The following five ways you’ve screwed up as a parent so far are excellent examples of how we could all raise the bar a little in the, ahem, parenting department. Chances are you did and are still doing the following. Why? Because you screwed up as a parent. And at the time, you had no idea.

5 Ways You Lost It

If you’re the type of mom wondering if she’s doing her best, you probably haven’t been. But, then again, you clearly care enough about your child to do better each day. These are 5 ways you screwed up before, and you don’t have to do them again. So, breathe!

1. You Ignored Them to Talk on the Phone- Long ago you dropped everything for that precious curly haired cutie. But not anymore. There’s a battle of attention and sanity going on in the home front, and you’re taking the power back when it comes to your phone. When you’re on it- he’s out. And that’s sad.10 Things Kids Really Love to Do Kids don’t feel valued or appreciated when they must beg and plead for your attention. If you’re in their presence then be present. If you must take a call or play on your phone, explain to your child why it’s important, and when they can spend their time with you. Five minutes of “you” time is better understood when you explain why you need it and that they’re still important.

2. You Lost Your Temper- Once the stuffed animal was thrown out the window on your last family road trip, of course, you lost it. Now your kid is screaming and crying and his brother is ridden with guilt after he reveals he dared his little brother to do it. Yes, you lost your cool. Yes, you screamed a few bad words. And maybe in that heated moment, it felt really, really, really effin good. But your kid totally saw you lose your cool, and adults aren’t supposed to do that. Remember to take a break and count to ten before you speak. And always choose your words carefully.

3. You Spoil- Sure you want to give your child as much as you can, but don’t compromise your reasons for doing it. Are you spoiling them out of guilt? Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time away from home or know you haven’t been giving him your best. Before you reach for your wallet, ask yourself if your child needs the purchase, or just needs more of you.

4. You Bring Drama- Are you a drama mama? Don’t let financial woes or relationship troubles worry your child. Children need a sense of security and they can only find that when their parent is calm and collected. Don’t find yourself surrounded with people that bring negativity or worries into your children’s lives. If your marriage is turmoil or if you have a closetful of baggage that always makes your kid second guess his stability, he’ll grow up feeling less secure, and worried about adult problems long before he should be. Keep your personal drama private.

5. You Don’t Listen- Children really do say the cutest things. Life can be so busy it’s hard to find the time or even the right mood to ask your kid what they’re feeling or how their day went. That’s why it’s so important to create a home environment where you talk freely each day. Ask your child before bedtime what the best part of their day was. Then, ask them what the worse part was. Finish off the conversation by finding out what they’re excited for in the morning. Get to know your child, not just by asking what they ate, how well they did on a test, or how much homework they have. Kids aren’t always going to come out and tell you that they had a bad day. They may act like they have, or they could internalize everything and go on as if everything is OK. As a parent, it’s your job to notice when your kids feels like he’s not being heard. When he speaks up you need to listen. With all your heart.

Screwing up as a parent is inevitable, but it never feels good. Just remember every day is a new day to be a better parent. So, long as you know these 5 things could be happening, or have happened, you can correct and prevent your own behaviors, so you can help shape and guide theirs. A little understanding and change go a long way in creating a happy and nurturing home.

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