How Do You Know if You've Been a Good Parent?

How do you know if you’ve done your job as a parent effectively or not?

For awhile, I find myself reminiscing about my daughter’s younger years, like toddler, preschool. Can’t say it didn’t have its frustrations, but I always made an effort to take her for long walks from the time she was a baby and read to her, which she enjoyed, that “bed time story”. Kids’ story hours we were regulars, as well as fun events for kids.

Now that she’s 12 and we live in a different town, I feel I’ve lost her. She wants time with friends more, and spoiling of family hasn’t helped with the behavior. There’s no one else I don’t feel embarassed to ask about this.

Is this pre teen children wanting more independence from parents? Or has some of my family toxicity spilled over onto her and she resents me? Can’t wait to get away?

While I have allowed her learning opportunities, like various trips when she was little to museums and aquariums, to field trips to trying different sports and involvement in school musical groups, I wonder if her family life is lacking in some way.

What experience have any of you had with a child or multiple children in this age group, and how did they behave compared to when they were little?

she’s pre-teen. if there aren’t any major red flag with behavior, isolation or unusual social practices then I would bet you’re doing just fine as a parent.

Kids want to grown and there’s a point where they need to discover the world for themselves. Make it a point to know who her friends are and get to know those families.

1 Like

That sounds perfectly normal to me. We raised three daughters and they are all doing just fine now in their twenties. She is looking for her own identity, finding herself as herself, apart from her parents. It might be sad from a parental perspective, but you can’ be her whole life anymore, and likely haven’t been for a while. It’s healthy, she will be striking out on her own quicker than you can blink your eyes, and she needs to get out there and practice as it were.

1 Like

My daughter did the same thing at that age
You’ve set the stage with everything you did before. Let her little wings fly and stay there as her stabilizing force and safe place to come home to.

Do things together when you can, she will appreciate that, even if she acts indifferent.

I was so happy that after a few years like that she circled back.

She’s 20 now, and we are best friends.

Just be there for her, for now. Everything sounds normal.


My daughter turns 21 this autumn. What I found was that between the onset of puberty until about age 18, the kid was exploring who she was as a person, wanting to branch out from her parents, and doing the typical teenage rebellion thing. That was a hard six years, but she came out the other side of it independent, self-reliant, intelligent, and appreciative of me and her mother. I miss the toddler and little kid she once was. Her teenage years? Not so much. :wink: And I am really happy to get to see her enter young adulthood and break out on her own.

I’ll echo what others have said - give her space where it’s reasonable and safe to do so, maintain discipline and guidance where necessary, and weather the next several years. It gets better.

1 Like

@anon14033751 it sure is nice when they come out the other side with heartfelt appreciation for everything you did for them, isn’t it?

1 Like

It really is a good thing.

My kids are 6 and 7 (and perhaps an infant?), so I’ll just take notes over here in the corner.

1 Like