No parent is perfect and we all make mistakes during our parenting journey. The most important thing we can do is admit and own up to our mistakes and try to turn things around. Making mistakes doesn’t mean that you aren’t a good parent, it means that you are a parent. We aren’t psychic and we don’t know the correct way to raise our kids but we try our best.
I want to share some mistakes that I’ve made along the way.
Spoiling my kids
I’m a complete softy, I admit it.
When my kids put on a puppy dog face and ask me for something I usually give into them. Well, I used to always give into them. I didn’t realize that I was turning my girls into spoiled brats until it was too late and when I figured it out I knew that I had to nip it in the bud quickly.
All parents go through the phase of spoiling their kids…
…and then they realize that’s not the way to teach your kids responsibility and the importance of working towards what they want.
That’s exactly what I realized. After spoiling my kids for a few years I realized that I had to teach them responsibility and if they wanted something they would have to do chores in order to earn it. It took a while for them to get used to it but now when they want something they tell me they’ll save up for it. #MomWin
Letting too many things slide
I have to admit something…I’ve never grounded my kids, not even my 12-year-old. I guess I never knew what it was like to be grounded because I was also never grounded. My mom let everything slide and thought I was infallible — actually, I think she still thinks that.
I used to let way too many things slide and that also set my kids on the road to being spoiled brats. They wouldn’t clean their rooms? I’d do it for them. They wouldn’t clean up their places after dinner? I’d do it for them. I honestly didn’t have the energy to yell and decided to pick my battles but sometimes you have to pick battles that are more important and teach your kids lessons.
I still don’t ground my girls but I do take things away when they’re not behaving. For example, the other day my 12-year-old adamantly refused to clean her room — and I mean adamantly refused. I took her phone away until her room was completely spotless and I checked in closets and under the bed to make sure it wasn’t haphazardly cleaned.
As hard as it is for me to take things away and be the mean mom it is teaching my kids responsibility and that’s all that matters.
Comparing our children to others
I think the majority of moms do this and they may not even realize that they are. My mom did it to me and I should have remembered how horrible it makes a child feel to be compared to another when they’re trying their best.
My 12-year-old always got great grades in school but this year her grades started slipping. Sixth grade is much harder than previous years and the math is (honestly) something that I never did in the sixth grade myself. (I don’t think I did the math she’s doing until the 7th or 8th grade TBH!)
When she came home with grades that were much lower than what she was used to I would compare her to the other kids in her class. I would say:
If so-and-so can get higher than a 76 why can’t you?
That’s the wrong thing to do.
I quickly realized and remembered that comparing your children to others and using it against them lowers their self-confidence and makes them feel like crap. Each child is an individual and each child grasps educational concepts in a different way.
Calling my kids the wrong name
I’ve had a bad case of mommy brain since the day I conceived and it’s never gone away. I constantly forget where I put things, what I walked into a room for, errands that I had to do, etc… And one thing that drives my kids insane is when I mix up their names.
It’s mommy brain, what can I say?
Sometimes we are so swamped and overwhelmed with all that we have to do, we mix up our kids’ names. This is something that almost all moms of multiple children do — don’t say you don’t do it too!
Being our child’s best friend instead of an authority figure
I’m very guilty of trying to be my kid’s BFF that sometimes I forget that I’m supposed to be an authority figure to them. As much as we want to have a great relationship with our kids and want them to tell us everything that’s going on, sometimes parents have to be parents. I have yet to grasp how to be an authority figure and a friend at the same time but that’s something that I’m struggling to find the secret to.
Because I’ve become friends with my children it’s hard for them to believe my threats and that’s a problem because they don’t take me seriously.
Doing everything for them
This goes back to the topic of responsibility and allowing our kids to get away with murder without consequence.
I realized that I wasn’t helping my children by doing everything for them when my girls would ask me to do everything for them. At 12-years-old my daughter should know how to do her own laundry, do chores around the house and help me out a little bit. At 10-years-old my other daughter should know how to wash shampoo out of her hair without me helping her — but I still gave in and helped. I did absolutely everything for them for the longest time.
I wasn’t doing them any favors. I wasn’t teaching them responsibility and how to be independent.
It took a weekend to teach my girls how to do laundry, how to properly wash the soap out of their hair, how to take the garbage out, etc… and I do have to say that things have been much better since I taught them responsibility.
It’s hard to be a parent, I completely understand. There’s no guidebook or instruction booklet on the right and wrong ways of parenting our children but we have to make mistakes and figure out what works for us as individuals. Each parenting style is completely different and we shouldn’t condemn another mother for making mistakes or parenting their children differently than we do.