Our Biggest Parenting Mistakes & Failures

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Episode Summary

There are two types of people in the world. Those who only learn from their own mistakes, and those who also learn from others mistakes. The best advice we’ve gotten over the years was from more experienced people sharing lessons from their mistakes. We have two goals for doing this episode; that you’re able to […]

There are two types of people in the world. Those who only learn from their own mistakes, and those who also learn from others mistakes.

The best advice we’ve gotten over the years was from more experienced people sharing lessons from their mistakes.

We have two goals for doing this episode; that you’re able to glean wisdom from our mistakes, but also stir up in you greater introspection to learn from your own mistakes.

If we want our kids to have teachable hearts they need to see us living it out. They must also see a hunger for learning and growing. Kids respect that big time!

Here Are Our 7 Biggest Parenting Mistakes

1. Not Being A Good Listener (Angie)

  • Being a good listener is one of the most important skills of a good parent.
  • I would lecture the kids for 45 minutes if they lie, sometimes appropriate but sometimes it was too much
  • I took their sin too personally causing me not to listen and talk strongly to them.
  • Questions are powerful because they own it when they come up with the answer versus us giving them the answers.
  • Story of oldest daughter sharing a hard truth with Angie (Listen to episode).
  • It’s vital to take ownership for your part in a broken relationship with a child.
  • We have to be willing, to be honest about where we mess up.
  • We must take time to listen to our kids and value them.
  • If you aren’t a good listener, likely your kids won’t be either. Are you creating a legacy of interrupting or listening?
  • Just because you know what they’re going to say, it doesn’t mean you should stop them and start talking because it’s not about what you know, it’s about them feeling respected because they got to say what was important to them and were heard, that’s building a strong relationship and it takes patience.
  • Challenge yourself; are you always in the teacher mode, then you need to shift to listening and questioning mode. If you are always listening and questioning, you may need to shift to teacher mode more often.
  • So how do you do this? Memorize James 1:19, repent of your sin, apologize to your kids and choose not to do it anymore. You can make a choice and stick to it. 

2. Not Leading Spiritually Early On (Isaac)

  • It was easy to look at how well my wife was doing with the kids and I was busy building a business. I was intentional but not near the level I needed to be early on.
  • One of the false beliefs I had and I think a lot of dads have is; “I will dig in more with them spiritually when they can remember it, plus I have to build this now so I can spend more time with them later”
  • Unfortunately, habits are hard to break. So whatever you do now when your kids are young is likely what will continue down the road even when your work ambitions change. (if they ever do?)
  • Even though they won’t remember when they are young, they are being formed while they are young. They need their dads influence more than ever actually.
  • Women will rise up and do all of the spiritual leadership if us men don’t.  It’s good that the mom leads kids spiritually, but it’s way more powerful when both are influencing. Kids must hear spiritual things from their father.
  • Your children will grow up looking at you dads as the spiritual leader, or they won’t. And if not, they will look elsewhere for leadership even if it’s not spiritual. In fact, others who aren’t biblical will likely win their hearts and respect.
  • Do you want your kids to come to ask you spiritual things when they are older? If you do, you must build a relationship with them where they view both the mom and dad as spiritual authorities in their lives.
  • If you haven’t been doing this, it’s never too late to start.
  • Words from parents mouths have a bigger impact than coming from anywhere else.
  • Sometimes in leadership, you will say things and it may feel like it isn’t impacting anyone, but it does. Leaders must speak truths into existence whether they get any feedback or not. That’s leadership.

