Recently while scrolling, I saw some “quote” made all visually pretty with the sentiment of: “A child’s behavior doesn’t indicate a good/bad parent, it’s the parent’s behavior that does.” The first half of the statement I agree with it’s the second half that really got under my skin. It hit a nerve. It pissed me off. Perhaps I felt personally attacked because sometimes my behavior is not ideal. But here’s the thing…
We will all make mistakes.
We will all have moments where our behavior is less than, even lower than less than.
We will all have moments when we are triggered and overreact in a poor way because maybe, just maybe, that moment brought up something from our past that we didn’t know was an issue so how could we prepare for it or even work through it prior to that moment?
We will all have moments when we behave in exactly the way we don’t want our children to because we are STILL learning and growing…and because we are freakin’ human.
We will all have moments where we shock ourselves with our behavior, perhaps embarrass ourselves with our behavior (again, we are all human.)
We will all have moments where we simply had a bad day, a bad phone call, a bad interaction, and didn’t have enough time to re-group before a parenting moment that required us to be at our calmest and most collected…and we will snap, or yell, or just be grouchy or rude.
These “bad behavior” moments DO NOT, and I repeat, do NOT mean we are bad parents. PERIOD. I screw up all the time. I have had moments that I am so not proud of. I have seen my kids reflect my behavior and it does make me cringe. But I am not sitting here intentionally screwing up. I am standing here, doing my freakin’ best, working on my areas of improvement as a parent.
Parenting doesn’t come with a manual for how to take care of a kid and likewise we weren’t given a manual that said: Here are your behaviors that you will struggle with, here is how to manage them and overcome them so that when you are a parent, your behavior will be perfect. If you got that manual, awesome! I, however, as I am sure many parents will agree, did not.
So yeah, I have some behaviors that aren’t ideal for parenting, that I wish I didn’t “show” my kids and that therefore didn’t “show up” in their behavior. But I am working on it…and oh, my working on my “bad behavior” is also showing my kids some good behaviors:
Orange Rhinos don’t just yell less at their kids…they have strength and courage to charge through obstacles with confidence and determination. It isn’t easy identifying parts of ourselves that we would like to change – and it isn’t easy doing it. So kudos to all you parents put there doing just that!! In my book, you are a pretty, gosh darn good parent.
(sidebar: yes, they are actually some parenting behaviors that are horrid, i.e. abuse. This post does not apply to those behaviors. But I don’t think the quote I read was referring to those behaviors.)
Okay, rant and soap box over. Charge Forward with Courage and Confidence Orange Rhinos!