Top Ten Ways To Frustrate Your Kids

Barbara called me on her cell phone, “I want my son to see you as soon as possible. How soon can you get him in?”

“When is he free?” I asked.

“Well, let’s see . . .he has soccer at three,  guitar lessons at five; a tutor after dinner; youth group on Wednesdays – wait, I have another call – hang on.”

Making an appointment with someone in today’s average family can be more challenging than scheduling the Winter Olympics!

Stress has become part of North American family life. The demands of the economy, work, home, family and everything else place an increasing burden on everyone, including children. In my research for my book, Simple Solutions for Families in The Fast Lane. I discovered that more than 60% of the parents surveyed report that they don’t have time to relax and connect with their children, or if they are married, with their spouse. Overscheduling can damage our health, our marriages and put our kids at risk.

We want the best for our kids, but in the pursuit of enrichment we can actually delete important elements and asset-building activities. We’ve bought into the Enrichment Myth – that we need to keep kids busy and fill their world with experiences and instruction if they are to thrive. As a result, we end up frustrating them. Here are my Top Ten Ways To Frustrate Kids:

  1. Don’t bond with your young child by giving him physical affection, time and attention.
  2. Believe that professional child-care providers are adequate substitutes for your nurture and connection with your child.
  3. Don’t cuddle, read, talk with or play with your young child.
  4. Ignore all the fuss and hassle about rules, routines and discipline. Focus on letting them express themselves.
  5. Don’t impose your moral and spiritual values on your child. Let her discover her own when she is ready.
  6. Don’t let him feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for his choices.
  7. Live your life through your child. His success is yours. His failure is yours. His achievement should help you feel better.
  8. Never allow your child to be held accountable by having to experience consequences for her behavior.
  9. Expect the best, even in areas where she isn’t gifted. Frequently remind her of her potential.
  10. Don’t waste your time talking and dealing with issues of importance.

If you are a family in the fast lane, and you don’t want to frustrate your kids by adding stress to their lives; make sure you avoid everything on this list.

For more tips on connecting with your kids, visit or follow me on Twitter: @ParentsCoach

For relaxed and connected families,

Timothy Smith – The Parent’s Coach