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5 typical parenting mistakes that destroy kids’ self-esteem

Every parent wants only the best for their child. However, sometimes wanting the best can turn out to be too much for the child and it can backfire really fast.

Sometimes what we consider best can seriously affect our kids and their self-esteem. The mistakes we make as parents can either seriously damage our children's confidence or we can learn to rectify them and thus help our children flourish and deal with life better.

Here are some of the typical mistakes we make as parents that can affect our children’s self-esteem.

1. Overprotectiveness

Being overly protective of your children can have a negative effect on them. Not only are we impeding them from experiencing life and the challenges it brings, but we’re also denying them the opportunity to learn to cope with difficulties and problems. Just think about that one day you won’t be there to protect them from whatever life throws at them, what will happen then, how will they deal if they never learned how?

You’re not here to be their protector, rather your role is to guide them and teach them. Keep that always in mind.

2. Criticism and comparison

Another crucial mistake most parents make is criticizing and comparing their kids with other siblings or kids. Never criticize your child for being different or liking things that you don’t like or understand. Your kid is not you and they don’t have to like things that you do.

What you should always do is encourage your children to share their views and likes with you. This way you’ll be able to put them back on the right track if you see that they are going in the wrong direction.

A child’s self-esteem can suffer greatly if you decide to compare them with other children or siblings. Each child is unique and thus comparing them with other children is pointless. Instead, focus on the positive characteristics and strong points of your child. Be a positive influence and caring and understanding parent, don’t criticize and compare your children. There are other ways to deal with negative points and characteristics that your child has.

3. Not allowing professionals to teach your kids

Yet another mistake that can completely affect your child’s self-esteem and confidence is you teaching them things you aren’t supposed to. You are not an expert on everything nor are you qualified to teach them certain things.

One such thing is teaching your children to drive. Most parents feel like they would be ideal teachers but that’s not the case. During these kinds of situations, tensions are running high, you will find yourself screaming and cursing if your kid does something wrong. You will tell them things you don’t mean and without wanting you will completely diminish their confidence and the desire to learn to drive.

These kinds of things should be left to professionals and driving schools. Instructors and trainers from driving schools like ABC Driving School have the required skills and necessary training to teach your child to drive without destroying their self-esteem.  

Admitting that you don’t know everything and that you simply aren’t able to show them certain things doesn’t make you a bad parent. On the contrary, it makes you human and it also means that you can find people adequate enough to show and teach your kids things that you can’t.

4. Letting them escape with just about anything

There need to be boundaries and limits that your kid should follow and respect. With no boundaries, your kids will do whatever they want to and they won’t care about what you have to say.

There needs to be a clear line that they shouldn’t cross - you’re the adult and they are the children. There also needs to be some kind of order. They should have obligations in the form of chores that should be done daily. This way you’re teaching them to have working habits and routines.

Responsibilities won’t make their life stressful or difficult, it will give them an opportunity to prepare for life. If there are boundaries, structures, limits, your child will be ready for relationships, jobs, and life in general.

5.  From neglect to demanding perfection and obedience

Parents often make serious mistakes that can significantly affect their child's life. Many people tend to neglect their children and then all of the sudden demand perfection and obedience.

Of course, you don’t intend to neglect your child on purpose, but life sometimes gets in the way. Job, responsibilities and other problems, and you don’t even see but your child has behavior problems and you don’t know why.

The solution to this problem is not punishment or expecting obedience. It’s devoting attention to your child, letting them know that you’re there for them and whatever they need.

On the other hand, there are parents who are trying to fulfill their dreams and unfulfilled achievements through their own children. Pushing your children and expecting them to excel in the things they don’t want or aren’t good at, just because you want them to do so, can be seriously negative for your kid’s self-esteem.

Your kids are not your extension, they are people of their own who have their own likes and dreams. Let them express themselves, let them figure out what they like, don’t push them or expect them to like the same things you do.


Unintentionally, parents tend to destroy their child's self-esteem. There is no manual on how to be a parent and making mistakes is a given. The real problem lays in not seeing these mistakes and thinking that you always know the best. Don’t let your pride blind you to these mistakes, learn to rectify them and to admit that you’re wrong. This will save your child serious confidence and self-esteem problems.

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