Am I Doing This Wrong?

I have no idea if I’m doing this parenting thing right. As far as I can tell, there’s not a commonly agreed upon metric beyond the basic ‘do no harm, no, seriously‘. I can also tell that this is a common insecurity held frequently by people doing a damn good job. I look at you all as paragons of parenting or paragons of good advice, or both. Perhaps you have advice or speculation?

Things I have worried about of late:
1. Not encouraging RR to be on the swim team (stick-to-itive-ness)
2. Not insisting she learn to swim AND breathe (survival)
3. Not taking her to practice riding her bike (practice is important if you want to do something well)
4. Not buying her oil paints and a guitar (it’s worth it to nourish your hobbies)
5. Letting her watch too many YouTube videos (live life in person)
6. Not having more playdates (social life is also important)

Now, I know no one is perfect. I did bake cupcakes with her this weekend, Debra played stuffed animals with her, we didn’t make her run errands, we played with her in the pool, hell, we TOOK her to the pool which, given my current body image, was a feat. Still, she says she’s lonely and she still watched too many videos and didn’t ride her bike. This is a lack of follow-through on my part and what is that teaching her? If we continue on this path, it becomes a downward spiral so let’s not.

How do you let it all happen without worrying? How do you handle it when your child says she’s lonely but doesn’t have particularly close friends? How do you insist she leave the cool house to practice a skill she doesn’t see a need to learn? It’s useless, this worrying, but here we are. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel better.

8 Responses

  1. I feel like you just looked into my soul… Parenting is hard. I also feel like I am constantly both failing and doing a good job, simultaneously, somehow. My kid is 6.5, finishing up kindergarten, and reading on a 3rd-grade level, but she cannot swim or ride a bike. She really wants to take violin lessons, which I really don’t want her to do (I want her to take piano, on the piano we already friggin’ own and that I know how to play so I can help her). We owe several friends playdate invitations, which we have not distributed. And I just don’t know where the time goes. I don’t know how to do all of the “shoulds” or “wants” and I’m not sure I really want to, which seems…bad of me. But it’s true.

  2. If it makes any of you feel better, my 10.5 year old just learned to swim ANd ride a bike because reasons. And he wasn’t ready. And I didn’t have time.

  3. A wise parent told me once, if you think you are doing parenting wrong then you are doing it right…I think she was severely sleep deprived but she made a valid point.

    Kids get there, wherever there is, when they are meant to. Sometimes all we can do is be a witness to the process. You are doing good in so many ways and have a great kid to show for it.

  4. I tend to trust my kids, and I figure since they’re doing fine, I’m doing fine, and there’s a large window of parenting that is just fine. I don’t tend to insist my kids learn skills they don’t see the need to do (swimming being a major exception, since that’s for safety).

    I figure at a certain point, responsibility should start falling on them. What are her suggestions about fixing her problem with loneliness? What kind of plan could she make that would help her with watching fewer videos and riding her bike more if that’s what she wants to do? Does she need to get her calendar together with you guys’ to figure out when bike riding practice would be convenient?

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