January 2, 2012

A Humbling Experience

I spent too much of my time yesterday arguing over parenting styles and decisions.  Normally, I wouldn't do this.  Not this topic, not with this person.  Listening to this person talk about a particular couple and their children struck a nerve.  I am tired of keeping my mouth shut about these people and their decisions.  I am tired of listening to stories of their "parenting strategies", which in my mind border on abuse and neglect.  I know that anything I said was not actually listened to or thought about.  You can expect that when talking to someone who knows everything.  I knew that going in, but felt that someone should talk in defense of these kids.  I couldn't help but feel that it was probably the only time it will happen.  Everyone seems to have their opinions and feelings about this family, but no one ever steps up to say anything. 

Parenting is hard.  I know that.  I also know that when it comes to being a good parent, I know NOTHING.  I would never criticize anyone for trying the best they can and failing in any parenting situation.  I will, however criticize people who don't try, don't listen, don't understand and don't care.  When I was done, I came home to my own house and my own family.  I had something to set straight and an apology to make and had finally found the words to do it.  I lost it with Corrina yesterday about how little effort she puts into anything.  I yelled and said some pretty harsh things.  I regretted them the minute they were out of my mouth, but couldn't take them back and didn't know how to fix it.

Now, it was time.  I had to sit down with my 8 year old and tell her that I'm sorry.  I told her that I wish she would put more effort into anything (or everything) she does and that it frustrates me that she doesn't.  I told her that my yelling was merely a reaction to my frustration and that it was the wrong one.  I reassured that my reaction has nothing to do with the way I feel about her and that she is not the one with the problem.  It's my problem.  I had to admit to this girl that it is my job to teach her and if I don't take the time to do it, I can't complain when she doesn't do things the way I expect or hope.  It was humbling, to say the least, but the look on her face made it so worth it.  She looked like a weight was lifted off of her.  Her face brightened as the realization hit her that I love her no matter what, I make mistakes too, I fail at tasks and I will admit it, that I respect her, will ask for her forgiveness and for her help. 


  1. Wow, very moving. We all fail, even without kids.

  2. This was an amazing post; I came over from Heather's this morning and read just what I needed to hear.

  3. It is so hard. I'm such a work in progress I often wonder if I was ever even started...


  4. I've been here, too. It is so, so very humbling.

    {I love what you wrote, it's so important.}

  5. So very humbling. I definitely have moments I need to apologize to my children for. What a great reminder, thanks!

  6. "Parenting is hard. I know that. I also know that when it comes to being a good parent, I know NOTHING." Oh yes. I am always careful not to criticize someone else's parenting style, because I'll be the first to admit I make mistakes too. And you know - apologizing to your daughter teaches her a beautiful lesson too - that when we make mistakes it's okay to admit it and ask for forgiveness. Because sometimes that is just as hard.

  7. um, first...you had me at drunken housewife.
    second, I've been there, saying sorry to your child. it is hard to remember to do it, but so important. way to go, mama!

  8. I know the feeling.... sometimes its hard to watch a family that only if the parents did what they say they were going to do then the children could benefit more. I know only the parentts know if they are actually doing ther best but its still hard to watch what seems like they are juat doing enough to get by.


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