X

Enter to win a FREE
Magnetight Mask
from Dr. Brandt!

*By entering to win, you agree to receive future emails from Dr. Brandt.

10 Things You Should Never Force Your Child to Do...

Large Editorial Image


October 7, 2016

I will admit, I haven’t been parenting for very long, but I have learned some valuable lessons over the last 3 years. Before I had a child, I was convinced I would be a mother who ruled lovingly, but with an iron fist. What I say goes. To a certain extent, I do parent that way, but there are some things, I’ve learned, it’s just not okay or healthy to force your child to do. Even if you think the result might be advantageous, take my advice: don’t ever force your kid to do these things.

1. Lie. Because lying is wrong, obviously. But also because if your kid thinks you think it’s okay to lie to other people, that will definitely backfire on you at some point. And yup, your kid will have had so much practice at lying, you won’t even know he/she is lying to you.

2. Eat when they say they’re not hungry. I know the doc says they need 3 square meals a day or 5 smaller meals plus some snacks, but really, every kid is different.  And our bodies are designed to alert us when we need something to eat or drink. Also, think about it: have you ever met a child who didn’t make it loud and clear when he/she was hungry? Exactly. Don’t force your kid to eat when he/she isn’t hungry or the consequences could mean long-lasting food issues.

3. Be someone they’re not. If your kid is shy, embrace his/her shyness. Don’t force her to be this outgoing socialite if all she really wants to do is play with her one best friend. Same goes for the loud, rambunctious kid. Sure, he might be a lot to keep up with, but it’s important that kids feel loved for who they are, not who their parents are forcing them to be.

4. Apologize when they have no idea what they did wrong. I see this all the time at the playground. “Go say sorry!” some parent will bark. The kid will oblige, but you can tell he has no idea why he’s saying sorry. So before you order an apology, take a second to explain what your kid should be sorry for.

5. Say hello when stranger waves at them. Maybe it’s related to my paranoia, but I’ve taught my daughter to ignore strangers on the street or on the bus and subway who wave at her. That whole “don’t talk to strangers rule” definitely still applies in my household, so whether or not my daughter is with me, I don’t want her letting her guard down to someone she doesn’t know.

6. Sleep in their own bed before they’re ready. Again, I have a personal bias here, but I genuinely believe kids will naturally decide when they’re ready to make certain changes, and yes that includes sleeping in their own bed. I let my daughter decide when she was ready to give up her bottles, when she was ready to start using the potty, and I plan to do the same with letting her decide when she’s ready for her own bed.

7. Have a playdate with a kid who is a bully. Even if you are BFF with said kid’s mom. Don’t subject your kid to having his toys stolen or her hair pulled just because you want to get in good with the problem child’s mom. Invite her to lunch and leave your poor kid out of it.

8. Go on a diet. I know there are kids who need to lose weight, but I don’t think you should ever put your kid on a diet. You control what your child eats, so you should make smarter buying decisions in the grocery store. If there aren’t a cabinet-full of twinkies and ho-hos for your kid to eat, but the fridge is stocked with fruits and veggies, you’ll never have to put your little one on a diet.

9. Do something they’re just not good at. I’m not encouraging you to raise a quitter, but if your kid hates it and after months and months of practice and training he/she still isn’t good at karate, why not give piano lessons a whirl? Nothing sucks more than being forced to do something you’re not good at. Doing something you are good at, on the other hand, is an awesome experience for a child.

10. Spend the night somewhere they feel uncomfortable. I hated sleepovers when I was kid. I hated the idea of sleeping in a strange bed, having someone else make me breakfast, having to use someone else’s shower. It just freaked me out, so I never went to slumber parties. If your kid feels the same, don’t force the issue. I know it would be nice to have a night off, but just ask grandma to come stay the night while you and dad hit the town. Everyone wins.

What about you? Is there anything you’d never force your child to do? Share in the comments.

Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox.

Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

 



  • The Nordstrom x Something Navy Sale Is Finally Here--Get The 40% Discount Now!

    The Nordstrom x Something Navy Sale Is Finally Here--Get The 40% Discount Now!

    today

  • Will Ultra Violet Hair Be The Next Big Hair Trend Of 2018?

    Will Ultra Violet Hair Be The Next Big Hair Trend Of 2018?

    Beauty

    today

  • Here's Where To Buy MAC's Discontinued Uninterrupted Eye Shadow

    Here's Where To Buy MAC's Discontinued Uninterrupted Eye Shadow

    Beauty

    today

  • Upgrade Your Wardrobe With A Stylish Twist Front Top

    Upgrade Your Wardrobe With A Stylish Twist Front Top

    Shop

    today

  • Nordstrom Just Put The Coolest Pair Of Black Leggings On Sale--Get A Pair ASAP!

