I’m not a perfectionist, there are times I wish I was, but mostly I’m happy as I am. I’m more an 80% broad stroke kind of person and I’m sure I always have been.
It’s gotten me by so far, I’ve done reasonably well in life with this approach and it’s not likely to change now.
Even when I know how to do something better, even when I know I’m capable of more, I find I seem to lose the will to carry on somewhere about the 80% mark.
However, when it comes to parenting I, like most of us started out aiming to get everything just right.
We read ALL the books, we listen to ALL the advice and we try to implement all of it. The overriding reason for this is the huge responsibility we feel with regard to our children.
It is our job to make sure we have everything covered, no mistakes should be tolerated and this is the rock on which many parents flounder.
We are not perfect and therefore our parenting will reflect this. We come to parenting as flawed human beings and while striving to get everything right is admirable, in the long run it will sap much of the pleasure out of raising these joyous little people.
Parental guilt is a much bandied about phrase, and the list of things parents feel guilty about is never ending. Most of this guilt is in regard to thing over which we have no control and so our guilt is both misplaced and pointless.
After struggling to get everything right with my first child (and making life incredibly difficult for everyone) I realised the absolute error of my ways.
I have since adoped my tried and tested 80% approach and we are all happier. Yes, I hope that I get most things right, I hope I get the important things right but I’ve left the guilt behind and I’m content that I’m doing my best.
It might not be anyone else’s best, but it is mine. It’s called ‘good enough parenting’.
It’s not about getting everything right but about enjoying this precious time, it’s about allowing some things to slide for the greater good, it’s about praising the good and ignoring the bad, it’s about seeing the devilment and not the naughtiness.
It’s about feeling less guilt and more confidence.
It’s about trust, trusting ourselves that we are setting good examples simply by being us, and trusting our children that they will grow up reflecting our example without it having to be dictated to them at every turn.
This isn’t ‘cop out’ parenting, it’s ‘cop on’ parenting.
According to psychologists there are 4 main types of parenting.
These seem very narrow parameters to cover the many different types of parents out there.
What is your style of parenting and what have you learned along the way?