Parenting Failures – Wish I Had a “Do-Over”
There is not a parent on earth that does everything perfectly, but there are some epic failures that can have lifetime consequences! I’m no exception to that statement and can’t tell you how much I wish I could have a “do-over” for a couple of things.
However, the truth is that if like me, you don’t recognize the error until after the children are teenagers or grown, there isn’t time for a do-over. Here is my biggest personal failure as a parent as I see it.
I was still a teenager when I had my first child and was actually pretty strict with him because I didn’t know any better and he actually turned out to be a great man. But, five years later when my second child came on the scene I was so excited about having another child that he could do no wrong.
I made the epic mistake as he grew up in trying to be his friend, more than his mom! I wanted him and his friends to think I was cool! Some of you may think this is crazy, but there was a trend going around back in the late 70’s where parents did this. When you do this your child not only loses some respect for you, they don’t feel as obliged to bend to your authority.
This action was my biggest regret in raising my youngest son and we both paid the price. And although I’d love to say it all worked out, the truth is it didn’t. In his teenage years there were drugs and in the early adulthood, he became an alcoholic. By the age of 45, with three rehabs under his belt, he died drunk and alone.
Did I raise him to know better? Of course, I did. Both my children were in church and they had a loving home with two parents. It’s all a matter of choice and no matter what we did as parents he chose the wrong path.
The second failure for me was discipline. I didn’t discipline the children correctly and wish I’d read some book on more ideas on how to do this. The only example I had was my mom, which was screaming and being on the receiving end of a belt. There was no “super nanny” show to watch back then. At 20 years of age, I didn’t know what the “naughty” mat was!
One important aspect of being a parent is to stop pointing the finger at your children for everything. Why? Because many times they are only emulating you! Encourage your children, even when they do wrong and you have to discipline them. You can still let them know you believe they will do better and you are there to help them if needed.
The purpose of this article is not to depress you, but to make you stop and think about the ways your children behave and what methods you are using to train them in the way they should go.
Children today see so much violence on TV and even at school, so it’s important to know as much about their daily lives as possible. Keep in contact with the teachers in their school to know what’s been happening. Make certain you not only know the names of their friends but that you get to know the parents of their friends as well. Knowledge is power.
For me, a child’s spiritual conviction is also important. It’s not what religion you want to be a part of, it’s just making sure they have a religious background of some type. Once they are grown they can make their own decision as to whether to stay with your choice or change. At least they will have the basic background information and knowledge of God!
Being a parent is not easy and mistakes are going to happen. Most mistakes can be corrected if you recognize them soon after they happen. Don’t just assume you know how to be a good parent. Read some books and articles on the subject and then adjust your lifestyle as needed.
No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the
Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.