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The 2 worst parenting mistakes you can make

Now, as a parent, you may have your own idea about the two worst parenting mistakes you can make. Or perhaps you are perfect, and don’t make any parenting mistakes. However, please consider these questions; Who cleans the frying pan?  Do your children’s board books need to be in alphabetical order? Is a bed really made if there are wrinkles in the covers?

The 2 worst parenting mistakes you can make

Do you follow your child around your house picking up everything they drop? Or do you leave the dropped items on the floor where they lay and have the child who dropped them pick them up?

When your child spills milk on the counter, who cleans it up?

 Parenting Mistake Number 1
The “Do Over,” Parenting Mistake

When your  child puts away their books on the bookcase you rearrange them in alphabetical order. This is a classic parenting mistake. You don’t just want your child to put the books away, you want the books stacked in alphabetical order and you want the books to be right side up.

Relax Mom. Relax Dad. The books are on the shelf, “Let it go.”

When your child makes their own bed, you go in after them and remake the bed. The cover was a little crooked, and the sheet underneath wasn’t folded neatly. As soon as the child leaves the room, you strip the covers off and re-make the bed.

If a book doesn’t make it on the shelf, get the child to put it away, and if the bed wasn’t made neatly, teach the child how to pull the covers straight. Don’t do it for them.

As your child gets older they will be able to put the books away and make their beds neater. Remember to be kind, and help them learn. But, let them learn. Don’t be a “Do Over,” parent.

Parenting Mistake Number 2
The Clean Up After Your Child Parenting Mistake

Washing the frying pan your child  left on the stove after they make scrambled eggs is Parenting mistake Number 2.

Today, a frying pan was left on the stove. It sat there laughing at me all day. “Ha, I know you want to clean me. You can’t bear to have something dirty sitting on the stove. Can you now? Go ahead, wash me.”

 Your love language of acts of service is hindering your child’s ability to mature and take care of themselves as an adult. Are you planning on moving in with your child when they move out? Will you continue to clean up after them? What about their roommates? Are you giving them good life skills?”

It took all of my will power to leave the dirty frying pan on the stove. I prayed for strength.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 NLT

Yes, everything. Yes, God could help me leave a dirty a frying pan on the stove. Please help me make my child learn to take care of their own messes. Please help me leave the books upside down on the bookcase. Please dear God, let me live with a bed that is made with wrinkles. Please God, please.

Why These Two Mistakes are so hard to avoid

Mistake Number 1. The Do Over Parenting Mistake is hard to avoid, because we have a certain way we think things should be done. We may think there is only one right way for the books to be on the shelf. We may think a bed is only made if their are no wrinkles in the covers.

Parents may forget that a child may not have the attention spam or the ability to make a bed with no wrinkles.

Mistake Number 2. The Clean Up After Your Child Parenting Mistake is hard to avoid because parents want to show their child they love them by doing acts of service.

However, the kindest act of service you can every do for your child is to teach them to take care of themselves. q


What do you think is the worst parenting mistake? Please let me know in the comments. I would love to chat.


About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • DA Schuhow

    My do overs was driven by my anxiety, I couldn’t relax until “It was just so”. I sooooo relate to your prayer “Please, God please….don’t let me clean that frying pan!” God is intensely interested in even that small struggle when I cry out to Him. Now, my prayer is ‘Lord, help me remember to stop and redirect my boys to do it’.

  • I could list mistakes I have made and then see which one repulses me the most and name it the worst, but instead I will say I think not loving your child is the worst. And with all the mistakes I’ve made, I have loved my children. Was I too critical? Yes, at times. Did I do things they should have done for themselves? Yes, guilty again. But they knew I loved them, still know I loved them. And honestly, I don’t remember being told that one thing from my parents. Loving someone paves the way for instructions and discipline. Without it, well, the person feels like an item, a possession. And not one highly valued.

    Let me just add one thing, if I may. When you don’t feel loved you have a tendency to let your pendulum swing a little too far the other way. I’ll share that my son has told me he was too big in my life. And that will be a post some day.

    • Oh Anne,
      You are so right. All the little mistakes mean nothing really, if the main mistake is not loving your child. I am so sorry you didn’t hear that your parents loved you. How do you get over that hurt? I pray you don’t let that pain take away the joy of being you. The sweet Anne who always loves her children and is kind to people.

      And you Anne Peterson are a valuable person. Why? Because God made you. I pray you will embrace Anne today, the creative kind person God made. Let no shadow from the past taint the present joy of being alive today.

      I look forward to reading your story. As always.

  • Anastacia

    Pamela, I read this today not knowing that I would use it. Then tonight as I was gathering my kids clothes out of their bathroom to wash… (I know I probably should have had them gather them but I’m a work in progress) anyway… I saw trash that had fallen out of one of their pockets into the un-flushed toilet. I took a plastic bag and was about to get it out myself but then I thought “No, I’m going to have the one who dropped it in there do this.” I thought of you and had to come back to this post to say, “Thank You!” Your words helped me not stick my hand in the toilet. 🙂

    • Good Morning Anastacia,
      I am so happy my words helped you not stick your hand in the toilet. Anything for a friend. 🙂
      A “work in progress,” I like that concept. Always learning. I hope you have a fun day, and you get your voice back.


  • The worst parenting mistake is self absorption. Listen to Harry Chapin’s classic song “Cat’s in the cradle.” That beautiful song perfectly illustrates my point.

    • I forgot about that song. Yes, it does illustrate your point. A parent must always have time to go and buy a new belt for their child. Even on their day off.

  • La McCoy

    I made a lot of mistakes. I took a couple of years to get over them and i asked my elderly children to forgive me. then we kept going.

    • Hello La,
      Maybe when we make mistakes we don’t know they are mistakes until later. And then we ask for forgiveness. You have a big heart to ask. And I love what you said. “Then we keep going.”
      Hello to Edelweiss.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    I think the worst parenting mistake is not preparing your child for the world out there.

    • Hi Mom,
      Well, that was a mistake you didn’t make. The only mistake you ever made was … I can’t think of any.
      You prepared me for the world by loving me unconditionally. It is easy to be brave when you are supported by love.
      Pamela, your daughter

  • Teresa

    The worst parenting mistake is always bringing up the mistakes the child made. My mom told me she went behind me & my sister when we did our chores because we didn’t do it as well as she liked. She would tell me every time I did something wrong, made a wrong choice. It took a lot of prayer and guidance from God to see myself as someone other than a failure.

    • Teresa,
      Yes, that sounds like the worst. Making a child feel like a failure is horrid. I am glad you found healing and don’t see yourself as a failure. You are valuable, you are worthy and you are loved.