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Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Avital.

You want a present, peaceful and playful family life? I'm here to help you make that a reality.

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I mess up. I have my peaceful parenting failure moments.  It’s a daily occurrence. I want to share some of the ways I mess up and some of the ways I’m rocking it!


It’s normal to mess up. We aren’t perfect. However when it comes to parenting we can tend to think perfection is the goal.  Yes we will mess up, and there are also ways in which we are rocking this parenting gig.  Both need to be a part of our parenting conversation.


Ways I’m Messing Up (Peaceful Parenting Fails)


I still haven’t tamed my temper


Yes it has improved a lot since I started on my Peaceful Parenting Journey.  It is now rarer for me to have angry outburst. I now yell less and grab my children in anger less.  When I’m annoyed at something they’re doing it’s less likely that I will want to punish them or inflict some kind of pain back on them.  While all of this occurs less, it does still occur regularly. It is something I’m constantly working on.


I could feel shame and guilt about it and beat myself up but as I’ve shared in previous blog posts (check out this one on Mom Guilt here) I know that guilt and shame don’t actually help me to do better.  Instead I realize that I’m working on it and improving and that’s okay.  Sometimes it’s two steps forward, one step back and sometimes it’s 10 steps back and that’s okay too.


I suck at not trying to control my kids eating


I feel the urge to control what my kids eat.  To stuff in more greens. To bribe them to eat the healthier foods or shame them when they don’t.  I’ll blame them, coerce them, even threaten them if they don’t eat healthy foods.


I know this is something that is a bit unresolved for me.  I always feel a sense of inadequacy or imposter syndrome even when it comes to my kids eating habits. When it comes to food and establishing good health even though I know how I’m supposed to behave around food I still struggle and feel like I just haven’t got it together yet.


I can be too controlling


I think I am a bit of a control freak. It matters a lot to me how our house is setup. I also control my kids’ spaces, what they wear, and how we spend our time.  Sometimes I think I may veer off into being too controlling at ties and that’s probably not healthy.


Things that I do very imperfectly or that I do wrong.


I don’t love playing with my kids


There are also just things that aren’t in my genius zone. Things that I don’t love to do. I don’t like pretend playing. It’s not my favorite thing to do with my kids. Sometimes, I just won’t do it because I don’t feel like it. But, a lot of parenting advice out there says how important it is to play with your kids so this could be considered a miss or fail.


Instead however, I choose to focus on my strengths.  I choose to own the areas of parenting that are within my genius zone. For example, I love building Lego with my kids and can do that for a long time. Reading to my kids is another thing I really enjoy. I also like to go on adventures with them and bake together. There are things I enjoy doing and things I don’t, I choose to focus on the things I enjoy.


I prefer to do things wholeheartedly and fully, rather than to begrudgingly tick the boxes complete of the parenting “should” chart. I don’t believe in that many should’s. Instead, I believe we’re all different in our unique ways and we’ve should honor those differences.


Things I’m Great At!!


Not punishing


I’m pretty good at not punishing. In my mind, I still have thoughts like: I’m going to teach you a lesson, you deserve to be punished for that and there should be consequences to your actions. But, instead of listening to those thoughts I have fully come to terms with the research around not punishing.  I know why not punishing makes sense and what to do instead. That’s something I feel very comfortable about and therefore do well at.


I’m getting better at listening


I’m getting better at listening to my kids. I try to simply close my mouth when my kids are talking. To let them express themselves and just listen to them.


I’m getting better at helping them with conflict resolution.


I have the same drive as anyone else to just shut down conflict to make it stop. To shut down the conflict by forcing turn taking, switching on a timer, or solving it in some other adult led way. But I’m getting better at trusting and at facilitating conflict rather than trying to control it.


I’m getting better at being a role model for my children


I try to model managing my own feelings and triggers. To be a role model for self regulation and speaking kindly.  But often I find that I can also be kind of a sucky model. For example, I’ll tell my kids to use a fork and the very same moment, I’ll grab food with my hands.  Sometimes I’m just a walking contradiction, a real hypocrite. I also realize however, that it’s all part of the human experience.


There are things that we’re working on and trying to improve at and we all start at different starting points. Peaceful parenting is a journey that can, at times, be difficult (for more on that checkout my blog post here).


Just like we want to give our kids license to learn, we've got to give ourselves license to learn as well.via @ParentingJunkieTweet This


If you’re into Peaceful Parenting, there are going to be things that you suck at and things that you’re awesome at. Instead of framing them up as “sucks” we can frame them as things that we’re learning to do and things that we feel more comfortable with. There are things that we already have well established within our comfort zone and things that are still uncomfortable for us. There will always be things that we’re still learning and that we haven’t quite figured out yet, and that’s okay.


If you’re feeling like you’re failing at this peaceful parenting thing try to look at the things you are doing well and give yourself credit for those.  Perhaps you are doing quite well at it but are instead suffering from imposter syndrome and that is what is holding you back from recognizing how far you’ve come.


I know parenting can bring that up imposter feeling in us. Feelings like you’re not really measuring up.  Or worrying you’ll be “found out” as not the peaceful parent you claim to be because you sometimes yell. If you ever have that sense of being a fraud or that you’ll be found out, like one day they’re going to discover that you’re not really the mom that you say you are, you’re not alone. Checkout my podcast episode on imposter syndrome here if you’ve ever felt this way. 


Share your comments!  I really want to hear from you!  Are there ways you feel like an imposter? What are the things that you kind of suck at? What are the things that you’re rocking? How can you reframe the “sucks” to be more compassionate and kind to yourself on this parenting journey? We all need as much compassion as we could possible get! Share here in the comments below or over in our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.

