I've mentioned before I don't have a very close relationship with my son. We struggle. I don't praise him enough and I don't feel he respects me enough. My husband gets so angry with me and often corrects me in the way I talk to my son. He reminds me to Be Positive. Point out my son's successes and minimize the failures. Don't use a Tone in my voice. Don't Yell.
I wish I could have a "do over" in parenting my son.
In my old age Now that I have more life experience, there are things I wish I would have done and things I wish I had not done.
1. I wouldn't have felt responsible every act, good or bad, my child performed. I certainly wouldn't have berated myself as a bad parent for every poor grade or bad attitude my child exhibited.
2. I would have found more opportunities to take a break from parenting and gone on weekends with my husband. We lived so far from family it was not possible to ask them to watch our son so we could get away for more than a dinner or a movie. I wish I had had the courage to ask a friend to watch our son for a weekend every now and again. It would have been a nice break from parenting and reconnection with my husband.
3. I wish I would have punished less. And I certainly wish I hadn't hit him. Yeah, I called it spanking, but I hit him. And, I hit him while I was angry. Super angry. Yeah, I wish I could take that back.
4. I would have picked my battles better. Lucky me, since my son still lives with us, I can work on this. Not every issue is worth a battle. Spilled milk, no issue. Muddy shoes on the carpet, who cares. Wearing the same underwear for a week, so what. Bad grades, this one would be tough, but what the heck.
5. I would keep in mind that, this too shall pass. My son is going to grow up, some day. He's going to move out of the house, some day. And he WILL be a responsible adult, some day. This is still one I get to work on since my son is still at home and hasn't done any of the previous things yet. But he will. Some day.
6. I wish I would have treasured his childhood more. I now know how quickly childhood goes by. Time flies. You can't catch it and you can't get it back. I wish I would have taken more pictures.
7. I would've remembered how special my son is. I wouldn't have wished him to be like any other child. I wish I would have focused more on what he IS, than on what I wished him to be. This, too, is something I can do now. Wow, I'm super lucky my son still lives at home and hasn't moved out on his own. I DO get an opportunity to continue parenting him, but I'll call it "consulting." I am SUPER lucky. (btw, I tried Super Hard to take the sarcasm out of my Tone)
8. I wish someone would have reminded me you don't get "do-overs" in parenting and give me something like this post to read. I needed to be reminded I don't always have to be the "bad guy." I needed to be reminded to say Yes more often. I needed to be reminded to BE PRESENT more often in my child's life.
9. I would have remembered how short life is. Life is short. Life goes by fast. When I was 30 I felt I had all the time in the world. Now that I'm in my 50's I see how fast this life is zipping by.
10. I wish I would have known how far hugs and cookies go to make a child feel loved and special. I see now that you cannot get or give too many hugs. And cookies, well there can never be too many cookies.