Mistakes Of Parents Raising 3-5 Year-Olds


Parenting a preschooler is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Ask any parent, and they’ll viciously agree. It’s also one of the most fulfilling ones out there, worth every waking moment, because of the child involved. Watching a tiny human being transition from a helpless, gurgling mess to a semi-independent version of the same mess is truly an amazing thing, and it’s so easy to fall madly in love with our little bundle of joy.

Sometimes though, our love isn’t enough and we don’t end up doing things right. That’s okay. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent anyway. There are a lot of good ones though, the types who look at what they’re doing wrong so that they know how to correct themselves. We can start with that, by taking a look at some of the things we might need a little help with when it comes to raising our little preschoolers.

We Let Them Get Away With Things

This is a tough one and probably the most common thing that all parents are guilty of. Whenever a child does something that’s out of line, we generally find it difficult to put our foot down. While this is perfectly understandable, it shouldn’t be a deterrent for us to call a preschooler out: if a child is wrong, then he’s wrong. As early as preschool, we have to help our children adjust to the idea of responsibility and accountability. If we wait too long, it might be harder to instill, and there goes discipline flying out the window.

We Don’t Tell Them The Truth

Because we want to protect our children, we usually lie to them about imporant things. Our reasons are numerous, but this is my favorite: they won’t understand. Perhaps this is true. With the age difference, more than likely. But that’s no reason to be dishonest with our preschooler, because once we get started, we won’t be able to stop. It may even continue until our children are much older. Relationships built on lies and deceit aren’t healthy, and no one wants that.

We Don’t Tell Them What We Want

Often, we get mad at our children for not doing what they’re supposed to do, but without telling them what we expect of them in the first place. Just as adults aren’t mind readers, our preschooler isn’t either. If we want our kid to stop playing with the food, then we have to distinctly say so. We can’t just say stop or call their attention by name. We have to clearly tell them what we want, and offer an explanation as needed.

We Don’t Listen To Them

It’s easy to get lost in our child’s preschool babble, and even easier to dismiss it. We often discard what they have to say as unimportant, but in doing so, we miss things: like how the world looks like from our kid’s perspective. If we want to build a good and lasting relationship, we have to learn how to listen. We’re our children’s primary role models remember? if we don’t listen to them, then they might just end up asking themselves why they should give us the same courtesy.

We Don’t Ask Them What They’re Thinking

We sometimes wonder why our children “doesn’t tell us anything.” It’s not really hard to figure out though. Looking back and reflecting, do we actually ask them? Preschoolers, whether they’re still struggling to speak or already talking a mile a minute, still need our prompting from time to time before offering their two cents. If we really want to know, then we have to ask. And by doing so, we’re encouraging our children to open up. Soon, they’ll start volunteering information without being asked, and that’s a big hurdle overcome right there: communication.

We Don’t Take Them Seriously

As adults who deal with bigger issues on a day-to-day basis, we may find our preschooler’s problems of no consequence to the grand scheme of things. That’s not true. From our point of view, struggling to, let’s say, make friends with another kid in class might not be a problem. But it’s not the same with our children: terrified of making the first move to initiate a friendship. When children tell us something, we have to look at it from their perspective and not ours, weighing the gravity of the situation by their standards. Things aren’t always about how we see things.

We Make All The Decisions For Them

Yes, our child is only a preschooler and probably has no idea about how a lot of things work. But does that mean we get to decide for them all the time? No. Our children will grow up and face decision-making on a daily basis, so might as well let them practice. Someday, we won’t be able to make decisions for our children anymore, and we’ve got to prepare them for that kind of inevitability.

We Focus More On Their Future Than Their Present

Every parent is guilty of this: looking beyond. Planning for the future is good, but we have to ensure that we don’t look too far ahead, missing the present in the process. Our children will always need us in one way or another, but most importantly, we’re needed now and here. Precious time focusing on a future that hasn’t come yet is wasting it—instead, let’s enjoy every second of our preschooler’s childhood. Children are only young once. We want to make the most out of it.

It’s okay if most, or all, of the items on this list applies to you. Now that we know them, we can work on them. Again, having perfect parents is a fairytale and it’s not what we want to become. Better that we strive to be good, and that, along with all the love we have for our children, is not. It won’t be easy of course, but as they say: if it’s not difficult, it’s not worth doing.

And being a parent? It’s worth every minute.

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