Are You A good Parent?May 18, 2021
Today’s episode of The 3D Parent Podcast is based on a question-- “What makes a good parent?” I recently learned that the number one searched question on the internet when it comes to parenting is “how to be a good parent.” I’m really curious how we define good parenting and how we judge whether we are or aren’t good parents. In today’s episode, I want to define what makes a good parent and hopefully provide you with some relief that you are, despite your challenges, a good parent.
Some points we’ll discuss include:
- What makes a good parent (and who defines this)
- Embracing real-life “non-Instagrammable” moments
- How to end perfectionism and trust yourself
If you’ve googled “how to be a good parent,” please know that I am 100% confident that you already are. Stop worrying about how you or your kids compare and measure up, and remember that parenting is a journey to embark upon, not a race to be won. That journey is sure to come with many twists and turns, complications, and surprises. So trust that journey, and trust yourself.
Things You Will Learn
[00:12] Today’s episode of The 3D Parent Podcast is actually based on a question-- “What makes a good parent?” I recently learned that the number one searched question on the internet when it comes to parenting is “how to be a good parent.” I’m really curious how we define good parenting and how we judge whether we are or aren’t good parents. If you find yourself asking or googling this question, the question I want to ask you is what is a good parent? And also, what makes you think you might not be a good parent? Today, I hope to provide you with solutions to help you gain confidence so you can stop searching for instructions on how to be a good parent and instead, recognize that you already know how.
[03:47] First, I want to share with you my answers to the question, “What is a good parent?”, the answers might surprise you:
- A good parent has children that at times… behave like children. They have kids who make messes, have dirty clothes, are loud and chaotic, fight with their siblings, and talk back.
- A good parent has kids, a home, and an appearance that is not “Instagram-perfect.” They order take out, their home isn’t always tidy, and they wear athletic wear without any intention to work out. Their kids don’t always score the goal or get the part they want in a play.
- A good parent has children who make mistakes. They break rules, get caught fighting, don’t finish their homework, and are sometimes mean.
As I said, my answers may be surprising. But I hope these answers shed some light on why you might not consider yourself a good parent. It may have to do with how you are defining what makes a good parent in the first place.
[07:05] There are three main reasons why you may be doubting you are a good parent:
- You may have unrealistic expectations for your children.
- You may be comparing yourself to others and therefore may be holding yourself to an impossible standard.
- You may see your and your children’s mistakes as evidence of bad parenting.
The solution I have to offer to the first problem, having unrealistic expectations for your children is that you need to reset your expectations. Remember that it’s normal and natural for children to be messy, loud, and a bit chaotic. Recognize that every child has different talents, and it’s okay if your child does not excel in sports, the arts, or academics. Don’t push your kids towards independence and maturity. If you instead focus on parenting that is conductive to maturation, it will naturally occur.
[10:51] If the appearance of your home, meals, children and you are not “post-worthy” and that is causing you to question if you are a good parent, you are caught in a comparison trap. The solution is to stop being a perfectionist parent. Don’t fool yourself into believing that the snapshot views you see on social media or when observing other parents or kids at the park, school, or parent group is the full story. They likely have “un-postable” moments just as often as you do. This perfectionism and comparison is really driven by insecurity and competition and needs to stop. When you are in the company of other parents, you can share your struggles and talk openly about what is hard as a parent. Above all, remember that this is not a competition. There is no trophy or prize for parenting.
[19:51] If your child making mistakes causes you to question if you are a good parent, it may be that you believe it is your job to prevent your children’s mistakes. It’s not! The solution is to start to see mistakes as opportunities for growth. Make it safe for your children to make mistakes without punishment, shame, or blame. Recognize your children’s effort rather than the outcome. You can also normalize your own mistakes. Acknowledge your mistakes in front of your children and apologize when you have been in the wrong. Finally, when you do make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up and labeling yourself as a “bad parent,” forgive yourself. We’re all human. And making mistakes doesn’t make us bad parents.
[25:46]. If you’ve googled “how to be a good parent,” please know that I am 100% confident that you already are. So stop googling and love on your kids. Slow down the rush and get to know them as they continue to unfold and reveal themselves to you. Stop worrying about how you or your kids compare and measure up, and remember that parenting is a journey to embark upon, not a race to be won. That journey is sure to come with many twists and turns, complications, and surprises. You already are a good parent. If there is any more doubt in your mind, I encourage you to ask your kids---what is a good parent? Their responses will give you the only answers that really matter.
Quotes From Episode 73
“Remember that this is not a competition. There is no trophy or prize for parenting.”
“Start to see mistakes as opportunities for growth.”
“If you normalize making mistakes and acknowledge them in front of your children, you're going to take the shame away from making mistakes.”
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