- Psychology & the public
- What we do
- Member networks
- Careers, education & training
Parents shouldn't try to be perfect
Mums and dads shouldn't strive to be the perfect parents they believe society expects them to be.
This is the suggestion of new research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, which found mothers are often less confident in their parenting skills when they worry about what other people think of their abilities with children.
In addition, it was demonstrated that fathers often feel more stress when concerned with how their performance as a dad is being viewed by others.
Meghan Lee, a graduate student in human development and family science at Ohio State University, said it can be a "mixed bag" when mums and dads strive to be what society wants them to be.
Ms Lee observed: "If you think you have to be perfect because of outside pressure, it really hurts adjustment."
Although it can be beneficial to set some goals, striving for something difficult may not be universally good, she went on to point out.
Dr Jenny Leonard, Chartered Psychologist, said that parents should feel reassured that there is no definitive "perfect parent" and that it is better to try and be "good enough", as this will help their child adjust to the real world and its inevitable difficulties.