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15 Replies to “Peaceful Parenting Fails”

  1. Hi Avital,

    I have an 8 monthly daughter, and I lately I’ve been recognizing my own reluctancy to play with her as well. I’ve been bothered by it-because I really do want to engage with her in the different ways she needs. Guilt, like you said, is the right word for it. But I also know that play is something that doesn’t come naturally for a lot of moms.

    So I’m weighing these two things: my resistance/her needs, and I keep coming up against my truth that her needs come first. I’ve been challenging myself to fully engage in play with her often. When I do, I can see how awesome it is for her, and I feel our connection deepen even more. I’m trying to view our play sessions, and my work to engage her in play rather than not, as small spiritual practices of the nonreligious sort.

    What are your thoughts on this? I get what you’re saying about operating in your zone of genius, and you obviously are playing with your little ones when you build with legos, but how about when they were little like mine? There’s cuddling and co-sleeping and baby-wearing and kissing and reading aloud, but at this age it seems like play is on the menu more than anything else.

    I appreciate how you addressed your food choices and your kids, because I have something like “pre-guilt”….guilt about how my sweet tooth-as healthy as it might be-will influence my daughter when she’s a bit older. My chocolate obsession trails me everywhere I go, and if it weren’t for her I would care less. But we are the models our kids emulate, and I don’t really want to see her shoving a bowl full of chocolate goo into her face like I do on a regular basis. Oh gosh, there’s always something to work on.

    Thanks for your words, Avital. It’s always good to hear moms talk about the reality of life rather than the curated Instagram version 🙂

    1. Hey! That time can be hard as they aren’t quite playing with all the things we may like but we also feel like we “must” do something. If you are looking for more to “do” did you see this post from awhile back?

      For other ideas, and maybe some reassurance that you don’t “have” to play a lot with her if you don’t want to, I want to encourage you to post your question on our Love Parenting with Avital Facebook Group ( You’ll find non-judgmental advice and support there and I’m sure other moms have this same question would benefit from you being vulnerable and asking! – Tracy xx

      1. Thanks so much for that link, Avital. You’re right, there are a billion different ways to interact that don’t fall under the “play” umbrella. Lately, I’ve been hanging out with R on our porch swing where she can watch cars go by which she loves to do. In the late afternoon, we go roll around in the grass a bit, and on our long, daily walks I swing her around and toss her in the air and it’s the most fun thing in the world for both of us. I know in my bones that I’m giving her what she needs, but there’s always that fear as a mom that I’m slacking somehow. It’s a good exercise in letting thoughts be what they are, without trying to change them. Hard to do! My dearest parenting book is Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children, and the premise is acceptance and awareness. I reference it everyday. That’s what this path of motherhood calls for. Thanks again for the link 🙂

  2. Today’s YT video was truly what I needed! YESSSSSS! I do not like playing with my daughter! Unfortunately I have yet to find anything that we do enjoy doing together. Also, I’d like to hear your responses/phrasing when denying their request to play with them when you truly don’t want to. LOVE that I’m not “failing” in my weak areas, I’m still learning. I too can relate to being a bit controlling, especially in the environment. I love beauty, I love a clean, organized beautifully designed house with neutral colors. I can’t do bright colors or plastics. I love natural wood toys with no color at all-I’m a sucker for those just because of their simplistic beauty. I’m going to go listen to the podcast now ❤️

  3. Love This! Exactly what I needed. Seriously, I’m saving this for those times I really feel like a failure to remind myself we all suck at things sometimes… we have strengths we have weaknesses… so what?!

  4. I love this video/blog post!! Thank you so much for being honest and being a role model to be ok with „failures“ and even feel confident with them. The guilt is such a big thing in parenthood, I totally underestimated it. I would love that more parents share their honest feelings and fails between each other so we can all relax a little bit more.
    So, you ask for our weak and strength points: my superpower is listening and translating feelings of my children, to calm them in stressed moments or tantrums. With this i feel very confident and don’t fear moments of screaming kids on the floor in public.
    But my weaknesses are: I’m a lot of times bored by repetitive play, I have momentary nodding offs while reading the same book the 20th time. I’m just grumpy in the morning at 6 and not patient at all. Also I really suffer from being on playgrounds. It’s not my thing at all. I just don’t go there anymore with my daughter. On the other hand I love playing at home with my daughter, block building, puzzle, role play, involving her in real activities… that’s my thing.

    I love what you are doing Avital!

  5. Avital….I can’t thank you enough for this. Just today I am berating myself for not making it through the day without yelling and getting so triggered and angry. I also am a control freak around food and have to practice daily letting go and surrendering. Thank you for making me feel understood and giving me hope that I CAN keep moving forward and improving every day.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this, Avital. I´ve felt a bit lost lately in the world of “perfection” I can see around especially on FB, instagram. This helped me a lot!

    1. Hi Sita!

      We’re glad you enjoyed this! I know I have failures every day and this one definitely helps remind me that perfection is not the goal, just progress! – Tracy xx

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  8. Avital, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this video!!! The generalization of “we all mess up sometimes” doesn’t do anything for me. I truly needed to actually hear the specific and authentic examples you gave. There is by now, thankfully, plenty of information for peaceful and consious parenting. However, It all starts with peaceful and conscious parenting of ourselves! This is exactly what you have demonstrated for me today!

  9. Thank you for so much for sharing this honest truth….you have no idea what a relief it is hearing that I am not the only guilty mother.
    I have come a long way from
    Controlling by temper and being consciously less controlling over all things when it comes to my child.
    Yet there are most days when I fail but I keep telling my self that I am going to be be better than this.

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