A few days ago I posted a story about how a mom (and her daughter) dealt positively with the repercussions of the teachers’ strike. In a nutshell: the daughter had baked a cake for an end-of-year party which was canceled due to the strike. Mom suggested they bring the cake to the soldiers on guard in the area. They did just that and everyone was happy, the mother, daughter, and soldiers.
One of the comments that the post received was: ‘Great mom!’
I have no doubt that this innocent comment is well-intended, yet expresses something deep-rooted regarding our perception of parenting that I’d like to expound on:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it can’t be said enough:
There is no such thing as a good/bad/great/terrible parent. Parents should not and cannot be rated.
Most people strive to carry out their goals successfully, or at least to the best of their ability, whether it’s at home, work or any situation in daily life.
So, if things work out, does that make them great? Or on the flip side, if they don’t should they automatically be perceived as… not so great?
There’s no way to rate if a parent is mediocre, good or great. This mom had a nice idea. She suggested it to her daughter who cooperated, and the results were great. If her daughter hadn’t gone along with the idea, it wouldn’t have made the idea less worthy and certainly would not have any reflection on what kind of a parent the mother is.
The concept of ‘good parents’ or ‘good parenting’ is self-defeating. It has parents feeling undermined and constantly second guessing themselves lest they not live up to optimal ratings.
A parent who is constantly second-guessing every action or comment that he/she makes is not a confident parent.
I wouldn’t say that makes him/her a bad parent. I would say that it probably makes him/her less effective, and certainly less joyful!
Kids have a ‘sixth sense’ that can sniff out that inner stance of confidence.
Amazingly, they react accordingly.
That can make all the difference.
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