Unraveling the Truth about Perfect Parenting

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Keeping up with societal expectations of how to be perfect parents is unrealistic and exhausting. But are there really perfect parents? Well, there are perfectionist parents but perfect parents are debatable.

Why Perfect Parents Don’t Exist

“The vast majority of parents view this intensive parenting style as the best, as very preferable to other parenting styles,” Patrick Ishizuka, PhD, said. “Both men and women strongly support it, whether the parent in the vignette is the mother or father.”

Perfection is defined as being free from defects or flaws. Though the concept of perfection is subjective, one would conclude that perfection, when describing the human population, is not appropriate. Therefore, parenting is neither faultless nor impeccable.

Because parents are merely humans who have gained the responsibility of raising kids, they are not excused from experiencing problem behavior from their kids. Not complying with the set rules of the house, escaping chores, sibling rivalries, failing grades, unanswered homework, and spending a lot of time being unproductive are just some of the reasons why parents go berserk.

Guess what? This is just the start. Wait until these kids evolve into teenagers. That’s the time when the dilemma sets in.

From Perfect Parenting To Good Parenting

Since we’ve already established that perfect parenting is a bust, the next option would be considering how to be good parents.

1. Good Parents Accept Mistakes

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Errors might be coming from the parents’ end or their children’s end; either way, what’s essential in the end is accepting the fundamental truth that mistakes are bound to be made no matter how careful or assured you are. How does acceptance occur?

• Parents need to realize that feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, confused, angry, worried, and guilty due to the behavior of your child, are part of the parenting process. Therefore, it is self-defeating and futile to strive for perfection.
• Parents need to recollect the times when they were kids, and they misbehaved and did terrible things. Once they do, remember how your parents handled your mistakes and how you reacted to it and how, at this very moment, the advice or punishments have made an impact on your overall well-being. “Much of today’s popular advice to parents ignores emotion,” says Dr. John Gottman.

2. Good Parents Do Not Compare

Statements starting with, “When I was your age…” can easily end a conversation between you and your kid. Living in the past and comparing something that your children did at present is like cutting the bridge of understanding. Or saying something like, “Look at our neighbor’s kid, she did amazing on her exams, why can’t you?” You must know why your kids are failing at a specific task or subject at school. There has to be a good reason behind it.

Comparisons are the downfall of a person’s innate attributes and characteristics. Comparing your kids not only brings them further stress and pressure but unhappiness brought about by unrealistic expectations. Nobody wants to be compared with other people because not everyone’s the same.

3. Good Parents Know How To Communicate

For children to become more comfortable in opening up and talking about specific topics that they find sensitive or confusing, parents should always keep the door for honest communication accessible. Parents, especially mothers, have pretty keen instincts as to whether their children are bothered or troubled about something. They should always make the first move on asking their children how they’ve been and if there’s anything they wanted to confide to them. “Being a sensitive parent and responding to your kids cuts across all areas of parenting,” says Arizona State University’s Dr. Keith Crnic.

Create A Flexible Framework

To live through proper parenting, fathers and mothers must create a resilient, adaptable framework that will take into consideration their expectations, temperaments, philosophies, and parenting methods. By doing so, you are a forminga structure that can commit not only to your spouse’s beliefs and style but also accommodate your children’s preferences, idiosyncrasy, and attributes.

Parents must find comfort in the idea that even though perfect parenting does not exist, a vast majority of children, no matter how problematic, turn out okay. Parenting might suck the life out of you, but it can also add joy and fulfillment to your years to come.

How To Make Kids Behave And Listen?


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Perhaps all of us can agree that children are cute and sensitive. However, these little rascals will never stay that way. A lot of them can become a tremendous pain in the ass. Most of the times, they will cause even more trouble compared to none. They can make someone angry because they are annoying, and sometimes they are out of boundary. But regardless of that, we know that kids will always be kids. They can shrug things off and become okay again in no time. That is their unique quality. So as parents, what are the possible things we can do to keep our children in a behave manner? How can we make the children listen to us? Fortunately, there are better ways we can count on.

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The Talk

As parents, we have great talents in finding the things we wished our kids could stop doing. No, it is not bad parenting because we know what exactly is appropriate and not applicable in our house. We have to control the bad behavior of our children. That is before they can even create a connection to the outside world and become a menace. With that, we talk them out of their mistakes. Since we want them to understand that there are things that are not allowed to do, we must be specific in explaining everything clearly. As parents, we have to take away all the confusions that the kids might have. “It’s important to let her know that you empathize with how she’s feeling.” says Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., “Your child actually needs you the most when she’s at her worst.”

