In an attempt to stop overindulging their children, which is a common feature in several parent-child relationships, parents should refrain from giving whatever a child wishes or desires. This is to be maintained despite the amount of begging, whining or even temper tantrums that a child may throw. It is important for a parent not to crack under the pressure that a child puts on him/her. Children should be taught to make an effort in order to obtain what items they desire instead of just handing over these items. This would lead to greater appreciation of items and help kids realize the value of hard work. Parents should also praise their kids for their successes in various activities, but be careful in this, since the praise is to be earned, as this will give children motivation to work hard in order to succeed in reaching their goals. Instead of just deferring to children in decision-making, it is an important factor for parents to discuss in order to reach a compromise. Overindulgent parents should also refrain from bribing their children in order to obtain their co-operation, as this will also teach the value of hard work. It is important for kids to learn that though it is okay to want several things, they do not always need to have whatever they want. Parents should also limit the amount of gifts that they give their children, be it on holidays or on special occasions. This will increase the child’s appreciation of gifts and teach it that gifts are not an entitlement to it, but a privilege (Brown & Iyengar, 2008).
Though it is okay for children to feel strong emotions, they should be taught that they are responsible for their actions when under strong emotions and should think twice before doing anything that could affect or harm anyone. They should be taught to be accountable for whatever they decide to do. It is very important for parents to follow through with pre-stated consequences of misbehavior on the part of their kids, as this will teach them the significance of rules and teach them a lesson on accountability. This is greatly emphasized in the Bible, where it is stated that one should not withhold punishment from a child, as punishment will not kill the child, but instead will be beneficial to the child (Proverbs 23: 13-14). Children should also be encouraged to get engaged in such activities as sports and music, which require practice. While children enjoy engaging in these activities, the last also teach self-discipline, which is an important life lesson for growing children.
Another common pitfall in parenting as a part of child counseling is when parents start over-controlling their children. These parents spend most of the time they are together with a child lecturing, pushing and critiquing. They should make a point of spending time with their children just enjoying each other’s company and generally having fun with kids. They should also avoid making all decisions on children’s lives, such as activities and a company. They should instead urge children to make their own decisions and find out their own likes and dislikes. Parents should make an attempt to be comfortable with them, even if they disagree with parent’s preferred choices. Children should be taught negotiating and arriving at decisions and compromises beginning with the parents’ set example. The children’s privacy should be respected by a parent at all times, and they should avoid prying and spying on their children’s conversations and belongings. Some parents tend to withhold their love for their children, especially when children become disobedient. This is wrong and should be avoided at all times, as children should know that they are loved, even when their actions go against wishes of their parents. They should know parent’s likes and dislikes and vice versa and a parent should respect child’s likes, even if they are different from his or her own likes (Annette, 2002). Such parents are encouraged to avoid any unreasonable expectations that they may have for children and let the latter arrive at their full potential on their own in the fields that they enjoy. Children should also be allowed to arrive at their developmental milestones, such as the first time that they learn how to drive a car or to ride a bicycle on their own without a parent hovering over their shoulders, critiquing and correcting them. This is also emphasized in the Bible, where parents are encouraged not to exasperate their children, but instead nurture them and instruct them in religious upbringing of free choice (Ephesians 6:4).
Children learn how to deal with life situations depending on how they observe their parents behaving in similar situations. In light of this, parents should endeavor to always act rationally in front of their children and treat them with the same amount of respect that they want to be shown in turn by their children. Instead of poor treatment of children during incidences of misbehavior, the delivery of discipline in a rational and calm way, which keeps in mind the child’s dignity, provides a good model for a kind of attitude that a parent would like to observe in the child. Throughout the normal daily routine, parents should be aware that they set an example for their kids to follow in similar situations.