The Hardest Part of Parenting

The hardest part of parenting isn’t the sleepless nights that come along with healthy infants or the early mornings that come with young children in the house.

No, the hardest part is having to watch your children take on a challenge that only they can overcome.

You can offer support and advice but you can’t do it for them. Doesn’t matter if you beg, plead, yell or scream at or for them either.


Because some of the human experience can only be experienced and or managed by the person in that particular situation.

So you sit back to watch and hope they figure things out sooner than later and with less trouble than you anticipate.

Many years ago someone told me that small children have small problems and big children have big problems.

It is not always 100% accurate, but what is.


Right now I am watching and waiting. I have complete faith this will be worked out but dammit, I hate not being able to do more than this.

But the truth is that even if I could do more it wouldn’t be all that much because this moment is a teaching moment.

This moment is for the kid to figure out. Can’t stick them in a bubble wrap cocoon and even if I could, well I wouldn’t.

Doesn’t change the heartache for me. Doesn’t make me worry any less.

In this situation, well I operate off of past history, personal experience and faith.

All will work out, just might be a bit bumpier than I like.

In the grand scheme of things this particular conundrum isn’t huge nor life threatening, but it is a pain-in-the-ass.

And so I share my wisdom with the kids, remind them that they have a perfect record for overcoming every bad day and share Churchill quotes.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

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  1. Janine Huldie March 2, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Nope, parenting is definitely not for the faint of heart keep re-learning this each and every day here myself!

  2. Larry March 1, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    True words here. We parents want to help and when we can’t – that’s tough. What’s tougher is knowing that not helping is actually the best help you can give.

  3. Lori Gosselin March 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Hey Jack! So true. When my kids were small a friend who had older kids told me that when they are small they exhaust you physically but when they’re older they exhaust you mentally (and, I would add, emotionally!) It’s SO hard to sit back and wait to see if they do it the way you believe is best for them, but it is also SOOOO hard!

  4. sailwawasee March 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    No, it is not for the faint of heart.

  5. Kaarina March 1, 2016 at 11:37 am

    You are wise to let them find their way…with a little help along the way 🙂 I always thought things would get easier the older my boys got, but even now as they’re grown men, the challenges they’re dealing with in this crazy-digital-messy-speedy world forever remind me: our children are our children forever. And although I let and encourage them to fly and flop, love and lose, succeed and struggle, it indeed does not make me worry any less. Cheers!

    • Jack Steiner March 2, 2016 at 9:51 am

      When my son was born my grandfather looked me in the eye and said, “It never ends.”

      I asked him what and he said you never stop worrying about your kids, no matter how old they are. From what I have seen and experienced and heard from people like you I can see how true it is.

      But man, it is hard standing back sometimes even when you know it is the best way to help them figure out the hole they are digging.

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