CONTACT US
Parenting

10 Things Parents Should NEVER Do

If you love your children and want to help them grow into stable, thoughtful, productive, loving adults, here are 10 things you should avoid doing.

1. Ignore their brain.

Their brain controls everything they do—how they think, how they behave, how they relate to others. When their brain works right, they work right. When they have trouble in their brain, they have trouble in their life. And if they have trouble in their life, you have trouble in your life. Leading edge brain imaging technology called SPECT shows the health of the brain. In the images below, you can see a healthy brain, a brain damaged by trauma (such as falling off a bike), and the brain of someone with ADD/ADHD. Seeing is believing. If you want your child to be their best, you have to take care of their brain and teach them how to do so.

Healthy SPECT Brain Scan: full, symmetrical activity

Head Trauma: damage to right frontal lobe

Classic ADD/ADHD: low activity in prefrontal cortex

2. Rarely spend quality time with them.

Relationships require special time. The most effective exercise you can do is spend 20 minutes of quality time a day with your child—listening and doing something they want to do (within reason).

3. Be a poor listener.

When your kids are trying to talk to you, don’t speak over them. Learn to be an active listener. Let them say their piece and then repeat back what you heard so they know you have heard them.

4. Use name calling.

Don’t tell your child, “You’re a spoiled brat.” This is not helpful, and they will internalize these negative names and begin to believe them.

5. Be overly permissive.

Letting your child do whatever they want may make them “happy” in the moment, but it can be detrimental in the long run. Children need clear boundaries. Kids who have the most psychological problems usually have parents who didn’t set boundaries for them. Be firm and be kind.

6. Fail to supervise them.

The human brain’s frontal lobes—which are involved in planning, judgment, and impulse control—are not fully developed until about age 25. You need to be your children’s frontal lobes until theirs develop. This means checking in on what your kids are doing and with whom they are doing it. This doesn’t mean being a helicopter parent, it means you care.

7. Do as I say, not as a I do.

If you’re a poor role model, your kids will pick up on that and follow your lead. If you say, “eat your vegetables” but you constantly snack on candy or potato chips, they will likely opt for the foods they see you eating.

8. Only notice what they do wrong.

Try to notice when your kids do things you like—cleaning up their room, finishing their homework, or brushing their teeth.

9. Ignore their mental health issues.

On average, it takes 11 years from the time kids develop symptoms of a mental health condition to first evaluation. This is just wrong. Struggling with symptoms of ADD/ADHD or anxiety and depression can negatively impact their ability to succeed in school, in their friendships, and in life.

10. Ignore your own mental health.

If you are suffering from a mental health condition—whether it’s PTSD, bipolar disorder, or something else—it can devastate your children. Remember the saying, “Put your own oxygen mask on first.” You need to take care of yourself and be the best version of yourself to be the best parent.

At Amen Clinics, we have helped thousands of parents and children enhance their brain health and improve their performance at work, at school, and in relationships. If you or your child are struggling with a mental health issue or consequences of head trauma, schedule a visit or call 888-288-9834.

SHARE IT ON
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

COMMENTS

  1. Bruce McEachern says:

    What causes a person to not be able to get a good night`s sleep. I have not had a good night`s sleep in over six months. Is it possible to be depressed and not realize it? That seems like a crazy question to need to ask. Is it realistic to assume that things like anxiety and depression could make it more difficult to get a good night`s sleep? I have sometimes slept for about three hours and not be able to get back to sleep. Once I was awake all night, but I spent that night deep breathing, maybe it was almost like meditating, and thought of only my happiest moments in my life. Much to my surprise, when I got up, about seven hours later, I felt pretty rested.

    Thank-you, for your time.

    Yours
    truly,
    Bruce McEachern .

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Bruce, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. There are many reasons that your brain health could be affecting your sleep (https://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/sleep-disorders/). We do have specialists at some of our clinic locations that work with sleep-related concerns, symptoms, and disorders. Please reach out to us at 888-288-9834. Thank you.

