Do you ever feel like a terrible parent? Do you have moments when you lost your patience or “blew up” that you look back on with shame and guilt and think, “I’m totally messing my kid up!”? You are not alone. Parenting is hard and, as fully-human beings, none of us do it perfectly. We all make mistakes.
Perfection Not Needed
I have good news for you! You don’t have to be a perfect parent; you just need to be a GOOD ENOUGH parent. Being a good enough parent rather than the perfect parent is actually better for your child. Not demanding perfection from yourself or your child allows you to recognize that both of you will make mistakes.
You can then be willing to recognize your mistakes and repair them with your child and yourself. Demonstrating grace for yourself and the hope to do better by learning from your mistakes will provide an invaluable resource of grace and hope in your child for their future and relationships.
3 Practices of a GOOD ENOUGH Parent
- Attune to Your Child — Be aware of your child’s emotions and needs by practicing empathy, listening, and talking to them. These actions will empower your child to feel safe to express their emotions and needs without fear that they will not be met or heard.
- Give Grace and Love Freely — When your child makes mistakes, remember that we all do. Rather than shaming your child, give them grace and help them figure out a better way for next time. Showing love only when your child is successful or “being good” teaches them that they need to earn your love or be perfect to receive love. Help them see that you love them no matter what they do.
- Ask For Forgiveness — When you yell and get impatient with your child, humbly ask them to forgive you. This discipline allows them to practice grace and forgiveness. It also allows them to see that people in their life will make mistakes and hurt them, but those same people are still safe and trustworthy when they are willing to take responsibility and change. Modeling taking responsibility and making changes for the better teaches them to be trustworthy people as well.
You Are Good Enough
Remember, you are not perfect and there is no “right way” to parent. The important thing is to be aware of yourself and your child. Develop an understanding of yourself, so that you will know how to use your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses. When you practice this as a parent, you can learn to trust your gut as you get to know your child and parent them according to their personality and needs.
Dawn Institute is here to help you become the parent you want to be. Dawn offers parenting trainings to provide you with helpful information and skills, as well as counseling services to support you and your child. Contact Dawn today if you desire extra support in your parenting journey.
You got this! You are GOOD ENOUGH!