How NOT to Screw Up Your Kids

I was a great mom before I had kids.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was bound and determined to be the best mom ever. My kids would be perfect—smart, beautiful, obedient and always well-behaved because, well, they would have the perfect mom.

And so I prepared. I read all the books and did all the research. But I didn’t even get out of infancy stage before discovering how many discrepancies there were between child rearing methods.

At one point Eric threatened to set fire to all the parenting books. I couldn’t decide whether to pick my baby up every time he cried or let him cry it out. Whether to swear off pacifiers and bottles or use them. Whether to nurse on demand or put my baby on a schedule.

And I didn’t even have a baby yet!

When my firstborn was just a few months old, I already felt like a failure.

I wasn’t the mom I thought I’d be. Things weren’t like the breezy romantic dream that I’d imagined motherhood to be. By the time my child was two, I was sure I’d already screwed him up for life.

Add three more kids to the mix and my dreams of perfect parenting died a little more each day.

I was still reading, researching, trying new methods and learning all I could about how to be the best parent I could be. But every day I messed up. Still do.

I yell. I say things I don’t mean. I get angry. I forget important things and fail to keep promises. I get tired and don’t follow through. I make empty threats.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still doing lots of good things. I’ve even finally reached a point (well past 40) where I actually believe I’m a good mother.

But I’m also pretty sure that at some point in their lives, my kids are gonna need some therapy so they can work through all my parenting mistakes.

Most days I feel like I’m screwing up my kids.

I think the majority of good parents probably feel the same way. At least I hope I’m not the only one.

How to Not Screw Up Your Kids

A couple of weeks ago we were watching Parenthood (my favorite TV drama), and the character Julia—who is separated from her husband, Joel— was talking to her Dad (Zeek Braverman, played by Craig T. Nelson) about raising kids.

Sheri Dacon
Sheri Dacon
Sheri Dacon is a Jesus-loving wife, mom, speaker, and lifelong Texan who believes there's a song for everything. She writes about faith, life, and special needs parenting while whistling a happy tune at her blog Lyrics for Life.  To keep up with Sheri, catch her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, too!

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