Culture & Entertainment

The 3 biggest parenting mistakes I have made (so far)

By: Jennifer Gruden
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

The 3 biggest parenting mistakes I have made (so far)

By: Jennifer Gruden

We all make mistakes but boy, when it comes to my kids, anyway, I wish I didn't. Here are three parenting mistakes I wish I had not made, so you don't have to. 1. I thought I could "break the baby." For my eldest son's first several years, I lived in absolute fear of doing the wrong thing. I read way too much on the Internet and off, and drove myself insane in various ways, including several months of not sleeping more than 45 minutes at a stretch because my son was not a good sleeper and I did not want him to feel abandoned...hungry...cold--lonely...or stressed out. (I did hand him over to his father eventually and...he cried on him a lot. Then he got several nights' good sleep.) I rarely handed him over to friends or family for a break. I sweated over every new food. And even when he was almost two when we made the leap, I thought sending him to full-time daycare would ruin his life. As it turns out, being stressed out about every little thing is not good for one's family. With my second I have been a bit more laid back and not only is he fine, I find our family laughs a lot more together. That has to be good for everyone. 2. I didn't advocate early enough When my son transitioned to public school I really didn't want to be "that mother." I don't want to get into his entire year but...I wish I had been "that mother." Sometimes we do need to hang back and let our kids adjust and struggle. And sometimes they need us to speak up for them. (Here's how to talk to your kid's teacher.) I think we have some remedial work to do with making sure he is comfortable with school ahead still. 3. I haven't always disciplined myself It's a truism that you can't give your kids what you don't have. One of my weaknesses (it is actually a professional hazard) is that I am continually distracted by what I'll characterize as "really cool stuff on the Internet." I have been known to go grab a laptop during dinner to show off a funny or heartwarming video like this "People are Awesome" one. And now my seven year old not only thinks it's fine to pull out an iPod Touch at dinner (we are working on this...both of us) but he's also into doing his own YouTube searches. Which is resulting in a whole lot of discipline, his and ours. Which parenting mistakes have you made? Spill in the comments so that future parents can make whole new ones!
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The 3 biggest parenting mistakes I have made (so far)

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