Young Child Looking Sad

Dads. Stop breaking your children. Please.

I feel a need to write this post after what I witnessed at Costco yesterday. Forgive me for another post written in desperation and anger. Please read all the way to the end. I know it’s long, but this is something that needs to be said. It’s something that needs to be heard. It’s something that needs to be shared.

As Noah and I stood in line to make a return, I watched as a little boy (he couldn’t have been older than six) looked up at his dad and asked very timidly if they could buy some ice cream when they were done. The father glared him down, and through clenched teeth, growled at the boy to “leave him alone and be quiet”. The boy quickly cowered to the wall where he stood motionless and hurt for some time.

The line slowly progressed and the child eventually shuffled back to his father as he quietly hummed a childish tune, seemingly having forgotten the anger his father had just shown. The father again turned and scolded the boy for making too much noise. The boy again shrunk back and cowered against the wall, wilted.

I was agitated. I was confused. How could this man not see what I see? How could this man not see what a beautiful spirit stood in his shadow? How could this man be so quick to stub out all happiness in his own boy? How could this man not cherish the only time he’ll ever have to be everything to this boy? To be the person that matters most to this boy?

We were three from the front now, and the boy started to come towards his dad yet again. His dad immediately stepped out of the line, jammed his fingers into his son’s collar bones until he winced in pain, and threatened him. “If you so much as make a sound or come off of that wall again, I promise you’re going to get it when we get home.” The boy again cowered against the wall. This time, he didn’t move. He didn’t make a sound. His beautiful face pointed down, locked to the floor and expressionless. He had been broken. And that’s how his father wanted it. He didn’t want to deal with him, and breaking him was the easiest way.

And we wonder why so many of our kids grow up to be screwed up.

I’m going to be blunt. People see my relationship with Noah, and quite often put me up on a pedestal or sing my praises for loving him more than most dads love their own kids.

Damn it. I don’t understand that, and I’ll never understand that. Loving my son, building my son, touching my son, playing with my son, being with my son… these aren’t tasks that only super dads can perform. These are tasks that every dad should perform. Always. Without fail. There is nothing special about me. I am a dad who loves his son and would literally do anything for his well-being, safety, and health. I would gladly take a rake in the face or a jackhammer to my feet before I cut my own son down or make him feel small.

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[sigh] I am far from a perfect dad. And I always will be. But I’m a damn good dad, and my son will always feel bigger than anything life can throw at him. Why? Because I get it. I get the power a dad has in a child’s life, and in a child’s level of self-belief. I get that everything I ever do and ever say to my son will be absorbed, for good or for bad. What I don’t get is how some dads don’t get it…

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with nearly half a million daily subscribers as of 2015. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!
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13818 comments
Noelle Barron
Noelle Barron

Wonderfully written and obviously straight from your heart. I work in a classroom and deal with broken children often. I'm glad to know there are still wonderful fathers, dad's and daddies like you out there. Thank you for taking your time to write this. I'm certain it will help some men out there, and maybe some women too.

manilavices
manilavices

Thanks for writing this. I'm a dad to a wonderful baby boy and I feel you...I mean here in the Philippines I see a lot of what you witnessed and it breaks my heart every time. I love kids and thank God I was given the chance to be blessed with one. The world needs real dads! real men with real backbones who will take care, nurture kids the way they should be cared for.

kerenben
kerenben

Hi Dan. To you loving your son, playing with him, taking sometime off of work, computer or cell is something obvious. To me too. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my child. I remember one time time the teacher called me to say that she adores me for what I'm doing to my child. The love I give him, the attention. Calling from time to time to  see how is he doing in school. I told her "Atara, I don't feel like I'm doing something special. I'm doing what every mommy and daddy who cares and loves their children needs to do. I'm being a MOM. That made me think that there r some parents who don't act like that. And it's sad. Let me tell u a story. I'm separated from my husband for 4 month now. There was a lot of  violence at home. Mostly mentally but also physically. When we lived together he didn't pay attention to me or our child. Got home from work straight to his studio to play with his guitar. NO conversations, no trips together, no play soccer or teaching him to ride a bike. You know the usual  things a parent does with his child.But to give punishments he was available. To yell and scream- he had the time. to lower him down- for that he had plenty of time. Now he is away from home. being charged in domestic violence he can't see his son, until the court decides. So now he cries on the phone that h misses Yarden. Where the hell have u been for the past 3 years.  

