What Defines a “Good Parent”?


I often hear a common theme with parents:

“It seems like everyone else has their sh!t together while I’m in survival mode trying to make it from breakfast to bedtime in one piece.”  

This week I spoke to a group of parents of young kids.  They shared a few challenging scenarios and we had fun problem solving together.  

I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit from our discussion in an effort to show that most of us are having a similar experience even if no one is posting about it on social media.

Even if you are far past the little kid era, you might enjoy reminiscing about the good ol’ days of diapers and meltdowns before hormones and homework took center stage.

Or maybe you have a friend or relative entrenched in the whirlwind of parenting a toddler that you could share this info.?

Here was the dilemma of one of of the moms at my talk:

Mom participant:  My 4-year old son loves playing with his Legos and when I suggest another activity like building a puzzle together, he refuses.  He insists on doing only what he wants to do. How do I get him to be more flexible?

Randi:  Why do you want him to build a puzzle instead of playing Legos?  

Little kids learn through creative and imaginative play.  Your son is doing EXACTLY what he supposed to be doing.  He is learning and using the most brilliant part of his brain by creating his own little Lego world. He resists shifting gears because a structured activity like putting a traditional puzzle together probably feels stifling to him.  He is making his own original Lego “puzzle” masterpiece. Why would you ask him to take a step back and shift gears?  He sounds confident, clear and knows what his 4-year-old brain needs right now to grow.

This mom seems like a very engaged mom.  For God sakes she sits and plays Legos with her little boy?!?

She kept attempting to interrupt her son’s 4-year-old playtime because she was concerned that he needed more variety so he could be a well rounded Pre-k student.

And as we all know, a well rounded Pre-k student becomes a well rounded kindergartner, 5th grader, 8th grader, 12th grader and then watch out…

HARVARD BOUND!

Woohoo, impressive college acceptance…FINALLY some tangible evidence that you succeeded at the job of parenting!

How often do we accidentally pressure our kids because of our “good parent” agendas?

  • Good parents teach their kids the alphabet before kindergarten (2 out of my 3 kids didn’t have this down – please don’t ask me to name which 2)
  • Good parents teach their kids how to read at an early age; how to write; how to hold a pencil properly; how to build puzzles
  • Good parents teach their kids to ride bikes, swim; how to play sports; how to fit in socially
  • Good parents teach their kids how to BE WINNERS IN LIFE?!?!

Jeez, People – this is too much pressure on us and our kids.  Can we make a pact in our little parent tribe to just lay off and let them play with Legos?  

Personally, I feel pretty solid and I can’t stand building puzzles.

Some of us are “out of the box” thinkers.

Some of us are traditional puzzle builders…Scott, “baby daddy” Rubenstein loves a good 1000 piecer.

There’s room for all of us and frankly, we need each other to balance our home teams.

Want to hear and learn more about topics like this? 

Were you ready yesterday to create the family you crave? Check out my 6-week Close the Parent Gap course. It begins in October and I’m offering a great savings if you enroll now: Click to get the deets!

Leave a Reply