    Nordstrom Just Put The Coolest Pair Of Black Leggings On Sale--Get A Pair ASAP!

    Style

    today

  • Every Woman Should Own A Pair Of These Amazing $18 Leggings From Old Navy

    Every Woman Should Own A Pair Of These Amazing $18 Leggings From Old Navy

    Shop

    1 day

  • These Are The Best Collaborations You <em>Need</em> To Know About Now

    Rachel Roy Just Did The Best Thing Ever For Her Birthday

    Shop

    1 day

  • Target Casually Just Dropped A 50-Piece Collaboration This Morning

    Target Casually Just Dropped A 50-Piece Collaboration This Morning

    2 days

  • 6 Lazy-Girl Weight Loss Hacks to Lose 6 Pounds Quickly

    6 Lazy-Girl Weight Loss Hacks to Lose 6 Pounds Quickly

    2 days

  • These Are The Most Slimming Leggings Ever & They're On Sale

    These Are The Most Slimming Leggings Ever & They're On Sale

    2 days

  • The One Sneaker Everyone Will Be Wearing This Spring

    The One Sneaker Everyone Will Be Wearing This Spring

    3 days

  • We're Giving Away 100 Dr. Brandt Magnetight Age Defier Facial Masks #SampleSaturday

    We're Giving Away 100 Dr. Brandt Magnetight Age Defier Facial Masks #SampleSaturday

    Beauty

    3 days

  • DIY Face Masks For Acne-Prone Skin

    DIY Face Masks For Acne-Prone Skin

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Lush's BOGO Sale Is Happening Now & You Can't Miss These Deals!

    Lush's BOGO Sale Is Happening Now & You Can't Miss These Deals!

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Here's Where To Get A Pair Of Hunter Rain Boots For 50% Off

    Here's Where To Get A Pair Of Hunter Rain Boots For 50% Off

    Style

    3 days

  • Drop Everything--L.L. Bean's Always-Sold-Out Bean Boots Are On Sale Right Now #ThisNeverHappens

    Drop Everything--L.L. Bean's Always-Sold-Out Bean Boots Are On Sale Right Now #ThisNeverHappens

    Style

    3 days

  • Keep Your Kid On Track With The Smart Watch That Teaches Good Habits

    Keep Your Kid On Track With The Smart Watch That Teaches Good Habits

    3 days

  • Psst! Sole Society Just Put The Most Amazing Pair Of Suede Boots On Sale For Just $35

    Psst! Sole Society Just Put The Most Amazing Pair Of Suede Boots On Sale For Just $35

    Style

    3 days

  • Free Leggings at Forever 21 This Weekend? Yes, Please!

    Free Leggings at Forever 21 This Weekend? Yes, Please!

    3 days

  • Every Woman Should Own This $17 Top In Every Color (Yes, It's That Good)

    Every Woman Should Own This $17 Top In Every Color (Yes, It's That Good)

    Style

    3 days

  • These Amazingly Soft And Comfy Lounge Pants Are <em>Better</em> Than Leggings--Yes, Really!

    These Amazingly Soft And Comfy Lounge Pants Are Better Than Leggings--Yes, Really!

    Style

    4 days

  • This Cozy $29 Sweater Keeps Selling Out--Get Yours Here Before It's Gone (Again)

    This Cozy $29 Sweater Keeps Selling Out--Get Yours Here Before It's Gone (Again)

    Style

    4 days

  • We Found The Best Workout Leggings Under $20, So You Can Stop Looking!

    We Found The Best Workout Leggings Under $20, So You Can Stop Looking!

    Style

    4 days

  • Grab These Amazing Bluetooth Speakers Shoppers Love For Just $29 Today

    Grab These Amazing Bluetooth Speakers Shoppers Love For Just $29 Today

    Shop

    4 days

  • Order A Pair Of These Bestselling, Super Slimming Black Leggings From Nordstrom While They're On Sale

    Order A Pair Of These Super Slimming Black Leggings From Nordstrom While They're Still On Sale

    Style

    4 days

  • I Tried The Static Nails That Are About To Be Everywhere

    I Tried The Static Nails That Are About To Be Everywhere

    Beauty

    4 days

  • Here's How To Rock A Stylish Pair Of Bow Shoes

    Here's How To Rock A Stylish Pair Of Bow Shoes

    Shop

    4 days

  • You Saw It Here First: We Have The First Look (And Swatches!) Of The M.A.C. Cosmetics Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder!

