It is impossible to be a parent and not suffer frequent bouts of guilt. You are always going to regret something you did or didn’t do with your kids. Fortunately, children are remarkably resilient. They will recover from whatever real or imagined sin you have committed and probably will have long forgotten about it while you are still beating yourself up about it.
As you gain experience as a mother or father, you learn from your mistakes and begin to develop confidence in your parenting abilities. Unfortunately, just when you start to get really comfortable, your little ones will knock you for a loop. And there is nothing you can do to avoid it.
A while back, a good friend of mine and her husband scrimped and saved so they could take their four-year-old twins on a Disney World vacation. As she was packing their short pants for the foray to Florida, the kids started crying hysterically and shouted, “We don’t want to go!” When my friend asked them what the problem was, the twins tearfully responded in unison, “Mickey Mouse will see our knees!”
I challenge anyone to figure out where that came from and how it could have been avoided. And I’m sure every parent on the planet has a similar story to tell. What’s yours?
Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.