The Not so Perfect Parent
By Francine Larson
All of us have that guilty feeling from time to time and yet it is the most wasted emotion of all. We can't take back words or actions, no matter how hard we wish.
If you are a parent, this guilt seems to be present even more. This useless feeling is a universal phenomenon.
Why does this "guilt trip" seem to be an expanding epidemic?
I believe the answer to that is (1) More women work away from home (2)Single-parenting is on the rise and (3) There are so many books written on how to be a "good" parent. The first two things I have mentioned will sometimes keep you away from the time you would be spending with your child. I firmly believe in quality, not quantity.
Now don't get me wrong. There are many excellent books that have been written regarding child-rearing. I'm sure they are helpful. The point I am driving at is this; there seems to be a lot of pressure to be a "good parent." We certainly should all keep trying but also, keep in mind that you have your own inner voice that tells you what is best for you and your child. What works for Johnny may not necessarily work for Mary. If in doubt, follow your heart!
Guess What? When you are not perfect, you are letting your children know that you are human. You are also teaching them to forgive, as you forgive them.
Worried about being perfect? Think about the person who reared you? Were they perfect? Do you love them today?
Children can tell if they are truly loved. It is not measured by how many hours are spent with them or if you were tired that day and lost your cool. It is certainly not measured by how much money you can spend on them.
Your child already knows that you are not perfect. He or she also knows how much you love them. You can't fool a child. They are spirits like you and I. They are the most honest people on this earth. (Remember how they informed Aunt Edna that she had a hair growing from her chin?)Believe me, they are honest and will forgive your mistakes.
Please forgive yourself. No one has ever been a perfect parent...not ever. If you love yourself, you forgive yourself.
As Oscar Wilde, an Irish playwright and poet wrote: (1843-1900)
"To love oneself is the beginning
of a lifelong romance"
If you love yourself and forgive yourself, that is another lesson your child will pick up from you. It's a win, win situation!
So, relax. Bask in the fullness of your reciprocal love with your child.
Some day he/she may be telling a story...."remember when Mom did.........."
About The Author
Has an AA Degree From St Petersburg College.
Taught Nursery School, Children's Choir,
Paraprofessional for First Grade
Co-Author of Character Keys to a Bright Future.
Writes poetry, short stories and articles.
Personal: Married, four daughters
Contact Information: Threeteacherpress@verizon.net