So I understand what u r saying. It freaks me out that parents to think before they yell,punish, or humiliate there child. They hurting him and damaging his little soul.

Keep loving your child.

Keren

jin_kazama_d
jin_kazama_d

Well... i dont know what to say but maybe you should add that children are sensitive and if you stop them from expressing themselves they might not feel confident enough to say anything at all and just get distant from their parents, they will bottle up their feelings, problems, and almost everything they need parents for... its disappointing how parents dont want to understand that everything they do or say affects their child... its just sad

Mira
Mira

I am going to play devil's advocate and say that these children learn boundaries and rules at a young age. They grow up understanding the way the world works and about appropriateness in both behavior in public and around strangers. These are the people to be able to keep jobs and understand rules and obey them as they get older. 

I'm sure we have all seen the children in the grocery store that wont stop screaming and the parents do nothing to stop them or control them. Some children are so out of control, you may find them running around knocking things over and running into people- in the middle of an inside store! These are the children that don't know or understand rules or boundaries. They grow up believing the world revolves around them and don't understand or listen to the word "no." 

You may call discipline "breaking" a child, but teaching a child early on what is good behavior and bad behavior- even if it means scolding them for humming- will save you a world of trouble in the long run. I had pretty strict parents, and I am thankful for it. My friends whose parents allowed them to stay children are still acting like children late into their 20s and many of them still live at home as adults.

Donette
Donette

@Mira I don't think he was calling discipline done properly breaking a child.  There are ways to teach children with out belittling them as the father in this case did.  And a large man poking a child in the chest is going to leave bruises.  And having been a child of mental and physical abuse growing up I'm going to bet those aren't the only ones that child has.  I learned to fear the raised voice, as I trudged up the hallway to my doom mentally reviewing everything I had done to warrant the punishment I knew had to be coming.  I once had a weekend with favorite cousins canceled after I was dropped off because in cleaning the bathroom that morning (the price for getting to go to my cousins house) I had not rinsed the bathtub properly and left some comet residue around the drain.  I was made to start over until I got it right and then I got to sit in my room the rest of the weekend to think about my wrong doings.  I was 8.

This was just one of thousands of instances at the hands of my grandmother who proclaimed to love me.  (she adopted me from my mother when I was a baby telling her she would have her proclaimed unfit)(it was early 60's she would have done it)  I firmly believe this is the reason I never had children of my own.  I was terrified of becoming her.  

Yes children need discipline and boundaries, but they do not have to be broken to learn them.  You just need to be a parent, not a friend.  They have enough friends.  and I'm sorry every child is going to have a meltdown moment.  They are kids.  Shit happens.

Mira
Mira

I am going to play devil's advocate and say that these children learn boundaries and rules at a young age. They grow up understanding the way the world works and about appropriateness in both behavior in public around strangers. These are the people to be able to keep jobs and understand rules and obey them as they get older. 

I'm sure we have all seen the children in the grocery store that wont stop screaming and the parents do nothing to stop them or control them. Some children are so out of control, you may find them running around knocking things over and running into people- in the middle of an inside store! These are the children that don't know or understand rules or boundaries. They grow up believing the world revolves around them and don't understand or listen to the word "no." 

You may call discipline "breaking" a child, but teaching a child early on what is good behavior and bad behavior- even if it means scolding them for humming- will save you a world of trouble in the long run. I had pretty strict parents, and I am thankful for it. My friends who allowed them to stay children are still acting like children and many of them still live at home as adults. 

MarySueNelson
MarySueNelson

So STAND UP and SAY SOMETHING! We don't have to be rude, but for Gods sake, don't just stand by. Ask parent if they need a break, a mentor, a babysitter for a day or even something more. "I can see you are so stressed over something, by the way you are treating this child who so desperately loves you and needs your acceptance .... what can I do to help out?" Why just make a quick judgement and leave? Don't spend an hour on fb condeming and wondering why.....make a move, try to help! It takes a village. Just singing your own 'I'm a wonderful father and you're not' tune will help NO CHILD.

Tortoise
Tortoise

At a market, a boy touched a wrapped muffin, looking at it. His mom slapped him sharply and said "don't touch anything!!" She smiled apologetically at me as if the boy was a problem. They walked off quickly.

