You don’t need to be perfect as a parent

You don’t need to be perfect as a parent, just ‘good enough’ IS enough.

Donald Woods Winnicott (1896–1971) was an English paediatrician and psychoanalyst, whose work and innovating for the time ideas had a great impact on psychoanalysis and the way children and parenthood are viewed today. One of the very important ideas that Winnicott introduce first, is that of the ‘good enough mother/caregiver’ (1953). According to Winnicott there is no such thing as a perfect parent as there is no such thing as a perfect human. The caregiver needs to be ‘good enough’ not perfect, and that is enough for a healthy baby and child development.
Specialists in Brain Development today take it one step further and advise that children learn from the mistakes of parents and that a parent being perfect, if such thing was possible, would actually not be good for their child’s development. Dr Daniel Siegel advises that children learn from the ‘rupture and repair’ in the relationship between parent and child, as long as parents are able to repair.
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information and advice about ‘should and shouldn’t s’ in terms of parenting, and where many parents run themselves to the ground in order to be perfect for their children, I find great relief and hope in these ideas. 


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