Last week I saw this on my Facebook feed.
My first thought after reading it was – Dang, how did I miss this concept when my kids were young? I instantly wondered if I
- could have
- should have
- or would have
done something more profound to give my kids a better life.
Then, it hit me.
I was getting sucked into the Perfect Parent Syndrome. Again. Funny, how that stuff still messes with my head.
What is the Perfect Parent Syndrome, you may wonder. Or, you may not. Whatever. I think it’s time you understand.
The Perfect Parent Syndrome is based on a delusion. If a parent lays down all the right rules, reads all the right books, goes to the right seminars and sends his or her kids to the right schools a perfect childhood will ensue.
This syndrome eventually morphs into parents hovering over relatives, church youth workers, school teachers and anyone else involved in the nurturing of kids. The enormous task of making sure “everything” turns out perfect is just that- enormous.
Forget about your detailed plans. Stay emotionally close to your kids instead. Don’t discount their fears. If they are being bullied in a small way, help them deal with it. If they are bullied in a big way, step in. This isn’t a time to worry about what other people think of you or your parenting style. If a bully is threatening the wellbeing of your child or any other child for that matter, step in.
Don’t worry about creating a generation of victims. Be more concerned that we may be raising a generation of kids who talk with their fists, destroy lives through Facebook, who can’t connect emotionally with anyone slightly different from themselves. If your child becomes a target, don’t discount her pain. Life is hard enough without parents joining in the fun. Support your child. Inspire them to be courageous by showing a little courage of your own.
Oh, BTW, if you think wearing a pink shirt on anti-bullying day is pointless, think again. The beginning of change is awareness. Even a perfect parent cannot eradicate bullying in this world. But, a good parent can make a difference – one bullied kid at a time.