Good Enough Parenting

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Today parents are constantly bombarded with conflicting advice about what makes good parenting and what children need to grow up healthy. Despite a number of excellent books on the topic, parents often receive mixed messages about what is actually the best strategy to use when raising their children. Experts in the field tell us to “Pick our battles, or offer choices”, and many other supportive suggestions that can serve to provide direction and guidance.


Nevertheless, seeing that each child is unique and therefore requires a different parenting style and approach. Wouldn’t it be great if children came with their own set of instructions? Well, I have good news for you….they do. It’s called behavior. From an early age, children behave in ways that, when we understand how to interpret, speaks volumes about what it is they are feeling and/or need. Think about it;  who knows their child better than their parent? Often, by simply looking at our children we can determine what it is they are feeling and when we can’t; their behavior will tell us all we need to know.


So if it’s so simple, why aren’t we all “perfect parents”? Because despite knowing our children there exists a complex set of dynamics between who they are and who we think they ought to be. Because sometimes in our effort to protect we forget that some lessons are better learned by trial and error. Because in our desire to ensure they are “happy” we desperately do everything in our power to avoid them being sad. How exactly is helping them to grow and develop into independent men and women?

Perhaps it’s time to remove the pressure to be “perfect” and learn to feel comfortable about being a “good enough parent”.  This means allowing ourselves to make mistakes, read the wrong signals, “lose it” at times (as long as we recognize that we may have over reacted on occasion) – not only is this far more realistic, it’s also great role modeling for what it means to be in a relationship and to be a parent. What a perfect lesson to teach our children!

Corrie Sirota-Frankel, M.S.W., P.S.W.

Corrie holds a graduate degree in Social Work as well as a graduate certificate in Loss and Bereavement from McGill University, where she has been teaching for the past 20 years.

Corrie has worked in the Montreal community for over two decades developing and facilitating psychosocial prevention and intervention programs for individuals, groups, families and children.

She is a well known and seasoned guest speaker, having presented at numerous workshops and conferences across Canada and the United States. She has been interviewed by many local radio and TV programs on a variety of topics including child development, bullying, Internet awareness, effective communications and loss & bereavement. To book an appointment with Corrie, click here.

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