Here’s the deal. There are some parenting fails that are epic. There are some truly terrible parents out there. I think we can all agree that if you beat your child or lock them in a closet, those are some pretty epic fails. However, we live in a society of shamers and blamers where any momentary lack of good parenting is seen as child abuse. Sadly, now when we read of a parent losing a child or a child being hurt, we immediately blame the parent. It was their carelessness, their laziness that caused their child to be hurt.
Sometimes, crap just happens. Your kid gets away from you in the parking lot. Your son swings too high on the playground, falls off and bumps his head at just such an angle. Should we have held his hand tighter or not let him swing as high? Maybe. However, I’ve discovered that the “should haves” will eat you away with worry and fill you with guilt. Parenting failures where our kids get hurt are the worst kind. Sadly, sometimes it happens. Once again, I am not talking about malicious abuse. Those people should be prosecuted and punished. I’m talking about those momentary lapses of judgment that cause our kids to get hurt. Listen, parents fail all the time. Our parenting fails can be big or they can be small but they happen.
If you are reading this and are thinking, “I’ve never had a parenting fail.” Well then, bully for you. Also, you are a liar. We have all had them. We all want our kids to be happy, healthy and safe. We all want them to be full of love. We also want them to be brilliant, creative and free thinkers. We put so much pressure on ourselves that then everything becomes a parenting fail. It shouldn’t matter.
The other day,I let my son play an educational game on my phone for ten minutes so I could finish some household tasks. When I looked up later, an hour had passed and he was still playing. I had lost track of time and he had gone over his allotted amount of screen time for the day. You know what I learned from that parenting fail?
There are a lot of great parenting articles out there. Screentime vs. no screen time. Organic vs non-organic. Soy milk vs. Almond Milk. There are articles that talk about what to feed your kids, what to do with them and what to let them wear. All these articles are thought provoking and useful. However, they can also leave us feeling like big, fat failures when we do not follow them to the letter. Once again, I say, “Who Cares!” Kids have survived for countless centuries without organic food or enhanced educational products. As parents, we always should strive to find better ways to educate, feed or care for our kids. However, if we fail, we also need to learn to take a breath, give ourselves a break and realize that nine times out of ten, they will be o.k. After all, they are more resilient and wonderful than we give them credit for.
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