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Mastering Parenthood – How To Transform Parenting Mistakes And Setbacks Into Success

Written by: Sabrina Ragan, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Sabrina Ragan

Becoming a parent is an incredible, life-changing experience. It comes with its own set of challenges and rewards, and it's a journey that never truly ends. It's a journey to raise our kids into amazing adults the best we can, but it is also a personal growth journey as we navigate through the challenges of parenthood. As much as we strive to be perfect parents, mistakes and setbacks are inevitable. There is no manual or guide for parenthood, and we are bound to make mistakes. These mistakes could range from something as small as missing an appointment to something bigger like losing our temper. Yet, what's essential is how we respond to these errors. We can dwell on them, which ultimately brings negativity into our lives, or we can accept them, learn from them, and move on to create positive memories and moments for ourselves and our children. Remember: Every parent makes mistakes, but the choice on how we handle them is what matters the most.

Adorable baby girl lying on bed playing with her dad

Understanding the role of mistakes and setbacks

As mothers, we constantly juggle numerous tasks each day. It sometimes feels like we wear multiple hats, ensuring appointments are managed, errands are taken care of, and our children are well-fed, among other responsibilities. In our pursuit of perfection, it's easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of the bigger picture. However, it's important to remember that mistakes and setbacks do not define us as parents or individuals. Instead, they present us with opportunities for growth and learning. Here is how: 

1. Mistakes and setbacks are necessary for growth. There is growth in the challenges if we pick ourselves up again and analyze what went wrong and make adjustments. As moms, we can feel like our mistakes are magnified, but the truth is, everyone experiences them. Whether it's a parenting decision that didn't go as planned, a moment of frustration where you raised your voice unintentionally, or a work project that didn't work out, failure offers us invaluable lessons that we can leverage to enhance and fine-tune our approach. Through these experiences, we learn resilience and develop important problem-solving skills.


2. Negative outcomes are uncomfortable, but they build character. Making mistakes and experiencing setbacks can be frustrating, discouraging, uncomfortable and even painful. However, it's important to remember that these experiences build character and allow us to develop a growth mindset. When we view failure through the lens of growth, we can reframe our mindset and focus on what we can learn from the experience. We can use our failures to build empathy and develop stronger connections with others who may be going through a similar experience. And, we model this positive mindset for our children.


3. Success is often the result of multiple failures. When we think of successful people, it's easy to assume that they got to where they are without any setbacks. However, this is rarely the case. Behind every successful person is a trail of failures and mistakes. It's important to remember that success is rarely a straight line. By embracing our mistakes and setbacks, we can learn to pivot and adjust our approach until we achieve our goals. Thomas Edison famously said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." If we view our failures as opportunities to refine our approach, we too can achieve our goals through perseverance and resilience. The only true mistake is giving up and not trying again.


4. Mistakes are wonderful lessons for our children. Our children observe us making mistakes and learn how to handle them gracefully by following our example. They develop patience and perseverance when they learn to tolerate others' mistakes, as long as we take responsibility and mend the relationship when we realize our own mistakes. Moreover, we teach them the significance of self-forgiveness and being kind to ourselves. Many children struggle with perfectionism and the fear of making mistakes. However, when we make mistakes, show self-compassion, and demonstrate effective problem-solving skills, we convey that mistakes are normal and offer an opportunity for growth. Our children witness that we are not flawless, yet we still love ourselves, persist, and encourage them to do the same.

5. Mistakes build connections in our relationships. When we make mistakes, we open up opportunities for deeper connections with others. By acknowledging our mistakes and taking responsibility for them, we show vulnerability and authenticity, which can foster stronger and more meaningful relationships with our children, partners, and other loved ones. Mistakes can also provide an opportunity for us to empathize with others who may be going through a similar experience.


Affirming confidence in the face of setbacks

Maintaining confidence and faith in your abilities is crucial, even in the face of setbacks. This not only helps you stay positive when facing challenges but also sets a good example for your children on how to handle difficult situations. Making a few mistakes along the way is not only normal but necessary for personal growth and improvement. Remember that the journey to success often comes with unexpected surprises. As parents, it's easy to feel inadequate or doubt our abilities when we encounter setbacks or make mistakes. However, it's important to remind ourselves that we are always doing our best, and that in itself is something to be proud of. Here are some ways to affirm our confidence in the face of setbacks:

1. Practice self-compassion. It's essential to be kind and understanding towards ourselves. Instead of beating ourselves up over our mistakes, we can practice self-compassion by acknowledging that it's okay to make mistakes. We can also remind ourselves that we are doing the best we can and that's all that matters. By treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, we can build resilience and confidence in our parenting abilities.

