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Letting go of failures

April 2nd, 2009

Family Life Today is one of my favorite radio programs. (You can listen to it online, or download the podcast to listen to it any time.)

On the program few days ago on “Launching Your Teen into Life”, Dennis Rainey, the host, said something that resonated with me.

“…I think there’s a tendency with all parents to look back with regret “shoulda, coulda, woulda” and the guilt or the shame of mistakes we made, and, you know, it’s as we let our children go, we also need to let some of our failures go, too. No parent does it perfectly, …”

In my efforts to encourage parents to raise “good kids” with conservative values through this website, it has been a sobering and humbling experience. I shoulda taken more of my own advice! I shoulda ask questions instead of lecturing my daughter; I coulda been more patient when my son didn’t do his chores; I woulda worried less and laughed more.

If you are like me, that tape of regrets keeps running in your mind.

Dennis Rainey is right. No parent does it perfectly, not even the ones who write the books or give the advice. In fact, they probably made the most mistakes; the only difference is they’ve lived to tell about it!

He is also right to say that we need to let some of our failures go.

“In raising a young person from childhood through adolescence into adulthood, this is not a science,” Dennis continues. “This is not a mathematical equation where it’s A+B+C=D. It’s a process, and I just think parents need all the encouragement, the help, the hope, and they need some thoughts about how to get there and how to make a healthy release.”

No matter where you are in your parenting journey – just starting out, starting out again with another little one, launching the last one, or somewhere inbetween – know that you are not alone. There is at least one person, me, walking the same road with you, to offer that encouragement and help.

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  1. […] encouragement to you is, don’t beat yourself over the head for being imperfect. Being imperfect is a fact of […]


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