    You Saw It Here First: We Have The First Look (And Swatches!) Of The M.A.C. Cosmetics Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder!

    Beauty

    4 days

  • Major Beauty Alert: We've Got Exclusive Swatches Of The New M.A.C. Cosmetics Studio Waterweight Concealer!

    Major Beauty Alert: We've Got Exclusive Swatches Of The New M.A.C. Cosmetics Studio Waterweight Concealer!

    Beauty

    4 days

  • Nordstrom Is Basically Giving Skinny Jeans Away With This 40% Off Sale

    Nordstrom Is Basically Giving Skinny Jeans Away With This 40% Off Sale

    4 days

  • 6 Super Bowl Party Ideas For People Who Aren't The *Biggest* Football Fans

    6 Super Bowl Party Ideas For People Who Aren't The *Biggest* Football Fans

    4 days

  • 4 Supplements You Should Take For Thinning Hair, According To Dermatologists

    4 Supplements You Should Take For Thinning Hair, According To Dermatologists

    Beauty

    today

  • The One Ingredient You Should Be Using For Dry Skin And Nails, According To Experts

    The One Ingredient You Should Be Using For Dry Skin And Nails, According To Experts

    Beauty

    today

  • 5 Cheap Products Dermatologists Swear By To Get Rid Of Blackheads

    5 Cheap Products Dermatologists Swear By To Get Rid Of Blackheads

    Beauty

    today

  • 4 Drugstore Skincare Products You Should Stop Using In 2018, According To A Dermatologist

    4 Drugstore Skincare Products You Should Stop Using In 2018, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    1 day

  • The One Anti-Aging Moisturizer You Should Use Every Night, According To A Dermatologist

    The One Anti-Aging Moisturizer You Should Use Every Night, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    1 day

  • 4 Trends You Should Start Wearing In 2018, According To Fashion Experts

    4 Trends You Should Start Wearing In 2018, According To Fashion Experts

    Style

    1 day

  • Why You Shouldn’t Take Multiple Showers In One Day (Say It Ain't So!)

    Why You Shouldn’t Take Multiple Showers In One Day (Say It Ain't So!)

    Beauty

    1 day

  • Are You Applying Your Foundation Wrong? Here Are Some Common Mistakes

    Are You Applying Your Foundation Wrong? Here Are Some Common Mistakes

    Beauty

    1 day

  • The One Conditioner You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    The One Conditioner You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    Beauty

    2 days

  • The One Anti-Aging Moisturizer You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    The One Anti-Aging Moisturizer You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    Beauty

    2 days

  • The One Cleanser You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    The One Cleanser You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    Beauty

    3 days

  • 5 Vitamins Dermatologists Swear By For Sagging Skin

    5 Vitamins Dermatologists Swear By For Sagging Skin

    Beauty

    3 days

  • This Is The Worst Product You Can Use To Get Rid Of Pimples, According To A Dermatologist

    This Is The Worst Product You Can Use To Get Rid Of Pimples, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    4 days

  • Have You Been Using The Wrong Deodorant?

    Have You Been Using The Wrong Deodorant?

    Beauty

    4 days

  • The Real Reason Chris Pratt & Anna Faris Got Divorced

    The Real Reason Chris Pratt & Anna Faris Got Divorced

    Celebrity

    4 days

  • The One Thing You Should NEVER Do When Returning Items You Ordered Online

    The One Thing You Should NEVER Do When Returning Items You Ordered Online

    Style

    4 days

  • 5 Cheap Products Dermatologists Swear By To Get Rid Of Pimples Overnight

    5 Cheap Products Dermatologists Swear By To Get Rid Of Pimples Overnight

    Beauty

    4 days

  • Kim Kardashian Just Made The Most Amazing Announcement Ever & We're Freaking Out!

    Kim Kardashian Just Made The Most Amazing Announcement Ever & We're Freaking Out!

    Celebrity

    4 days

  • The One Moisturizer You Should Have Stopped Using A Long Time Ago, According To A Dermatologist

    The One Moisturizer You Should Have Stopped Using A Long Time Ago, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    5 days

  • Surprise! You Can Now Buy Balmain x L'Oreal Lipsticks At Ulta

    Surprise! You Can Now Buy Balmain x L'Oreal Lipsticks At Ulta

    Beauty

    5 days

  • 5 Celebs You Didn't Know Struggle With Acne

    5 Celebs You Didn't Know Struggle With Acne

    Beauty

    5 days

  • The One Concealer You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    The One Concealer You Should Stop Using, According To Dermatologists

    Beauty

    5 days