Parenting Tips - 10 Important Things You Don't Want to Do in Front of Children

When parenting children, some couples simply don't think about the consequences of their negative actions and reactions they do especially in front of children. 

Offensive and immoral behaviors come back to haunt parents through their children now and later in life.  Remember the things you were exposed to when you were a child.  Do you recall how you felt?  Most parents, who sincerely love their children, object to repeating the cycle of inappropriate and/or abusive behavior they experienced during childhood. 

Part of knowing how to be a good parent is being mindful of the type of influence you are making on your child.  If one isn't paying close attention to bad behavior, sooner or later what is in darkness will come to light.  A teacher, another parent or child, counselor, police officer, relative, lawyer, or someone else will point out the "bad parent" or "bad child" and the only one who will be blamed is the parent for not teaching his or her child right from wrong.

Some things that a parent should avoid doing in front of children are as follows.

1.  Abuse any substances from food to illegal drugs.

There should be no explanation here, but some parents need to know that what they do might be emulated one day by their curious children.  So if they see dad piling on plates of food, they are going to do it.  If they see parents doing drugs, they are going to want to try some one day.

2.  Lie.

Children who listen to adults tell stories that they know are untrue will reason it is okay to make up a few of their own when asked about something.  "Why tell the truth?  Mom and dad lie," a child reasons.

3.  Steal.

If mom and dad steals things from a job like:  notepads, pens, paper, time, etc. a child notices.  If a parent doesn't want to pay for anything when they buy it, then the child assumes that he or she shouldn't have to either.  It doesn't matter whether the item is small, meaningless, or "no big deal," the point is a parent stole and a child will do things like:  learn not to trust his or her parent over time, reason it is okay, teach others to steal, and get caught and go to jail in the future.

4.  Bad-mouth the child's mother/father and other relatives.

The more negative a child hears from parents, the more likely he or she is not going to like the other parent so much.  In the future, a son or daughter might also treat relatives the parents don't like badly as a result.  Keep in mind, children can be bad actors.  So if mom or dad is pretending to like someone, the child won't necessarily go along with the act.

5.  Encourage negative behaviors in others.

Children watch everything parents do, so if they see a parent encouraging their older siblings and other relatives to behave badly, they are going to repeat the pattern at some point or tell others to do what they have learned.

6.  Show off any weapons.

Once a child knows that there is a weapon in the house that can potentially wound or kill another, they will be curious about the item(s).  The television and Internet have so much information about things like guns, switchblades, and more, so the idea that dad or mom has one in the next room excites a child.

7.  Have sex with parent or someone else.

Children who have seen their parents or someone else in the home have sex, can be emotionally and physically troubled by these things.  They might not do well in school, may avoid socializing with peers, or may treat future partners badly.  A child with mixed emotions about adult behaviors
tends to grow up with a lot of emotional challenges to overcome.

8.  Watch, read, play, or listen to adult entertainment and conversation i.e.) games, movies, radio programs, etc.

As mentioned before, many emotional issues that children experience come from being around adults who don't know or don't want to shield children from their world.  There is far too much going on with adults--much of which is dysfunctional.  A child is not mature enough to handle adult issues.  They will experience everything from nightmares to long-term physical illness as a result of being exposed to adult entertainment and conversation.  They will also share what they know with others which will result in much trouble for the adults.

9.  Disrespect or fight others.

If a child sees a parent often arguing and fighting with a parent, he or she will become nervous, scared, or even worried about whether the family will remain intact.  This is a lot for children to have to deal with and eventually school work suffers and personality issues arise as a result.

10.  Use any tool or equipment in ways that are unsafe.

Children who see adults use things in ways that are not intended will copy what they see.  Sometimes incorrect use of tools and equipment result in fires, lost limbs, severe wounds, and worse death.  If you do use a dangerous tool around the child, explain what it does and why it is unsafe for children to use.  Mention consequences if your son or daughter touches it.

These ten tips are just the start of many lessons in life you will want to teach yourself when it comes to parenting.  Although the tips are what parents shouldn't do in front of the children, many of these things they shouldn't do behind their backs either. 

Parents who want the best for their children, do avoid doing the things previously mentioned in front of their children.  Many desire that their sons and daughters live happily, remain innocent for as long as they can, and teach them how to focus on things that really matter to them.

Nicholl McGuire is an author, blogger for this site, and mother of four sons. See more of her work on YouTube, click here.

Family and Friends Won't Always Say Nice Things About Your Children

We love our children and want was is best for them.  Yet, sometimes what we think is right in what we say and do with our children isn't necessarily right in the eyes of those who have long parented children--who have been there and done that.  So when you and your children are invited to a family celebration, spending far too many hours with relatives, sometimes things will be said or done that just might offend you, so be prepared.


1.  Why did those kids get all that food on their plates knowing full well they aren't going to eat it all?
2.  Why is there open cans of soda and water bottles half full, yet the children are going to get more?
3.  Why didn't the parents clean after the children when they made that mess?
4.  They shouldn't let the children run around like that.  Where are their parents?
5.  Did you hear what that child said to his/her mother/father, if that was me...?
6.  These children nowadays just aren't being raised like we were.
7.  Is anyone going to quiet that whiny baby?  If the child didn't feel well, why did they bring him/her?


