36 Things You’ll Regret As A Parent

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Getting this parenting gig right is an almost impossible task. We’re all doing the best we can, right? But do one of these 36 things and you will live to regret it.

  1. Letting your children get away with bad manners. A child who can’t manage ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ will struggle in the real world.
  1. Being attached to your phone. Put it down and really be present with your kids. They’ll be big before you know it.
  1. Staying home. Go out and see things. Go out and do things. Go out and meet people.
  1. Staying in a bad relationship. Staying together for the sake of the children can do more harm than good if you’re not happy.
  1. Forgetting the sunscreen. For you, and for the kids, don’t forget to slip, slop, slap.
  1. Being scared to try new things. Be brave and raise brave kids. Life is for living.
  1. Raising girly girls and blokey boys. Let your children decide who they really are, and watch them fly.
  1. Forgetting to tell your children how extraordinary they are. See them, notice their strengths and tell them you believe in them.

  1. Letting them coast through school. Teach your kids to do their best (whatever that may be for them) and they’ll be set up for life.
  1. Not saying ‘I love you’. No matter how much you say it, one day you’ll wish you said it more.
  1. Letting them be self-absorbed. Teach your children to care for others, and they will become wonderful citizens of the world.
  1. Sacrificing everything for your children. One day they’ll grow up and leave home, and you’ll be left with you.
  1. Not taking photos – and being in them yourself. Don’t let all their childhood memories be missing you because you were behind the camera.
  1. Not reading every day. A love of books and storytelling is a wonderful thing to infect your children with.
  1. Hesitating to seek help. Whether it’s for your or your children, take help when it’s offered, and seek help when it’s needed. No family is an island.
  1. Not helping others who need it. Involve your children in your community and watch them become a part of something bigger than just your family.
  1. Not playing. Work can wait. Play now, because one day they won’t want to play with you any more.

  1. Subscribing to the culture of ‘busy’. Stop and look around you at the beauty of your kids. How lucky are you?
  1. Not going on family holidays. Holidays are where memories are made. Whatever you can afford, get away together – in a caravan, a tent or a hotel.
  1. Being their best friend. Your kids don’t need a friend, they need someone who will tell them the hard truths and give them healthy boundaries. That’s your job.
  1. Taking the easy option with food. Show your children how great fresh fruit and vegetables can be, and they will enjoy them for the rest of their lives. Don’t reach for fast food because it’s easy and you’re busy.
  1. Not teaching the children how to cook and clean. Having those skills will set you up for a lifetime of self-sufficiency and independence.
  1. Being a helicopter parent. Let your children make mistakes. That’s how they learn.
  1. Letting them be quitters. Teach your children to finish what they’ve started – this is an attribute that will help them at every stage in life.

  1. Keeping them from their grandparents. Unless there is real danger there, of course, grandparents are the custodians of family stories and limitless love.
  1. Letting them skip brushing their teeth. Once those adult teeth come in, there is no do-over.
  1. Letting them avoid confrontation. Show them how to stand up for themselves and watch them thrive.
  1. Giving your children the silent treatment. Withdrawing love and affection is no way to deal with conflict. Talk issues out with your children and explain why they’re in trouble, and watch them become functional adults.
  1. Encouraging sibling rivalry or comparing them to their brothers and sisters. Being close with your siblings is one of life’s most wonderful gifts. And when you’re gone, they’ll have each other.
  1. Cleaning all the time. Relax, play games, have a laugh, tell stories. The skirting boards can wait.
  1. Not getting to know your kids’ friends. They’re the ones who hear your children’s secrets and inner most thoughts. Get to know them and make them welcome at your house, otherwise they’ll all go elsewhere.
  1. Taking yourself too seriously. Life is a short, wild ride. Throw your hands up and have fun.
  1. Criticising yourself or your body. Your kids love you the way you are. Don’t teach them how to hate themselves or their remarkable bodies.
  1. Hitting them. You’ll feel bad. Guaranteed.
  1. Being the centre of their universe. Your job is to raise healthy, independent souls who can fly on their own.
  1. Not loving yourself. For your own good, and to set a good example for your kids.

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Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.

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