1. Do everything for your child.
    Don’t expect your child to help with laying the table, preparing a meal, washing the dishes, clearing up after themselves or lifting a finger to help. That way your child will always need someone to ‘do’ things for them and won’t ever be able to stand on their own two feet.
  2. Help your child indulge in the blame game.
    If your child gets a poor mark at school, blame the teacher. If your child doesn’t succeed on the sports field, blame the useless team-mates, biased referee or the sports coach.
  3. Do your child’s homework.
    If your poor child has had to work all day at school and then has more work to do at home, why not do it for them? Or at least, get heavily involved, so their homework looks better than any other child’s. After all, homework isn’t really fair, is it?
  4. If your child is upset, distract them.
    No one likes a crying child, so if your child is sad, buy them an ice cream, take them out for a treat. Allowing your child to feel upset and discovering how to calm themselves could make you feel uncomfortable and take too long.
  5. Smooth the path.
    If your child is unhappy at school, change schools. If your child has an argument with a friend or isn’t invited to a party, ring that child’s mother to get it sorted. If your child isn’t chosen for the football team or doesn’t get the lead role in the school play put in a quiet word to the right teacher or coach. That way your child won’t have to learn the skills to be resilient or bounce back because you’ll have sorted it!
  6. Buy the latest technology.
    If your child has had a difficult time for any reason – illness, a house move, a parent’s divorce etc., etc. buy them the latest electronic gadget. It will not only make you feel good, it will make their friends jealous, and keep them occupied for hours on end while you get on with other things.
  7. If your child makes a mistake, always rescue them.
    If your child forgets their lunch, finished piece of homework, or sports kit, be ready to drop everything and take it to the school. That way your child won’t have to worry about getting organised. If they won’t wear their coat, carry it around until they need it. If they have spent their pocket money, and really want something, be ready to buy it for them.
  8. Always be quick to advise your child what to do.
    You have so much experience to offer, so make sure you always tell your child what to do. Don’t let them decide for themselves, because they might get it wrong. Tell them who they should be friends with, how they should handle things, and be the ‘go-to’ person for your child.

If you can stick to these guidelines, you will be blessed with a child who, as an adult, always rings you to ask what they should do, will moan about everyone else, will always need you to do their washing and ironing, and will never love their partner as much as they love you, because no-one will be able to meet your child’s needs like you can!

child behavioural expert
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

Need help now? Ready to explore whether investing in some tailor-made parenting sessions would be right for you and your family? Book your FREE 20-minute call with Elizabeth here