Giving Your Child the Gift of “Good Enough”

Posted on December 30, 2013

Checking the list, and checking it twice, many parents have waited in long lines, at ungodly hours. One gift cannot be found on any shelf–the gift of “good enough”. The most appreciated and valuable gifts are often felt. Instead of acquiring debt, this year, and making themselves crazy trying to find every gift on their child’s wish list, parents could give their child “good enough”.

The Gift of “Good Enough” Expectations from your Child

While children should be expected to try their best, if a parent has unbalanced expectations for their child, it is no wonder they are disrespectful, cranky, and over tired. While, good enough does not always look good on college applications or make our child look perfect, we can rest easy in knowing that they are trying their best. Like many things, good enough is easier said than done. Consider the following:

  • Help your child find one (1) extracurricular activity they enjoy and ask them to commit to that.
  • Help your child get between 8-10 consistent hours of sleep nightly.
  • Help your child have plenty of free time.
  • A child does not have to have the best of everything to have a good childhood.
  • Think about what you were like growing up. Find ways to relate to their struggles. Praise them for the things they do well.

The Gift of “Good Enough” Parenting Expectations

In my experience working with children and parents, I have noticed how parents often see their children as reflections of their parenting performance. Many times, parents amplify their child’s failures and are too eager to fix their child’s problems. If their child feels any discomfort, any embarrassment, any failure, they feel that child must be immediately consoled. Ask yourself:

  • Am I obsessing over my child’s success, safety, and health?
  • Am I worried that if my child gets mad at me that they will not be my friend?
  • Am I spending more time with my child’s friend than my own?
  • Do my parenting anxieties often get in the way of my relationship with my spouse or partner?
  • Are my parenting anxieties causing me to lose sleep or enjoying my own interests?

To conclude, if you said yes to any of these questions, then you may need to consider finding help. For many parents, family problems are due to parent anxieties. While, expecting perfection does not help anyone, everyone can achieve and feel confident about being “good enough”. To achieve, good enough, have a conversation with friends, your parents, or a counselor to research if you have healthy expectations. Your child is not expecting you to be a perfect parent, and you should not expect that for yourself.

Written by: Chris Denzler, MA

Chris has a passion for helping children to become developmentally mature and helping parents rediscover their roles as parents. No matter whether your are parent or an adult child struggling with parent issues, Chris can help you. Contact him at 317-474-6448, ext. 116 or Chris@groffandassociates.com.

 

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==