Parenting can be a hard task. Although we love our kids very much, there are many things in parenting that can drive even the calmest person nuts.
When I ask parents about their challenges, they talk mostly about their kids’ (bad or annoying) behavior (here is a poll about conflicts parents have with their kids). However, I think that is a reflection of other challenges we have. As you will see from the top parenting bloggers’ answers below, parenting challenges are varied and reflect our wider perspective on parenting.
In this part of Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss, I asked each blogger about the things they find challenging as parents. I told them it did not have to be their kids’ behavior but in parenting in general or anything else directly or indirectly related to raising kids. I believe you will find what they have to say very interesting.
What drives you nuts as a parent?
Maria Melo – Conversations with Moms
That my children will one day become teenagers with Real problems and I won’t have taught them the necessary tools to solve them.
Everyone, including the store clerk, feels that they can give you advice on parenting.
That I even have to worry about the safety of my children.
Currently, it’s that no matter how I try to stop myself, I cannot help but compare my 1-year-old’s development with my 5-year-old when he was his age. I worry at why my first son was so much more advanced than my second child.
How communication has evolved from talking on the phone or in person to texting, instant messaging and Twitter. How the connection between people has changed.
Annie – PhD in Parenting
I wouldn’t say that there are a lot of things that drive me nuts and I’m not sure that I can come up with five. The biggest thing is not having enough time in the day.
The other thing that drives me nuts is when both of my kids want to do different things with me at the same time. Getting them both to agree on and focus on one activity that we can all do together is challenging. That is why I cherish my one-on-one time with each child.
Ria Sharon – My Mommy Manual
Even when we were still married, my former spouse and I could not be further apart in terms of parenting styles. Having to come together, when necessary, is my lesson and challenge. Compared to that, everything else is a cake walk!
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo – Single Dad
Cleaning the house. I have three kids. I can’t afford a cleaning service. Enough said.
Laundry. Of my three kids, I have two teenagers who change a lot. Enough said.
When my oldest daughter drives my car at night. I can’t sleep until she gets home.
Trying to balance family, career and a social life (single parent dating).
Sue Scheff – Sue Scheff Blog
Parents that are in denial! This drives me absolutely crazy! I will have parents describe their child as the most intelligent, good looking, great baseball player etc, however he/she is smoking pot, taking pills and loves the keg parties!
Parents that blame it on others, which goes hand and hand with my above comment. It is never “their” child, it is the peers/friends they are hanging out with. Parents and teens need to take accountability.
Parents that replace time with material items. Your children need you. Trying to buy love is not the answer and may give immediate gratification however can develop emotional scars of not having their parents available to them.
Susan Heim – Susan Heim on Parenting
Entitlement. I’ve heard many kids say that their parents “owe” them a video game system, a phone, designer clothes, a car and more. I’ve listened to parents talk about how they’ve run all over town to find just the right Hannah Montana backpack that their child demanded. Kids need to learn about earning their own money and delaying gratification. Their parents don’t owe them whatever they want.
Video games. My kids play them and I don’t have anything against them, but I’m frustrated that kids are so obsessed with them at times that they neglect homework, physical fitness and more. Parents need to set limits.
Housework. Kids need to be taught to do things around the house and help out with cleaning. My teens do their own laundry, take out the trash, clean up the dishes, vacuum and more. Children need to know that we all work together as a family to take care of our home.
Phones. Kids don’t need a phone when they’re five. When I was a kid, nobody had cell phones and somehow we all managed to stay in touch! I can see the necessity for it when kids are old enough to be out on their own, but phones should be used for necessity, not for status.
Junk food. It breaks my heart to see so many children who are overweight these days. Like many parents, I struggle to get my kids to eat healthy foods, but they also don’t have unlimited access to candy, chips, etc. Kids with weight problems will continue to have weight problems as adults. Limits need to be set on when unhealthy food is consumed.
Annie Fox, M.Ed. – From the desk of Annie Fox
Our two children are grown up and living lives of their own. But looking back these are the things they used to do that drove me bonkers.
Daughter’s inability to get off the phone when she had homework to do.
Son’s messy room.
Daughter’s challenge with managing her time. We used to joke that she was “chronically” challenged.
Son’s addiction to video games and online games.
Ronit Baras – Family Matters
Although I do not describe things as driving me nuts, I have my own “ticks” and weaknesses.
Seeing my kids watch TV gets me out of balance. My body gets tense when they watch TV. I know it is abnormal. To survive this better, I encourage them to watch DVDs without the commercials sending them messages I wouldn’t want them to adopt.
It is hard for me to find the balance between telling them everything in order to be honest with them and keeping from them information that is beyond their capacity to understand.
Other parents taking the liberty to expose my kids to things I see as inappropriate – violent games on the computer that I do not allow at home, letting 6-year-olds watch M-rated movies and offering alcohol to my daughter when she was only 16. That frustrates me a lot. The nerve of some people!
When people say, “Just wait until you have a kid/a boy/a teen/a student…” when I already have them. For some unknown reason, I get this a lot (maybe because I’m short). The first time I have heard that, Eden was 3 years old and my aunt, who gave birth to her first son at the age of 44, said to me, “Just wait until you have a baby”. Eden had to be a baby before she turned 3 years old…
When parents play “Let’s tell horrible stories about our kids” and choose not to participate. If I join, I feel bad, because I need to lie about something I do not really think is horrible about my kids. I have wonderful kids and there is nothing horrible I can find about them. If I do not join, I’m a party pooper and I’m out.
So what drives you nuts about parenting? Use the comment box below to let us know, because venting helps!
Join us again next week, when the top parenting bloggers discuss their philosophy on discipline.
If you wish to know more about the bloggers who take part in this project or contact any of them, please visit their blogs, follow them on Twitter and/or become their fan on Facebook. Alternatively, you can send them a question or comment through the comment box below.
This post is part of the series Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss:
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (1): Introduction
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (2): Parenting Challenges
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (3): Best Parent Qualities
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (4): Parenting Changes Life
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (5): Ideal Child
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (6): Education
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (7): What drives you nuts?
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (8): Discipline
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (9): Profound Parenting Moment
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (10): Parenting Tips
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (11): Government Policy Suggestions
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (12): Parenting Boys and Girls
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (13): Parenting Teens
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (14): How to Keep Your Kids Healthy