Let’s Stop Calling Ourselves “Good” or “Bad” Parents, Instead Let’s Say…

In our last post, “Am I a Good Parent?” we talked about how calling ourselves a “good parent” or a “bad parent” isn’t very helpful. For one thing, it doesn’t give us anything concrete to decide if we are “good” or “bad”. Plus, this way of thinking can create unnecessary guilt or shame related to our parenting. So today, we want to look at a trustworthy parenting model that gives us a different way to reflect on our parenting!

This model is pretty simple. With just four words, we can describe our parenting WITHOUT using “good” or “bad,” and have concrete ideas about what aspects of parenting are important! The four words are:

– Effective – Consistent – Active – Attentive –

Each of these introduce aspects of parenting that research has shown helps raise great kids! But what do they mean??

  • EFFECTIVE PARENTING: Your words and actions influence your child the way you want them to.
  • CONSISTENT PARENTING: You follow similar principles or practices in your words and actions.
  • ACTIVE PARENTING: You participate in your child’s life.
  • ATTENTIVE PARENTING: You pay attention to your child’s life and observe what goes on.
A mother and daughter laying on a bed on their stomachs looking at one another.

Next time you are tempted to label yourself as a “bad mom” or sarcastically call yourself “dad-of-the-year,” consider which of these aspects of parenting you are wishing you had done differently. Maybe you’ll discover that you actually ARE doing pretty well across these important aspects of parenting, and you can give yourself a pat on the back instead of a face palm.

Come back for our next series of posts where we will dive into each of these aspects of parenting a big deeper!

Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/documents/adventures_in_parenting_rev.pdf

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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