3. Being Too Busy Outside The Home (Angie)

If God calls us to do a ministry, it should enhance our family life

  • I had a passion for ministry and got addicted to it and signed up for too many things.
  • Realizing what I was sacrificing with my kids, I walked away from four ministries in one day so I could focus on my family.
  • Not because something was wrong in the family, but because an older woman warned me and I listened.
  • I was doing 9 hours a week of driving, breaking kids schedules with my important events, other people were watching my kids at church. I just wasn’t setting them up for success.
  • I realized I was expecting my kids to revolve around my schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in a child ran home. But if the kids are suffering from me doing whatever I want, there’s a problem.
  • For others, it could be something else. It’s not bad to do other things, but just not at the cost of raising our kids. We must also be aware of what season of life we are in.
  • There’s nothing wrong with having other passions but test yourself. Does the passion you are pursuing cause greater or lesser satisfaction in being home with your kids?
  • When your heart starts to change, moving away from your family because of the activity, then there’s a problem.
  • On the flip side, a good question to ask is “Have I made my family an Idol?” We don’t want to do that either
  • Here are important priorities: 1. God, 2. Marriage, 3. Family, then ministry

4. I Would Struggle With Getting Angry (Angie)

  • I took a personal offense to their sin.
  • I didn’t react biblically every time.
  • This is one of the first things I warn moms about. It’s hard to be only around little kids for long periods of times. Remind yourself this is a long game and change your perspective about their disobedience.
  • They are disobeying God when they disobey you.
  • You can’t point them to God if you are sinning in the process.
  • If you’re angry, don’t discipline, cool down, take a time out yourself.
  • It’s vital to have a Biblical view of your children.
  • It’s important to lead them in prayer to reconcile with God.

5. Not Owning Parenting Enough Early On (Isaac)

  • I didn’t know how to apply myself, I had never seen it modeled but also was diligently seeking to understand at first.
  • I was very ambitious for making my business something bigger.
  • I bought into the philosophy “If I work harder now then I’ll be around more when they are teenagers” because we bought into the lie that the teenage years will be hard.
  • The truth is that teenagers aren’t hard if you do the right things while they are young.
  • The right way is often counter-intuitive. Meaning the opposite of what naturally makes sense.
  • It’s okay to work hard, but with the time you do have, make it count and be super involved.

6. Finding Deep Church Fellowship (Isaac & Angie)

  • We realize now, it’s not something you find, it’s something you cultivate.
  • You want to be around people you want your kids to become like.
  • If you can’t get real, there’s a problem.

7. Be Careful About Your Friendship Choices (Isaac & Angie)

  • There were times looking back where we should have seen signs that we needed to pull back sooner in some friendships.
  • It’s not that you are looking for perfect people to hang out with. You are looking for Godly people with humility; Are they wanting to improve?, are you are willing to improve?, and are you willing to help each other grow? Do you even talk about spiritual things? Is there accountability? Is there Biblical love for each other?
  • Are some of the false prophets your friends? Take very few opinions, but please do take the right few. You have to make sure they are Biblically based opinions.
  • We are actually supposed to make judgments about people within the church.
  • We are not to judge non-believers we are to love them.
  • We are to love believers but that includes making judgements.
  • If you go to correct someone and they aren’t introspective and at least consider it, then they’re probably not the type of friend that you will be able to go deep in the ways that are fruitful.
  • We are to judge the fruit of our Christian friends.
  • You can’t judge the fruit very well if there are too many people in Church with you. You have to be in close Biblical community with others.
  • You want to spend time with people where the trajectory of their parenting, character, spiritual growth and marriages are growing.

We hope this was helpful learning from our mistakes and stirred you thinking about your own.

Scripture Mentioned In This Episode

James 1:19 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;”

2 Timothy 3:14-15 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Ephesians 6:4  “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Ephesians 6:1-3Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

1 Corinthians 5:12 “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?”

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

All Ministry Resources: becourageousministry.org

Social Media For Christians – BE COURAGEOUS app

  • Exclusive access to the courageous kid’s podcast. Play it for your kids to stir up good discussions.
  • Monthly LIVE Q&A with the Tolpins; ask the anything.
  • Powerful Biblically minded community.
  • Topic-based discussion groups.
  • You get your own profile and can connect with others.
  • Resources on marriage, parenting, homeschooling, pregnancy/birth, and more.

We look forward to engaging with you on the inside!


Relevant Resource Links:

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  • Financial Giving, is important to support our family and expand the impact of the ministry. We aim to impact 10 million families and their legacies. We are in full-time ministry as a family of 9 at home, so everything makes a difference. 

Thank you for being part of this movement to equip 10 million families and their legacies with Biblical truth to raise confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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