The Perfect Parent

So, when your baby was born, you had a noble goal of being the perfect parent, right?

When exactly did reality set in? I hope it happened sooner rather than later, because as we all learn at some point, there is no such thing as the perfect parent or perfect parenting. For that matter, there is no such thing as the ideal child either, both that’s another discussion. Of course, we hope for a continual progression of improvement, but that’s the best one can expect in this line.

I thought it was interesting that James Lehman identified what he calls “perfectionist parenting” as a parenting mistake.

I’m not sure I would have thought it was that important to merit its own place in the lineup of parenting mistakes and their remedies. He defines his point as the mistake being that parents compare their kids to their original ideal, to siblings, and to neighbors’ kids. These comparisons cause parents to forget they have to parent the kid they have, not another one which would fit better into their ideal vision of parenting.

Another point would be parents comparing their parenting (and perhaps its results) to that of their friends, relatives, and neighbors. I suppose such comparisons could go either way. They would be counterproductive if they donlt ultimately help the parents improve their particular parenting situation. I would consider it productive though, if they chose people with superior parenting skills as role models and then learned something from them.

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