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Failing as a parent


Do you feel like you are failing as a parent?

Becoming a parent has got to be up there on the list of “difficult things to do in life”.

Unfortunately being a parent comes with no manual so it’s easy to class yourself as a failed parent when you make a mistake.

Parenting is extremely difficult. You think you have it all figured out then BHAM! Something knocks you off course.

I remember before I became a parent I really thought that I would be one of those parents who would have it all figured it.

I would never lose my temper, dinner would always be ready on time, I would take my child to every extracurricular activity going and God forbid I would ever raise my voice above an “AN A SHARP!”

I was going to be perfect in every way possible.


Failing at parenting is a difficult pill to swallow

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Well, today I can sit here 4 children later and tell you that I have failed as a parent. I have failed miserably. I have actually lost count of the number of times that I have felt as though I am failing as a parent.

Truth be told I could never in a million lifetimes have ever lived up to those standards that I set myself.

My goals were unrealistic and unachievable, I was destined to fail.

It didn’t feel great in the moment that I failed but I have come to realize something very important. IT’S OK

It’s ok to occasionally fail because as parents we are not perfect and never can be.

The wonderful thing about children is that they don’t mind if you get it wrong, as long as you handle it in the right way afterward.

Their hearts are full of pureness and they will forgive you time after time after time. Sometimes I think we have a lot to learn from our children in that respect.

You may feel as though you are failing as a mother or a father. You have to remember are not a perfect human being and you never will be. We make mistakes in our jobs, our friendships and even in our families ALL THE TIME.

The best thing you can do with such mistakes is to learn from them and try not to repeat them in the same way again.

There have been times I have snapped at my children when really it wasn’t their fault. I was busy trying to focus on something and they were busy trying to get my attention to show me a picture or likewise.

I get it wrong, I apologize. Not only is it good to apologize to your children it actually teaches them a great life lesson also. It teaches them to be humble, to apologize and to forgive.


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Here are a few things to think about if you feel like a failing parent

1 Do you apologize when you make a mistake?

2. Do you show forgiveness to your children when they make a mistake?

3. Do you discipline with fairness?

4. Do you give your child boundaries?

5. Do you show a balance between discipline and love and appreciation for them?

To be fair there are probably 100+other things that I could add to this list but I think you get the general gist of it.

There is a difference between failing as a parent through outright neglect and failing as a parent because you make mistakes along the way.

The latter is definitely not failure and more to do with learning and adjusting.


Was I failing as a parent when I let my 1-year-old jump on the bed until he fell off and hurt himself?

Was I failing as a parent when I didn’t make sure the hot chocolate was cool enough before I gave it to my daughter?

Was I failing as a parent when I didn’t insist my children wore insect repellant before going outside and then got bitten by mosquitoes?

No, I wasn’t.  Why?  Because it was a mistake and not one I would ever hope to repeat.


If you are a parent and you feel as though you are failing, you are not alone. 

Every parent feels bad at some point in their parenting journey but you have to quickly remedy the situation and move on in the hopes to never do it again.

Parenting is a journey and no one can ever say that they have reached the end of the journey because it never ends.

Even when your child is 57 years old, you are still a parent. There is no right or wrong way to parent.

People will always have their opinions on how you should parent and that’s ok. You can’t make everyone happy.


Final thoughts on failing as a parent

Your parenting journey will teach you so much about yourself it’s scary. You will identify behaviors in your children that come from you.

Some things you will love and others not so much.

The key is to forgive yourself each time. Each time you get it wrong is one less time you will make that mistake. You are learning.

There is no manuscript for parenthood just a bunch of trial and error.

Do your best and each day start afresh at being a good parent. It’s ok if you get it wrong sometimes.


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