      • Kay says:

        How does grief affect the brain? I’m totally scatterbrained and I’m having a lot of trouble with my memory since both my spouse and my mother passed over a year ago… my health and mind has deteriorated to the point where I can hardly get anything done and I look and feel terrible much of the time. I’m accident prone (I’ve thrown my back and knee out, and recently fractured a finger) and I have mystery ailments. I feel like I’m constantly fighting an infection. I’m anxious and paranoid about my health. I work with Dementia patients and I’m afraid of becoming one. I’m not myself. I just dropped one pair of clients, a couple who are both in very poor health, because I’m thinking they might have toxic mold syndrome from their basement, and I’m concerned that I may have it too. I’ve been to an allergist about the mold but all they could offer is the scratch test which came out negative. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life, and ptsd, but I’ve never been like this. Is this a somewhat normal grief reaction or should I be concerned? Is there a more effective way to rule out toxic mold syndrome? Will I come back from this? I am doing some healthy things for myself such as yoga and meditation, and I began a keto diet, but it doesn’t seem to be enough and I struggle to be consistent about anything because of my brain. It’s kind of a vicious cycle. Thank you.

    • Navy L says:

      I was in a car accident at age 18 months in 1971. 3 inch scar across my forehead and stitiches. By 3 yo, I was havi g sleeping problems, by 4, tinnitus. By 2nd grade I was depressive, paranoid and suicidal. And my parents were “detachment parents” so as long as I kept out of trpuble, they largely ignored me. Most individual attention was from my mom, and it was very negative, when I did something wrong, like use a utensil the wrong way at dinner with their adult friends. She took the avenue of shame and embarassment.

      Yikes, they wonder why I didn’t make much of myself as an adult? Got through college and a low end job and that was it. I spent my wole life on the depressive cycle dizzy-go-round, and a lot of energy hiding it. I had the self esteem of a sea slug.

      BUT, the good news is that yes, a brain is resillient. I will always have raging tinnitus, but I cured my depression. Dr. Amen’s description of ANT’s was the catalist. I realized I needed control in my own head. So, I created a routine of creating control and serentity and a safe place in my own mind, because a depressive episode hijacks your head and leaves you with no safe place to exist. So, I created one. I created peace. My PFC stopped tolerating the garbage ANT’s created in the limbic system.

      I AM NOW DEPRESSION FREE. IT IS INCREDIBLE.

  2. JP says:

    My parents unfortunately were subject to doing the entire list. My poor mother was pretty much stuck with the parenting along with all of the domestic work. My father loved his work and was busy for most of my childhood participating in football coaching, football on television – often and doing jobs for people and the Church. They were ruled by my grandmother, their traditions and the Roman Catholic Church. I don’t recall spending any quality time with either parent, alone doing something that I loved.

    Yes I turned out with problems not only because of the parenting but other issues and when I had money I wish I would have received your treatment because it has been decades to cure my eating problems and binge drinking which ruined my life. I am now living a healthy life but I have no quality, long term relationships nor do I have savings for my future.

    Brain health is vital and your work is very important. Thank you.

    • andy says:

      What treatments did you do?

      • JP says:

        Hello Andy

        Feel free to write to at sweptaway100@yahoo.com.

        In brief: I did hypnosis and traditional talk therapy for about 10 years with different therapists. Unfortunately I suffered quite a bit but through sobriety and exercise: yoga, pilates, horse riding, hiking and communing with nature I am healing. I was raised a Roman Catholic, after many years I am attending mass regularly and participating in the sacraments. I enjoy it.

    • Navy L says:

      JP, I so feel for you. The feeling of being a “set-it-and-forget” house pet instead of a child is what I have for childhood memories. My dad tried in ways he could, but my mom set to thone for the detachmet, under the excuse of the advice someone said of “don’t be your child’s friend”.

      At 7 years old, I vowed “when I am the parent, things will be different”. And they were. I took time with each of my 2 sons. I created memories of goong running together, making meals together. I was completely the opposite parent as my mom. Now? I have great relationships with my sons. They are thriving academically and socially, which I never did.

      Like you, I have a bland relationhip with my surving parent, my mom.. She had the opportunity it interact with me. But she didn’t. But as a parent, I did. I interacted with my sons. Sure they got an occasional lecture, but we mostly had conversations. Civil 2-way dialogue.

      Well, her loss. I can thank her for maki g me aware of how precious the early childhood years are, and I made the most of them with my kids.

  3. Donna says:

    What about screen time? I feel that we are witnessing the “dumbing-down” of the USA!

COMMENTS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular

Have a Question?