The Punishment

Sometimes kids can be very stubborn that a pleasant conversation is never a solution to their misbehaving attitude. There are instances that even if we already tried so hard to explain to them what should and shouldn’t have to happen, they will continue to annoy us anyways. With that, we have to end up punishing them.  No, it is not the kind of punishment where there is too much harassment in the process. “Physical punishment elicits precisely the negative affects one does not want in parent-child relationships and in socializing children: distress, anger, fear, shame, and disgust.” Paul C Holinger M.D. explains. Instead, it will focus more on minor stuff that will allow the kids to suffer under inevitable consequences of their actions. Of course, that only goes to depend on the bearable emotional and mental strength of the children. Remember, it should get considered as a punishment, but not as abuse.

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The Role Model

Children are the best imitators. Sometimes they act on things based on how they see it. With that, we have to be careful in showing them everything. “Values don’t come from a textbook or from discussions about abstract concepts.” says Elizabeth Berger, M.D., a child and adolescent psychiatrist and author of Raising Children With Character (Jason Aronson Inc., 1999). She adds, “Rather, values are taught during the ordinary interactions of everyday life. If a child likes and respects you and your values, he will want to embrace them and make them his own.”

As you can see, some kids work in silence, and there are who do stuff regardless of the consequences. As parents, we have to make sure that the children are getting the right amount of learning from good behavioral examples. We must not allow them to question the existence of our bad behavior when we want them to do well on theirs.

Parenting is difficult; that’s why we always have to remember a thing. One parenting method does not guarantee to work with the other. That is because children have different attitudes and behavior.

Therapists Explain Kids’ Separation Anxiety

Perhaps you already witnessed a kid that rolls around the ground and crying his heart out because he doesn’t want his parents to leave him at school. And sometimes, you think that is normal because a lot of kids tend to be like that. However, what you didn’t know is the emotional and mental struggle behind that particular behavior. The truth is, what is happening to these hapless little ones is called separation anxiety. It is a psychological condition that therapists aim to address in children who are experiencing it.

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Separation Anxiety In Children

Separation anxiety can occur in adults too. But compared to children, it is more severe in them. The condition is inappropriate development of excessive anxiety or fear regarding the separation of kids from those people they feel attached. Usually, children with separation anxiety experience recurrent distress when getting an idea of separating from home or any form of the principal attachment figure. One example of a scenario is when a father, mother, or a close member of the family is taking a few days off the house due to vacation, work, or whatsoever. Kids become entirely upset when they know they are going to be away from someone they care about. There is a buildup of persistent and excessive worry about losing an attachment to that valued individual. In some cases, children get disturbed when that person is sick and injured. These kids become too emotionally distraught just by thinking that their loved one could end up being kidnapped, getting in an accident, and dead.

Deborah M. Consolini, MD of Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University pointed out that “Crying indicates the children have developed a sense of attachment to their parents or caregivers. Crying in this situation is a positive reaction, because children who are not attached to their parents or caregivers do not cry when they leave the room.”

According to Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D, and co-author, “children experience a continuation or reoccurrence of intense separation anxiety during their elementary (primary) school years or beyond. If separation anxiety is excessive enough to interfere with normal activities like school and friendships, and lasts for months rather than days, it may be a sign of a larger problem: separation anxiety disorder.”

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The Effects In Children

“[C]hildren  who  have  had  chronic  and  intense  fearful experiences  often  lose  the  capacity  to  differentiate between  threat  and  safety. This  impairs  their  ability to  learn  and  interact  with  others,  because  they  frequently  perceive  threat  in  familiar  social  circumstances,  such  as  on  the  playground  or  in  school. These  responses  inhibit  their  ability  to  learn  and often lead to serious anxiety disorder,”says Jack  P.  Shonkoff,  M.D., et al. of PersistentFearAndAnxietyCan Affect Young Children’s LearningAnd Development WorkingPaper9by Harvard University.

Children with separation anxiety somehow appear same as everybody. That is the impression of why it is difficult for parents and other mental health professionals to identify the mental condition instantly. But one limiting factor of the mental illness is the kids’ behavior. Usually, kids are more reluctant to new things. There is often a refusal to go outside that even stepping out from the house becomes a big deal. Separation anxiety in children makes them fear the distance away from home because they believe it will cause them pain or any unfortunate accidents. These little ones look at their home as a fortress that once they move away from it, they become weak and vulnerable.

There is no room for social interaction on children with separation anxiety as well. That is because they usually do not want to play with other kids. There is this idea that getting too attached to someone will only cause emotional issues in the long run. With that, instead of trying to become friends with different people, these kids only surround themselves with one or two peers. Sometimes, even those two individuals get to be pushed away too. These kids are afraid to handle a much significant emotional burden caused by separation. That explains why they are sometimes clingy and unable to be sued by anybody else except their trusted parents, siblings, relatives, or friends. In some unfortunate cases, these children with separation anxiety often want to be alone. That is regardless of them being at home or in any settings.

