Is there such a thing as the perfect parent? Highly doubtful. I make mistakes on a daily basis when it comes to raising my kids. But, hey, admitting your faults is half the battle, right? With any luck, my kids won't hold these big ones against me when they become teenagers.
Letting Things Slide. I try to be consistent. Really, I do. But occasionally, after one of my kids does something naughty and turns on the waterworks, I find my heart melting and don't follow through with punishment. Come on! Did you SEE those puppy dog eyes?
Being Too Involved. There's being involved and then there's smothering. Initially, I was definitely the latter. So, I took a step back and gave my kids a healthy amount of independence, even if it was the hardest thing in the world for me to do as a protective dad.
Over Preparing for Baby's Arrival. I obsessively trained myself on baby-care techniques before I became a new dad and, it turns out, many didn't work. Swaddling, for example, proved useless in the face of a herculean baby who refused to be contained. Lesson learned -- preparation is great, but you can’t always prepare for the unpredictable.
Mixing Up My Kids' Names. At some point over the last few years, my lone remaining brain cell went on vacation and I lost the ability to tell my kids apart. Oh sure, I know who's who, but that doesn't stop me from using their names interchangeably. My parents' inability to distinguish between me, my older sister, and the family dog suddenly makes sense.
Donald S. Deane is the proud papa of three little boys who provide endless amounts of joy and sleep deprivation. He has held a variety of jobs, including college English teacher, newspaper reporter/editor, internet project manager, dishwasher and dogcatcher. Don has written for AOL TV, Moviefone, TheFW, ScreenCrush, GuySpeed, and Arcade Sushi, among others.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.