Being a parent is not easy. It’s something that you have to kind of learn as time passes and just as with anything else, you’re going to make mistakes.
For some reason most people try to be the best parent and well, striving for perfection in such an area isn’t something we should be doing. When it comes to parenting, working to be a good parent above all else is what you should do. Being a good parent is all about being able to admit when you are wrong and helping your child grow up into the best possible person they can all the while allowing them to be who they are at their core. You apologize when you’re wrong and you don’t expect your kids to move through life never making any missteps.
Honestly, if you work too hard to be the perfect parent, you’re going to lose sight of all of the things that matter the most. We all have our own definitions of what a perfect parent would be and well, I am here to remind you that in this world perfection doesn’t exist in any area. We all fall down sometimes and no matter how old we grow we are not always going to have the answers to everything. Being a good parent is all about respecting your kids enough to know that they are their own people.
It is about understanding that the connection you have with your kids shouldn’t be one-sided. You should be listening to them as they listen to you. If you move through this process only expecting them to blindly follow every word you say, you’re going to be seriously disappointed.
Being a ‘good enough parent’ makes you a good parent whether you want to accept that or not. Sure, you might feel like you fail from time to time but the fact that you pick yourself back up and make things right with your kids proves that you’re doing more than most are willing to do. You aren’t a superhero, you’re going to have issues here and there, that’s inevitable.
Psychology Today wrote as follows on this topic:
It’s natural for all parents to have some concern about their children’s futures. We all want our children to grow up to be kind, moral, happy, healthy adults who can provide and care for themselves and others. But good enough parents know that the child’s future is the child’s responsibility, not the parent’s. It is the child, not the parent, who must determine his or her goals in life and route toward achieving them. The parent’s job is to assure that the child has a satisfying childhood.
Good enough parents recognize that the best they can do to help their children toward a satisfying future is to provide the conditions required for a satisfying childhood. Children who feel secure in their relationship with their parents, who feel supported rather than controlled, who feel trusted and therefore trustworthy, and who have a good enough environment in which to play, explore, and learn (including plenty of opportunities to make friends and interact with others beyond the family), will be best able to chart their own satisfying futures. [This now is me, not Bettelheim.] Good enough parents understand this, and so they dwell on the present, not the future. A happy childhood leads, most often, to a happy adulthood; and an unhappy childhood leads, very often, to an unhappy adulthood.
I know, this might be a lot to take in but just know if you’re doing your best, you’re making a real difference. This kind of thing does not come with a guide book. We are all learning as the days pass. If your kid is happy and healthy, you’re doing something right.