Some solutions to quiet some of the family criticism concerning your children would be:


1.  Shorten your visit from the start.  Seniors and children after awhile tire of one another.  Both will compete for attention, both tend to act petty, and both can be demanding.


2.  Take noisy children outdoors or in another part of the residence.  Nap time might be needed.  The longer they stay up, the more likely they will be disruptive.


3.  Don't assume everyone likes children, so stay away from those who appear to act rude, impatient, and critical of babies and children.


4.  Teach and discipline your children before they leave from home how to behave when around others.  Specify the consequences if they choose to misbehave.


5.  Avoid piling on food and desserts on the children's plate and share bottles and cans between children by pouring in cups or bring their cups from home to avoid accidents.


6.  Keep noisy toys at home and don't forget headphones for electronic devices.


Tis the season.  Happy Holidays!


Nicholl McGuire


Oh and please show your support, I have many books available for sale.  See below:


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Parenting Blues: 7 Things to Expect that You Might Not Want to Share About Your Children

Sometimes things we talk about concerning our children have a way of coming back to haunt us later.  Whether you boast a little too much about your child or you tell every awful thing he or she has ever done, what we fail to realize is that children are a reflection of who we are and how we parent. 

There are personal issues that will come up during the raising of one's children that is better left unsaid, especially if you are still learning and growing when it comes to parenting.  In addition, if you know you are the type that is easily offended when it comes to being told some negative things about your children, it is also best not to share too much about them.

1.  How much a child looks like, acts like, and does other things like the other parent.

When you know you don't have the best relationship with the father (mother) or you have some personal issues concerning him/her that you have yet to forgive him/her for, it's best to keep those comments to yourself that are negative and tend to compare father and son and mother and daughter.  People have a way of piggybacking off of what you say and then bringing it up in a harmless way later.  "Sure, looks like his dad...I know you must be proud, I really do hope he turns out to be better than his dad." or "Remember when you said his mother was sneaky?  Well, you know I notice that your daughter is acting just like her, you are right!"

2.  The evil or embarrassing things they do in school, daycare, at home, church, etc.

What parent doesn't have a story about a son or daughter that has left his or her face red and palms sweaty?  But it happens, and should everyone need to know about the incident including the Internet?  One day someone in the family is going to bring that story up to your child and he or she just might rebel because it was shared.  "Your mom told me when you lied about...I hope you don't think you can tell me one and get away with it!"  Keep in mind, the self-righteous, jealous types love spreading negative stories about the offspring of those they hate.  

3.  Personal hang-ups about things like: height, acne, making friends, talking, etc.

The more family and friends know about your child's weaknesses, the more likely they might come up with people they know or they may be approached by these so-called well-meaning people.  "Honey, I bought this acne cream for you.  Your mom told me that people tease you at school...I remember when I had problems..." or "Dear, you really out to wear this girdle, your mom told me you are trying to lose weight, don't want the fat wiggling."  Sometimes children feel like parents can't be trusted with sensitive information so they will close up. 

4.  An illness that could possibly spread.

Whether the illness was treated years ago or a day ago, you tell someone, who already has a compulsive disorder or two, about your child's illness, he or she just might act strange around your son or daughter.  Better off leaving your child with someone who is understanding and has had a similar issue.  Sometimes people will keep bringing the past up and sharing it with others as if it is a present issue which only shames the poor child.  "Your mom shared that you had ring worm, okay don't sit here...keep your head away from this pillow...I mean I know that happened awhile ago and you're better, but just in case."

5.  Consistent poor grades and other school issues like fighting.

It won't be long before someone in your circle is going to start questioning, "Why is Johnny always getting into trouble?  What are you and your husband teaching him?"  In time, you will start treating your partner and child as if they are the sole cause as to your unhappiness because of those whispers in your ears from family.  The poor grades and other school issues might come back up later when relatives are thinking about who they might want to help and who they would avoid in the family.

6.  Selection of friends.

Is it really necessary to talk about a son or daughter's friends to family and friends?  Just imagine hearing this from a relative if you were a child, "Your dad told me that you have been hanging around the wrong crowd, well if you bring any mess to my home and cause problems for my children, I will give you a spanking you will never forget!"

7.  Personal interests.

Since children can be very private and you don't know sometimes what to say or not to say about the things they like, it is best just to check with them first.  Consider this, "So I heard you like that new toy--I wouldn't buy it, cost too much!  My son told me about it--such a waste!  Aren't you a bit old to be playing with that anyway?"  Once again, adults who don't like you or your child will use what they know to hurt you.

Keep in mind, before you tell a relative everything that is going on with you and your child, think about the future.  Take the time to think how might a relative or friend use the information.  As much as we love the people in our lives, we also need to know when to keep some things about our sons and daughters to ourselves.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry, get your copy here.

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ABC Reading: Placing Education Before Everything Else
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