Ah, choices in life…we have so many of them. Many of us in the unschooling world have been discussing how many parents choose NOT to be better parents, because they are already ‘good enough’. I really don’t understand the concept of ‘good enough’ parenting.
Kelly Lovejoy wrote in a post at unschoolingbasics:
What always amazes me is when parents aren’t willing to be better parents.I get that folks generally (with exceptions) are doing the best theycan do at the time. At least the best they think they can do at the time.
It’s when they think that they can’t do/be better—that “good enough” is good enough—that’ s what blows my mind.
How can someone be a “good enough” parent? Why would that be a goal?
I *know* *I* can be better.
There are things that I do “well enough”—and I’m OK with them. Auto repair. I’m willing to pay someone for that! <g> I really don’t want to be more knowledgeable about my minivan. It’s OK. Really. Golf. It’s OK. Really! Plumbing. Mountain climbing. I don’t feel that I need to be better at any of those things. Really. <g>
I *like* being a better gardener, a better dog show judge, a better cook. Because I want to be better at these things, I work at them. If I didn’t care about getting better, I’d be happy with “good enough.”
Being a parent and a spouse are, *I* think, the two most important roles I’ll have. I can never be “good enough.”
Wise thoughts. I think it is important to not let perfection get in the way of progress when it comes to parenting. It’s unfair to have a goal of perfection, because then you spend your time focusing on how you are or are not reaching it (not that you ever will fully reach it). I find that it’s more important to focus on the moment…how could I make this moment the best it can be? I could yell, shame, cast judgment and so on for a behavior that I find unacceptable, I could say/do nothing or I could take a step back, assess how I (not those around me) really feel about the behavior, find a way to say ‘yes’ to it and then do my best to reach that goal. I could buy organic foods only when they are on sale or I could do my best to rearrange our buying, cooking & eating out habits to allow me to buy as much organic foods as possible all the time. I could decide to not attend a formal event so that my children wouldn’t have to to be under undue stress to ‘act right’ and I wouldn’t have to abuse my parental guidance by ‘making sure’ they ‘act right’. I could react as horrified when my child cuts his hair or I could help him finish the job and then style it.
It’s not only me who has these choices, it’s ALL parents, regardless of what circumstances they find themselves in — their choices might not be glorious around every corner, but there is always at least two choices in any situation. Why not choose the one that is better for everyone, the one that is more liberating for everyone, the one that honors the most autonomy and uses the least force?