ThadJosey
ThadJosey

I'm sorry about how you grew up Paul. It's very sad to have a parent or parents who negelcts the one they brought into the world. 


I do understand that in your scenario, it was your father and not your mother. PLEASE DO ALL OF US FATHERS THAT ARE GOOD FATHERS! Don't point the issue at Fathers, use the word PARENT. Because of this stereotype of fathers being the one that is the problem laws are stacked against Fathers in custody during divorce.


I love my son, he means everything to me. Yet, the law grants so much advantage to women and thats good when the father is  abusive. Problem is, the good guys are punished as well and get pushed out of the kids life and bribed by a monthly payment. I'd like one person to explain to me how thats ok. To me, its causing the same problem. Kids growing up with dads only around every other weekend. So yeah, I get pissed off reading all of this dad this and dad that. 


It's easy to do guys, PARENT'S! NOT Fathers.

RobinWayne
RobinWayne

I heard every word of what you where saying as if you were talking straight to me. I`m a Mother... and I have seen just as many women like this. It angers me so much that I have to fight off the want to grab them by the hair and bring them down to the level they have brought their child to. But when I see these things, I always wonder id I should C.P.S. because i`m afraid if this is how they treat their children in a store full of people, what happens to this child in the privacy of their own home. I feel sick in my stomach, I feel guilty for not making those calls.... I`m confused as to what the courts would now consider child abuse.... But I am hoping the next time I see something like this ... That I WILL MAKE THAT CALL !! 

k
k

It's not just dads, it's moms too. My dad wasn't very present in my life when I was a kid but I can't count how many times my mom told me "I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it" and how many times I was told I don't have any common sense and I don't listen. I started showing signs of depression as a teen but it was going on a lot earlier than that. I'm 29 now. I deal with crippling social anxiety and I can't make it through the day without Prozac. I wonder why.

Candice
Candice

Dan-Your post seared several emotions for me: anger, sadness, happiness, and pride. Pride because I already do and my husband does with our kids. Happiness because I do think that dad's need to read your message, even if they are amazing dad's just so that they get a jolt to remember how influential they are in their child's life. Sadness and anger because I have myself said some things you posted about and told my 4 year old to stop it, knock it off, etc because he has pushed and pushed me to a breaking point. I don't believe in degrading children, but I have been pushed by my 4 year old many times and my first thoughts about your story were that maybe there was a lot you didn't see. You jumped to being judgemental, but have you NEVER been pushed to your breaking point by your child? I consider myself to be a reflective person both in my personal and professional life. Maybe I need parenting classes because my son has a very long way to go before he will be "labeled" a "good listener". I don't know where I have gone wrong. ...maybe spoiled him too much, but I wake up everyday and hope to do better than the day before. I thank you for your story and for your reminders, but also hope to spark a thought for you. It's easy to be judgemental when you are the spectator, but maybe also keep in the back of your mind that you don't know what events transpired before what you saw. Or maybe that doesn't matter because your child has never done anything that pushed you. If that's the case, please send me some of your secrets because I would love to learn from you (seriously, not sarcastically). Thank you for your story.

-Candice (a decent mother who strives to do better :) )

MarySueNelson
MarySueNelson

Candice-thanks for sharing....parenting is the hardest, most stressful job a person will EVER have. Keep trying to do better....we all have regrets, but don't beat yourself up, just keep trying.

AlexandraBotham
AlexandraBotham

@Candice Hi Candice, I am not a mother, so I cannot pretend to understand your experiences, but I have taught in schools and observed lessons where children are 'labelled' as 'naughty' or 'badly behaved' etc.. I often observed that the children who were labelled in this way believed themselves to be that child and yet, spending time with them, I found that they were intelligent, lively and talented.


My younger brother was often labelled as a 'noisy' child, who didn't 'pay attention' or 'listen effectively'. My mum attended a parents' evening where a teacher pointed out that although my brother didn't appear to be listening - he would often be moving around a lot or not looking at the teacher - he was learning. The teacher said that he simply learnt in a different way and therefore there wasn't anything to be concerned about - his written work was evidence of this. My brother is currently studying for a degree and is currently in line for a first.


