The 9 Things On My Parenting Fail List


Retro parents and kids at family dinner table
My husband and I would never be cast as the perfect parents in those old TV shows. That's OK.

7. Not arguing in front of the kids. We do. Living with another person every day (in our case for 24+ years by now) inevitably means disagreements, but also compromise, apologies, and making up. We don't feel the need to sanitize the environment and lead kids to believe marriage equals total bliss and full time agreement. We may be wrong here, as an abundance of research suggests.

8. Letting them quit, sometimes. We've let the boys, on rare occasions, quit some "enriching" activities they'd signed on for, tried hard at, but eventually decided didn't fit. As someone who was forced into eight years of hated piano lessons, I sympathized. But now I wonder if each allowed quit was a mistake.


9. Not recording their childhoods enough. We made a conscious decision that filming our kids, assembling scrapbooks, and organizing online photo galleries actually took time away from our kids. Now, I miss having more visual mementos and wonder guiltily if the boys will miss it one day too.

This list could certainly be five times as long. Pretty regularly, we fail at a lot of other parenting stuff too, both important and trivial. Maybe, if I tried, I could come up a parallel list of parenting stuff we do well, but I think that the failures list is more representative of who we are as parents – flawed, figuring it out as we go along for better or worse.

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