It is often a thankless job, being a parent. Kids do not come with instruction books and often we are learning how to parent while parenting.
Are you someone who has ever asked yourself…
“Am I screwing up my child?”
“Is this the correct way?”
“Why can’t I get this right?”
Ignoring these parenting doubts isn’t always possible because they hit us at the oddest times. These doubts come from within and can be effective in getting us down.
At least once a week a doubt enters my mind concerning something with my kids. It comes out of the blue and hits me hard.
I am an experienced parent, on my third kid, and to combat the doubt, I have learned to remember to tell myself…
– We never have all the answers.
The more we think we know as parents the more life has to show us. We make the best decisions we can based on information we have at the time.
– We all make mistakes.
Screwing up is being human. We need to embrace the lessons we learn from our errors.
– Kids will remember our love.
The things we beat ourselves up about often don’t matter to our kids. As long as they know we love them, they will be ok.
– Not every parenting situation is the same.
We can’t always apply parenting techniques to all situations. Things may work in one case and not in another and we have to understand that.
– Most things will not matter years from now.
When we look back on our lives in the future, the stuff we fretted over we won’t even remember. The big decisions will seem small and the small stuff will be what mattered.
– Parenting is tough.
We are dealing with unpredictable, complicated people so we shouldn’t be surprised with struggles.
– It is not important for kids to have everything.
Common parenting doubts come from how our kids are being provided for. Stuff is just stuff and often they just want time with us.
– You are harder on yourself than your kids are.
Kids have their minds on being kids. Things that we worry about are not even on children’s radar.
– Conflict is part of human relationships.
We have doubt when we have arguments with our kids. We all see the world differently and this can spark disagreements. It can be a good learning moment when we address conflict.
– Tomorrow is a new day.
Do not dwell on doubts. The fact that you care enough to doubt is a sign you are doing a good job. Parenting is for life and there will be something else to doubt another day.
Rather than allowing it to get you down, identify that you are experiencing doubt and use truth to combat it. We are emotional and complex, and weird, negative thoughts are part of life.Be a loving parent, knowing you are not perfect, and be willing to learn from your mistakes. Everything else will take care of itself.