You seem to be a loving and caring parent - just like mine - so I think that it is natural for you to assess what you are doing and to strive to do better by your child each day. Don't lose sight of your child's brightness and liveliness - encourage him to do what he loves! 


Best wishes, Alex x

kimijo39
kimijo39

I am glad that you stand up for what you believe! A child is definitely a blessing!

CharlieMannix
CharlieMannix

I think you are preaching , I also think its important to note that there is no handbook for getting it right. Parents do the best they could and should. When there is a bitter divorce you will no doubt see a bitter ex wife and or ex husband bashing the parenting skills of the other. This is what should be avoided in front of children and you make no mention of that here.


MarySueNelson
MarySueNelson

Oh, gag me. LeBron is sooo full of himself it makes me want to puke....saying to his team mates:climb on my back and we'll take this thing. Really, LeBron....lol.....you can't win it by yourself you stupid baboon.

VelmaWorley
VelmaWorley

I thank God for the men who are real dad's. I took pride everyday my husband came from work and my children would race to get " the first kiss" . He would travel from out of town to make it to a game his son had. The whole team lit up saying " your dad's here." He passed away last year, but not without leaving strong, but humbled legacy of what to be like as a dad.

keithhoerner
keithhoerner

It's interesting you made this comment given I was thinking the same thing this morning. I am a survivor of child abuse. Actions speak louder than words. Shame...

keithhoerner
keithhoerner

It's interesting you noted this as I was thinking the same thing (being a victim if child abuse myself). Actions speak louder than words. Shame...

LottaDramma
LottaDramma

At what point in seeing this was it better to write about it online instead of intervening in what is clearly a situation of parental abuse?  Your post is beautifully written and hits all the "right" points but you aren't reaching that dad or helping that child. That dad acts that way because he CAN - people see it and let him; it's "none of their business."  When are people going to stand up and DO something instead of patronizing others in blog posts?

VelmaWorley
VelmaWorley

@LottaDramma You missed the point. If someone made a comment to you about how you were treating, or mistreating your child, chances are they would suffer repercussions once they got home.  What could you tell a stranger that you don't know their mindset at the time..  your username speaks for itself. Let's see how reaction alone follows.

Janice K
Janice K

My son is a wonderful dad.  When I see him with his 21 month old son all I can think of is, "Thank God his father and I did something right.  Parenthood is tough and you don't always know if you are doing the kind of job that you should."

Regina77
Regina77

after reading your post I actually realized that my husband is an amazing dad, he is much better than me as a mom! and I thank God for that every day. Thank you for the post

gamejames
gamejames

We can all learn a lesson from Robert Downey, Sr.  Robert Downey, Jr. has stated that his father cast a shadow whether he meant it or not.  Robert Downey, Sr.'s actions should not be followed yet this story should make fathers around the world feel comfortable acknowledging that they are unable to show their emotional side.  Downey, Sr. would do drugs with his son.  "When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how." http://www.vcyiqy.com/2014/12/robert-downey-jr-iron-sharpens-iron.html

AntoinetteMosley
AntoinetteMosley

My boyfriend and both my ex husbands are great dad's. They would sell their souls to give their kids everything they desire. My Dad sucked I'm so thankful my kids won't have to go through what I did. Thank you for writing this I'll be sharing over and over.

JanieC
JanieC

Well Dan all I can say after reading that is WOW! You totally nailed it. Your kids are very very lucky to have a father like you who's not totally wrapped up in work, stressed out or what ever.

I wish more people would remember that their kids didn't ask to be born and that they are just as precious at any age as they were when when we first set eyes on them as newborn babies.

I have a 13yr old daughter, Alana and yeah we might be going through that "difficult age" of hormones and everything else teenage years throw at us but she is still and always will be my baby girl. Alana hasn't seen her dad since he walked out on us when she was only 2yrs old but as far as I'm concerned that's his loss. I have the most amazing step dad who has been in my life, funnily enough, since I was 2yrs old, but he's not my "step" dad in my eyes, he's my dad and thankfully the best male role model I could ask for, both for me and my daughter.

