Tag Archives: fail

Resilience in Parenting

As a mother, I make many parenting choices every day. Some are relatively minor, like what kinds of groceries to stock. Others, like when to give your kid enough rope to hang him or herself, require more thought and impose bigger risks. For me the most difficult challenge is handling the uncertainty–the not knowing whether I’ve made the right choice until it’s too late to reverse course.36637400_s

This semester has been a real test. For the first time, my middle-schoolers both decided to prioritize their social lives over academics. My husband and I made the conscious decision to buck our natures (and the New England trend) and let the kids’ grades flounder. Our rationale? Middle school would be a better place for them to stumble and fall (and learn the consequences of their actions) than high school.

Well, we’ve stumbled, fallen, and are getting up a bit bruised. I’ll admit, I feel a bit depressed and torn about the parenting choices we made. IF, next year, the setbacks motivate them to work harder and strike a better balance among their various interests, it may have been worth it. However, if the defeat causes them to give up instead of motivating them to “overcome” the setbacks, then my husband and I have failed terribly.

In the great scheme of our lives, rationally I know these are relatively common and minor issues we’re dealing with compared with many parents. Still, no parent likes to watch their kid struggle. I think the reason it’s extremely difficult to stand aside and make them find their own solutions is that we can’t “see” the outcome and “know” all will be well. We can only hope, pray, encourage, and lead by example.

In the meantime, like my kids, I, too, need to dig deep and find my own resiliency so I can live to parent another day!

Whether you choose to micro-manage your teens’ lives or hand them the reigns, how do you handle a setback (drinking lots of wine is NOT an acceptable answer–LOL)?




Holiday Baking…and Other Disasters

I knew before we started that my daughter’s and my plan to bake Christmas cookies would not become a blissful Betty Crocker memory. First, I’m not a baker. And when I do bake, I prefer to make brownies or cakes. You know–things that are less time intensive, require just one pass at the oven, and generally are difficult to burn.

FullSizeRender(1) But my daughter really wanted to make the pretty iced cookies she saw on the covers of every magazine at the checkout line, so I went along.

Within minutes, confectioner’s sugar had spilled all over the table, along with a container of green sprinkles. Greasy fingerprints and red gel icing dotted the counters. And the cute candy cane and wreath shaped FullSizeRender 2cookies we attempted to create ultimately spread and melted into blobs on the cookie sheets.

When we tried to ice one batch, we didn’t wait long enough, so that first smear of icing just tore off the top halves of the cookies. We burned the bottoms of another batch of chocolate cookies. My daughter tried to salvage what we didn’t destroy, but needless to say, they look nothing like intended. We can only hope they taste better than they appear.

I wish I could report that I rolled with the punches and giggled and laughed. Sadly, the perfectionist in me just got more disgusted with every mistake. My attempt to share a Christmas moment with my daughter went up in flames (much like that one batch of cookies).   In other words, major fail on my part, despite the smooth voice of Bing Crosby in the background.

Next year I vow to do a better job (assuming my daughter gives me another chance). If I stick to cupcakes and hot chocolate, perhaps I’ve got a shot.

Do you have a Christmas fail story to share?