3 things that get in the way of our best parenting


What gets in the way of your good parenting? Probably plenty. But here are 3 factors that seem to be most at play.

Recently I was fortunate to be the host at a Parents in Education week of events. There I met the wonderful psychologist Kirrilie Smout who runs two clinics here in Adelaide specialising in supporting children (and their parents) who are struggling with worry, frustration, social skills or tough life events.

We got chatting, and question came up, ‘What do you think gets in the way of our good parenting?’

You know, the parenting we want to do and are capable of – but which doesn’t always happen.

She outlined 3 factors, which I totally agree with, and which I wanted to share with you.


I alluded to this issue last week when we discussed how parenting problems can actually be parenting choices.

What can stop us from setting that boundary, saying ‘No’ or intervening?

Fear. We are worried about how our children are going to react. In fact, we may well know how they are going to react and we fear dealing with it.

We don’t want to have to deal with that so we give in or do it for them or let it slide.

This isn’t a criticism. This is real life. But it’s worth being aware. Do you ever fear your children’s reaction or fear having to deal with it?


Sometimes it’s not fear that’s stopping us from intervening or saying ‘No’ or setting that boundary. It’s doubt.

We doubt ourselves. We’re not sure if it’s the best thing to do. We’re not certain. We’re unsure. We lack conviction.

So we waver. We give in. We don’t stand firm.

Like fear, this is totally understandable. But again, it’s worth recognising. Do you ever doubt your own parenting?


This is a big one. I’ve always maintained that when we feel happy and well-rested, we can handle just about anything that our kids throw at us.

But when we feel stressed, overwhelmed and worn-out, then that can get in the way of our good intentions.

Energy is a problem.

It is so much harder to be that loving but firm parent when we running low on energy. It takes energy to say No, hold our ground, follow through. All of that.

So this is just about acknowledging that when we’re low on energy, it’s more difficult to rise up to the challenges. Are you able to rest and recharge when you’re low on energy?

There you go – 3 factors that can get in the way of our good parenting. I think we’ve probably all experienced them. So now that we’ve got that knowledge, how can that help you?

Jodie Benveniste

2 Responses to “3 things that get in the way of our best parenting

  • Good points Jodie. Energy is definitely my problem, and it flows over into everything else. Working out what we’ll have for dinner. Staying on top of the washing. Making time to connect with the kids… I’m looking forward to the Christmas break to recharge!

    • Jodie Benveniste
      9 months ago

      Yes I’m the same Rachel! It feels like it’s been a big year and it will be nice to have some downtime. Enjoy!

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