Perfect parenting shouldn’t be our goal. It’s difficult to be a perfect parent. No, it’s impossible. It means you would provide a great example, a perfect one for your child, never getting angry or losing your temper, raising your voice, or critizing your child. It means you would be kind, considerate, and loving of your child at all times. It’s a wonderful ambition, but try as you might you cannot be a perfect parent. And it’s no wonder. You’ve come to this job in your life so poorly trained. In fact, what you bring to this job is a lack of experience and a lack of training. All you really have is a set of old parenting tapes of what was done to you by your parents as they raised you. Not only are these tapes old and out of date, but you have trouble accurately accessing them because you were young for much of their taping and have a childish view of them in addition to a somewhat faulty childhood memory. The usual way you access these tapes is through your unanalyzed behavior. The information on these tapes appears to you without warning and without your requesting it. One moment you surprise yourself by either what you say or do to your child and you find yourself thinking to your self, “I’m getting like my mom ,” or “I’m acting like my dad. Where did that come from? ”
Well, it came from you as a small child. You did then just what your child does now. You watched and observed your parents so closely – but not analytically, rather in a copying way – so closely that you were able to make an exact copy of their behavior, the perfect copy cat you were just as your child is now. But remember what you weren’t was analytical. You didn’t realize then that your dad had gotten a poor evaluation that day or that your mom was upset because her hourly wage was less than her fellow worker’s. You didn’t know your behavior that day would irritate them so much that they would yell at you. But you heard their voice coming out of your mouth the other day, and you felt guilty, yet surprised and somewhat baffled.
It’s hard to be just a perfect parent because of our lack of training. Don’t discourage yourself; just accept it. Then read, study, attend parenting classes, and educate yourself to be a better parent. That’s doable!
Director/Elementary 1 Teacher