The 4-Letter Word That’s Making You a Grumpy Parent

What is hard about parenting a child who doesn’t meet an expectation? Have you ever heard yourself saying these phrases as a parent?

“But he SHOULD be able to do that.”

“He SHOULD remember after 500 reminders.”


“I SHOULDN’T have to do that for him.”

“I SHOULDN’T have to live that way.”

Me. Me. Me…

Do you want to know the sucky thing? Despite all my feelings of what I think our son SHOULD do, he can’t. And despite the unfairness of how I SHOULDN’T be living, it’s just what needs to be done. Besides, do you know what I tell my kids ALL. THE. TIME?

“Life isn’t fair!”

About 3 years ago a practitioner introduced me to the phrase, “Radical Acceptance.” I’m still not sure how she meant for me to apply it, but I took each word literally and started taking stock of where we were as a family–including all the needs of our kids–and radically accepting and making peace with our HERE and NOW. It was almost a form of mindfulness. Through a lot of prayer and introspection and some visits to our awesome therapist, I was able to find a supernatural peace in the midst of the crazy.  Well, at least sometimes. I’m not going to lie and tell you I have this figured out all the time. Because I don’t. But the crazy thing is that whenever I stop fighting against my reality, I’m calmer which makes my kids calmer which means they operate at the top of their ability set–whatever that happens to be. You know, at the end of the day, we can only control ourselves, not our situations, not our kids behaviors, not even how our kids react or respond to us.

[bctt tweet=”Whenever I stop fighting against my reality, I’m calmer. #parenthack” username=”macorkum”]

So here’s our challenge, instead of hyper zoning in on all the deficits that are annoyingly rearing their ugly heads, let’s focus on shedding all of our SHOULD statements. I know. SHOULD has 6-Letters. But you get the picture. This challenge is for me too because it’s a daily…no hourly struggle…to stay in this space of radical acceptance.

Will you try it for a week with me?

Comment below if you’re with me so we can all keep each other accountable.


  1. TereasaMarch 29, 2018

    This is so helpful! I love the idea of radical acceptance. I’ll be sharing this!

    1. MelissaMarch 31, 2018

      The idea of radical acceptance has so changed my life!

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