Attempting to be the perfect parent for your child can cause more harm than good. Here are some reasons why imperfect parents make the ideal parents for their children’s emotional well-being.
Perfectionism is something I struggle on a regular basis now that I’m a parent. Perfectionism has its benefits, but in the area of perfect parenting tends to haunt me rather than help me.
When I lose my temper when I know a loving reaction is the best, perfectionism tells me I’m a failure. It informs me that my children will remember my setbacks more than my accomplishments. Perfectionism dictates that there is only one way to parent properly, that I should spend every waking hour on the floor with my kids playing games, and that the meals I prepare should always be colorful, healthy and Pinterest worthy.
I’ve known they are all lies for years, yet I still believe them more often than I’d like to admit.
But here’s the thing: as much as I despise hearing my kids say things like “remember when you were frustrated with me and yelled a lot when I wasn’t listening?” Because I remember it and know I didn’t manage it properly, I understand the value of having these talks and apologies with my children. Kids know that we aren’t perfect, and the thing is…they will forgive you for anything you do.
So the good news is, you can always improve your parenting if you’re not happy with how you’re doing, just remember to take it easy on yourself because no parent is perfect. NO PARENT IS PERFECT. Remember that.
The Pressure To Be A Perfect Parent Is Crushing
As parents, we frequently strive harder to keep our dreams alive because of our worry and anxiety. We put more pressure on ourselves and our children to meet our high standards. We do everything we can to stay away from our anticipated future fears. We feel obligated to be ideal parents with a kid who exhibits that perfection to the world, especially with a firstborn child.
However, we eventually understand that our aspirations are more imagination than reality, and we recognize that perfection is not a possibility. (source) Regardless of our intentions for our children, perfection seemed to evade us (and that’s ok.)
You don’t have to be the picture-perfect parent to have great kids, thankfully. When you learn to accept imperfection, you’ll see that making mistakes and struggling with your children could be a terrific way to teach them.
Embrace The Imperfect Parenting Style
Take for example the chaos of coming home from school.
As your children arrive home from school, they slam the door behind them, throw their backpacks on the floor, shove their projects in your face (they are so proud!) and ask for a snack, before you can even say hi.
This is an easy situation to lose your cool in, and can lead you to explode with anger and then fill you up with regret.
The thing is, if you can identify those triggers, you can fix them. For example, I created a perfect afterschool routine for my family which completely erases any and all need for explosion from me, and for my kids.
We are not machines; we are parents. We, like everyone else, have feelings. There are bright days and bad days in our lives.
Your children don’t require a super-parent; all they require is you. They don’t need the ideal version of you; they need the one with flaws!
Learning to Forgive and Apologize Too
It is so important than in our parenting journey we model apologising and forgiving to our children. But the thing is, you are the model to your children and if you can’t apologise to them, then how can you expect them to learn the situations that require an apology.
Apologising is a basic skill that many adults these days do not have. Being humble and apologising doesn’t mean you are weak, and we must teach our children that. An apology simply means we own up to our mistake and we are willing to fix it.
See also: Operant Conditioning in Psychology
Developing a Culture of Open Communication
Imperfect parenting actually allows you to open the airwaves for communication, and that’s a good thing! Just like apologising to children, it is important to talk and be open about any and all situations that need discussion at home.
When we let our emotions get out of hand, talking about them will help your little ones learn about emotional regulation and also will teach them that it is ok to communicate when you’re feeling sad.
The last thing you want as a parent is to have a child who shuts you out because you’ve exploded at them and never spoke to them about how wrong it was.
See also: Effects of Overprotective Parents
Finding Ways to Remain Calm
Figuring out your anger triggers can help you remain calm as a parent. If I’m being honest, I’m still working on it!
If you can raise your child to say something like “I need you to help me calm down!” then you’re doing a great job at helping your child identify his own triggers. You can help your child calm down by utilizing a calm down corner like this or playing some anger games like these.
Permitting Ourselves to be Imperfect Parents
I don’t want my children to be as critical of themselves as I am. And I’m aware that this necessitates my modelling grace for them. My kids understand that we must be nice even when we are upset or angry, and they also understand that I am still learning to do so.
It’s difficult to admit to them that I don’t have it all together but it occurred to me one day that, while I feel like a failure when I don’t meet my own expectations, I never think of my children as setbacks, and I’m sure they don’t think I am either.
Imperfect Parents Can Be Playful
Play Barbies or build a LEGO machine by being silly, telling jokes, and sitting on the floor. Sure, it may seem awkward at first, but your children will appreciate your efforts, even if they are imperfect. There is no perfect way to play, so don’t worry, you can’t go wrong!
Spending time with your kid is the best approach to help them thrive. By interacting with them, you can spark their imagination, increase their self-confidence, and develop the bond that you both require.
Being “playful” isn’t something that comes easy to everyone. We either grow too preoccupied with our to-do lists to sit and play for lengthy periods of time, or we feel silly pretending and playing imagination games.
Perfectly Imperfect Parenting
When moments get crazy you can always say something like “oops” or “oh no!” I was starting to yell because I’m feeling frustrated. Let’s take a time out, have a snack and then I’ll offer you my full attention when things calm down.
Your children will learn that you experience stress from time to time, which is normal and you still love them. They will notice that you too will need to take a deep breath to calm down, and that you are capable of apologising when you’ve made a mistake. This can set the whole day on a more pleasant pathway.
Imperfect parents are well aware that there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” parenting method. It doesn’t imply it will work for you just because it worked for someone else.
Imperfect parents will deal with bad attitudes from their kids and face many parenting challenges, but they will get through it. As long as they remember that no parent is perfect, and we all make mistakes. Let’s grow from our mistakes and move forward with a positive attitude.
Frequently Asked Questions About Perfect Parenting
Do parents have to be perfect?
No, parents do not have to be perfect. It’s not like parenting comes with a manual. We learn as we go, every day is unique and throws different challenges at us.
What is perfect parent syndrome?
Someone with perfect parent syndrome is someone who feels guilty for not being perfect and often comes from a difficult childhood themselves.
What makes a parent a bad parent?
A bad parent is someone who physically and emotionally abuses their child. This is damaging behavior and can cause lifelong issues for the child.
What are the characteristics of the ideal parents?
Ideal parents have the following characteristics: They show love, they provide support, they set limits, they are good role models and they show respect.
Free Resource For You
I’ve created a free pdf just for you! If you are struggling with finding a routine, or need to create more intention in your mom life this pdf will help you.
This free pdf will help you:
- Set aside time to write down your thoughts
- Teach you how to be more intentional with your time
- Gives you 30 days of space to write in
All you have to do is download and print if you like.