From Perfect to Good Enough Parenting
Are you still trying to be that “perfect” parent?
On the reflection of my own journey of parenting, I have come to realize that there is nothing like parenthood, from the moment I realized that I was about to become a parent, to seeing my child grow up every day. I began my parenting journey like most of us do – knowing nothing, making numerous mistakes and then trying to learn everything to become the “perfect” parent.
A new path of parenting
If you are someone like me, I would like you to join me in re-discovering a new path of parenting. There is no “perfect” parent, there is “good enough” parent. Let’s face it, parenting is not an easy task, we are facing new challenges every day. Sometimes it feels like we never get a break from all the demands and unexpected obstacles as parents. Many of us strive to be the perfect parent, but the reality is that we are chasing something that is not attainable. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. When we expect ourselves to be perfect, we expect our children to be perfect as well, which is putting unrealistic expectations on them. What is more realistic is to be a parent who is good enough.
Good enough parents
Good enough parents love their kids, take care of their kids and try their best. Good enough parents have the courage to accept their own flaws and see mistakes as a good opportunity to learn. Good enough parents will not set unrealistic expectations for their children or themselves. Good enough parents accept their children for who they are. Both you and your children are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just the way you are, and you can be imperfect! What your children will learn from you is that that they do not need to be perfect to be loved.
Both you and your children are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just the way you are, and you can be imperfect!
You are doing better than you think you are
I encourage you to give yourself a pat on your back and let yourself know that you are doing a good job. At least as good as it can be! Parenting is not only a full-time job; it is a life-time job. Your child is learning from you every day as much as you are learning from them. You are doing better than you think you are. I have made countless mistakes along the way, and of course I still think about all the “should have’s” and “could have’s”. At the end of the day, I came to realize that there is no other “job” that is as rewarding as this one. Being a parent has changed me into someone I never thought I could be. Every day, I am learning something new from my child.
Appreciate yourself and what you are doing
I hope you would appreciate who you are, what you do, and how much you are doing for your kids. You do not need to be the “perfect” parent as you are already perfect for your kids just the way you are.
Lastly, I want to offer you these Positive Affirmations for you to remind yourself how great you are:
- I am a great parent
- I love my children no matter what
- I am doing the best I can
- I am learning and growing with my children
- I am not afraid to make mistakes
- I am the best parent for my children
- I and my children are worthy
- I accept my children and myself the way we are
- My love and connection help my children above all else
- I believe in myself and my children
Please spread the love and offer these positive affirmations to other parents so that we can support each other on this amazing journey.
As a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, I love working with parents and families and embarking on the positive discipline journey together. If you are a parent who is interested in taking this journey with me, please feel free to reach out to me. In addition, you can also check out Positive Discipline workshops that Austin Family Counseling offers for parents: https://austinfamilycounseling.com/workshops-groups/.
Written by: Catherine Mok, M.A., LMSW Supervised by Melissa Haney, LCSW-S