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Am I a Good Parent?

by Deborah Cruz

Am I a good parent? I ask myself that question almost constantly. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately mulling over what makes a good parent? More importantly, what constitutes bad parenting? I just can’t can’t seem to get away from it. No matter the issue, I want confirmation that I am doing it right..not wrong. I want to be the cool mom who gives all the great parenting tips because I have my collective parenting shit together but I AM NOT!

parenting, bad parenting, good parents

Good Parent?

My parenting skills are not without there purpose. I’ve learned a few things over the years. My girls have thus far survived pregnancy unscathed, toddlerhood without too many gaping holes and moved steadily into the part of full blown preschoolers. But here is where it’s getting tricky. This is where I am seeing the glimmer of therapy to come in their little eyes.

Ok, so maybe I am a little phobic about bugs. Jeez, can I help it that it freaks me the holy hell out if my freckles move and I need to instantly disrobe and hit the showers or have a complete undercover panic attack? I try not to share this seedy underbelly of life with my girls but I’m pretty sure that they can see the ‘EEK” in my eyes. I mean, it’s pretty much palpable! Maybe this is why Bella has decided to take a pass on the swingset this morning. I hope not.


Perhaps, it’s not the best technique of parenting when I am trying to get the house cleaned, emails answered, blog post written save the world and I leave the girls in front of  Yo Gabba Gabba, Tarzan, Family Guy ( I jest, I jest) PBS for an extended amount of time. It’s not everyday and it’s not always but it happens. Just like chicken nuggets and cereal for dinner have happened. Or like forgetting dress down day at school? Permission slips? Homework? Does this make me a bad parent?


I know it’s not exemplary. I wouldn’t write a book about parenting and suggest that people leave kids in front of the obesity tube. But for all the phobias, idiosyncrasies they have picked up even a bit of snarkilicious attitude they know one thing for certain…we love them. We unconditionally, every second of every day, no matter the weather or our mood or how many daunting tasks we have on our plate…We love them. We tell them! We hug them, kiss them.We show them. True, I have them sitting at the table next to me working on spelling as I am typing this. Not as hands on as I could be at this moment but we’ll do manis and pedis and have some Mommy/Daughter time before dinner. Is this bad parenting? Or is it realistic parenting?

What do you think makes a good parent? What qualifies as bad parenting? What is your finest parenting moment? Worst? I want to know…

Who makes the good parent rulebook?

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XLMIC 2011/06/29 - 5:08 pm

Outside of the occasional… or frequent… “you’re the meanest/worst/stupidest parent in the world” screeches from one’s children, if your child truly doesn’t need to guess or wonder if he or she is unconditionally loved and his or her well-being is IMPORTANT then you are doing a good job. Anyway, that’s my opinion.

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/29 - 5:19 pm

I am going to concur! I have to because if those “I hate you, you’re the world’s worst mom’ meant something…I’d be on the floor in the fetal position:)

Dana K 2011/06/29 - 5:50 pm

Barring disabilities &/or personality quirks beyond a parent’s control, is your child safe, loved, (mostly) happy? Kind to others? Confident?

I’d say there’s good parenting behind it…

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:55 pm

I love how you break it down so simply. It sounds so easy with the right perspective. Thank you

A Mommy in the City 2011/06/29 - 7:32 pm

I agree with Dana! Well said!

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:54 pm

me too!

Alison@Mama Wants This 2011/06/29 - 7:37 pm

A good question. One that I ask myself frequently. I am guilty of using the television as a distraction when I need to get something done. But whether that is ‘damaging’ him, I don’t know. I don’t think so. I hope not. I try to do things with him, teach him, hug and kiss him, tell him I love him. I don’t know, truly. I like to think that by staying home with him, I am at least doing right by him in some ways. But again, I don’t know.

So many questions, no easy answers!

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:53 pm

I agree, I hope staying home counts for something too. I;m present every day so I hope that helps in some way in my parenting skills ( if for nothing else more opportunity to learn from my mistakes)

The Informal Martriarch 2011/06/29 - 8:52 pm

I think a good parent is someone who respects their children in every which way. The kid should then feel incredibly loved and incredibly empowered.

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:52 pm

THis is beautiful, respect is so vital to any relationship. Love it.

January 2011/06/29 - 8:55 pm

I think that if you love your child, show that love to your child and verbalize that love to your child you’re probably a pretty good parent. TV didn’t scar me as a child. I watched Polka Dot Door, Mr Dress Up and Sesame Street on a regular basis and I turned out okay (yes, really I did) My Mom didn’t play with us (much) so we always had to find our own fun…I think as parents we think we must occupy our child’s time by playing and interacting with them constantly. Personally I think this is a serious disservice to them in teaching them independence and imaginative play. Not to say I don’t have these exact same feelings and thoughts all the days of my mothering life though!

