One Thing Every Parent Needs to Know Going into the New Year

Your kids don’t decide if you’re a good parent or not. You do.
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Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
January 1, 2021
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4
Minute Read

We’ve all gotten them. Insults from our own children. Whether it’s a toddler yelling, I hate you! Or a teenager saying she wishes she had a different mom, while we know our kids don’t mean what they say (most of the time), these insults still sting. Just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean words don’t hurt you.

After a year like 2020, when you’ve been around your children perhaps more than ever before, you’ve probably received your fair share of I hate yous and Leave me alones. You’ve seen doors slam in your face. You’ve heard your kids complain that you are working in the living room when they want to watch T.V. You’ve listened to them groan We’re eating that casserole again?? when it was all you could do to get dinner on the table after a hectic day.

Words like these from your kids have left you frustrated, exhausted and wondering if you’re still a good parent. Let me assure you, you are.

Unfortunately, when our kids say mean things or act unappreciative, we make the colossal mistake of believing them.

I find this peculiar. When my granddaughter was three and would tell me that her pink pony flies, I laughed, but when she told me I was a mean grandmother, I felt bad. I’m sure that you do the same with your kids and grandkids. 

The truth is, we believe these comments because we desperately want to make sure that we are doing a good job at this parenting, or grandparenting, thing. And when our kids tell us that we are doing a lousy job, we feel like lousy parents.

So here’s a tip for parenting during 2021: Gauge your parenting either by your own judgment or your partner’s. Your kids will let you down every single time.

I can say this because I know something about you. If you are reading this, I know that you are conscientious, hard-working, loving and serious about being a good mom or dad. And you know what? Being those things is enough to be a good parent.

I’ve seen thousands of parents come through my office doors, and I know parents who try hard are doing a better job than they think they are. The problem is, they lack self-confidence because they are listening to their kids who don’t have a clue about what it takes to be a good parent.

If you were worried about making sure your kids had a good Christmas, you’re a good parent. If you lose sleep over your kids at night worrying that they will end up with the wrong crowd, you’re a good parent. If you discipline your kids, love them to death and laugh with them on occasion, give yourself a pat on the back. You are a great parent!

You made it through 2020, and so did your kids, and this makes you a superhuman parent.

So, remember this next time your child yells at you or threatens to run away and never return. Your kids don’t decide if you’re a good enough parent or not. You do. And if you can’t tell yourself you’re a good parent then listen to me. Parent with confidence this year. Root yourself in the truth that you are enough. And know that you are a great parent raising a great kid because even if you don’t say so, I do.

Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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