Are you doing a decent job of parenting and feel afraid you might be setting your kids up for success? Or maybe you’re a terrible parent and want to make sure your kids are doomed for good? You’ve come to the right place! Here are the top 5 ways to set your kids up for failure:

  1. Criticize

A great way to push your kids away is to criticize their every move. The way they dress, their friends, their interests. Don’t leave anything out. The more you criticize, the lower their ability to manage their self worth.

  1. Get Busy

Try to stay away from anything that would create connection. Stop eating meals together, don’t have any fun together, don’t share any interests and most importantly, DO NOT pay any attention to how your kids are feeling. Find other ways to spend your time, like cleaning the house. Engaging with your kids will only make them feel important, and you don’t want that. Stay away from any conversations about feelings. Helping them process their emotions in a healthy way may lead to increased self regulation; a skill that is critical to success.

  1. Control

Make sure you take complete control of your kids’ lives. Don’t let them do anything for themselves, especially life skills, like laundry and cleaning up after themselves. If you do everything for them, even the things they are perfectly capable of doing themselves, you are sure the set them up for failure. Included in control, make sure you make all decisions for them. Allowing them to find their own solutions and experiment with decision-making will only leave them feeling empowered and competent. You don’t want that, do you?

  1. Withdraw Love

If your kids do anything you don’t approve of (which should be easy for them, after all, they are just kids), withdraw your love and acceptance of them immediately. Emotional withdrawal is extremely effective in leaving your children feeling abandoned and rejected. This will surely lead to lower self-esteem and a deep sense of anxiety.

  1. Praise Them

You weren’t expecting this one on the “set kids up for failure” list were you? The trick here is to praise them ONLY when they make a choice or exhibit a behavior you approve of. Do not let them think for a moment that you love them unconditionally, that would only leave them feeling confident and empower them to make decisions based in intrinsic values. You want to get them to thirst after the extrinsic value of rewards and praise. This is the best way to set them up for a lifetime of people pleasing. Nice work!!

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