Parenting is difficult. If you are a perfect parent, you can stop reading. If you’re as messy and inconsistent as us, welcome to the struggle.
Your struggles likely look different than ours. In fact, right now, especially since the flu has now left our home, our struggles seem to be back to a minimum.
One thing’s for sure though. That will change.
Last month, we asked families in our 22:6 Parenting audience this one question: What’s your #1 struggle as a parent? We had over 700 responses. Trust me when I say, you’re not alone.
I’m going to simply list the struggles here. However, on January 31st, season 3 of the In This Together podcast will begin! In the first two episodes, Christi and I talk about these struggles and provide helpful solutions for each one. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss these episodes.
In reverse order, here’s what today’s parents struggle with:
- Single parenting: If our audience were all single parents, this would be #1. I have the utmost respect for single parents. If you know a single parent, find a way this week to serve him / her.
- Technology: Our audience is largely made up of parents with younger kids, which is why I believe this is further down the list. I know many parents of teenagers who label this easily as their greatest struggle.
- Fostering independence in my kids: I’m grateful so many parents labeled this as their primary challenge. Fostering independence in children is actually one of the best parenting strategies for getting the outcomes we desire in our kids.
I suspect this is a challenge today because of the shift toward overprotecting our children, but I could be wrong. From my own experience as a rushed Dad, it’s also easier and quicker to do things for them than to wait for them to do it themselves.
- Communication: What’s insightful about this is that communication with kids and spouses fell into this category, which likely bumped it up a bit. In the words of one parent, when you and your spouse—or ex-spouse in a blended family situation—cannot get on the same page, it feels like “swimming upstream.”
- Respect: Teaching kids to respect authority was the common language used in the survey. Unfortunately, for many of the responses, the parents were themselves exhausted from being disrespected.
- Discipleship: Our audience is clearly a faith-based audience. Teaching kids to love God and love others was a common struggle mentioned. I believe it’s because the idea of discipleship coming from Mom and Dad is a new concept many of our own parents were never taught themselves.
- Patience: We don’t lose our patience so I’m going to skip this one. Ha! Believe that and I’ll tell you another one. Seriously, the word “yelling” was commonly used with losing patience.
- Feeling inadequate: To help you not feel alone, see if you resonate with some of these responses.
- Constant feeling of failure
- I’m worrying and stressing all the time that I don’t do enough, don’t use time wisely, [that I’m] not a very good example for my kids to reach their full potential.
- Confidence that I am capable of being all that my children need me to be, nothing more, nothing less.
- Discipline: Wait, your kids don’t listen to you either?
- Not enough time: The phrases “too busy,” “lack of time,” and “not enough time to be intentional,” were the single most used phrases in the survey. I’m excited to take the time to talk about this one on the podcast. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t out on an exciting upcoming season 3.
We also address these struggles on an ongoing basis in our 22:6 Parenting community. We invite you to check it out. It’s a pretty awesome community of imperfect parents!