The “IT’S OK THAT YOU’RE A BAD PARENT”
This is the most common of the posts, and also the one that drives me the most insane. It usually goes something like this.
“I know you feel bad that you’re kid will only eat Chicken Nuggets, or that he watches TV 6 hours a day, or that he doesn’t have a bed time. Remember when they threw a toy at the people in the booth behind you at dinner? One day that will be hilarious. Don’t feel bad, because being a parent is hard and everyone has hard days. All your Instagram and Facebook friends are just as awful at being parents as you are, they’re just hiding behind social media. Do you feel like you love your kids? Then pop in some Dora the Explorer and eat a frozen pizza. You deserve it.”
Here are a few reasons I hate this.
The first is that it is not OK to be a bad parent. Your children are, without a doubt, the most important ministry you have. If you fail there you cannot succeed in any other place (1 Timothy 3:4). I’m not saying you won’t make mistakes, because you will. But try not to make them tomorrow.
Second, it undermines the very thing we teach our kids all the time when we say, “We don’t compare ourselves to other people.” This is probably the most valuable lesson my parents taught me. It doesn’t matter if everyone else was doing it, or was doing it worse, I expect you to behave better. How can you teach your kids that lesson when you are saying, “Eh, everyone yells at their kids.”
Imagine if we did this as spouses. “David got another man’s wife pregnant and then had the man killed to cover it up, so don’t worry if you’re too flirty with a co-worker.” All of a sudden you see how absurd this sounds.
Lastly, it is pandering. It is easy to share. Everyone feels like a bad parent sometimes (or always) and hearing somebody tell you it’s ok makes you feel good and so you share it. Then it goes viral. Seriously, there is no easier post to write and get shared then one that tells people they’re ok just how they are.
So stop sharing it. You’re being manipulated.