Recently, I’ve been working with a lot of parents, both in the Connective Parenting Hub and as one to one clients, who have told me they feel like their failing as a parent.

I thought I would share my thoughts and feelings around this with you…

Sarah P Fisher Coaching Parents & Carers

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“Parents are feeling like they’re not good enough.”

The word failure has come up a few times in recent conversations, or they’re saying that they’ve not been good enough in the past, they’re not able to support their child, they’re not able to do the right things… the list goes on.

I want to tell you that no parent is a failure.  We may not be doing the best things for our kids, and in some cases we may be doing things that are completely wrong, but we do the best for our kids with the knowledge and the understanding that we have at the time.

Sarah P Fisher Coaching Parents & Carers

When I look back now to when my son first moved in, I’d put him in time-out, I’d shout (I still shout now sometimes, to be fair), I didn’t understand his sensory needs so I thought that when he was refusing to wear certain clothes he was just being difficult. I didn’t understand just how scared he was at times, because the training I’d had didn’t cover that stuff. It didn’t tell me about any of those things, and it’s only through learning about NVR that I’ve realized how much I wasn’t helping him. But that wasn’t my intention.

I was doing everything I could that I knew about at the time to help him.

That doesn’t mean I’ve failed him, it just means that with hindsight I’d have done it differently, but with hindsight we’d do lots of things differently, right?

I believe that’s where we have to remember as parents that we’re not failing.

We’re constantly learning and developing, just as our kids are constantly learning and developing. It’s ok to acknowledge that maybe there’s something you would have done differently based on what you know now. 

That doesn’t make you a failure, that makes you a parent who cares and understands and wants to do as well as you can for your child.

For me that’s what’s really important – that we know that we’re doing the best we can in the moment for our child, and sometimes that actually means putting ourselves first.

I was working with a mum recenty, and we were touching on the subject of self care.  The mum said to me that she was finding it really difficult, and her words were “it’s not that my tank needs topping up, my tank needs starting – it’s stopped!”.  We then stopped and acknowledged that yes, we can talk about supporting her child and their development, but actually right now, we needed to support hers.

It’s important to know where you are right now – and what YOU need to allow yourself to support your child.

All of these things help us to learn, grow and develop, and look after ourselves. None of us are failures, but we do sometimes need to acknowledge there are things we can change as parents to help our children, and help ourselves.

If you feel like something isn’t working, ask yourself what you need to do to make it work. When we keep moving forward, no matter how small the steps are, it makes a huge difference. It’s very easy for us to both feel and be judged, and for us to judge others.

Don’t let other people make you feel like you’re failing as a parent. Everyone is different.

But let me share something with you. You’re here, reading this article right now. That tells me you care.

I want you to take a minute right now just to close your eyes and tell yourself you are enough.

Repeat after me…

“I am enough”.

Sure, sometimes the things we do don’t make it any easier in the long run, other times it doesn’t make a difference. We always do the best we can do in the moment, so we can’t blame ourselves. As long as you’re trying to do the best for you and your child in the moment, you’re doing well.

Sarah P Fisher Coaching Parents & Carers

Through my training and support in The Connective Parenting Hub, I can help you discover the Connective Parenting NVR approach and we can work together, in our community of other parents who “get it”, to take the right next step for you.

If you’re a professional who works with children and families, click here for more helpful resources and support.