3 Parenting Myths: What We We’re Doing Wrong

Is it true that children need to be praised as often as possible? Should we wean a child from lying? And are parental quarrels really so dangerous for the child’s psyche? We have selected the three most pressing issues of education from the book “Myths of education.” In honor of the birthday of the publishing house “MIF,” you can get this book as a gift by the end of the week.

When raising children, we most often rely on intuition or norms accepted in society, but sometimes all our ideas can be wrong. To raise a child correctly, you need to look at the world wider and act more confidently. And also – to think critically and distinguish excellent parenting methods from myths.

Myth number 1. You need to praise your child as often as possible

Of course, your child is special. And you think it’s perfectly normal to talk to him about this constantly, so he gets praised at least ten times a day. However, numerous studies by neuroscientists prove that excessive praise can only harm.

If a child is taught from infancy that he is smart and gifted, he begins to believe in his exclusivity. But the catch is that this belief does not exist at all, guarantee that he will study well. On the contrary, praising a child leads to learning difficulties.

By praising children for being smart, we let them know that the most important thing is to look smart and not take risks to avoid mistakes.

In other words, children who are constantly praised stop trying, so they actually stop being smart over time. They want to look like that but are not used to earning such a high status. Why does anything if you are considered gifted anyway? What to do, you ask? Is it really not worth praising children? The answer is negative. Praise them, but do it right.

Praise the children for their diligence and efforts; then they will learn that the reward and success depend on themselves. If you praise your son or daughter for being simply smart, you deprive them of their ability to control the situation.

“I’m smart, so I don’t have to try. If I start doing something, everyone around me will decide that I lack natural data. If I do not cope with this task, everyone will understand that I am not smart. ” This is the mindset of a child who gets too much praise. He does not know how to survive failure, doubts his abilities. His motivation disappears. Such children do everything not for their own pleasure and the process itself, but only for their praise. Ultimately, they lag behind their peers and lose confidence in themselves.

Myth # 2. My child never lies

Perhaps you are sure that your little one never lies. And if it deceives, it is scarce. We will open your eyes: absolutely all children cheat. This is neither good nor bad. It is just an integral part of a child’s development. And one more discovery: the more you try to wean your child from lying, the more often he cheats.

These numbers will surprise you, but they are confirmed by many years of research by scientists: four-year-old children lie about once every two hours, and six-year-olds – once an hour. 96% of all children lie every day.

How do babies learn to lie? And is it as dangerous as we sometimes think? The first reason children deceive their parents is to hide their fault. They try to avoid punishment from a very early age, while they do not realize that they can also be punished for lying.

3 Parenting Myths: What We We're Doing Wrong

Paul Ekman of the University of California is one of the first researchers interested in children’s lies. He explains how children develop cheating habits.

Imagine this situation; Mom promised her six-year-old son that they would go to the zoo on Saturday. When she returned home, she looked at the diary and realized that they had a visit to the doctor on Saturday. When the boy found out about this, he was distraught. Why? In the perception of adults, the mother did not deceive anyone. But the child took this situation as a lie. Mom deceived him.

From a child’s point of view, any erroneous statement is perceived as a lie. That is, in the eyes of the child, the mother unconsciously approved of the deception. It is in these situations that children learn to cheat. They decide that since the parents can lie, then they can too.

But is a lie so terrible? Research shows that the habit of cheating at an early age is completely harmless and somewhat beneficial.

Children who lie at age two or three, or who are unable to tell themselves by age four or five, perform better on academic tests. Lying is associated with intelligence, it develops cognitive abilities, logic and memory.

Parents shouldn’t fight them fiercely. Children only by the age of 11 begin to understand that lying is bad. Until this age, they are convinced that the main problem with lying is only that it is followed by punishment.

If you punish children for lying, you will have the opposite effect. They will become even more afraid of punishment and, therefore, lie more often. Ultimately, this will lead to the fact that children do not understand the real problem of lying and do not realize how it affects the people around them.

Scientists have found that kids who are punished for lying do not lie less. They learn to lie masterly and are less likely to fall for lies. To teach children the right attitude to cheating, we must constantly tell them that honesty is good, focusing on the positive side.

Myth number 3. Children need to be protected from parental quarrels and showdown

We are fighting. The family cannot do without it. But many of us are used to protecting children from conflicts, believing that this is the right thing to do. However, this is a delusion. You shouldn’t hide constructive conflicts from children, and here’s why.

In one study, scientists created artificial situations in which parents fought in front of their children. For example, the mother started to voice complaints to the father on the phone when the child was in the room.

3 Parenting Myths: What We We're Doing Wrong

Immediately after the situation was played out, the stress hormone cortisol level was measured in the children.

Also read: How to Help Children Stop Having Trouble Sleeping

It turned out that when the children were present at the parental quarrel to the end and found out how it all ended, they reacted very calmly. The stress hormone level remained within normal limits or immediately dropped after a successful resolution of the conflict.

“We experimented with the power of conflict and the intensity of passion, but these factors did not matter,” recalls one of the scientists. “Even after observing a violent quarrel, the children behaved calmly if they saw the ending with the reconciliation of the parties.”

All this means that parents trying to end the quarrels that began in front of their children in another room are making a mistake.

The presence of children in constructive conflicts between their parents (without insults) is good for them. It develops a sense of security,  communication, and resolves difficult situations. If the child is completely shielded from such moments, he will not receive positive examples and will never learn to cope with adult life conflicts.

Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff

Sources: Life hacker