The 7 Habits of a Highly Ineffective Parent

Isn’t it nice how we have access to so many wonderful parenting tips via the media. You can find all sorts of carefully imagined ideas on how to parent your kids effectively. Just type the problem into Google and you are sure to find a mountain of resources!


Maybe you should never ever Google the words ‘Parenting advice’! You are most likely to receive a stream of well meaning (but in my experience, imagined) suggestions on how to resolve whatever the issue… and if you are lucky you will hit upon a stream of conversation from Mumsnet that is so riddled with D’s, DH’s, DS’s, DD’s and DNA that you will soon wish you were never born.

So, this week as school gets all Christmas crazy and you run around like headless chickens trying to organise ‘The Christmas They’ve Been Dreaming Of’ (thanks a bunch John Lewis)! Don’t despair if your kids come home like the Tazmanian Devil and rip the house to shreds, if your beautiful Nativity Angel turns into Animal from the Muppets, or if the Dog eats all the Brussel sprouts causing a nasty chain of events. Even If you do have to wrestle your children into bed or bribe them with sweets or even hide in the toilet at tea time. You are not alone (I am still hiding in the toilet from last night’s teatime). Here I will attempt to re-address the balance by sharing some of my most epic parenting fails (each one previously shared on my Facebook and absolutely true).

 Read this and feel good, parents of the world…


  1. Make do and mend fail

Last night Ben brought me his Onesie:  “Can you sew up the hole mum?” 

So I did what I thought was a rather splendid job on the sewing.

This morning : “Mum, Why have you sewn the pockets shut on my Onesie? And mum you didn’t sew up the hole?” 




  1. Wardrobe Fail

It’s important that when you do the washing you sort out the kids piles carefully… My facebook status from a few months ago:

‘The horror you feel when trying to put your knickers on (after a week of dieting) and it appears that you have gone up many dress sizes overnight. Nothing will get them on, in fact getting them on would mean a certain amount of destruction and chaffing. Followed by the sweet relief of finding that ‘said knickers’ were actually your six year old daughters, this sort of mistake can leave you feeling exhausted before the day has even begun!’


  1. Tooth fairy fail

Recently Ben lost a tooth. He put it under his pillow… but the tooth fairy let him down with a ‘no show’. 

That morning I said: “ Ben I’m so sorry but I think the tooth fairy forgot!”

He happily replied: “It’s ok mum. I put the tooth by your bed and took a pound out of your wallet.”



  1. Stranger Danger Fail

We found out a few weeks ago that at bedtime, Ben had been opening his window and flying paper aeroplanes out into the street. Initially I thought ‘how sweet’!

But… when I went out and picked them all up from the driveway in the morning, I noticed written on the front were the words: “Look Inside.”

Obediently I looked inside, it read: “Call Me”  

               followed by our telephone number…

               Who said social media was dangerous. It’s our kids that are dangerous!

               Now I have to ban the internet, paper and pens.



  1. Behaviour Management Fail

And so it continues…

‘On one walk home from school, Millie threw a splendid tantrum and promptly fell over backwards into the stinging nettles, having grabbed her out she managed to knock Archie into them too. Ben then stung himself on purpose to see what it felt like.’

Goodness knows what a Dock leaf looks like?Anyway I needed a whole Dock tree that day!



  1. Teaching appropriate songs fail

A month or two ago I had to talk to Millie’s teacher about a song she was singing on repeat. I explained that if she sings:

 “let it die, let it die, let it shrivel up and die”

That it was a song from the sweet family film The Lorax and not something more sinister!


  1. Lunch box Fail

Archie’s teacher: “Did you mean to send Archie into school with a large block of cheese in his lunch box?”

“Erm, no.” I replied.

Let me explain: The night before I had run out of cling film and had ended up wrapping everything in tin foil instead; sandwiches, lump of cheese… you get the picture! So instead of sandwiches in his lunchbox, Archie had received a large lump of mature cheddar. What made the whole thing more amusing was that upon finding the giant size portion of cheese, he concluded that he had best just get on with it and was subsequently found (by the dinner staff) chewing on a corner of it.

So now we know why cling film is see-through.


I hope my parenting fails give you the strength you need to fight on through another day and have a very happy, crazy, messy Christmas!




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