If I had a dollar for every time my kids snarkily asked me, “Aren’t you a parent coach?” I’d be sipping wine in Italy right now. Salute!
Yes, I am a parent coach. And yes, I am also an imperfect parent.
And the beauty of what I do is that both truths can exist harmoniously.
The kind of parenting I teach embraces our imperfections and celebrates our mistakes. It takes into account that we are emotional human beings and that the people we interact with are also emotional humans, all of us with our good days and bad days, our highs and lows.
We parents already have enough weight on our shoulders. And if we add on this intangible and unattainable ideal of “perfect parenting” and the “perfect child,” we just set ourselves up for failure and disappointment – in our children and in ourselves.
In fact, given the very high probability our children will turn out to be imperfect adults themselves, shouldn’t the goal be not to create perfect humans, but to instead make sure our kids have the tools to manage all the challenges they will inevitably face and mistakes they are bound to make?
What if we instead we embrace the truth? 1) That we are imperfect (and that’s totally OK) and 2) we are raising other humans that are also going to grow into imperfect adults (again, totally OK!).
That one simple reframe, that imperfection in parenting is GOOD, allows us to embrace our imperfections and use them to teach our kids much needed skills.
Here are 4 (of many) things we can model for our children when we embrace imperfection:
- How to make repairs when we make a mistake. Let’s start looking at our mistakes as OPPORTUNITIES to teach our children how to take accountability and make amends. Mistakes are gold!
- The importance of a growth mindset (vs. fixed). Rather than teach our children to fear mistakes, we can normalize mistakes as part of our ongoing, lifelong growth. We can model how what’s most important is that we are constantly learning and trying to do better.
- How to manage our emotions. Big emotions and giant challenges will undoubtedly come. By watching us navigate trying times, we can teach our children critical skills such as emotional regulation, communication, and problem solving.
- Our imperfections should be celebrated. Our imperfections are what make us human, and vulnerability allows us to connect to others on a deeper level.
What would add to this list? What else can we model by embracing our imperfections?