My Three Biggest Parent Pitfalls

They say that an individual learns by the mistakes that they make in life. This is so true with that of being a parent. This article examines three pitfalls that I have made as a parent. Hopefully, other parents will be able to use this for future advice.

The Coaching Dad: I had the opportunity to actually coach my son in the sport of basketball. I not only had my team to consider, but my son as well. After a tough loss, I would bring home the results with me. Since my son started at point guard for me, I would critique his game after we got home. This is a bad idea. My son also brought home his opinions of my coaching decisions. Many times we would clash late at night sitting in the living room. I discovered that it is always best to wait until the next day to rehash the game. Things are always better, when the sun comes up the next day.

Late Night Results: Like any parent of a teenager, late night returns are a problem. I always set a curfew for my sons return. No exceptions to this rule. There should be. Instead of having a confrontation, I found out that you can learn more by listening. In most situations, if you just listen instead of yelling, you can learn a lot more. Teens are always excited about things that happen, while they are out. When they come through your front door, they are looking to unload the events of the evening to someone. You can learn more about what happened, if you just listen to them. If you order them to bed, you may never discover what happened. Once they get up in the morning, it is a new day. Yesterday is now old news.

Job Control: Many teens like to take on a job to make some spending cash. Taking on the responsibility of a job helps a young person to mature as an individual. Sometimes, it can help them grow up too fast. I let my oldest son take a job as a bus boy in a combination restaurant and bar. One of his jobs was to clean and close up at night. This gave him an excuse for late night adventures. As a parent, I should have talked with the owner about my concerns. I could of had the owner call me, when my son was finished. This way, I would have known when to expect him home.

It is my hope that these mistakes that I made will assist other parents in the future.

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