17 February 2015

8 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do In Raising Kids

As parents, it’s easy to fall into a lot of different traps that toy with our mental state in parenting; the self-pity trap. The “why me” trap. The comparison trap. The unrealistic expectations trap.

Traps and landmines everywhere. So how do we successfully navigate through the ups and downs of parenting?

I’ve come to find that having a strong mental state of mind is key to keeping a healthy perspective on our parenting ups and downs during this crazy journey in raising our kids. While I’m by far anything BUT a perfect parent and have my own struggles, I’ve come to find that when I’m mentally strong in my parenting game, things go a lot more smoothly for everyone.

So what exactly does it mean to be a mentally strong parent? For me, being a mentally strong parent is all about being able to sensibly regulate my own emotions, control my thoughts and finding ways to act and respond productively…even when I feel my child’s behavior is pushing me to my boiling point of crazy.

I also tend to think that being a mentally strong parent isn’t so much in the things I do right but more so in the things I try not to do. I’ve found that working hard to keep myself in check to avoid these common pitfalls can help to make the difference between being a mentally strong parent vs. a hot freaking mess.

ONE :: Shy away from, or being afraid of change. The only constant in life is change. This couldn't be truer with kids. One minute they love a certain type of food and the next minute they act as if it’s the most disgusting thing ever. Kids, especially the younger ones, are very fickle people. They are growing and developing their personalities all the time. The best thing you can do for yourself as a parent is to keep yourself open to change. Be flexible. Unless your child is being put in imminent danger or needs discipline, relax, take a breathe and try to go with the flow.

TWO :: Worry too much about what other parents think. Mentally strong parents are confident enough to do what they feel is right for their child regardless of what other parents or society thinks should be done. They aren’t afraid of being labeled as “uncool” or “too strict” and they don’t feel the need to compare themselves to other parents. To some extent, they take pride in being known by their child as “the meanest parent ever.”

THREE :: Resist having alone time. Mentally strong parents understand that it’s important to recharge their own batteries from time to time by being away from their kids and make no apologies in doing so. They understand that in order to be the best parent possible, they have to keep their own health, sanity and needs as a priority, too.

FOUR :: They are willing to make mistakes and know failures will happen. None of us are perfect. No one will ever be the perfect parent, regardless of how hard we try. This parenting gig doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We are all trying to figure it out as we go. Mentally strong parents are able to accept this and know that from time to time, they will do things wrong but that they have the opportunity to do it better again tomorrow. They don’t resign themselves into thinking, “Well, this is it. This is all it’s ever going to be.” Instead, they look for productive methods in moving forward to teach their children better.

FIVE :: They don’t wallow. Mentally strong parents understand and accept that not every day in parenting is going to be roses in raising their children. They suck it up and continue to move forward instead of wallowing in self-pity and succumbing to defeat.

SIX :: They don’t waste their mental energy on things that don’t matter. If we stopped to give thought and worry to every single thought that goes through our heads as parents, we would be a basket case. Mentally strong parents know how to reconcile and compartmentalize their thoughts and worries effectively so they don’t take over their emotions and decision making abilities.

SEVEN :: They don’t make an issue out of everything. Very simply, mentally strong parents know how to pick and choose their battles with their children.

EIGHT :: They don’t force their own past or issues onto their child. Mentally strong parents know it’s important to make peace with their childhood. Instead of focusing on the past in their parenting, they do the best they can to be the best parent possible to their children by utilizing their own beliefs for what they feel is right.

I am by far a perfect parent but I have come to find that when I keep these methods in mind, I’m a mentally strong parent and in return, a better parent for my child. What things don’t you do in order to be a mentally strong parent?

Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.


  1. i am SO bad at number 3!!! i want to spend every second possible with my little - but realize that isn't healthy! and when i finally snap out of it, i love that precious alone time ♥ thank you for the reminder!!

  2. Great post! I've realized with kids I don't let a lot get to me with my own kids... sometimes kids at school can be a different story and I let things get to me more.

  3. I love ALL of these! We're all learning as we go, but these are great reminders. I wrote a post about #7, too. ;)

  4. Great post and good reminders!

  5. I tell myself every single day (and always on our worst days) that I don't want to raise an asshole. I have to be a strong parent that guides C to a future that is bright, happy and full of life and love.