Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Parenting

I have read several books on parenting. Why? Because I have a deep-seeded fear that I will “mess up” my daughter’s life. I have so many issues, and I really don’t want to pass them down to her. She deserves so much better.

A common theme that I have read in these books is that parents should discipline their children with a spirit of love. In doing so, you don’t allow their self-esteem to crash and burn. You correct their behavior without destroying their spirit. On paper, this looks wonderful. So I shake my head in agreement, and I vow to do that very thing – discipline in love.

Then on Tuesday night my sweet little daughter breaks my husband’s laptop while he is at basketball practice. I get upset, I freak out, I yell, I cry, I get sick to my stomach, and I give her nasty looks with a dose of angry, negative energy. She is so puzzled by my reaction that she goes to the corner and begins to weep. I know she didn’t mean it. I know she just wanted my attention; she didn’t want to share it with a piece of machinery. I know I should have corrected her with a healthy dose of love, but in that moment – when I was scared to death of my husband’s reaction to the accident – love was nowhere to be found.

Luckily, I asked for her forgiveness and showered her with extra hugs and kisses yesterday. I tried to make up for treating her so badly the day before. She doesn’t fully understand, but I needed to make amends for my own sake.

What this whole incident taught me was that I can’t learn how to parent “correctly” by simply reading a book. It will come with time and practice. And I realize that no matter how much I would like to avoid them, I will make mistakes along the way. My only hope is that I learn from them and try to avoid making the same ones over and over.


  1. Carey, this is so true. I deal with similar issues that make for mistakes to become unhappily made mistakes. Discipline with love is a great way to look at it, and yes, we all make mistakes, she did, you feel you did, I do, Claire does... We learn from them, we move forward from that frenzy moment onto something that'll not only strengthen those we discipline, but also ourselves. It takes a lot of practice, a lot of patience, and a lot of mistakes to know that it was a mistake that was made.

  2. Just like anything, we have to learn how to parent from making mistakes. It took me a few years to get that idea. I'm still struggling to stick to the whole idea that I won't mess up my kids' lives. lol It's pretty simple.. because you care you won't mess B's life. Same goes for you up there Miss V! lol