I’m sure most parents would agree, there are times where you look at your kids and think, hey, I’m doing a pretty good job here. Perhaps you handled a difficult situation with them well, perhaps they did something that greatly impressed you which you felt could be attributed in part to your parenting. Whatever the cause, there are definite moments where you nod and feel confident that overall you’re a pretty good parent. Then there are those other times. The times that you are not so proud of. The times where you short-changed them a little when it came to being a great parent. I am feeling the need to confess three of those times, in the hope of a little forgiveness, or at least in the hope of a little reassurance from others that they may have done similar things…
1) Bedtime stories – I used to read stories to my children regularly. I recently wrote about our favourite children’s books over at Limebird Writers – Oh to Write Children’s Books Like These. Sometimes however, my children would choose a particularly long book, and sometimes this happened when I was very tired and didn’t particularly feel like reading a long book. Sometimes therefore, instead of turning over one page at a time, I would turn over two or three pages at a time, with a swift sleight of hand that an accomplished magician would be proud of. At the same time, I would briefly summarise in my own words what probably happened in those two or three pages. And if I wasn’t skipping over pages, then I would be condensing big full pages of text into short succinct sentences. I couldn’t get away with this with books that they were very familiar with of course, and there were occasions where they would helpfully point out that I had missed a bit, to which I would reply “Ooh yes, good job you spotted that!”. Before you judge me too harshly on this one, please acknowledge that at least I was reading to them.
2) Clocks – I have already previously confessed to this one on my blog, but in case anyone missed it…one day when I was particularly tired and frazzled, I set all the clocks in the house forward by an hour in order to trick my kids into going to bed an hour earlier than usual. People seemed quite impressed by this one when I mentioned it previously, and not at all critical, so I don’t mind mentioning it again.
3) Childcare provision – When my son was seven and daughter 10, I needed to find some childcare provision for them during the school summer break. I found that our local sports centre ran a club. It was perfect:
- It ran daily from 8.30am-5.30pm which meant I could still go to my 9-5 job.
- As it was run by the sports centre, every day was packed full of sport and physical activities, which I love for my kids.
- It was literally half the price of most other childcare provision around.
The only problem was, it was for ages eight and up, and my son was four months short of turning eight. What’s four months right? You know what’s coming here. It’s not so much the fact that I lied to the sports centre about his age which makes this a bad parenting moment, it’s the fact that I had to tell him to lie about his age if he was asked. You may judge me harshly on this one. I don’t think I deserve forgiveness here; teaching your children to lie is pretty bad, and I still feel guilty about this one.
So there you have it. Feel free to join me by sharing your own confessions below, parental or otherwise, but please nothing so bad that it will put me in the awkward position of thinking “Should I report this or not?”.