Family is one of the most fundamentally important institutions in our society. The size of a family has changed over the years. We have seen a major shift as modern-day couples now choose to live in a nuclear family setup as opposed to in joint families. Earlier, most children enjoyed the company of multiple family members around them. This ensured the primary caregiver received help from senior members in the house. Children growing up in a joint family tend to develop a greater sense of belongingness and bonding than those raised in a nuclear family setup. Even though living in a joint family has its perks, there is constant pressure of bringing up the child in a certain way. In a nuclear setup, as the number of caregivers reduces, it brings with it the independence and liberty for the parents to participate wholly in their parenting journey. This independence comes with its own set of challenges. In their quest to be ‘perfect parents’, the couple finds themselves falling into a trap of ‘comparison’, ‘guilt’, and ‘unfavourable expectations’, which does more harm than good. You can see more information on how to change your parental strategy when your child enters their teenage years.
Read on further to understand how replacing the word ‘perfect’ with ‘positive’ can bring about a change in the way you raise happy and successful children.
Parenthood is a journey to learn from unique experiences
Parenting on its own is an overwhelming feeling. As we dawn on this important journey of parenthood, it becomes important to note that every parenting journey is unique and circumstantial. It comes with a huge responsibility of learning how to deal with change Although we might have similar situations as that of our peers, the way we handle them is unique to us alone. It is also important to be aware that the parenthood experience among siblings will also be different and not the same. As parents, it is our responsibility to raise our children in the best way that we know of, that works as per our family’s strengths, weaknesses and abilities.
Parenting is Intuitive
Parenting is not a competitive sport or a one-size-fits-all formula. I would say it is instincts based. Every time there is a situation, look for signals from your child and follow your gut instinct. Have a readily adaptable and flexible approach to enjoy the natural joy and fun that comes with Parenting. Make your parenting choices and be proud of them.
Do not fall into the Guilt Trap
Society and media (social media inclusive) impose enormous amounts of pressure on parents to perfect the art of parenting. This could lead you to question pretty much everything that you do. Let go of other people’s opinions and criticism. Do not focus on what other people are doing, whether right or wrong. Carefully choose your peers, the ones who are sharing real problems and not always glamorizing their parenthood journey. Rather than focusing on what you think is wrong, focus on what you can do best at the moment. In today’s world, we see the focus of ‘perfect parenting’ slowly shifting to ‘perfect motherhood’. Do not shy away from asking for help. Set healthy routines and always check in on your well-being and practice self-care. No course or training can prepare you for your parenting journey, you learn from your unique experiences and challenges.
Happiness trumps perfection
There cannot be a single benchmark for perfection in parenthood. Parenthood does not equal sainthood. An overtly loving and caring (seemingly perfect) parent could end up harming the child at times. A selfish parent can sometimes make a child learn the values of compassion and generosity. We would any day take a happy and compassionate parent over a ‘perfect parent. To an innocent child, their parents are perfect. When the child grows up this naive assumption may change into disillusionment or may not change and they may continue to hold onto this naive belief. But the world implicitly knows that there is no such thing as a perfect anything. As there are no perfect people, there are no perfect parents and no perfect children. It is advisable to not evaluate parenting with a flawed yardstick of perfection. What matters more is freedom and happiness. It is necessary to dispel the myth of perfect parents and replace it with positive and happy parents to reflect it with happy and positive children to save everyone from the exasperating ritual of parenthood. It is time to get real, candid, and rational about the way we view parenting. I have curated some content that will help you navigate through your parental journey.