In my opinion, parenting is the toughest job there is. It is a job that never ends and it is a job that you can never quit. It is a job where you are constantly learning new things and a job that you will often fail at. It is a job that can get more challenging over time, and there will be times when we simply don’t know what to do. I’ve done my share of bad parenting and have learned a few things about handling failure, both the right way and the wrong way.
What I’d like to do with this post is to give you encouragement on how you can learn from the inevitable failures. When failure happens (and it will happen), keep these following tips in mind:
If you’re having these failures, at least you’re trying. As long as you’re trying, and doing what you believe in your heart is the best for your child, you will get better over time.
You are not alone. There are no parents that have ever handled this role perfectly. Even those seemingly perfect families have their own shares of heartache.
You are dealing with people when you deal with your kids. They are unique personalities with their own character traits, and those are developing each and every day. That’s part of what make parenting so challenging. The more you know your child, the better you will relate to them.
Don’t be afraid to apologize. Sometimes you will look back on a bad parenting instance and see that you should have done something differently. Maybe you will overreact and your anger will get the best of you. Or, you might not believe your child initially but later find out that they were telling the truth. Never be afraid to apologize to the child or to your spouse.
Seek out advice and guidance on parenting. Websites and blogs like this, books, forums and other parenting communities are available to help you learn how to parent better. Sometimes admitting that you need help is the first step to improvement.
You and your spouse are parenting as a team, so be sure that you present a united front. If you disagree with some parenting issue that your spouse displayed, take that to them in private and not in front of the kids.
What worked for one child may not work for another, and may not even work next time around for the same child. Be flexible and willing to adapt your parenting practices from child to child and from situation to situation.
Partner with other parents to learn from one another. Look for other like-minded parents and maybe a mentor couple who might be a few years ahead of you. Having others to confide in can give you a different perspective and the support that you need.
Parenting is a never-ending journey. These events don’t define you as a parent or person; they are just isolated points along the parenting lifecycle. Keep going!
Application Question: Are you willing to admit your parenting failures? Do you have parenting partners? What tip above did you need to hear most?
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