1 – Staying with your spouse for the sake of your children. You know that you don’t want to be with your spouse anymore, but you stay because of the children. This kind of thinking causes more harm than good. The reason is you are not emotionally available to your children like you think. You aren’t happy and everyone knows it. Your anger outbursts, sadness, impatience, and other negative behaviors your children are experiencing. Do yourself and everyone a big favor, put a genuine smile on your face for once and find a place that brings you peace and makes your children feel welcome. In time, you and your spouse will agree it was the best decision for the both of you.
2 – Loving them more than you. You didn’t receive the love from your spouse that you needed, so you yearn for that love from your children. You expect them to call you everyday, take care of you, spend time with you, and some of you are actually doing some things that won’t be mentioned here, but you know what they are. Stop. Make up in your mind to stop seeking attention from your children. They will never be able to give you the love that a spouse can give. By behaving in these ways, you are hurting your children and eventually you will have to face the consequences of your actions. If you ever wonder why some families have so many problems with their children and grandchildren it is usually because parents have a perverted way of expressing their love toward their children.
4 – Giving them money whenever they need it. This is just the start of a never-ending cycle that teaches them nothing more than to come to you every time they have a problem. However, what happens when you die? Your children will have to face a society that will not care about them as much as you. Don’t leave them in this world without survival skills.
5 – Finding ways to get them out of trouble. Whether you ask family members for money, lie or steal to help your children, these tactics will not aid them in becoming productive citizens in society. You may or may not know this but your family is talking about you and you may have ruined some relationships, because of your children.
6 – Making excuses for them when they fall short. When people ask you about your children, you find yourself making up stories to make them and you look good, but the reality is you and your children have problems. Eventually you will be found out and rather than telling the truth, you will want to blame others and use circumstances for why your children aren’t doing well.
7 – Allowing them to disrespect you. They call you names, raise their voices, and do things that disrupt your life and you don’t stand up for yourself. Remind yourself that you brought them into this world and you will not tolerate this type of behavior any longer. If it means you have to distance yourself and take things away to gain your respect, then do it.
8 – Acting their age instead of your own age. Parents aren’t cool talking the same way their children talk or dressing like them. Sometimes you may be able to make a point with a few choice words, but avoid the temptation to stoop to their level. You want your children to respect you, a good way of testing whether they do, is just listen to how they talk about you to their friends.
9 – Using manipulative tactics to get what you want. They may not know it now, but they will find out in time that you were using money, guilt, and other ways to get them to do what you want. When they find out, it will be a challenge to win them over again. Depending on what you did, they may never get over it and will treat you badly. You are getting older, the last thing you want to do is make a child resent you when they may ultimately be the one who will have to care for you.
10 – Interfering in their relationships with others. Your child comes to you with a relationship problem and you immediately tell them what to do without knowing all the facts. You notice your child doesn’t spend as much time with you now that he or she is dating. You find that your child is acting differently now that someone has come into his or her life. Jealousy takes over and you do or say something to influence their relationship. How will they become their own person? They won’t when you are too busy trying to create a mini-version of yourself. If you want them to be happy and have healthy relationships, let them solve their own dilemmas. It will be a good test for you to see how well you raised them.
Nicholl McGuire is the author of Tell Me Mother You're Sorry and When Mothers Cry