It is absolutely impossible to be a perfect parent. It’s even impossible to know what a perfect parent would be.
Research shows that children thrive with parents’ love, nurturance, consistency and limits. There is also abundant evidence that having knowledge about children’s development enables parents to have appropriate expectations, greater competence and more confidence. This is especially true today in our modern technological world, in which parents and children have many more options than in the past and require many new kinds of skills. Even with great knowledge and understanding, we will be less than perfect, yet our children can still thrive and flourish.
We humans are remarkably flexible, adaptable and resilient. We live in many different kinds of climates on the planet. We have created many different cultures that draw out and emphasize different aspects of our qualities and capacities. We are strong, clever and responsive in the face of challenges. We are keenly tuned into one another and have collaborated to invent and discover an astounding and ever expanding number of things. We are empathetic. We are determined.
♥ Children are endowed with this same astonishing flexibility and resilience. When we build a relationship with our children that is grounded in mutual respect and in love that doesn’t come with qualifications or contingencies, and when we guide our children with the kind of thoughtful attention suggested in the Guiding Principles, they survive our mistakes and imperfections. The good we offer as thoughtful parents is greater than the unskillful that happens.