3 Things That You’re Not Responsible For As A Parent

Kids are bound to make plenty of mistakes, but it's not always your job to fix them all. If you're in charge of guiding your children, it's time to start teaching them how to think, feel, and act in positive and constructive ways.

By URLife Team
23 Jun 2024

As a parent, it often feels like the weight of the world rests on your shoulders. From managing school projects to mediating sibling squabbles, the list of responsibilities can seem endless. But here's a liberating truth: there are some things you’re not responsible for. 

Imagine your child forgets their homework again—it's easy to feel guilty, but their organisational skills are their own to develop. When they lose a soccer match, it's natural to want to shield them from disappointment, but experiencing loss is part of learning resilience. And what about those teenage fashion choices that make you cringe? Their self-expression is their own journey, not yours to control. Let’s explore three specific areas where you can breathe a little easier and let go of the burden.


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Nowadays, we are constantly bombarded with conflicting advice on how to parent "the right way." It's easy to be affected by opinions from the media, family members, and other parents, which can lead to a constant worry that we might be doing something wrong. This overwhelming rush of opinions and guidance can leave us doubting every decision we make. The reason for this is that adults, just like kids, are over-stimulated. 

Think of yourself as the head of your "family business." As the boss, you must set emotions aside and parent with a clear, objective mindset. Disregard any feelings of guilt or unsolicited advice from others—you need to do what's best for your family. It's okay to seek advice, but ultimately, you know your family better than anyone else. One of the best ways to cut through all the noise of advice, guilt, and comparisons is to recognise what you are and aren't responsible for when it comes to raising your kids. 


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Things You’re Not Responsible As a Parent

Parenting is a journey filled with joys, challenges, and plenty of uncertainties. Amidst the myriad responsibilities, it's essential to recognise that not everything falls on your shoulders. Your child's successes, whether academic, social, or extracurricular, are ultimately their own. While you can provide support and encouragement, the drive and effort must come from within them.

Here are three things you can liberate yourself from feeling responsible for as a parent:


1. Help your child be accountable for their mistakes

Kids are natural learners, and part of learning involves making mistakes. Whether it's forgetting their homework, spilling juice on the new carpet, or getting a less-than-stellar grade on a test, these mistakes are crucial for their development. It’s tempting to feel guilty or responsible for their errors, but these experiences teach them accountability and problem-solving. Your role is to guide and support them, not to prevent every misstep.


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2. Teach your child to handle their emotions

Children experience a wide range of emotions, from the joy of winning a game to the frustration of losing one. While it’s natural to want to protect them from negative feelings, it’s important to remember that emotions are a vital part of their growth. You’re not responsible for making them happy all the time. Instead, focus on helping them understand and manage their feelings. Teach them that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or disappointed and that these emotions are a normal part of life.


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3. Embrace your child’s interests and passions

Every child is unique, with their own set of interests and passions. As a parent, it’s easy to project your desires and dreams onto them, hoping they’ll follow in your footsteps or take up activities you value. However, your child’s interests are their own to explore and embrace. Whether they’re passionate about painting, coding, or playing the drums, your job is to support and encourage their pursuits, not to dictate them. Allowing them to follow their own passions fosters independence and self-confidence.


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Understanding what you're not responsible for as a parent, allows you to focus more effectively on what truly matters: providing love, guidance, and support. You cannot control how others perceive your child. Each individual has their own preferences and biases, and it's unrealistic to expect universal approval. It is important to teach your child that while being liked by others is pleasant, it is not a reflection of their worth or your effectiveness as a parent. This shift not only alleviates unnecessary stress but also empowers your children to grow into resilient, independent individuals. So take a deep breath, let go of the guilt, and embrace the journey of parenting with a lighter heart.


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