“Good Enough” Parenting is Better than Perfect
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a parent who wants the best for your child. And if you want the best for your child, you probably tend to worry that you’re not doing ‘enough’ as a parent. This kind of worry often drives parents to want to be perfect – the sort of parent who never shouts or gets mad, who has a solution for every problem, and knows all the right words to calm every crisis.
No doubt, we want to be perfect parents because we love and care for our kids deeply. However, our kids do not need us to be perfect. They just need us to be good enough. A good enough parent is one who gives their child time and attention, and adequately meets their physical and emotional needs. A good enough parent also makes mistakes some of the time, and that is okay.
A study by Tronick and Gianino examined the relationship between mothers and babies, looking at how often a group of mothers were able to meet their baby’s emotional needs. The researchers found that these mothers were only in tune with their baby’s needs about 30% of the time, and that the babies were able to cope with the missing 70%. This doesn’t mean that we should only try 30% of the time, however, it does mean that parents are allowed to be human, to try, fail, and get back up to try again.
Being a good enough parent involves showing your child your deep love and care for them, while acknowledging that you are human and you will make mistakes. This is a great thing to teach your child – by your example, they too will learn that even when they make their own mistakes, they can always come to you, and you can figure it out together. Kids can’t learn this from a parent who never makes mistakes!
Citation: Tronick, E. Z., & Gianino, A. (1986). Interactive mismatch and repair: Challenges to the coping infant. Zero to Three, 6(3), 1–6.
Lauren Chee (M Clin Psych, BSc (Hons – First Class)) is a psychologist who understands the importance of forming a genuine and caring therapeutic relationship with each individual she sees. Lauren is registered with Medicare and is also an approved practitioner in the NSW Workers Compensation System.
Lauren has experience working with both children and adults within schools, private clinics, and inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. Her warm and supportive approach helps her clients feel comfortable exploring their concerns in order to develop practical strategies to reach their goals. Some of the issues she has helped her clients with include depression, anxiety, perfectionism, adjustment to significant life change, self-esteem, grief, learning difficulties, and school and work-related stress.
In her work, Lauren recognises the individuality of each person and their story, and provides uniquely tailored treatments to support her clients. By being committed to the latest psychological research, she is able to equip her clients with evidence-based skills and knowledge that can lead to positive and lasting change. Lauren is a dedicated and approachable psychologist with a passion for helping her clients live a life in line with their personal values.
Lauren has a special interest in:
Anxiety Disorders e.g. Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Health Anxiety
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Social Skills and Assertiveness
Parenting and Attachment
Child Mental Health and Wellbeing
Learning Difficulties e.g. ADHD, specific learning disorders
Outside of work, Lauren enjoys spending time in nature, discovering new music, and sharing delicious meals with her friends and family.