I’m not a perfect parent, but I try, really really hard

I’m not a perfect parent, but I try, really really hard
As parents we often wonder whether we’re doing a good job. I feel as parents to children with autism we can be even harder on ourselves, always wondering if we’re doing enough, even if someone else could do a better job. I know in our more difficult days I’ve thought that often. Then, you realise it’s not about being perfect. What is a perfect parent anyway?

Here, Kevin O’Neill, (another UK dad blogger!) from the very impressive Facebook page Autism From A Dad’s Eye View, shares with us an insight into his family life, and why not being a perfect parent is ok. 

I am not a perfect parent. But I try, really really hard!

Having 3 children. 2 of them on the ASD spectrum, and at different ends to each other.

I sometimes overlook Connors specific signs of a ‘meltdown’ coming, because Aiden is a far bigger presence in our house!

Connor can be spoken to and respond. But sometimes I forget that he also can’t fully control the anxieties building up inside him!

Today is a perfect example.

We were trying to do his math homework. But we couldn’t even get to the table… A fight broke out between me and him. He went on raging about random stuff! And I was there ‘demanding’ he sit and do his work.

I saw this was going in a bad direction, and sent him off to do his calm down techniques… this was not working either!
So I tried the distraction technique – jokes and tickles. Yes he laughed and smiled, but the rage inside him was still there.

We both lay on the floor at the bottom of the steps, heads together. I was just trying to bring his emotions down to a calm level. He was just trying to tell me how ‘angry inside’ he was feeling. And when we got to the point of civil conversation, I suggested we go do the math homework……….

BANG! he’s off again.

Deep pressure hugs from me this time. He turned and said ‘I’m going to my room’ OK I said, but not to play! NO he said, I just want to relax.

So up he went. within a few minutes Mommy went into his room. He was fast asleep (he hasn’t had an afternoon nap for years)

Damn! He was so exhausted by his own emotions that he just shut down! (insert major parent guilt)

After an hour he came downstairs, blurry eyed but happy. Gave us all a love and talked about stuff. We sat down. Did the homework, And the rest of the day has been lovely!

So. Yeah. I need to work a bit more on my parenting. And will for as long as I need to, and then some more.

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Kevin O’Neill is a husband, and dad to 3 children, 2 of whom are diagnosed with autism. You can find him on Facebook raising awareness, sharing stories of his life, and generally having fun, on his popular page Autism From A Dad’s Eye View




  1. April 30, 2016 / 1:10 am

    None of us are perfect parents, and many of us carry a lot of guilt around. You just have to do the best you can do, for your kids. Sometimes space and time is what’s needed most – for all of us!

  2. May 1, 2016 / 8:59 am

    Just visited here for the first time, and read the above – hats off to you! I think you handled it admirably, and far better than many, yet still you’re looking for ways to improve your dealings with Connor, and that’s incredible. All too often I wail “I’m trying my best” but here you are doing amazing, far better than most, and still trying to improve. Go you.