People Are Revealing The Single Hardest Lesson For Parents To Learn About Raising Kids, And There's So Much Truth Here

    "You have to parent the kid you have, not the one you want."

    Recently, Reddit user teleologicalaorist asked people to share the single hardest lesson for a parent to learn about raising kids, and there's so much truth here:

    1. "You have to parent the kid you have, not the one you want."

    2. "That your kids need to make mistakes."


    "Best thing my parents ever did for me was to let me learn to stumble, fall, and pick myself back up, and they were there to dust me off. I was an only child, and my mom always said the hardest thing for them to do was not clutch me close and overprotect me. But I'm eternally grateful for their strength and willingness to help me grow into a self-reliant human being."


    "So many parents protect their children from EVERYTHING, and their children grow up weak, and fearful and underdeveloped. Struggle and adversity build strong character, and kids need their own personal dragon to slay."


    3. "Picking your battles. Does it really matter if your kid wears mismatched socks or a princess dress to go grocery shopping? Those are minor things that absolutely do not make a difference in the long run. Let it go, and life will be easier for both of you."


    4. "That the parent isn't always right, and you're going to make mistakes as often as your children do."

    "But you need to listen when your children tell you how you've screwed up in order to be a better parent."


    5. "That you aren't 'raising kids.' They are already kids. You are raising adults."

    6. "Communicate with them the way you want to be communicated with — kids are people, and they model your behaviors."


    7. "That your kids are not an extension of you. They are their own people."


    8. "The hardest pill for me to swallow so far is that they're going to grow up. My kids are 8 years old and 12 years old, and I am already so sad about them growing up and moving out."

    "We haven't reached the teen years yet, though, so check back with me in the next few years!"


    9. "You are not their friend — you are their parent."


    10. "You’re gonna feel like you’re failing constantly — you’re not in the slightest, but you’ll feel like it."

    11. "If you still have baggage or trauma that you haven't dealt with, you and your kids will suffer for it."


    12. "The hardest lesson I've learned is that your workday is never done and you do not have a 'day off' as a parent. You are on 24/7."

    "I relish the days when I had a career and looked forward to my day off!"


    13. "That you might not have anything in common with your kids."


    "It's your job to connect with your kids through their interests, not just yours. You might not have a lot in common with your kid, but if they care about something, you can try to care about it, too."


    14. "If you split with your partner, remember that your kids still need them in their life."


    15. "Sometimes your kid will be an asshole, and you will dislike them. It's OK — sometimes you are also an asshole, and people dislike you. Just remember that not liking them in the moment doesn't make you a shitty parent. It makes you a human being."

    16. "That parents need to do their part when their child is struggling in school. Teachers can only do so much in eight hours."


    17. "That you have to prepare your kids for the real world, not the one you wish for them."


    18. "That kids tell lies. It’s part of their emotional and intellectual development. Don’t make it a big deal. Respond appropriately and discuss it, but don’t take it personally."


    19. "Your kid isn’t giving you a hard time. They are having a hard time."


    20. "Things you do are going to affect them in ways you don't intend, and something you think is minor will have a major impact on them. It can be hard to accept when something you don't even remember doing — or something you felt was completely justified — played a negative role in your child's life. But that doesn't mean your child's experience is any less valid."

    21. "That you’re there to guide, not control — even when they are doing it wrong."


    22. "At some point — around age 12 or 13 — it will seem like they genuinely hate you, and they will be incredibly unpleasant to deal with. It passes, but it's rough when you're in the middle of it. You have to weather it with patience and grace because it's only a stage."


    And finally:

    23. "You can never give up. You can have hard days. You can make mistakes. You can even think about what life would be like if you did give up. But at the end of the day, you cannot give up."

    What about you? Tell us what you think are the hardest lessons for parents to learn about raising kids, and you could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post!

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.