When you feel like you just can’t win at parenting

Happy Wednesday!

Reminder: Through 9/30/19 I’m offering the Friends and Family membership rate to join the private coaching community I host online for parents! I would love to work with you closely, helping you enjoy this parenting journey.

Read more about this below.


Recently a mom in my private coaching community posted in our forums: “I feel like I just can’t win.”

Maybe you know how she feels. In the previous week her child:
– Ran from his childcare classroom multiple times
– Slapped a teacher
– Spit, kicked, and hit multiple people, multiple times, including the mom herself
– Shouted, screamed, and melted down, mostly in public
– Bit a child at the playground

In short, her three-year-old had a tough week. As a result, so did she.

There was real despair in her writing, and my heart just went out to her.

I created a video for her, outlining 3 critical tools to get out of that negative space, despite all of the negativity.

And today I want to share the first of those tools here, in case you are struggling with feeling like you can’t win at parenting, too!

So here’s the first way to stay afloat – even, feel like you’re winning – as a parent:

Put your child’s behavior in perspective so it does not overwhelm you.

It can be so easy to feel like every tantrum or aggressive act committed by our child is a judgment on us and our parenting.

And when that happens, we can feel overwhelmed and despairing.

When you feel like that, remember the following:

Think of your child’s development as the foundation of a house, made of many, many bricks.
Each individual brick is one interaction.

Because there will be hundreds of interactions each and every day. As long as we work hard to make most of them be positive, it’s fine when some of the bricks are placed into this foundation a little bit off.

With a little less mortar perhaps, or moved slightly in front of (or behind) the rest of the foundation.

Not only is it fine, it WILL happen.
This is just the nature of living, that not every interaction is going to be perfect.
So, it’s time to embrace imperfection 🙂

When you think of the hundreds of thousands individual bricks that get placed over the early years of our children’s lives, it’s a huge foundation.

So if we don’t live up to our own expectations in an interaction – if we for example shout or scream, when they misbehave – we need to remember: it’s just one interaction.

One brick.
One out of hundreds of thousands.

This means we can forgive ourselves for these, and try again with the next brick.

It’s crucial that we do this.

It’s been said that having a child is one of the most hopeful acts a human can perform.

I believe that forgiving ourselves our mistakes, and trying again, is also one of the most hopeful acts we can perform.

It’s a huge part of what I teach, and how I live my life, and how I raise my own children, and I hope it helps you stay positive!

As this week’s podcast guests, Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn of One Bad Mother, often say: you are doing a great job!

Looking at our children’s development as a foundation with many bricks also helps us put their behavior in perspective.

Our children offer a lot of bricks that are sweet, tender, and delightful in the course of the day.

Certainly more than we think!
We tend to remember the tough moments, the negative interactions – the slightly off-center bricks – instead of remembering the solid and well-placed bricks that happen frequently over the course of a child’s day.

The hugs. The snuggles. The times where they did exactly what you needed them to.

Looking at our child’s foundations from this perspective gives us perspective.

So this week, think on those bricks.

Try to deemphasize the bricks that are not perfectly placed.

And most importantly, remember to really look at – and see – the positive ones.

If you want to read more about the brick foundation idea, I write about it in my first book, Positive Discipline Ninja TacticsClick here to check it out!

Next week: Creating the best conditions possible for good behavior from your child

Want a sneak preview of the second and third tools? You can view the video I made for my coaching client by going to:

Parenting Tools


Work closely with me in my private coaching community for just $1,
Offer ends 9/30!

For five years I’ve helped parents overcome tough struggles, working personally with them, creating resources that are hugely helpful and always accessible.

I work with parents who have:

  • Busy lives
  • Beautiful children
  • Worries, and challenges, similar to yours
  • A dream of getting control of their family’s direction
  • A goal of enjoying family time – and feeling happy within themselves
  • The courage to get the help and support they need, by becoming a ninja parents

If you are struggling, I would LOVE to work with you, as well.

And, only during the month of September, you can join at the Friends and Family rate!

You can try out the whole shebang, for the next thirty days, for just $1!
And then get a substantial discount off the regular member price each and every consecutive month you are in the community.

The Ninja Parenting Community is a HUGELY helpful resource, for whatever aspect of parenting is causing you the most trouble.

Become a ninja parent today, by clicking the link below!

Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group…

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!

What’s up on the podcast this week:
Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn of the amazing One Bad Mother podcast are my guests this week!
Click the link below to listen:
What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
We talk about one thing you can say when the going gets really tough, during the weekly Magic Words for Parents.
Click here to join the Facebook group!


PS – If you’re enjoying this Weekly Parenting Newsletter, click here so you can sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.


PPS – Links to each part of my in-depth, 4-part series on how to start the school year off right:
Click here for part one, about the first thing you can do when confronting any challenge;

click here for part two, where I share my method for cutting through overwhelm.
And click here for part three, a case study of one mom who made back-to-school weekday mornings work – even when dealing with her child’s NIGHTLY bedwetting.
Finally click here for part four, which includes the link to a tool that I use all year round – as do many ninja parents in our private coaching community – to schedule our days and weeks.