By Natalie Richoux
Parenting failures. No, we’re not talking about the funny memes and gifs we see on social media, but actual parenting failures that can cause repercussions for families. Now, more than ever, it’s easy to feel, or even seemingly be, like a failure of a parent. Think about how highly connected we are through our phones, social media and networks of other moms, dads and families.
We see social media posts of the seemingly perfect family on an outing. We know that the Jones next door gets their kids everything they want. We have conceived the idea of a perfect family full of the always put together mom, Prince Charming dad, dutiful and well behaved children. We hold a report card in the highest regard of a measure of our children.
We’re not seeing that that photo took almost an hour and countless shots to get correct. We’re not seeing the Jones’ kid next door pitching a fit because he wants something and the parents, cash strapped, figure out how to get it for them just so they don’t have to deal with a tantrum. We’re not seeing the “other side” of a put together mom who wakes at 3:30 a.m. to get herself together or the dad who can turn on the charm when people are around. We’re not extending past the report cards and examining who our children are as a whole.
Holding yourself to these ideals leads to parenting failures, or conceived failures. So, when we feel as if we’ve failed (because over the course of your child’s life, you will fail at some point), it is critical to turn these into teachable moments because the way we handle failures as a parent greatly impacts the way our children see us and how they deal with failures themself.
The best thing you can do is take a failure and own it. Don’t make excuses, don’t try to hide it, even if it comes with consequences. Tell your child that you made a mistake but show them how you are working to correct that mistake and why you’re taking steps to correct the mistake you made. Your child will see you demonstrate that you can take something negative and turn it into something positive and learn that failure can be corrected and is not the end-all-be-all.