We live in a world of constant demands. We feel pressure to make sure that our children attend the right schools, play the right sports, that our homes are organized, the meals we cook are healthy, and that we are exercising enough. Then there’s pressure to maintain a healthy marriage and pursue interests outside of our families.
We want to pull our hair out! The expectations we put on ourselves are completely unrealistic.
When did we put expectations to be the perfect parent on our shoulders?
I have been a pediatrician for over 30 years, and that’s the sentiment I hear over and over — that parents do not feel “good enough,” do not feel that they’re measuring up to the pressures they put on themselves.
Raising small humans into adulthood is important, arguably the most important job you have, but it was never meant to be accompanied by the constant questions of “Am I messing up my kids?” and “Why can I never measure up to the type of parent I want to be?”
My message to you — to parents everywhere and through all generations — is this: Relax.
You are already good enough. You are already wired with everything you need to be a good parent.
Release the weight upon your shoulders to do more, and just be. Be with your kids. Tap into the gifts and passions that you uniquely possess to love them and teach them.
By simply spending time with your children, emphasizing to them how highly you think of them, and communicating your love, you are doing your job — and you are doing it well.
While I have cared for thousands of children, I have also spoken to thousands of parents. What I see is that children think their parents are heroes. And parents beat themselves up, believing they’ll never be a hero.
Parents, what if you saw yourselves as your children see you? As capable, as trustworthy, as good? Parenting out of your own adequacy — believing you are good enough — is critical, and here’s why.
Your confidence breeds confidence in your kids. Your emotional health breeds emotional health in your kids. Your joy breeds joy in your kids.
The list goes on, and the opposites are true, as well.
Your insecurity breeds insecurity in your kids. Your frustration breeds frustration in your kids. Your emotional neediness breeds emotional neediness in your kids.
Stand confidently in who you are as a parent, and let that strength seep into your children. You are good enough. You have everything you need to parent well.
That’s why I recently wrote a new little e-book, called “Yes, You Can!” It’s a short reminder to parents of all ages and stages that you have exactly what you need to raise your child excellently.
You have immense power in your child’s life — and that’s a beautiful gift.
Be encouraged in who you are.
This piece was originally featured on LifeZette and is being used with permission.
Dr. Meg Meeker has practiced pediatrics and adolescent medicine for 30 years. She is the author of the online course, “The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids.” She’s currently offering a free webinar called “Parenting Your Child in a Scary World.” For details, consult her website.