Bad Parents Perfect Children

Is it hard to admit when you are a bad parent and your child isn’t perfect?

Where do bad parents go for advice?

So I was reading an article about sexual predators – about how hard it is for them to put their hands up and say – you know what I need help? Once they admit their preferences and out themselves, then who wants to let their children around them? Who has compassion and understanding for them and wants to help them? It got me to thinking about parenting. What happens when a parent cannot cope? I did put bad parents in the title but they are not bad, they just are struggling with it all. The other day I was suffering from depression and could really have had a drink. I never and I posted this on my Facebook wall and got such a huge amount of support. But what if I had? If I had posted at 4 in the afternoon:

“Had an awful day so have cracked open a cider”

with a picture of the can, so people know I wasn’t joking – would I have received the same support? Would people have ignored it? Thought I was seeking attention? Would anyone have called social services on me? Would the concerns just be for my children (which I am not saying I wouldn’t have wanted it to be) – would the cry for help go ignored? I am okay, I am not asking for anyone to help me, and I am not saying that I need it.

bad parents perfect children

I am just questioning actually how is easy does society make it to reach out for that support when someone does need it. Do we all do it in such a jokey way now – so we can risk assess the situation. To see if we can seek the help without being made to further feel a failure, without having to worry about the consequences. To being punished in some way. Just to actually get help. I mean situations a lot more serious too. What if a mother is a drug addict? Or beats her child? What if she fears she may lose that child but actually just wants help to stop behaving how she does?

Non-Perfectly Behaved Children

What about our children? I find when a child does something good it is the child that is praised, but when they do something bad it is the parent’s fault. Can we only talk about them in terms of how well they are doing? Is it a reflection on us if they do not behaving like angels? What happens if we speak out against our children? Is this knocking their self-esteem, again meaning that we are not doing a good job? Should we just love them as they are no-matter what, unconditionally – no matter what they do? No matter who they hurt? At what point would we intervene – of letting them be children, and stepping in and saying – no this is wrong? Do we punish them? Or should they be allowed to make their own mistakes? Does it matter if other people think badly of our children? How far should we go to protect them – and is it easy to ask for help? Should we compare between children? And if we should compare – how do we know what is normal if no-one talks about it? Or is each child an individual and we should make no excuses for bad behaviour? Or should all behaviour just be excused?

non perfect parents and children
I know it’s not too serious but here is a picture of a pub – where my 11 year old went with his friend for lunch – without telling anyone. My in-laws told him that’s fine as they were drinking at 14 – it’s about their normal. I am, of course discussing more serious issues such as drug taking, rape, etc as well as these more “normal” parts of growing up.

What do you think? Do you struggle as a parent? Do you do things that you are worried about the consequences if you talk about it? What about your children – are they all angels? Do you worry about what might happen if you talk about your child’s behaviour? Or am I the only no-good mother with children who can be difficult at times?

13 thoughts on “Bad Parents Perfect Children”

  1. I think it shows good parenting that you’re even asking these out loud! We all give ourselves a hard time but a conscience is a good start. We’re all learning all the time and all we can do is our best. I’m frequently mortified at my kids’ behaviour as well as my own and I find asking for help really hard. X

  2. You’ve given me lots to think about here. I do think, with Facebook and Twitter allowing us to share things so easily, that maybe we give each other more support, and things are more out in the open, then they were pre-social media.

  3. I think that so many people are under pressure to be seen as strong and together and positive as a result of how they are perceived as parents (especially on social media) when lots of them actually aren’t. Today for example, I am not. Grace saw this this morning and, when she gets home from school, I am going to explain to her why so she doesn’t think it is her. I was in the supermarket earlier and this man was utterly awful to me and I just wanted to cry. Basically he was complaining that he had got in the wrong queue because my card wouldn’t work. I told him if he didn’t like it, he could the other queue! He did. As I said to Ross, unless they are directly involved, no one truly knows what is going on in someone else’s life on a day to day basis. If you had posted that photo then I am certain that no one would have judged you and I hope (because this is how I would have reacted) people would have been just as supportive. For what it’s worth, from what I see I think you are a wonderful Mum, turn the no- in your question into a so- x

  4. I do think FAcebook and Twitter ect has made it easy to share everything, even the things that previously no one shared at all before, which is good and bad in equal measures.
    I have been finding of late that people seem much more judgemental than ever before – which often doesn’t help those who need support.

