Vanessa Murphy, BCBA, CAS
Therapies 4 Kids
5 Clinics in South Florida
Striving to be the best parent is natural. We all have it in us. However, it is only human to make mistakes, and sometimes out of loving too much. In this column you will learn about the three most common mistakes parents make and how to address them.
The first most common mistake parents make is not following through with their demands. For instance, your child calls your name while you are on the phone. Initially you ask them to wait. After disrupting your conversation by calling your name several times you then react and say, “What do you need”? The child has now learned in order for them to get your attention when you are on the phone they just need to call you continuously and you will react. If you are teaching your child to wait then do not attend until you are off the phone.
The second most common parenting mistake is only giving attention to kids when they are misbehaving. Try to provide verbal descriptive praise to desired behaviors your child exhibits as well. For instance, instead of focusing on all the times your child does not start or complete a task, praise them when they are completing desired tasks. Do not take it for granted.
The third most common mistake parents make is doing everything for their children. I know this is a difficult one, especially when you are in a rush. However, you are doing your child a disservice and will have them become prompt dependent. Provide them with the opportunity to complete tasks independently and reinforce it with high fives, hugs, praise or what is rewarding to the child. The best gift a parent can give a child is teaching them the skills they need to become independent.