parenting regrets

Parenting Regrets: 3 truths about “I wish I’d parented better.”

(Inside: Do you have parenting regrets? Things you wish you’d done “better?” Here are 3 truths to give you perspective.)

Can we talk about parenting regrets?

Because I’m convinced it’s one way Satan comes after moms raising tweens and teens.
 
Why we don’t always see it, I don’t know…the thief isn’t creative, he spams the same vulnerable buttons. Regret sneaks in disguised as reflection, yet can quickly turn into negative self-talk.

You observe your middle schooler/high schoolers’ actions or character qualities that aren’t working and find yourself thinking maybe life would be smoother for them now if I’d done “this” better when they were younger.

Regrets like…
 
School might be more manageable if I’d made them read more in elementary school. Or had a stricter routine around schoolwork earlier. Or gotten them a tutor. Or taken away video games. Or better shown them how fun learning is.
 
My teen struggles with friendships. But, what if… What if I had critiqued less and encouraged more? What if we’d specifically worked on being a better friend sooner? What if I’d built a more supportive community around my kid? Or signed them up for different activities?
 
My middle schooler is moody and disagreeable, maybe I should’ve focused more on relationship and less on rules. Or perhaps been tighter with respect expectations. Or taken them to a counselor. Or talked more about emotions. Or practiced healthy ways of communicating. Or parented them in a different way.
parenting regrets
Talk about parenting regrets and more…join this community of moms raising tweens and teens and get inspirational emails right here.

The years are speeding by, I wish I’d been home more. Or encouraged our family to be less busy. Or spent the money on vacations. Or taken more pictures. Or hit that record button.

My kid doesn’t seem interested in faith. I wish we would’ve spent more time with our church family. Or sent him to Sunday School. Or camp. Or emphasized family devotionals.
 
My teen didn’t make the team, I wish I would’ve started him in a sport younger. Or I should’ve encouraged something different – music, robotics, chess. We put our eggs in the wrong basket.
 
I don’t like what I’m seeing in parenting right now, so I should have…
 
And the list can go on…

Lately, uninvited regrets have kept messing with my mind.

Mainly, I think if I would’ve approached parenting differently when they were little, my kids wouldn’t struggle so much now in two specific areas.
 
But, stop.
 
Just full-on hit the brakes of that thought train.
 
Those are not the thoughts of loving a God who nurtures and encourages. Deep breath in. Exhale with length. I needed to hear The Holy One’s voice, so I used a technique that helped me gain perspective, and it started with truth.
 
I surrounded the regrets with truth…

Truth #1:

Tweens and teens aren’t supposed to have everything laid out perfectly for them. They need to learn how to struggle through life’s flaws. Mistakes and failures are an essential part of the growth and maturity of teens.

Truth #2:

God intentionally created all of us (Psalm 139:13-18), calls us his children (Galatians 3:26), takes great delight in us (Zephaniah 3:17), is with us (Isaiah 41:10), and has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). So, we can safely operate from a place of hope – God is for all of us and is working in and around our lives.

Get to know your family more through keeping a family prayer journal…

parenting regrets

Truth #3:

If a regret is really bugging me, then I can let that point to some next right steps. Take the vacation. Encourage my kid to try something new. Have that conversation. Tweak the way I parent. Moms have a lifetime to work on their relationships with their kids, mom life doesn’t end when the 18th birthday candles are blown out.

So, take 5 steps back, Satan.

Do you know who you’re dealing with? A mom in the trenches of raising teens and moms of bigs know a thing or two…including truth. The pain of our regrets can point us to purpose in our future. Yes, we can’t redo, but you forget – we can always renew.

Join this community of moms raising older kids

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

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Let’s talk about parenting regrets and more… Be encouraged through the full “imperfectly thrive in parenting series.”

Parenting is one of my biggest joys. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From a young age, I prayed to have a family, and sometimes I pinch myself that my dream came true.

However, because this phase of life means so much to me, I can put too much pressure on myself to make the most of every moment, to handle every situation flawlessly, and to be the best mom ever. The truth is, I won’t do it all well and it’s not supposed to be that way. 

One of God’s goals for me is to lean on him – to turn to him, to trust in him, to seek his guidance and favor in this motherhood experience. The dips and turns and messy in mom-life help me do that. 

What a gift the imperfect can be. I do my best to try and articulate this idea in my imperfectly thrive in motherhood series. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. 

Do You Need to Simplify Parenting? Collect Moments, Instead
Being a Parent is Hard for This One Reason: Here’s What Helps
Healthy Helicopter Parenting: A Story to Life You Up
Why Mom Mistakes Can Be Good

parenting regrets
Talk about parenting regrets and more…join this community of moms raising tweens and teens and get inspirational emails right here.