kids in the backseat are a distraction.
As tough as it may be, work on being a more conscious driver and cutting out the distracted driving because breaking this habit could ultimately save your kids’ lives and your own.
Life is tough, and we all have things that worry us, stress us out, or make us angry. However, as difficult as it may be, try to shield your kids from this. If you complain, and in particular complain about your kids in front of them, it’s creating a sense of negativity in their life.
Even if you don’t want to, try and find positive things to talk about and focus on when you’re with your kids.
In general, venting in front of our kids isn’t a healthy habit. You might even be complaining about people they know, such as their grandparents or teachers, and kids are going to soak this in. In some cases, they may even internalize it, if you’re complaining about someone they love.
Judging Other Parents
Judging other parents is something we might do without even thinking about it. You might judge people you see in public or the parents of our kids’ friends and classmates.
While it can feel natural to judge, or like something we just thoughtlessly do, try to make a conscious effort to cut it out of your life.
Instead of putting your mental energy toward judging what other people are doing wrong in your opinion, focus on what you’re doing right and what they’re doing right.
Just like you might be guilty of distracted driving, many of us parents are also distracted parents.
Distracting parenting is tough to overcome with the proliferation of cell phones and mobile devices. You might be doing everything on your phone from working to scrolling through Instagram, and while some of that is normal, you are potentially missing out on truly being present with your kids.
Work on setting small goals for yourself so that you can be more present and mindful. For example, maybe you start with thirty minutes a day of device-free time that you can spend with your kids, or maybe you set a deadline each night where you put your phone away.
Being Too Controlling
When you’re a parent, you want to make sure your kids are safe, healthy and have the best possible life, but are you going overboard with that and trying to control every detail of their lives?
Let your kids have room to grow and learn on their own so they can experience things that will help them have more understanding of the world and life.
Not Leaving Your Own Comfort Zone
As parents, we are still human. We have things that make us nervous or uncomfortable. Maybe you don’t love social gatherings, for example. However, if you let your comfort zone be what controls your life, you might be missing out on experiences and opportunities you could enjoy with your kids.
Try new things and encourage your kids to do the same.
Break out of not only your comfort zone but your routine from time-to-time.
Do things with your kids even if you don’t like them.
Not Taking Care of Our Own Health and Wellness
Finally, as a parent, you might feel guilty about everything you do that isn’t centered around your kids, but you have to stop that bad habit. Your physical and mental health and wellness are important too. If you have trouble doing things for yourself, write down the times you will focus on yourself and add it to your schedule like you do other things in your life.