Dangers Of Ignoring Bad Behavior

In Parenting Mistake Validating Bad Behavior, I left the readers with a question and that was – did they realize the gravity of the damage they do to their kids when they validate bad behavior.

In the example I used (which was a personal observation), the mother told the kid to ignore the father that had recently disciplined the child because the father was supposedly not in a good mood that day.

You may think read that or hear that and think it is an innocuous comment with no lasting effects. Think again. Here are some of the things wrong with that scenario:

1. The child learns that the parents are not united on the parenting front. (Long-range lesson – parents can be pitted against each other.)

2. Child is absolved of guilt for bad behavior and consequences thereof since the mother did not enforce the punishment the father gave. (Long-range lesson – bad behavior has no consequences.)

3. Child feels no responsibility for the situation since the mother has transferred the responsibility to the father, ridiculously blaming his “mood.” (Long range effect – child is not responsible for what happens, thinks other people’s moods and whims determine how they interact on a given day. Other far-reaching effect – child believes it is reasonable and acceptable to act on moods and whims regardless of situations.)

4. Child actually gets comforted for bad behavior since the mother’s tone and attitude was comforting. (Long-range effect – Bad behavior actually results in feeling better.)

If you think my long-range effects are exaggerated, you should meet the adult the child in the story has turned into.

Don’t make this parenting mistake. Choose better parenting techniques instead. Your child will thank you in the long run when he or she turns into a responsible adult.

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