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.

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