Here are 11 of the biggest parenting no-nos:
1. Rescuing your child. Do you ever see mother birds not throwing their babies out of the nest? No! Many parents think, "But if I don't help them, they will fail." Yes, that's probably right, but what's wrong with that? There's no harm in being challenged and learning something.
2. Not letting your child face the consequences. If they leave their lunch, schoolwork or gym clothes at home, don't bail them out. If they don't suffer the consequences of their actions, how are they going to become competent, functioning adults?
3. Keeping your kid from ever being unhappy. This is probably the biggest mistake parents make - especially moms. No parent wants to see their child sad, hurt or frustrated, but these are reasonable human emotions. Let them fall so they can learn to pick themselves back up. Let them be disappointed. Unless their unhappiness is persistent (which is cause for concern), a child going through the normal negative emotions of a human being is not an unloved child. As a parent, you don't prove you love your child by protecting them from negative emotions - you're supposed to teach them how to deal with them.
4. Saying no but not meaning it. Don't say no and then back down later. Don't undermine your spouse by being the good cop. Also, don't give lengthy explanations. There is no argument or discussion that's going to change a child's mind.
5. Offering bribes. Bribing your child to clean their room, brush their teeth or do their schoolwork makes you look weak and encourages them to expect a reward for everything. Can you imagine a grown man who brushes his teeth and then comes to his wife expecting a reward?
6. Always putting your kid first. If your child tries to rudely interrupt while you and your spouse are talking to each other or someone else, say, "Mommy and Daddy are talking right now. Go into the other room, and we'll let you know when we are finished."
7. Indulging the "gimmes". Just because you feel tired, annoyed or guilt-ridden, don't give your child something to shut them up.
8. Tolerating rudeness. No matter how angry or upset your child becomes, they shouldn't be allowed to be rude, discourteous or violent. Rudeness needs to be stopped instantly in its tracks with a firm, "Stop it - now!"
9. Giving in to "I hate you". Your child doesn't actually hate you; they say that because they know it gets to you. Make sure your kid knows that you are not going to change your mind just because he or she whines, pouts, throws a tantrum, or says, "I hate you". If your child says, "I hate you," lean down, look at them, and say, "Really?" That's it. Don't move. Just stare at them. It will make them feel uncomfortable.
10. Saying too much. Giving them "the look" is much better.
11. Making excuses for your child. Whether it's at home or at school, hold your kid accountable.