"I've just realised, my parenting style is harming my kids."

And I’m stopping. As of now.

I didn’t have an ideal childhood. My childhood was sometimes the thing of nightmares. My parents were stressed, money was tight, my siblings and I fought often and I felt incredibly alone.

But, I am who I am today, in part, because of my childhood. And my family and I are incredibly close today.

So… could it be that being a bad parent is actually good for your kids?

I've been accused (on more than one occassion) that I'm a helicopter parent. That I am too protective and that I am ruining my kids.

Normally, I ignore feedback like this. I am doing what I feel is right when it comes to parenting my children. I don't care what anyone else thinks.

Then, it happened. I was sitting down with 3 work colleagues I really respect and they were all yelling at me.

"You're making them scared."

"They'll pick up on your fear."

"You can't DO that."

I was pretty shocked and just shrugged, explaining, "It's how I feel." But it upset me. It upset me a lot, because I knew they were right.

For the past 10 years, I've been raising my kids completely opposite to how I was raised. I've been a 'good parent'. I know where my children are at all times, I know how they are feeling at all times, I address all their problems and concerns as soon as I can, I have a lot of meetings at school...

I bombard anyone caring for my children with text messages asking how they are, I worry each night about all the things I did 'wrong' and how I'll do better the next day...and you know what?

It's all crap. I've been doing it all wrong. Everyone has been right all this time. The things I do 'wrong', the so-called 'bad parenting' I have been avoiding are the things that will teach my children the most about life.


Yes, sometimes grown ups make mistakes;

Yes, sometimes grown ups are in a bad mood;

Yes, sometimes your friends will be mean to you;

Yes, sometimes you won't have any money to spend at the canteen; and

Yes, sometimes we can't afford for you do be in the school band for a little while.

All these things will teach my children. They will learn what people are really like and learn how to deal with people's moods and actions. They will learn how to deal with mean friends and how to repair friendships. They will learn to do without and find other things to keep them occupied.

By being a perfect parent, I am depriving my children of the opportunity to learn what life is really like and how to cope with that. I am doing them a disservice.

Don't worry, I'm not going to completely abandon them. "You're walking to school today kids, just stay away from the busy roads..."

I just plan to chill out a little. If I forget to pack their library bag, I don't need to deliver it to school. If their friends upset them, I don't have to intervene. If they want to do an activity and I can't afford it, I don't have to move heaven and earth to find the money.

Because the 'good parenting' is good for my children, but so is the 'bad parenting'.

Are you a so-called 'good parent'? Are there some 'bad parent' behaviours you might consider to help your children become more resilient? 

Want more? Try these:

This woman went to extraordinary lengths to stop a baby from 'ruining her marriage'.

How many of these things did you do as a kid?