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Four ways parents damage their children’s future without realising it

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017


Your children are influenced by everything you do

Parenting is hard. It’s arguably the hardest job in the world.

Children are influenced by everything around them – their peers, their teachers – but it’s undeniable that their parents have one of the biggest roles to play in shaping their futures.

No pressure then.

Clinical psychologist Ma. Lourdes ‘Honey’ Carandang explained to Inquirer.net that there are four instances in which you could be accidentally negatively impacting your child’s life:

1. Comparing your children

You may love your children an equal amount, but if one has achieved more and you have a tendency to introduce them to people with a qualifier, but don’t do so for their sibling, that can have an impact.

For example, you might say: “Here’s my clever daughter, Sarah. And here’s my youngest child, Max,” which isn’t even.

“That’s the kind of bullying that’s very subtle. It is insulting, it is pulling down (the other child). Parents can be guilty and not be aware,” Dr Carandang says. Children notice these things more than you might realise.

2. Using labels

Playful nicknames can seem harmless, but they could actually scar a child for life if used often enough. Of course, you shouldn’t wrap your child in cotton wool, but name-calling from a parent can seriously damage a child’s confidence.

According to Dr Carandang, using labels like that can lead a child to develop feelings of resentment towards the parent and start to believe they truly are lazy or stupid too.

3. Setting an example of bullying

Not only do children pay attention to what their parents say (most of the time), they also pick up on what you do. So if they see their father talking down to their mother, they may start to think it’s alright for men to treat women as inferior – and for women to accept it.

“This is because the children model themselves after the parents,” says Dr Carandang.

4. Letting favouritism influence discipline

Although your parents probably always denied it, some do have favourites, and often the wrongdoings of those children go unpunished whereas their siblings’ don’t.

Dr. Carandang stresses that when you children argue, it’s paramount to listen objectively to each of them so you can react fairly. And even if older siblings should be more sensible, it’s important not to neglect their emotional needs either.

“What we don’t see is that the origin (of the behaviour) could be the home, so let’s be aware of how we discipline our children. We have to do away with putting down or emotionally labeling our children,” Dr. Carandang says.


Rachel Hosie, Four ways parents damage their children’s future without realising it (2017, May 10), Independent.

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