–by Sara Borgstede [originally published on the author’s own blog, The Holy Mess, on October 16, 2017]

Good parents can have kids who make bad choices.

There, I said it.

There are plenty of good parents out there who have kids who make bad choices. I’m sure you know a few, and I do too.

I’ve known amazingly consistent, loving parents who had kids who made poor choices.

Conversely, I’ve known parents who are making some seriously poor decisions themselves, who have kids who turn into successful people.

There’s a huge parenting truth that many of us don’t want to own up to, and that’s the fact that you are not in control of your child’s behavior.

While it’s true that we have an incredible influence over our children, we are not the only influence. Kids are born with a personality and temperament of their own.

Outside life influences also have a tremendous impact. We do our best to provide a safe and nurturing environment, but even the most helicoptery of parents can’t control everything.

People who write parenting books (and blogs, like me) don’t want to discuss this because the more they sell you on the belief that you can fix what’s wrong with your kid, the more money they make.

Do we always want to do the best we can as parents? Of course.

Generally, do kids do better with loving structure, guidance, and discipline? Definitely.

But not always.

I know parents who walk around daily with loads of guilt and remorse because their child has chosen an unfortunate path.  Look, you did the best you knew at the time. Your guilt is serving no purpose, so let it go.

If you know parents who have a child that makes poor choices, let’s cut these parents some slack. Maybe they took some parenting missteps but then again — maybe not.

Part of the reason we are judgmental of other parents is that we figure if we do it differently, our kids will turn out okay. But we don’t know that for sure.

Sometimes, good parents can have kids who make bad choices.

Do you believe it’s true that good parents can have kids who make bad choices? Please share!