Good Parents Never Take Credit for Bad Kids

good parents bad parents
See how good we're being?
Having just returned from a trip with my kids, I've realized something: I am an awesome parent. As is my husband. After all, we just went halfway across the country with little incident. My two very small children were well-behaved(for the most part) and entertained their family members as they dined out all over a city filled with hipsters; without enraging wait staff, or child-free diners who just wanted to enjoy their margaritas in peace. Win!

Well, except for that one time when my son had just been woken up from his nap -- forcibly -- and had trouble getting over it. But that's because he didn't get enough sleep, and we frog-marched him into a restaurant when he just wanted to chill out in his car seat.

See how that works? That's a parent taking full credit for the good, but throwing out plenty of excuses for the bad. Nice, right?

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One child-free family member said to me, "Your kids are great, it's all about the parenting, right?" That's when I had to stop pretending like my husband and I were the greatest parents to ever grace the United States of America and admit that, no, it's not all about parenting.

We all know people who are hard-working parents and good people, yet they've been "blessed" with a challenging child. We also know horrible parents who lucked out with a well-behaved kid who defies all of her circumstances. Sure, good parenting goes a long, long, way. But if we're going to give ourselves credit when our kids behave like angels, we have to admit failure when the tantrum happens as well.

Personally, I'd rather not take the credit in the first place. We try to be "good" parents, by our own definition. We work with what we've got. Sometimes we hit the sweet spot, sometimes we forget to be consistent. We're human. This means our kids are human also, and sometimes they are amazing examples of children, and sometimes they need to be removed from polite society.

So when people compliment me on my parenting, I'm sure to point out my failings. After all, it could all change with a nap.

Do you take credit for the good, and not the bad?

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