2. Focus on progress, not perfection. Parenting is an ongoing journey, and there will always be room for improvement. Instead of striving for perfection, we can focus on progress and celebrate the small wins along the way. Every mistake or setback is an opportunity for growth, and by acknowledging our progress, we can build confidence in our abilities as parents. One of my favorite ways to track progress is to write the positive changes I see each day on a calendar. When things become challenging, we forget all the positive changes that have happened. But writing them on a calendar you can see how far you've come, even when things start to spiral again. 

3. Practice self-care: Parenting is a demanding and selfless role, but it's crucial to take care of ourselves as well. Self-care can mean different things to different people, but it usually involves activities that recharge and relax us, such as exercise, reading, or spending time with loved ones. By prioritizing self-care, we can reduce stress and build resilience, which can help us navigate through setbacks with more ease and confidence.

Welcoming mistakes as opportunities for growth

Each mistake or setback presents an opportunity for personal growth. Embrace these challenges and use them as stepping stones to achieve your goals. Remember, it's not about avoiding mistakes altogether but learning from them and using that knowledge to move forward. This is where we find our potential and learn how to navigate the path to our goals. Embrace these opportunities with an open mind and a resilient spirit, and model this beautiful confidence and resilience for your kids. There isn't a better parenting lesson that you can give them. When you encounter a setback, don't shy away. Instead, analyze it, learn from it, and use it as a stepping stone to propel you closer to your objectives. This approach not only fosters personal growth but also builds resilience and promotes a positive outlook. So, the next time you make a mistake or face a challenge, remember that it's an opportunity for growth and embrace it with open arms. 

Self-reflection questions

  1. Identifying obstacles: What is the greatest obstacle you have overcome so far in your life? Reflecting on past challenges can provide insight and motivation to tackle current ones.

  2. Addressing current challenges: What obstacles are you currently dealing with? What strategies can you employ to overcome them? This encourages proactive problem-solving and resilience.

  3. Learning from the past: How have you grown from past mistakes and setbacks? This question promotes self-awareness and personal growth.

Mistakes and setbacks are not obstacles to success, but rather stepping stones on the path towards it. By embracing them, practicing self-compassion and self-care, and focusing on progress rather than perfection, we can build confidence and resilience in ourselves as parents. Furthermore, by modeling this attitude for our children, we teach them valuable lessons about growth mindset and the power of mistakes. So, let's welcome mistakes with open arms and use them as opportunities for growth and connection in our relationships. The journey of parenthood is not always easy, but it's through our mistakes and challenges that we can become stronger and more confident parents for ourselves and our children.


Imagine having a comprehensive parenting guide that covers every experience we encounter as parents. Wouldn't it be wonderful? If you're looking for support, encouragement, and wisdom along your journey, I invite you to check out The Empowered Moms Community. Gain access to valuable resources and connect with fellow moms who understand the joys and challenges of parenthood. As parents, we're all in this together. Let's embrace our mistakes, learn from them, and grow together. The journey may not always be easy, but it's undeniably worth it. Together, we'll navigate the joys and challenges of parenting, supporting each other every step of the way. This exclusive platform is designed specifically for mothers like you, who are committed to nurturing their child's success in all aspects of life. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for weekly doses of inspiration and valuable insights.

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Sabrina Ragan Brainz Magazine

Sabrina Ragan, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sabrina Ragan is an experienced and dedicated psychologist and play therapist who works with children and families facing challenging situations. She combines attachment theory, neuropsychology, and solution-focused techniques to build strong relationships and achieve positive results in counselling sessions. Sabrina's own experience of motherhood without family support led her to create the Empowered Mom's Membership Community, which offers a supportive space for like-minded individuals to connect. Sabrina's main focus is to improve the lives of children and families, and this commitment drives everything she does at Keystone Child and Family Therapy and in the Empowered Mom's Membership Community.



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