12 Things Parents Should Never Do In Front Of Kids

More often than not, we make mistakes and unknowingly make our children suffer for them, but that shouldn’t be the case.

Things Not To Do In Front Of Your Child

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We need to be careful about our day-to-day dealings, even at home and especially before our kids. Otherwise, we could ruin their lives for them.

Here are twelve dangerous yet often overlooked things not to do in front of your child if you want to remain a responsible parent:

1. Smoking

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According to research, passive smoking—where your kids inhale cigarette smoke due to your proximity to them while smoking—is both a nuisance and deadly.

It exposes children to diseases like asthma and pneumonia, with smoke exposure known as a leading cause of sudden infant death syndrome. It can also cause lung cancer and heart attacks as a result of repeated exposure.

2. Using The Phone

father ignoring son

Using your phone in front of your kids may be harmful.

In a study, Robin Nabi, a UC Santa Barbara professor of communication, found that the parents’ use of smartphones in front of their kids can hurt their emotional intelligence (EI)— their ability to manage their own emotions and understand the emotions of others around them.

2. Using The Phone

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“We know how easy it is for parents to be absorbed in their own phones, which could limit the interaction and feedback they give to their children,” Nabi said. This, in turn, affects a child’s EI.

3. Having Conflicts

parents fighting

In 2002, three UCLA researchers, Rena Repetti, Shelley Taylor, and Teresa Seeman, observed that children who grew up in homes with high levels of conflict had more physical, emotional, and social problems later in life compared to control groups.

3. Having Conflicts

father and son fighting arguing

Children were more likely to have depression, emotional reactivity, substance dependency, loneliness, and vascular, immune, and intimacy problems when they became adults.

4. Use Of Abusive Language

strict parent

“Verbal abuse can come in all different varieties, and that can include swearing and slurs,” says Benjamin Bergen, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, and author of “What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains and Ourselves,” a book about swear words.

4. Use Of Abusive Language

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“We can track over time how kids who are exposed to abusive language show increases in anxiety, depression, and troubles in school.”

5. Comparisons

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A parent’s belief about their kids has a greater impact on their lives than many think. This is according to researchers at Brigham Young University, Utah, United States, following a study on how parents’ opinions of their kids in comparison to other siblings affect the children’s behavior in the future.

5. Comparisons

kid crying

“When parents make those vocal comparisons, I think it is harmful to kids,” says Alexander Jensen, a developmental psychologist at the university. “Siblings are going to compare themselves enough as it is; they don’t need their parents to add to it.”

6. Getting Drunk

drunk driving

Parents getting drunk in front of their kids can harm the kids, the Institute of Alcohol Studies found.

The parents can behave unpredictably, argue more, and glamorize alcohol to their kids after getting tipsy, while the kids can get embarrassed or receive less attention. Even low-level drinking may negatively affect children’s well-being.

7. Overprotectiveness

helicopter parent

“Healthy relationships between parents and children develop out of a balance of two ingredients: love and discipline,” Piotr Nowakowski, of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Off-Campus Faculty of Social Sciences, said in his study on the problem of overprotectiveness.

If there is an high level of control and not enough love, children will often experience emotional problems.

7. Overprotectiveness

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“What is less understood is that when we tip the scales the other way – toward a dominant love that makes confrontation and discipline impossible – we cause equally severe difficulties,” Nowakowski added.

9. Exposure To Media

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“Watching age-inappropriate content, be it violent movies, explicit music videos, or news with disturbing imagery, without providing context guidance, can expose children to themes they are not developmentally prepared to process,” stated Ryan Sultán, MD, a renowned Adult and Pediatric Mental Health Physician.

9. Exposure To Media

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Dr. Sultán also added that exposure to these inappropriate media content can lead to confusion, fear, or desensitization.

10. Engaging in Negative Self-Talk

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“Children hear more than their parents think,” said Alea DiGirolamo, a Clinical Director at Advantage Therapy Centers.

“Muttering something like I hate my hair today or I look fat while looking at yourself in the mirror will model for them that they should be looking for what is wrong with their bodies as opposed to what is right,” she added.

10. Engaging Negative Self-Talk

unhappy miserable girl

“Young children, especially, like to imitate what their parents may do. This is not a healthy way of looking at oneself.”

11. Speaking Negatively About Teachers

teacher with students

“Avoid speaking negatively about teachers in front of your child, even if you have strong reservations,” stated Alex Marrable, the Founder and Managing Director TutorsPlus.

“It’s crucial to maintain a united front to ensure your child remains engaged with their teacher and the learning process; otherwise, they may disregard their teacher entirely,”

11. Speaking Negatively About Teachers

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Marrable added that it doesn’t mean you can’t offload with your partner or vent from time to time! Just make sure you are well out of earshot when you do.

Instead, strive for empathy and understanding as this will teach your child valuable life skills.

12. Skipping Commitments Or Responsibilities

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“Do not skip your commitments or responsibilities routinely in your child’s presence. It’s essential to show the importance of responsibility and reliability,” said Iesha Mulla, a pediatrician and the co-founder of Parental Questions.

12. Skipping Commitments Or Responsibilities

wealthy father and son working

Dr. Mulla added that perseverance and follow-through are important life skills that children pick up from their role models.

If they observe you shirking responsibilities, they may grow to think it’s okay not to meet their obligations.

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Key Takeaways

happy family baking

“When the mother goat chews grass, her kid watches,” so goes an African proverb. Our children watch and learn from whatever we do, and teaching them bad morals doesn’t make sense, especially at a very young age.

This article was produced by TPR Teaching. Source.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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