Good enough?

Have you ever wondered when becoming a parent whether you will ever be a good parent? I know I do.  Everyday there is a new challenge and you wonder whether you make the right decisions for your child.  Other than being the most special job in the world, being a parent is also the one event that makes us all protective of our children.  And being a social worker I have seen this, even if this has been at different levels and different understandings.

Being a “Good Parent” is a label that is very hard to understand or achieve, I know for myself that I try to aim for ‘good enough’, and “Good Enough” is a test used in social work.  Despite what is shared in some areas of the media when working with children and their families, it is not perfection that is being looked for but instead good enough.  If the child is at immediate risk of significant harm this changes – obviously.

However, I guess what really makes me angry is that if you are going to question parenting ability then please understand what you are trying to argue.  Recently in the Riots in the UK poor parenting from single parents or low income families was one factor that was heavily blamed on the cause.

I know that this is old news now but sometimes it takes a while for the reality to sink in.  I am angry as everyone in society is responsible for the term ‘good parenting’ and providing the strong boundaries.  If we are looking for anyone to blame it would be the government for eroding this away and hiding from its responsibility for this with the budget cuts.

I guess this is a sensitive subject as I regularly challenge professionals in care homes, schools on their boundaries or lack of that they put in place.  Including yesterday when a Secure Children’s home did not want a young person back after they had caused damage to their building.  Do not blame the child or young person! because you have not done anything to prevent the behaviour.  And this is what the current Government may need to consider, with the recent cuts to all services it is important to remember that if we need to question what is ‘good enough’ it is the parent/governing style of this government!

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One response

  1. Indeed, Object Relations theory really emphasizes "good enough" parenting. The idea is that a child needs experiences of their parent not being perfectly attuned, in order to develop self-regulation and self-soothing abilities (theorists call this "optimal frustration") – so imperfect parent is not only tolerable, it's necessary! – Natalie (practicewisdom.blogspot.com)

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