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Nursery teacher shares seven things parents do that 'mess up their children'

Nursery teacher shares seven things parents do that 'mess up their children'

Take note, mums and dads!

With millions of parenting theories, health advisories and child psychologists out there - each professing the 'correct way' to raise a kid - it's no wonder the parents all over the world find it impossible to distinguish fact from fiction.

Attempting to alleviate the concerns of many parents, however, a long-standing nursery teacher has this week opened up about her most notable observations.

Considering how much time these childhood professionals spend with your troublesome tots each day, we shouldn't be surprised that they picked up on a thing or two about the 'right' and 'wrong' ways we raise our kids.

In fact, speaking to Fabulous Magazine this week, the woman in question - who is going by the pseudonym 'Maria Biggins' in order to stay anonymous - she revealed the most common practices and routines that parents inflict onto their child that can actually cause the most harm. They are as follows:

Not saying 'no'

Telling your little one that they can't do/have something can be many parents - particular first-time ones - can dread above everything.

When their little bottom lip wobbles and their eyes begin filling with tears, it can feel impossible to stick to you word, and before you know it, you've given in.

Parent need to learn to say 'no'.

But according to Maria, a firm 'no' is essential for setting the types of boundaries that your toddler will need to get to grips with at some point in their life.

"One of the things that really bugs nursery teachers and nursery staff is we get parents all the time saying, ‘Oh she won’t do such and such’," she explained.

"It could be anything – ‘She won’t drink her milk at night, will you tell her she has to?’ And it’s so annoying! Why do I have to be the bogie man who says you have to drink your milk?

"That’s not a great way to parent."


Speaking of setting boundaries, giving your child too much of what they want can be just as harmful.

And according to Maria, ever since the pandemic, parents are overindulging their children more and more.

"I caught one father at the end of the day and told him, ‘I’m really sorry but she really did not eat anything at lunchtime'," she recalled.

Spoiling your child can seriously damage their cognition.
Getty/Studio Grand Web

"And he said, 'Oh it’s because you haven’t got Peppa Pig on – to get her to eat at home, we have Peppa Pig on the TV or her iPad and she watches'."

Instead, Maria says low-key consistency is key in guaranteeing a healthy and happy child.

Too many toys

Similarly, giving your child every toy, book, DVD and game they ask for can be extremely damaging.

Maria explains that, kids don't need something new all the time and need to be taught that they can't just demand it when they're tired of their old belongings.

Using the example of using the same Playmobil set to create a new imaginary story every day, she said: "The thing with play is we’re encouraging children to return to the same things and then they develop them".

Too much choice

In the same way, giving your child a plethora of options to choose from can be dangerous.

Children don't need a plethora of toys to have fun.

As the parent, you don't need to consult your child on every decision as they need to learn about the concept of responsibility and obligation, and should also feel safe in the knowledge that their mother/father knows what they're doing.

"They need to feel secure. That’s one of the things they like about school actually," Maria explained.

Too little choice

On the other hand, however, taking control of every single decision that your child makes can mean they never learn how best to make a choice.

Their skills of rationality - weighing up odds and outcomes - can be impaired, so by allowing your child to, for example, choose their own toys based on their mood, age, etc, their cognitions can develop properly.

Not potty training

Arguably the most important on Maria's list is when parents fair to instil adequate potty training, being that, when teachers are forced to train them, both your child and the rest of the class of learning-focused activities.

Parents should be careful to potty train their tots before they start nursery.

"It’s time-consuming when you’re trying to teach," she explains. "If you have to go and take somebody to the toilet, we’ll all do it – but it’s actually quite a difficult thing because of child protection safeguarding.

Leaving without saying goodbye

It can be tempting to sneak off quietly after dropping your children off at nursery, hoping they'll quickly become distracted by their friends and the school's facilities.

And whilst some children are perfectly happy to be separated from their parents for the day, for others, venturing off to school can be a truly traumatising ordeal.

So much so, that Maria argues that mums and dads should NEVER drop their kids off without giving them a proper goodbye.

"We’ll deal with the tears, but you have to say goodbye. I think it’s wrong to run away," she admitted. "You’re just reinforcing the fact that they can’t trust you."

Featured Image Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images/evgenyatamanenkoGetty Images

Topics: Parenting, Hacks, Life, Real Life, Pregnancy