You’re not going to get it right every time. You’re not even supposed to. No one does.
Sometimes, you will yell when you wish you’d been calm. You will accuse an innocent child, and let a guilty one off the hook. You will help too much, or too little. You will bring the wrong child to the dentist, you will buy dinner from a vending machine, and you will realize that there isn’t always a “right” choice anyway.
Even parenting experts get things “wrong”. Julie Lychott-Haims wrote the book How to Raise an Adult, and she didn’t even start requiring chores out of her children until they were ten and twelve. She wishes she’d started much earlier.
And know that you don’t have to get it right every time definitely translates to you don’t have to get it right the first time when it comes to tricky subjects like setting screen time limits. You’re allowed to make adjustments as you go — in fact, you’ll probably have to.
Sometimes, we become happier parents by doing things differently. But mostly, we shift things by changing how we think and feel. Repeat this mantra when you’re about to hit yourself with the “I should have” stick. It will remind you that nobody always gets it right, no matter how things may appear from scanning their Instagram feed. And it will remind you that you’ll get another chance tomorrow.
To learn all ten Happier Parent Mantras, subscribe to our newsletter.