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The Imperfect Parent
Being an imperfect parent is scary. Most of us struggle with parenting every day. Yes! It’s true, the parents who love and care if their child will be happy and healthy as they grow up, struggle with the decisions they make every day. You are not alone!
I am an imperfect parent. And I’m okay with that. Usually.
I struggle every day with the simplest things. Am I feeding Allie the right foods? Do I interact with her enough? To much? Am I letting her watch too much T.V? What could I be doing better?
Am I a good parent?
So, in order to understand what a “good parent” is, we need to look at what a “bad parent” looks like.
We all know that a bad parent is usually:
- constantly critical
- more interested in their own affairs, and
- seems like they would rather be doing anything else
(this does not include the extreme cases of abusive parents. If you know of any children in abusive situations please let the authorities know)
Now, I have a question for you.
Are you satisfied with being a “good enough parent”?
I believe that you definitely want more for your child than just average. We all want our children to have “more than we ever had”.
But, you need to think about what will make you happy as well. Coming up with that balance of happy mom happy kids is difficult.
Here are a few tips to get you started on the right track as an imperfect parent. Take them as a jumping off point to come up with your own plan for a happy life for your family.
- You are human: Be humble. Recognize that you have a lot to learn. We all do. Be willing to learn from your mistakes. You cannot do everything, be everywhere, or know everything. You have your own issues and that is okay. The key is not to be perfect but to have the right attitude.Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Celebrate your successes.
- You are playing a percentage game: We know these stories all too well. The children from the most abusive, deprived backgrounds somehow manage to be huge successes. While the children from the very best families somehow go off the rails into drugs and crime. In reality you, the parent, are only one factor in your child’s upbringing. You cannot (as much as you try) control all the variables. Nothing in life is guaranteed.Your success as a parent is NOT determined by how well your children turn out. It is, however, determined by whether you did all you reasonably could to do the right things and make the right decisions for them, with the knowledge you had at the time.
- Your children are not the only things in your life: We seem to be obsessed with the idea that the interests of the children come first, before anything else. By putting them first in everything we run the risk of creating a selfish “me first” generation. (Which we see all too often). They could grow up believing that the world owes them a living.Sometimes, children have to take second place, and that is an important life lesson.Make up your own mind as to what would be best for the family as a whole.
- Long term view: Raising children is a long process. How do you want them to be as adults? What qualities and skills do they need to learn?What experiences do they need along the way to learn those skills and character traits?
- Look for positives: They will make mistakes. Forgive them. Correct them gently and move on. Children crave their parent’s attention. If you pay attention to what they do wrong, they will do more of that.Pay attention to what they do right and they will be eager to please you more.
- Stick to your guns:Believe in yourself. There will be times when you make decisions and you are challenged on them, either by your children or others. Do Not be swayed!And don’t be afraid to say NO…. to your children and your relatives.
Are you an imperfect parent?
Your children are watching you.
Watching how you deal with life, How you make decisions, how you cope with adversity, how you believe in yourself, and stand up for yourself and your family. The easiest way to learn is observing.
Be a good example for them.
I hope this post helped you to feel a little bit better about your parenting style and get some motivation for the future.
If you enjoyed it please share and let me know which tip you liked the most. If you have anything to add that has helped you please comment below, we can all learn from each other.
Have a wonderful week!