Top 20 parenting regrets

Don’t we all wish that there was an ultimate parenting guide, telling us how, day by day, to raise our little ones so that they grow up into happy, responsible people? Most of us dream of a day when our child will come up to us and say: "Thanks for being such a wonderful parent, and for giving me your love so that I  turned into the best I could ever be."

But, alas, life is not that simple. In spite of all the advice we might get, parenting is a personal journey, fraught with treasured moments, tears, worry, inspiration, frustrations, mistakes... and yes regrets. I doubt there is any parent out there who can look back at their parenting role and fail to have at least one regret.

Because we’re imperfect people we automatically become imperfect parents. That’s human nature. Fortunately, we don’t need to be perfect to raise a happy child. Love for our children, I believe, compensates for our shortfalls. Because we’re not perfect we’ll make parenting mistakes.

One dictionary defines regret as "a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors." Surely if we know what other parents have regretted, we can avoid those same mistakes so that we don't end up regretting too?

According to a report in the Daily Mail, a UK survey of 2,000 parents conducted by Huggies Little Swimmers revealed the following top parents' regrets:

1. Working too much

2. Worrying about the little things 

3. Not playing with them more

4. Not going on more holidays

5. Not taking enough photos

6. Spending too much time away

7. Not filming enough events or milestones in their lives

8. Not taking them on 'big' holidays such as Disneyland

9. Not encouraging them to take up a/more hobbies

10. Not having a shared hobby

11. Not reading enough to them at bedtime

12. Spending too much time worrying about housework

13. Not taking them swimming more

14. Not letting them take part in messy activities more often

15. Not teaching them to swim earlier

16. Not being at some of the milestones in their life

17. Not making enough of Christmas/birthdays with them

18. Being too over-protective

19. Always waiting for the next milestone instead of enjoying the current one

20. Not enjoying days out more

Food for thought for every parent, indeed.

What are your biggest parenting regrets?
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