It's just been the two of us since Alana's dad left and I'l be honest, it's been damn hard going at times but that's not her fault and I would never ever give her any reason to ever think otherwise. I just thank god that my dad is such an amazing man and has been able,in a way, to be both father and grandfather to Alana and not to forget my wonderful mum who's always been there as my mum and Alana's grandmother and more importantly, now I am older, my mum and dad are my two best friends. I'd be lost without them and if,when Alana is all grown up, she feels the same way about me as I feel about my parents then I'l know I did OK bringing her up with the same unconditional love and support that I've had my entire life. ☺

PaulMoore2
PaulMoore2

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father who beat the life out of my mother, siblings and myself. He was a very cruel and angry man, the kind I grew to hate as a young boy, the kind I wished that could have loved me and spent time with me, the kind of man that had at least one iota of compassion for me, my mom and my siblings. He left when I was ten and by then the course of my life had already been determined: mental illness, porn addiction and host of other non-working behaviors. In and out of jobs, lost opportunities, failed marriage, bankrupt, suicidal. I really believe that if I had a father who loved me and showed me love I would not have made some of the mistakes I made and possibly could have avoided some of the wrong paths I went down. 

Today, my father is dead. He has been dead since 2006. I can't say that I miss him, because even after he quit the booze, he became a dry drunk, very angry, cranky and irritable. I invited him to my wedding years later because deep down I wanted my father to love me and I wanted him to come to my wedding. He came and made amends with a lot of people, including his brothers and my siblings, but because of his anger, he wound up dying alone on the west coast, thousands of miles away from his family. His anger was something none of us siblings wanted any part of. 

So, my message to all of you fathers out there is this: you have one chance to make a good impression on your child and that happens in the formative years of their lives. If you fail to show them the love they need, they will look for it wherever they can find it and usually its in the wrong place. 

If you're an angry man because of your past, it's time to break the cycle and get the help you need so as not to perpetuate the same horrible behavior you are showing to your child who will eventually show it to theirs. The cycle can be stopped, but it takes a lot of work which is something many men could care less about doing. Kudos to you, Dan for having the guts to write about this. Thank you.



Paul.

Lisa
Lisa

Great read!  The same does go for being a mom.  Its hard to think that there are others that do not try and give their children the world - that it is a bother to be in the presence of a child.  It is the little things in life that mean the most.  Time goes by way to quickly for anyone to not appreciate what they have, especially their children.  I for one never planned on having children, and my daughter was not planned.  That being said, she is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.  I can't even imagine me or anyone else doing something like that to her.  Is not like the little boy was asking for the world, just a special treat...ice cream.  Once again, thanks for sharing!

CyrilJamesTagudBual
CyrilJamesTagudBual

I can see that you are a great dad yourself. I never had that type of father, I guess. My mother used to say that it was because he had a poor example too from my grandfather when he was growing up. Looking back, I always saw my father as someone to please, someone to not disappoint, someone to avoid doing mistakes around. I can't recall ever saying ILY to him right to his face. We were not that kind of family. My dad died almost 3 years now. He was shot in front of our house over a company-related problem. I would be lying if I told you I was devastated by his sudden loss. Don't get me wrong, I was sad, I got angry, I felt an emptiness. But you know what, to this day I still cringe when I realize why I wasn't so much affected by my father's death. I got by faster than most my friends who also lost their dads at an early age. I coped rather quickly, I think, mostly because I was used to the fact that he wasn't around most of the times I was growing up. Oh well. We didn't get along. I used to call it a "civil" relationship. Hehe. I loved my father in my own way. But he was never the one to go to whenever I had problems. I had my friends for that. Well, thank ou very much for this piece. At least, when I'm older and if ever I decide I want kids of my own, biologically or through adoption, the world would have one more enlightened dad. God bless you, Sir. You just had one additional fan in me.

Eileen Mackey
Eileen Mackey

Powerful stuff. I wish it was required reading for every parent. As a child who grew up with no father and an ignorant, refrigerant mother, it affects me every moment of every day. I applaud you for telling it like it is. The only thing I would add is that nurturing a child enriches an adult's life every bit as much as it does the child's.

MarciaDean
MarciaDean

I am a mom and it applies to us women as mothers as well. It brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. My children are grown and grandchildren and three great grandson's later I realize too late that I should have done more for my children. I was married at fifteen and by the time I was twentyfive had five children and divorced. I remarried a man who was raising eight children alone. We added number fourteen a year and a half later. Attention to each individual child was spread very thin. I just lost my son to suicide a year ago...and several years ago I lost a step-son the same way. The grief is unbearable....the "what if's" haunt me. Parents your love and attention DO MATTER! You can't turn back time...once they are gone...you can't give them all the hugs and attention they so desperately need.  Thank you so much for this article. Unfortunately the father and son that need to see this article probably never will. Thank you!

