I’m not that great of a parent. But sometimes my bad parenting actually works out. Some of my parenting fails are actually kind of wins!
I made a list of things I do wrong as a parent that actually make my sons happy so who cares … besides me, 10 years from now, when my instant gratification policy has turned them both into monsters.
My Nine Best Parenting Fails
- Co-sleeping – Sometimes it’s by choice, sometimes it’s because I can’t be bothered to bring him back to his room. But my 5-year-old loves it, and assuming that he grows out of it before he’s say, fifteen, I’m not too concerned.
- Skipping the bath – I hate bath time. My 5-year-old hates it, too. Well, he hates getting in it, but then he also hates getting out of it, because 5-year-olds are INSANE. Sometimes I wish kids could shed their skin like snakes.
- Giving in to snack requests – Sometimes you just need them to shut up.
- Swearing – I don’t swear in front of my kids anywhere near as much as my wife does, but it happens. It’s not too big a deal, or at least it won’t be until he throws down an F-bomb at school. But so long as we stress that swears are “adult words,” it’s no harm, no foul. (This is what I keep telling myself.)
- Giving in to dessert requests – Sometimes you just need them to shut up.
- Showing them inappropriate movies – Sometimes you just need them to shut up. And you’ve run out of animated movies. And you’re desperate to watch something you actually enjoy. And you’re desperate to show them something you love. When I was a kid, I saw a lot of movies that would be deemed inappropriate today, and I turned out totally fine SHUT UP.
- Giving in to screen-time requests – Sometimes you just need them to shut up.
- Taking them to bars – Half of our weekend is spent at bars, and since we’re good people who love our children and who can’t afford babysitters, we bring them along! Not to dive bars, but to beer gardens, and breweries, and pubs. In Brooklyn, this is not out of the ordinary. In fact, it’s one of the best parts! Last weekend, we went to Threes Brewing for lunch and our son was like the eighth baby in there. Detective Munch constantly asks to go to our favorite beer garden – where he and his friends play in the dirt along tons of other children while me and my friends drink craft beers – and often requests a visit to another favorite bar because he loves their burgers. Come football season, every Sunday will be a funday, for me and my kids! America FTW!
- Skipping teeth-brushing – They’re still baby teeth, he’ll be fine. Besides, I’m drunk.
Most of these parenting fails are not really going to impact my kids negatively, except maybe that last one because — yikes — that breath is rank. In fact, most of it makes them happy. And it makes me happy. So I have no guilt over it.
A version of this first ran on Dad and Buried. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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