CLICK HERE TO SEE ME TALKING ABOUT “GOOD ENOUGH PARENTS”
I used to consider myself a good parent to my 3 now-adult children. I believed that “good parenting” meant that you pretty much sacrificed yourself for your kids, that you were available at every peep, and in return, you could expect perfectionism.
Luckily in the course of my studies, I learned the work of Donald Winnicott, a brilliant pediatrician and child psychiatrist, and the work of Bruno Bettelheim, an Austrian psychologist, academic and author, who expanded on Winnicott’s work in his book “A Good Enough Parent” (1987).
Like many of you, I realized I was a “helicopter mother”. This is a parent who won’t permit their children to experience failure and thus don’t prepare them to move through stress to growth and resilience. This “tiger mom” is an authoritarian parent who demands conformity to her own goals and punishes mismatch.
I learned that as a “helicopter mom” I stood to squash my children’s self-confidence as I left no room for them to fail, no place for errors.
I began the work of transforming myself into a “Good Enough Parent”
I learned that it is only when children feel the discomfort of “error” (for example, not being chosen for a team, not achieving their own academic expectations, feeling unattractive compared to their peers) that they learn resilience and their own innate capacity to repair this discomfort.
These precious countless moments of repair gives children a core sense of hope (“I can overcome”). Without these opportunities of repair, your children may be left with a core feeling of hopelessness (“nothing will work”).
Children bring problems. Allow them to sit in the messiness and wait for the repair to happen.
GUIDE TO BEING A “GOOD ENOUGH PARENT”
- Recognize with kindness the discomfort, even fear, it generates in you to let go of your “helicopter” parental role.
- Self-care is your primary core responsibility. In other words, following a mindfulness practice of parenting.
- Approaching parenting from a dysregulated emotional state is the surest way to provoke emotional dysregulation in your children. For example, defiance, tantrums, escape into tech.
- Do not strive to be perfect parents and do not expect perfection from your children.
- Parents seeking perfection blame themselves, or their spouse, or their children when things are not just right.
- Good enough parents do not worry too much about their imperfections. They recognize that they will not always succeed as fully as they might wish, and they forgive themselves for that.
- Good enough parents respect their children and try to understand them for who they are.
- Good enough parents do not think of themselves as the producers, creators, or shapers of their children. They see their children as complete human beings right now, and they see their job as that of getting to know those beings.
- Essential characteristics of a “good enough parent”, include
- Patience with yourself and your children
- Kindness and compassion towards yourself and your children
- Meeting your children’s health and developmental needs
- Providing routine and consistency
- Predictability in yourself and through creating routines and rituals in the family
- When necessary engagement with support services
My work focuses on teaching you how to become an emotionally regulated “good enough“ parent.
Feel free to reach out to me via WhatsApp. Anonymity is guaranteed. Let me know where your anxieties, fears and worries sit with you. Tell me what is soothing for you. And what you need in this time of radical uncertainty.
060 890 1062
Feel free to book a teletherapy Zoom session with me right here… https://www.dreve.co.za/appointment/
For more information please contact my PA Shantel: firstname.lastname@example.org