  5. firstly – hugs
    Secondly – I think everyone goes through times of difficulty when parenting. No child is perfect and children will do things that we seem naughty – that’s the way they learn.
    I tend to withdraw when I’m having troubles with parenting and remember having such a bad time with my eldest when she was acting up and making life difficult for everyone. It ended up with her leaving home and me feeling like the worst parent ever but, she needed her own space and we are closer than ever now!

  6. i am not even sure how to start expressing my thinking. My girls are too young to even thing of things. I do worry that I am failing at being a parent because I am not always taking my daughters side. When they mistake I tell them and I always listen to what they have to say. It is important. I try to teach my girls the good things – not to lie, not to fight etc but they will of course do all those things we told them not to do. We used to be kids once and we sometimes didn’t listen to our parents…
    But like Anya says you are a good parent just because you’re asking yourself all these question.
    Big hugs lovely xxxx

  7. I think even the most well behaved child can have difficult moments, and children who are well behaved in public can be difficult at home. We can only do our best. My 7 year old, who I generally think of as being well behaved, was in trouble after gym class last week for pushing his sister and being rude, I was mortified….I definitely felt like it was my fault, despite me asking him to be polite and kind constantly…it’s clearly not going in. I don’t really know where to go from here.

    You are an amazing Mum, Joy, just don’t forget that. Kids know how to push out buttons. xxx

  8. You’ve raised a really good point where children are praised for good behaviour, and parents are blamed for bad behaviour. We’re all a little guilty of judging parents of the screaming child in the supermarket and it’s hard not too. My son is impeccably behaved out of the house but can be ‘naughty’ (as naughty as 2 years olds can be!) when at home. I prefer it this way I think, even if I have to shut myself in a room and count to ten at times! I’ve also always wondered about mothers who would like help to stop, as you say, beating a child, but are too afraid of the consequences of asking for support. Great post!

  9. I think that every parent struggles at some point and all children can be difficult at times. I’ve found my kids’ behaviour really difficult recently. I know it’s because they’re tired and under pressure as they’ve both started new schools but I find it hard to stay patient when they’re both being grumpy and horrible to me. It’s even harder as my husband is in the US for work at the moment so the parenting is all down to me. What helps me is talking to other adults about it, face to face or by phone.
    I’m sure you’re a great parent – remember that nobody is perfect and we’re all just doing our best.

  10. i can’t imagine there’s one parent in the world who can say that they are the perfect parent or that they have the perfect child. it’s just not possible. it’s what makes us all human surely?

  11. I’m certainly not one of those perfect parents because even though my two are generally really well behaved, they have their moments and when they do, I don’t always deal with it as well as I should. You’re a great mum and the fact you ask yourself these questions is just one of the things that shows that x

  12. I think that every parent struggles with their offspring from time to time and being a parent has to be one of the toughest jobs ever! Although I’ve always loved my daughters unconditionally, there have been times when I’ve not always liked what they were doing and I’ve blogged about this a lot! I think that sharing our experiences can only be a good thing and like to think that this has the potential to help others in the same situation.
    Thinking of you x

  13. I thank you all, and maybe it’s my own fault for drawing on my own circumstances too, but really I am trying to get at much more serious matters than my own.

    I knew a lad who raped a 5 year old girl. He was only a child himself. But instead of admitting it (and possibly getting help) he knew that this would further make people not want to know him. He only said to me that he had quite recently (a good 20 years plus later). And yes what of the mother beating her kids as she’s struggling to cope, or not enough to feed them because she’s spent her money on her addictions?


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