10 Ways to Fail Better As a Parent in 2017

Have you ever met a parent that didn’t fail? Probably not, because that variety of parenthood just doesn’t exist. Seriously, we’ve all failed at this parenting thing at some point and, for me, more often than I can count. Like the one year I accidently bought the birthday candles that never distinguish. My 4-year-old didn’t enjoy that very much. Or when I made dinner in the slow cooker but forgot to plug it in. Or when the tooth fairy forgot to stop by. The list goes on and on.

The thing about failing is that it’s how we humans learn. And boy did I learn a lot from my parenting fails of 2016. But now it’s time to hit the reset button and try again. Here are 10 things I failed at last year, and how I’ll try again in 2017.

Fail #1: When I Can’t Take a Decent Photograph of My Kid

What is wrong with these kids?! The moment my phone or camera comes out, their faces contort into horrendous shapes and their eyes are incapable of looking straight ahead. Lookielookies Photo Companions is a photography aid that helps parents take pictures of smiling babies and toddlers by getting them to focus on the cute, blinking bunny that you can clip to your phone. GENIUS.

Fail #2: When I Throw Away Their “Favorite” Masterpiece

No Timmy, of course that’s not the 25 pieces of artwork you made today sitting in the trash … As much as I love my kids’ hand drawn masterpieces, when the paper piles up, I start to throw stuff away. Keepy is a modern way for parents to save and share kids’ artwork, awards and sweetest memories of childhood … without the paper clutter.

Fail #3: When Your Text Thread Becomes the Family Joke

It’s inevitable. The culture of tweens and teens changes without notice. Our kids are going to laugh at us when we can’t keep up with their ways (just like we laughed at our parents trying to be hip). Just roll with it. And keep this slang translator bookmarked.

Fail #4: When You Confine the Kids to a Shopping Cart All Day

Sometimes errands can’t wait any longer, and the kids have to come along for the boring ride. But as long as I can squeeze in just one hour at the playground, we all feel better about the day. The free app called Playground Buddy has been a lifesaver for when we’re in unfamiliar areas and looking for a fun place for the kids to stretch their legs.

Fail #5: When You Leave the House Without Checking the Mirror

Excuse me while I try to think of the last time I combed my hair or plucked my eyebrows. The designer of this “Mama Hair. Don’t Care.” t-shirt on Etsy knows what I’m talking about.

Fail #6: When You’ve Failed to Give Your Child Enough Quality Time

It’s amazing what some quality time can do to improve your child’s behavior at home or in school. Since they don’t always know how to articulate this need, kids will often lash out to seek attention … even if it’s negative attention. Take the hint and try these 25 inexpensive ways to spend quality time with your child.

Fail #7: When They’ve Seen Something They Shouldn’t Have on the Internet

You don’t need to be raising teenagers to have been gut-checked by this parent fail. Nowadays, keeping our kids safe while they use internet-capable devices is a must. The Mama Bear app has been great for our family as it monitors social media, text messages and location sharing all in one platform.

Fail #8: When We Think We Have to Be Everything for Our Kid

This is truly a failure! As parents, our job is to prepare our kids to fly the nest and overcome their own future failures. This can’t happen if we’re always guaranteeing their success. Support is great, but teaching kids how to lean on teachers and advisers, nurture supportive friendships and get along with others is just as important. It’s not always easy, but we have to let them fail, too, at least if they’re going to succeed as adults.

Fail #9: When You’ve Lost Your Temper

Nothing gets the mom guilt going like losing your cool with your kids. It happens, and learning from our failure is important when it comes to modeling anger resolution and self-control. This article, 5 Ways to Reset Your Mode When Anger Strikes, is a great place to start when you’ve come undone.

Fail #10: When Caring About Everyone’s Expectations Makes You Feel Inadequate

We’ve all been there, mama. Take a few minutes to read this post from Finding Joy and focus on the things you did accomplish today instead of on the few fails you had.

Parenting fails aren’t a total loss. Learning to fail and be proud of our parenting pursuits teaches our children that failing to try is really the biggest failure of all.

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