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The Reality of Parenting Failures

There’s nothing worse as a parent than thinking you are screwing up with your child. It’s easy to blame yourself when things go wrong. You love your children and want the best for them, so you focus on the things within your control and obsess over the details when in reality you probably had very little impact on the outcome. The fear of being judged as a bad parent by other compounds the problem and you end up in a downward spiral of negative thoughts and self-doubt.

All parent has these feelings. All parent makes mistakes. But the good news is that whatever happened, whatever you think you did, or however you think you failed your child, in reality, you probably haven’t. And even if you have made a mistake, the impact on their life is more than likely far less than you think.

For instance, getting your child to school late isn’t the end of the world and needs nothing more than an apology. The school will understand. That “terrible meal” you cooked last night was probably far better than you think otherwise they wouldn’t have eaten it. And if they didn’t eat it, you probably made them something else. Right? Did you forget to get them something they needed for school? Were they upset that they didn’t have it? Of course, they were. Did it cause them any lasting problems? No. I bet you rushed to the store and tried your best to get it anyway after you realized it had been forgotten. And when the store didn’t have it, I bet you wrote your little tyke a note explaining that it was all your fault.

It’s fine to feel the mistakes. That’s a normal side effect of being a parent and highlights how much you care and love your child. The stress you feel is your own conscience, a useful tool that allows us to strive for perfection but a bit of a drama queen in the cold light of day. What you have to remember is that your imperfections, your little mistakes, and your forgetfulness won’t scar your child. Children are resilient. All the “mistakes” show them is that you are human. And after all, isn’t that part of being a parent too?