If you’re anything like me, you probably keep beating yourself over the head for all the things you do wrong as a parent. I yelled at my kids when they ignored my millionth request to put the Lego back in the box. Whack. I let them have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch again because I couldn’t be bothered chopping up fresh salad vegetables for them to ignore. Whack. I looked at Facebook on my phone when I was at the playground rather than playing shop with sticks and bark chips. Whack.
Well, we can all give our heads a break. Peter Gray, research professor at Boston College in the US, firmly believes that the best parent is not the one who parents the most – and definitely not the least – but the one who is “good enough”.
It’s not a new idea. A Good Enough Parent is the title of a 1987 book by Bruno Bettelheim. In a recent post for Psychology Today, Gray breaks down what the book is all about. The idea is that if you’re trying to do absolutely everything right all the time, you’ll only fail and make yourself miserable. You’re better off settling for “good enough”.
Here are some things to think about:
Don't aim to be perfect, and don't expect your kids to be perfect.
Failure will just result in blame, which is a bad thing in itself. Forgive yourself when you stuff up. Children are resilient. As long as you don't make a complete mess of parenting, your kids will probably turn out okay.