ChrisMalpass
ChrisMalpass

I absolutely agree with everything you've written here. I love my kids and would take a bullet for either of them, but even I feel I could be a better dad. Society just isn't instilling the values it should be in our children in this day and age, we are the ONLY ones who can try to make that difference. Bravo to you for writing this! It has accomplished making me stop and step back a moment to question myself. Thank you!

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PandevOse

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Gueneth
Gueneth

LOVE. It. You. Your son. All of it. 

SarahParks1
SarahParks1

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Ajayi022

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MargieWhite1
MargieWhite1

What advice can you a person in my situation?!  My sons father has trips to jail and a drug charges as we'll as multiple accounts of domestic violence, he has been hopping and bouncing all over my town exposeing our son to his life style of drugs and druggie friends and those that have extensive prison records , child services has been in and out of my child's life since he was a year old because his father and grandparents constantly trying to prove me e unfit parent!,  child service cases where he was involved in physical abuse on other children an has gotten away with it because the attorney in my town is crap...I have been drug through many court hearings over my son, but it is of no use even with a lawyer ....this last time in court I was ordered to give my sons father make up time for  8 weeks to be done and over with in a years time, it is not fair i am having to give up this time to a low life all because I was protecting my son by not allowing visitations becauseof incidens where I have had to pick my child from scenes of domestic violence that he witnessed because of his fathers temper and  from the disgusting life style his father lives. The judge even pointed out the faults in the father but yet we have to share custody.  He has 2 other children one here in my town and one in Arizona that  has nothing to do with and is actively paying support for the one here in town!!!  What can be done!? Does my child have to suffer some permanent damage or die before somebody up and sees this problem!?  The man lives at home with his parent still for crap sake!!!! I have a car and a house my child has his own room with everything he needs, my fiance is a correctional office, we don't want for anything, because my the working to support us I do what I am suppose to and take care of my son!  But yet I still get the crap end of this all because of my sons father.... It is like he can do wthe in this town and get off Scott free...let someone else do what he does and they get buried under the prison for eternity!!!! 

MargieWhite1
MargieWhite1

Sorry for the crappy spelling my tablet kept erasing what I would right and act up.... 

sadbutawoken
sadbutawoken

This post was incredibly powerful. I'm a single mother of a very active five year old child. I am also guilty of sone of these things and this post opened my eyes. Yes, days get difficult but I learned from this read I need to relax because my stressed and worries need not apply in my child shoulders. Thank you for writing thus. You helped raise an awareness about behaviors most of us don't even recognize exists

SmilesOfSunshine
SmilesOfSunshine

      I absolutely loved this read. To be honest, this goes for more than just dads, but single mothers as well. I cried when reading this because I am guilty of some of these things as well. I am 25 and have a 4 1/2 year old daughter and a 2 1/2 year old son whose fathers are absent from their lives. I am a college student trying to balance college work with parent life and at times it extremely frustrating to find harmony  in respecting their autonomy and decision making, and them respecting my decisions and wishes. I have raised my voice to them more times than I should have and I most definitely have been frustrated many night when I ask them to lay in their beds and not get up at bed time so that I can do homework and study and they decide to play in and out of their room until late hours of the night. I love my kids to death and there is nothing in this world I would not do for them, but at times, I just feel worn down. I AM working on it though, I do not like the feeling of my kids fearing me or making them cry. I have spent many nights crying and beat myself up over the the way I had handled situations and how I could have handled it differently. 


Thank you so much for this amazing post,

Mandalynn

Debra
Debra

@SmilesOfSunshine I am a grandmother and still have those odd ,middle of the night memories of when I failed as a parent.  Be honest with your kids when you mess up, without excuses.  Kids figure out we are not perfect and most know when they are loved. Even when we screw up.

You are in the game, hang in there.

stacey1
stacey1

I heard something on tv the other day that I loved.  In the 60s and 70s parents were concerned about being happy themselves.  They sent the kids out and they did not come home till suppertime.  Nowadays we concentrate too much on the kids happiness.  Some sort of happiness must be reached