Have I Failed As a Parent? Here Is the Truth

Have I Failed As a Parent? Here Is the Truth

You are at the school gate.  Someone asks:  How are your children doing? You hesitate; not sure how to answer.

You have a 5 second dilemma whether to share exactly how tough and distressing it is to look after a child with conditions such as  anxiety, an eating disorder, self-harm, severe depression or severe OCD.

You don’t want to take a risk.  If you were to open up to the wrong person, you wonder how long you would be listened to before the person makes their mind up about your parenting.

Some people might already be feeling smug about their parenting and you wouldn’t want to feed that by telling them just what difficult situation you are in right now.

You could be judged and that’s the last thing you need right now. You’ve only just managed to convince yourself that you were not the cause.

If you are going to be made feel that you’ve not been a good parent, you could well do without it.

You decide against sharing. You force a smile and answer:  My children are fine, thank you.

Sound familiar?

What my clients have in common is that they all deeply care for their children and teenagers and which has been one of their priorities – but things happen.

Today you are asking yourself:

Why am I being judged?

This is very common particularly when your son or daughter suffers with mental health issues. Many parents struggle to feel confident as parents, despite the known facts of their child’s condition. They share and talk about their child’s condition with great difficulty.

And being judged CAN be very disempowering if you let it.

Remember, it says more about the person who judges that the one being judged.

It is easier said than done but the most helpful thing is not to take it personally.

So what do you do?

  1. Find and share with other parents who have similar experience.

Looking for a support group in your area could be the simplest step. You will find it reassuring and will be able to get support and some helpful tips.

  1. Surround yourself with quality rather than quantity.

This is VITAL! Finding the few friends that will listen, support and make you feel good is more important than having many friends.

  1. Find an adult, who’s been through what your child is experiencing, in their childhood.

They are ideal to talk to .They will be able to reflect on what it felt like then and what would have made the biggest difference to them.  


Sadly, the perception of someone suffering with physical condition like diabetes is still different to someone suffering with a mental health condition. Yet both conditions are serious and patients don’t want to have them.

So why do so many parents experience unnecessary guilt and a sense of failure? Could it be the judgment of others due to lack of knowledge and information?

By now you will have learned and gathered a lot of information and facts from research and talking to specialists; others haven’t. You have the knowledge and experience; others don’t.

You know you are doing a great job:

  • You care for your daughter or son.
  • You take them to therapy.
  • You stay up all night if necessary.
  • You give up your time for them.
  • You make yourself totally flexible.
  • You keep researching how else to help them.
  • You always put them before you.
  • You try and keep calm when they let their anger out on you.
  • Does this sound like a failing parent?

This is a parent who deeply cares and should be empowered, praised and supported.


How do you deal with being judged? Do you let other people’s attitudes affect you? Are you able to stay in control?

Let me know you thoughts.


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If you have any questions, need support or would like to find out about my one to one sessions, I would love to hear from you.

Photo credit: h.koppdelaney / Foter / CC BY-ND