Avoiding the Trap of Perfect Parenting

Author: Rachel Jones, LMFT

You already know that setting and meeting expectations is crucial to development. You’re up on your child’s growth milestones, you’ve read the books, and you’re seeing some of the fruits of your intentional parenting style. It feels good to know that our kids are following a good trajectory because it is evidence of our hard work. But under that same lens, when our kids struggle, we internalize their experiences as symbols of failed parenting.

We all want our kids to be healthy, well-adjusted and secure individuals. It’s easy to get caught up in the irony caused by the immense pressure we put on ourselves to check all the good parent boxes. We get in the weeds of performance metrics and lose sight of the very thing we are working hard to build.

Our kids aren’t projects. They’re individuals with distinct personalities and needs. Connection and relationship start with curiosity and delight in them.

Parents evolve and grow, too. It can be helpful to acknowledge the pressure you may feel to have it all figured out. You are growing, learning and changing right along with your kid. Allow for grace in the learning process. This not only provides a healthier relationship with your own thoughts, but transfers down to how your child will be able to see themselves in the midst of growth and challenges.

When you find yourself in the cycle of perfectionism with parenting, remember why we seek perfection in the first place, and move forward with delighting in the relationship.

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