Confessions of Parenting Failure

It’s no secret that parenting is hard. You don’t always make the best decisions or say the right thing. You might react badly in the moment and regret it later, or your child might repeat some very colorful words they overheard you say at their school or daycare.

No matter how hard parents try, there will always be good days and bad days, and everything in between. Most parents experience guilt or feel like a bad parent after these episodes, even knowing that it’s a universal experience. Keep reading for advice on how to bounce back from a ‘parenting fail.’ I also reached out to parents on social media who shared some of their own parenting fails stories.

  • “I reached to open the screen door and pushed outwards and a snake fell from the outside of the house and I turned around and ran back in the house screaming. I left Naomi, my three year old child, behind and ran. Of course I realized and immediately ran back for her but for a solid 7 seconds I left her to fight off this snake all by herself.”

-Rachel Perry

  • “I told her to stop licking the sand off of her she looked me dead in the eye, plopped her little butt in the sand, and started licking the sand off of her feet.”

-Becca Stokes

  • “When Londyn was little we took two cars to Jaiden’s practice. We both left thinking the other had Londyn. We got a call from Jaiden’s coach asking us if we left anything...we were like no...then OMG we finally realized we left poor Londyn.”

-Kari Ditimus

  • “One time I was running down a steep hill and I couldn’t stop because it was so steep so I yelled for my mom to catch me and instead of catching me she clotheslined me. At least I stopped though."

-Tiffany Riggs Thorne

Being connected through social media makes it easier for parents to share their parenting failures (and successes) with each other. It can also be confusing to have so much conflicting advice and information from experts and other parents. Is it bad to post pictures of your kids on Facebook and Instagram? What’s the best age to introduce technology to your child? Is it okay that I yelled at my child?

Most people only share the best images of themselves and their family on social media. This may make it seem like they have it all figured out but the truth is that every parenting style is different, just like every child is different. This means that what works for one parent might not work for another, and it takes a bit of trial and error to see what works for you personally. Nobody displays their worst moments as parents on social media.

Just remember that you’re only human, and mistakes are inevitable. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge these mistakes and learn from them. Communicate with your child and make the best of these moments, because they will most likely happen again. And that’s okay. Failures are a part of parenting, and you will learn how to pick yourself up and start again!


Lyndsey Watkins is a senior at UNCW. She is majoring in English with a concentration in professional writing and a minor in journalism.

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