Stuff Parents Need to Stop Doing: 7 Tips for a Happy Home

As a parent, you have a lot to do. Between work, making sure your kids get a good education, and keeping your house in order, you’re a super hero. But you’re also human and need a break sometimes. There’s stuff parents need.

I’ve put together a comprehensive (and fun) list of things parents need to STOP doing to keep your kids, your husband, and yourself happy. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be a happier, more positive person. (I hope…)

7 Tips: Stuff Parents Need to Stop for a Happy Family Life

My list of stuff parents need to stop doing is as follows…

1. Stop comparing your kids to each other.

Everyone knows we all have favorites no matter how hard we try not to. We love all of our kids, but we all have a favorite in at least one category. Comparing your kids is a bad idea because it puts your children in competition with each other. Your kids may not realize you’re doing it, but they’re affected by it.

Instead, focus on their strengths and let each child become the best version of themselves. By doing this, your children can help each other and you’ll feel more peace in your home. This can lead to stronger friendships between siblings and a more peaceful household in general.

2. Stop nagging your kids.

Nagging your kids is a bad habit. It can lead to many problems, like your kids being less likely to listen to you when they really need to. If you keep nagging your kids, they will keep ignoring you.

Instead, try using natural consequences. Kids know what the consequences of their actions are – they know if they don’t do their homework, they won’t have time to watch TV. They know if they skip dinner, they won’t have a full stomach.

If you don’t nag them, you give them space to figure out these consequences on their own. This helps your children become more responsible and independent which can help their future in school and in their careers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I swear her kids did not write this entry…

Stuff Parents Need
Stuff Parents Need

3. Stop trying to be friends with your kids.

This is not to say you shouldn’t have a relationship with your kids. Relationships are important in the home. But, you don’t have to be their friend. As the adult in your home, you can be their parent.

There’s a difference, and it’s important. If you’re too close to your kids, you may not be able to discipline them as you need to. They may also feel pressured to do things they don’t want to do just because you want them too.

Instead, focus on your role as the adult. Set the rules, give your kids guidance and direction, but let them make the decisions on their own. This will help them become good decision makers and independent adults.

4. Stop worrying about what other parents are doing.

There is no one right way to be a parent. There is no right way to raise a child. Everyone has different ways of doing things, and that’s okay!

If you’re concerned about other parenting styles, just remember that they aren’t necessarily better or worse than yours. This means you shouldn’t worry about what others are doing – it will only stress you out.

Let your kids make their own mistakes and learn from them. If they end up making bad choices, guide them and help them learn from the situations they put themselves into. Give them consequences that let them choose future actions while giving them the chance to correct their mistakes.

5. Stop being surprised when your kids lie.

Sometimes kids lie. It’s part of growing up. They learn from watching adults that sometimes it’s easier to lie rather than face consequences or spend time in a time out.

As long as your children know lying is wrong and that you won’t tolerate it in your home, you should be okay. If you feel like a conversation is getting out of hand, use natural consequences to educate and guide your children.

If your child lies, give them a consequence for lying. This may mean you don’t trust him for a little while, or you might decide to hold an extra long timeout for him. The point is to help your child learn from his mistakes and feel the natural consequences of his actions.

6. Stop making everything a power struggle.

This is hard to do, especially if you have a strong-willed child. Sometimes your kids are stubborn because they want to get their own way. If there isn’t a reason behind their stubbornness, then it’s a power struggle.

Kids this age often want to see who’s in charge, so they test the waters. Let them know you’re in charge right away so they’re aware of this. But be careful not to power struggle too much. If you have a few arguments, let them go and don’t bring them up again later.

If you make everything a power struggle, your relationship with your kids will become strained and likely won’t recover. You may scare your children or make them think you’re not a safe adult to rely on. Try to keep things polite and fixed as soon as possible so you can reduce tension in your family and focus on the important things.

7. Stop trying to make your kids live out your own childhood dreams.

Remember that your kids are their own people. They have their own dreams and interests, and you shouldn’t try to force them into something that’s not for them.

Some parents want their children to be a doctor, lawyer, or police officer someday because they always wanted to be one themselves. It’s okay if you want your kids to be doctors or lawyers, but don’t pressure them into it. Encourage them to do the things they love, and support them when they want to do those things.

You can still help your kids reach their goals even if they’re not the same as yours. Open your mind up to the possibilities, and let your kids decide for themselves.

Stuff Parents Need: Family
Stuff Parents Need: Family

Stuff Parents Need to Stop Doing: Conclusion

Eventually, your children will realize you’re not perfect. When this happens, your relationship with your children will deepen and become stronger. When you’re no longer trying to be friends with your kids, it won’t be a bad thing, and your relationship with them will improve.

We always hear about stuff parents need to fulfill themselves or stuff parents need to do (and do right). Everyone just assumes it’s okay to give parenting advice, but it’s not. Some stuff parents need to stop doing is more important than any other stuff you need to do.

At the end of the day, it’s all about creating a happy home for your children. With stability, comfort, and plenty of love, they will enter the world with a strong sense of well-being, which will serve them forever. (And hopefully, a love of reading too.)

In all seriousness, parenting isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s smart to look at what you need to STOP doing rather than yet another list of what you SHOULD BE doing. (Sorry, I seriously wasn’t trying to yell there. You’re probably thinking even more that my kid wrote this post!)

Stuff parents need to stop doing can be useful for parents looking for a short-cut to easier parenting. After all, parents need a little help from time to time!

Heidi Jiang

Heidi Jiang

A native hoosier, Heidi Jiang discovered her love of reading at an early age. She's a big fan of the Wimpy Kid series and any book with a dog on the cover. She currently resides in Indiana with her husband, a dog named Lucky, and a cat named Oliver. After working with Muncie Free Press in the past, she is looking forward to writing several middle grade chapter books and helping make the Hoosier Chapter Books blog a very special place. You can find out more on the Heidi Jiang bio page.