We’ve all been there. We look back on a situation, and we think to ourselves, “If only I had known then what I know now.” It’s called the power of hindsight, and it’s a very real phenomenon. Sometimes we make decisions based on the information we have at the time, and later we realize that we could have made a better decision if we had known more.
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately in relation to my kids. When they were younger, I made many decisions based on their autism/ADHD diagnosis. There was a great deal of trying to figure out how to hold my kids accountable. It’s a difficult thing to navigate because I wasn’t always sure what was within their control and what was autism or ADHD related behaviors that were simply outside of their control.
It’s not so much that I was wrong in my decision-making, but I do feel like I could have done things differently. I let things slide because I didn’t want to them under too much pressure or stress, and truthfully, I felt guilty for how hard life was for them. And while it felt like the right decision at the time, I now find myself in a position where I need to play catch-up and teach them some of the things I should have taught them long ago.
It’s not an easy situation to be in, but it’s one that I’m determined to get things back on track. Parenting is hard, but it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. So, even though I may be facing some challenges right now, I know that it’s all worth it in the end.
One of the reasons I have shared so openly over the years is that I’ve made many mistakes you could learn from. I have always wanted positive things to arise from the struggles in my life, and this blog is one of them.
The truth is, all parents make mistakes—it’s inevitable. It doesn’t matter if your child is autistic or not. Parenting is hard, and mistakes happen. But what matters is how we learn from those mistakes and use them to make us better parents in the future. That’s why hindsight is so powerful; it allows us to see our mistakes for what they are and make different choices going forward. Even though parenting is hard work, it’s always worth it in the end because our children are worth everything we put into raising them.
I would also like to add that we can use our power of hindsight to help other parents avoid the same mistakes. A great place to do that is in my autism parenting support forum. There are over 13,000 parents who are part of this community, and it’s a great place to ask questions, get feedback, connect with, and learn from other parents who get it. I’d love to see you there.
Do you have any experience with this? Are there things you wish you’d done differently that might help a newly minted parent avoid the same mistakes? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and let’s chat