Parenting Trap #1: The ‘Negative Parent’ Trap

Parenting Tip Mini-Blogs

Being a parent is one of the hardest roles we take on in life. It involves caring for, protecting, teaching, and guiding some of the most vulnerable human beings—children. However, being a good parent doesn’t always come naturally. It takes time to develop the knowledge and skills needed to promote children’s physical and emotional development.

At the Exchange Family Center, we work with parents to find the approach that they feel comfortable with and that works for their families. While each individual’s parenting experience is different, there are some common parenting traps that all parents should be aware of.

In this series of short tip blogs, we explain common parenting traps and tips for avoiding these traps.

Parenting Trap #1: The ‘Negative Parent’ Trap

This trap involves getting into power struggles with children. It involves parents reacting to their child’s misbehavior with criticism — Robert, why can’t you just leave your brother alone?; threats — If you do that one more time, I’m taking it away!; or yelling — Robert! Leave him alone!

When parents get angry, it can lead to resentment in children. If a child perceives his parents only reacting to negative behavior, the attention can accidentally reward problem behavior.


What to try instead:

  • Enjoy your child and spend fun time together: It can be hard to find time between work, school, homework, after-school activities, household chores, and so on, to really enjoy each other. But simply spending time talking with your child about his day shows that you care about him and recognize his positive behavior.

For more parenting tips and tricks, follow the Exchange Family Center on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).