I’m starting a new club called The Imperfect Parents Society, or TIPS for short.
One of the weaknesses many parents bring to the adventure of parenting is the fantasy of perfectionism. Parents—mothers, more often—have a dream that they will be perfect and that their children will respond to their ideal parenting by being wholly obedient, respectful, sensitive, hard-working, and considerate. When their children’s behavior falls short, they presume one of two things: either there is something desperately wrong with their child or they have not quite learned the magic of “perfect parenting” and they must seek out the Holy Secret of Parenting Bliss. They come to me for this.
As is my wont, I shock them with…well, the truth. It’s kinda fun, to be honest. Time after time, I assuage parents’ guilt and concern by informing them that both they and their child are perfectly normal—that obnoxious, ridiculous behavior is a normal function of childhood.
I usually start with the following presuppositions:
- All parents are imperfect, usually in a few important ways and always in several minor ways.
- Parenting imperfections do affect children—sometimes seriously, sometimes negatively—almost always inadvertently.
- Children are quite resilient to parental imperfections, as long as love, concern, and discipline are the rule, rather than the exception.
- Parents who are aware of their imperfections and can accept themselves as imperfect parents are poised to minimize the damage that is done to their children.
If I can convince a parent of these things, then I can pretty much guarantee success for the family. I can help the parent separate what is normal childhood ridiculousness and what is truly pathological. Most of the time, however, the latter category has nothing in it, because the vast majority of children are normal—and so are the parents.
So, if you are a parent, you are imperfect. If you recognize it, you’re welcome in the club. It’s a big club.
Join me on The Imperfect Parents Society (TIPS) on Facebook!
3 thoughts on “New Parent Club Now Forming! TIPS!”
Okay.. I will bite!
2 Parenting imperfections do affect children—sometimes seriously, sometimes negatively—almost always inadvertently.
If you chose to NOT discipline your children, that is not inadvertent. When the child is 12, and throwing his cell phone at you because you finally grounded him, and then you go get ADD meds, that is also not inadvertent.
I am in the club of making mistakes with my now 18 year old daughter. I figure I will be imperfect for my entire life.
But the club rules need to be defined. I can’t handle soccer moms that refuse to recognize their own imperfections.
You must see a lot of what I am talking about in Park Ridge..lol It’s bad up north here in Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills area too.
After years of attachment parenting, co-sleeping, responding immediately to all needs, I was kind of unready for the next stage, setting boundaries and expectations. Sometimes we stumbled a little with our first, wanting to do everything for her and make things “easy”. But with our second, he makes us the tow the line, he is a master of pushing limits and buttons.
As soon as we get inconsistent with limits, rewards, rules, he walks all over us. I get a lot of compliments on my kids, which is lovely, they are great kids. People ask how do you do it? We do it exactly the same every day, and when we screw up, we own it and they mirror that and do the same. Tantrums never got them anywhere so they stopped throwing them, begging means you don;t get the object of your desire, so no begging. Bedtime is bedtime, it has never been anything else, of course you go to sleep. Of course right now my second child is trying to pull the ” I brushed my teeth when he really didn’t” game, oh that is tiresome. No perfect parents and no prefect children.
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