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:51 pm

Thank you for the commiseration:)

Christine 2011/06/29 - 11:40 pm

My kids are turning 17 and 13 this summer. And I still have no idea what I am doing….. I make mistakes, sure. I am inconsistent, don’t take discipline seriously and I don’t spend much time looking at homework. But I treat them how I want to be treated (no crazy yelling or lecturing). I say please and thank you to them and I get it in return from them. And I let them be who they are. So what if my son bleached his hair and dyed it purple? At least he respected me enough to let me know first. My kids know that they have it good and I’m pretty sure that they are careful to keep it that way 🙂
Most importantly to me, they are responsible, respectful and stay out of trouble. The only way that I can know that I am not a bad parent is that I like what I see from my teens now.

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:49 pm

SOunds like w can all learn from you. You’ve already been where we are going:)Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

susan 2011/06/30 - 5:46 am

for me it’s about parents who actually give a damn. the ones who are interested in their kids, who might make mistakes, (or dish up chicken nuggets and cereal for dinner…) but who are doing their very best to do what is right by their kids and for their kids.
and being honest about it.

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:48 pm

Being present and giving a damn are pretty high on my priority list:) And honesty…amen to honesty!

tracy@sellabitmum 2011/06/30 - 7:03 am

I don’t think we ever really know what we are doing but our kids will let us know. Being a good parent is being able to tell your kids are you sorry because you made a mistake and having them see that you are not perfect..just like them and can laugh at those imperfections as you learn. If you are kind, honest, respectful, giving, loving and true – then your kids will learn how they need to be also and model your ways.

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:46 pm

Tracy, beautifully said. I agree 100!

Galit Breen 2011/06/30 - 10:48 am

Oh honey you’re not a bad parent- the love is what’s palpable {that and eeks in your eyes- love that!} and what truly matters.

You’re really and truly living your life as a mom and a woman. That’s a lesson in and of itself.


Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:46 pm

Thanks Mama. It helps that people can show me the light. Sometimes it just feels like I should be doing so much more but we are humans, even if we do have super hero powers on occasion:)LOL

Leighann 2011/06/30 - 11:22 am

I don’t mean the silly crap that a rotten parent says as they tap their ashes from their cigarette onto their child’s head.
I mean real, unconditional, heart exploding love.
The kind where you would jump in front of a car for your child.
The kind where you would lay down the rules and stick with them, even if it means hearing “I hate you!” because you know the rules are going to give structure and mean more in the long run.
The kind of love where you make your child save up their allowance for the big item they wantso it mean more to them than just going out and buying it for them.
The kind of love where you stand by and let them figure out their best friend is a jerk and hug them tight while they cry instead of sheilding them from that pain from the beginning of the friendship.
That kind of love.

Truthful Mommy 2011/06/30 - 1:44 pm

I love this answer! You are so right. Beautifully written, my friend!

Coolwhipmom 2011/07/02 - 3:26 pm

I LOVE this post, Debi. Because I struggle (and I think most moms struggle) with this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It is so hard to do everything that needs to get done. It is not easy to keep all the balls in the air. And yes. Sometimes we have to take a break and put on the boob tube, just so we can cook dinner in peace or answer an email without someone licking our ankles. REALISTIC parenting. Yes, yes and YES!!!!! Thank you for this. I’m going to bookmark this post so I can read it next time I’m having a mommy meltdown adn wondering if I deserve Worst Mommy of the Year award. xoxoxoxoxo

Truthful Mommy 2011/07/02 - 4:21 pm


You will never be worst mommy of the world. You are such a caring ,giving mother and so full of love. XOXOXO

MrsBellers 2011/07/02 - 3:48 pm

It seems like such a simple question, but the answers aren’t that easy. I have to agree with whT the other ladies have said about unconditional love and about giving a damn. I always rememeber when I was younger one of my brothers friends was round and he got quite sick my mum phoned his parents and the couldn’t care less or like the time when I worked in a shop and security had caught a couple of kids stealing they rang the parents to come and get them the response was we will come after the football match, which hadn’t even started yet- when that’s the reaction of the parent you can see why these children do what they so they are crying out for some attention and love so if your giving them that your doing a fab job!! X

Tara 2011/07/08 - 4:34 pm

It’s true you will know if you are good enough as parents through
your kids.. In my kids we thought them to have fear in God and to be the center of our lives. Parents always have this fear, what if I’m not
a good parents for them? When this fear arises in me , what I did
I think of God’s word. He wants us to put all our cares on Him. And I
do believe He will not fail us…

ostello firenze 2011/11/08 - 4:32 am

What a nice blog!

Truthful Mommy 2011/11/09 - 10:11 am

THank you!

Laurel Norris 2011/12/11 - 8:30 pm

Love. Beautifully written, my friend! I agree, I hope staying home counts for something too. What a nice blog!


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