Parenthood isn’t easy, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.
Still, some people find parenthood easier than others, and we tend to see a lot of the same behaviors amongst people who struggle with parenthood.
We all know that parents are busy people, and so let’s cut directly to the chase. Here are some of the behaviors you can expect to see from people who struggle with the demands of parenthood.
1) They’re bad at or inconsistent with their punishments
This one is particularly common amongst people who are struggling to parent multiple children.
When that happens, it’s common for different kids to be punished in different ways for the same thing.
Let’s say that the parents have told the children to be quiet because they have to be up early in the morning. When the older sibling makes noise, they might get a metaphorical slap on the wrist; when the younger one does it, they might be grounded or subjected to a spanking.
This is obviously unfair, but it’s also super confusing for the children because they need consistency if they’re ever going to learn right from wrong.
2) They’re impatient
People who struggle with parenthood are often impatient.
In fact, it’s their impatience that makes them struggle, because if there’s one thing you need to be a decent parent, it’s patience.
And because patience is so important for parents, it’s also super noticeable when they don’t have it.
You’ve probably seen this happening out there in public. This kind of behavior is typical amongst parents who shout at their kids over the littlest of things.
3) They get angry quickly
Building on that last point, parents who are struggling with the demands of parenthood will typically get super angry super quickly.
The problem is that they take their anger out on their children, and that can understandably cause all sorts of problems for those kids, especially as they get older.
I’ve also noticed that the parents who are quick to anger tend to be triggered by the smallest of things. They’re the parental equivalent of the “Karens” that we see in viral videos.
Oh, and don’t make the mistake of trying to step in and defuse the situation. They’ll just turn their anger towards you instead.
4) They’re bad at setting and sticking to rules and routines
Children are like cats in that it’s super important to set and stick to routines for them.
That’s why we give them set bedtimes and why we make sure that there are rules for them to follow. For example, we might not allow them to have any dessert unless they eat all of their vegetables.
Without these kinds of rules in place, family life quickly descends into anarchy. This is one of the reasons why parents often end up angry and impatient, because the lack of rules and routines is making parenting much more difficult than it needs to be.
This also leads us nicely into the next point.
5) They don’t take care of themselves
When parents are struggling to stick to routines, the first thing to go is usually their self-care routine.
It’s understandable for parents to want to put their children first, but what we need to remember is that when we’re caring for other people, we also need to care for ourselves.
I’ve lost count of the number of parents I’ve known who’ve burned themselves out because they’ve set their entire life up so that they only ever focus on their kids. They never take time off to relax and recuperate.
It might sound counterintuitive, but taking some time away from the kids can actually make you a better parent.
6) They over-criticize
Parents who are struggling to meet the demands that are sent their way will often end up criticizing their children over the smallest of details.
Let’s say that their child has spilled some food while eating their dinner. The parents that we’re talking about will pounce on that and tell their kid off because cleaning up the mess will add another task to their never-ending to-do list.
I think that part of the reason why these parents over-criticize is because they feel guilty about not being the perfect parent.
In other words, they know that they themselves aren’t perfect and it makes them want to call out anything short of perfection in their offspring.
7) They parent via iPad
Okay, so we’re all a little guilty of this one because it’s so easy.
The problem is that a lot of parents end up defaulting to parenting via iPad, and so whenever there’s a problem or the kids want some attention, they’ll just give them the iPad instead of spending any time with them.
This comes back to what we were saying earlier about parents who struggle to set and stick to rules then finding that they don’t have enough time to get everything done. These parents are particularly prone to relying on the iPad.
While the kid is distracted by the iPad, the parent can focus on getting things done. But the kid will miss the attention that you’re no longer giving to them.
8) They act more like a friend than a parent
Most parents want to think that their child thinks they’re cool and relatable.
The problem is that some parents take this too far, acting so much like a friend that they forget that they also need to be a parent.
When that happens, they tend to avoid disciplining the kid and will allow them to get away with anything. That might make them like you, but it won’t help them to develop into a well-rounded person.
Children need discipline, at least to some degree. Otherwise, it’s like eating a diet of potato chips and then being surprised when you put on weight.
9) They don’t ask for help
There’s nothing to be ashamed of about asking someone for help.
The problem is that new parents and those who are struggling to cope with the demands of parenthood often feel as though to ask for help would be a badge of dishonor.
This is one of the biggest reasons why they then go on to experience problems, because we all need some help from time to time. This is especially true when we’re learning something new.
And so if you’re a new parent and you’re struggling to cope with the demands that are coming your way, ask for help. You won’t regret it.
Now that you know some of the signs to look out for in people who struggle with the demands of parenthood, you’re much better placed to tell whether someone’s doing a good job as a parent.
You can apply this to your own life and see whether you display any of these behaviors yourself, or you can look out for them in other people.
At the same time, remember that everyone copes with parenthood differently, and the last thing I want to do is to imply that there’s a right way or wrong way of doing it.
The thing to do here is to make informed decisions, and that’s where this article comes in. I hope you found it useful.
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