Parenting is really tough and despite our best intentions, no parent gets it completely right 100% of the time. When it comes to parenting, we have to accept that embarrassing gaffes are just par for the course. The upside — other than having that adorable bundle of mischievous energy in your life — is that these goofs are comedy gold that make your parenting journey utterly delightful.
Fortunately, kids are more resilient than we parents give them credit for. So if you are guilty of any of these parenting fails, quit beating yourself up — especially if everyone turned out just fine:
Family photos gone wrong.
I’m willing to bet every family has at least one of these somewhere. There seems to be an unspoken rule that whenever you round up toddlers for a family photo, hilarity ensues. The camera captures it all for posterity from weird facial expressions, awkward postures, bawling children and harassed parents. Good thing is, these photos make for the funniest family stories later on. Be considerate about posting them online though as kids, especially teens, might not appreciate the unflattering attention.
You want to surprise your kids with something special for dinner so you decide to try out that recipe you got online. Only after you’ve cooked the meal and served it up for your little ones do you realize that maybe not every recipe on Pinterest should be trusted. So you chuck your failed experiment in the bin, order take-out and hope that you didn’t destroy your kids’ sense of taste. You also learn the importance of first making and tasting every recipe before dishing it out to others.
Toddler makeovers and DIY projects.
Kids love expressing themselves, especially where they’re not supposed to. Leave them unattended (even for five minutes) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with evidence of their artistic sides. You never knew how many creative uses crayons, chalk, permanent markers and even kitchen flour or oil could be put to until toddlers get hold of them.
I still shudder when I remember the time my youngest painted himself green with a sharpie because he wanted to be the Grinch. From that day on, I’m always suspicious whenever my children are too quiet. That’s usually when mischief is brewing.
Parental memory lapses.
We parents are usually so busy that some things just slip our minds. Like the time my wife was supposed to pick up our kids from dance class but she totally forgot thinking it was my turn to do it. Or that time I took the wrong child for a doctor’s appointment only to realize my mistake halfway there. If something like this has happened to you — maybe you forgot to put sweets in the kids’ piñata or you put on your baby’s diaper over his onesie (or forgot it altogether) — relax. You’re in good company and your kids aren’t going to be scarred for life because of your forgetfulness.
Kids’ verbal bloopers.
While it’s true children say the darndest things, you won’t think it’s funny when they pick up curse words. I didn’t know how much I used to say “Shit” in my daughter’s presence. In my defense, I used to mutter it believing she was out of earshot. I realized how mistaken I was when one day as we were getting ice-cream, hers partly melted and fell down. Without missing a beat, my little angel screamed, “Shit!” loud enough for everyone to hear. Needless to say, I was mortified and from then on I was more careful about what I said around my children.
Forgetting to lock up.
Stories abound about parents who learned the error of not locking doors in the funniest ways, the most memorable being Professor Kelly who had his interview with the BBC famously interrupted by his kids. Then there are those whose kids surprised them in bed or in the shower and those whose children found personal items and used them for their own amusement. You really can’t blame them, kids are curious creatures and the lure of hidden items is just too much for them to resist. If they find them, they’ll definitely play with them. A better approach would be to teach them the importance of privacy and also locking things up to prevent children from getting their hands on them.
These fails prove that no one is perfect at parenting and we all screw up once in awhile. So instead of trying to be the perfect parent, learn to laugh at your goofs. Not only is it incredibly therapeutic, it also teaches your children that you’re not infallible. Best of all, you’ll have something to reminisce and laugh about when they grow older.