In some events, there are severe cases where these kids experience repeated nightmares and panic attacks due to the idea of separation. It becomes a non-existent trauma where children often think about it all the time. With that, these kids end up having physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches.

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The anxiety and fear in children usually last within four weeks. The whole thought of it causes children to feel a significant amount of distress. Sometimes, the result of the anguish makes it impossible for them to function in their lives. There are cases that even a medical professional or mental health expert cannot explain it well too. With that, children suffer silently with mental illness. And since they are kids who are sometimes unable to express their emotional and psychological situation, it becomes hard to treat them immediately.

The truth is, separation anxiety is entirely a survival practice that keeps children safe from the emotional impact. Some kids are aware that they can survive without help from someone they trust. However, not all children can integrate quickly and accept that they need to do things alone of their own. With that, they become completely overwhelmed by their developmental stage.

Separation anxiety does not necessarily have to focus on age. Instead, it is more on the developmental stage. It is where there is an expectation of the strength of the emotional and mental capability of an individual.

Kids Want More Freedom – Should We Give It?


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In today’s world, parents like us are somehow backing away from the modern, more liberal type of parenting and adapting the old, conventional style when it comes to discipline and house rules. Truly, it is difficult not to notice the messages conveyed on the television and social media – the children of today are just out of control. But a psychologist once asked me, “How are the kids of today so different from the way we were? And did we make them who they are now?”

With the newly structure curriculum where there are more school days, projects and homework during the weekends, and more activities for student improvement, don’t you think as a parent that they’re so caught up with education, and we have left them with nothing much for their freedom to grow up outside of school? By making sure that our kids learn academically, are we giving them to little space for individuality?

There is an uprising of anxiety and discomfort regarding the new system of rules and discipline. Many people think that this system is stopping the new generation from expressing who they are, and learning through experience right from wrong. If we expect them to become the world’s stronghold and tomorrow’s future, why aren’t we giving them the space to explore and grow?

Boundaries Must Be Set

Needless to say, parents are obliged to set boundaries for their kids, and it may not sound sensible, but yes, children do want these boundaries. They are okay with you telling them what to do and what not to do because they somehow like the feeling that there is control in the things they do. They like the sense of being safe in a controlled world where their parents are their fortress, and life is less complicated because of their protection. If there is no control, then it will be too much for these kids, and they were not born into this world unsafe. They have been cuddled and embraced and shielded from harm from the moment they came out.

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Our children, in the beginning, have no idea what’s right from wrong – we teach them that. That is why we set some boundaries. But perhaps by letting them get away with some things, we are doing this as part of their training, when we are first polishing their values, defining their characters, and creating structures. According to Jennifer L. Hartstein, PsyD, “The more children learn about the consequences (positive or negative) of their actions, the more they understand the impact of their behaviors and the more secure they feel by having that understanding.”

Instilling discipline in children does not mean that parents are impeding them of their free will. “Calm, consistent discipline is as much an ingredient of having happy children as nurturing,” says family therapist Marilyn Wedge, PhD. Children should be entitled to their own opinion and should be allowed to express how they feel about things and issues in life, but of course, depending on their age. We can ask them for their choices on the simple things first, to help them practice the right kind of free will. For example, we can ask them what kind of drink they want, but we give them a choice of the drink – orange or apple juice. We can ask our teenager if she prefers to wear yellow or red shorts, but not let her choose the skimpy skirt when she’s going to the library. The freedom that we teach them is limited only because we want to teach them how to make choices.

Eventually, we can add consequences to these choices. If they make the incorrect choice, then there is a consequence. If they don’t finish their food, they don’t get to eat ice cream. They do have a choice, but the price to be paid will determine their behavior. Isn’t this what we all experience in the real world – responsibility, hard decisions, and consequences?

They Do Need More Freedom

According to Michael Thompson, PhD, author of Homesick and Happy ”While there are many things we can give our kids by spending time with them, the one thing we can’t hand them is independence.For kids to have full psychological ownership of their achievements, they have to be away from their parents. So, the task for us is to step back, open the door, and let a child go.”

It’s been more than three decades of blaming it on people’s rejection of the modern way of rearing children. It is because we give our children too much freedom that they become addicts, criminals, and early mothers. They’re rallying on implementing the conventional, authoritarian kind of parenting, specifically in the United States, perhaps because more and more people believe that we have become too liberal.

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But the bottom line is that too much of everything is not at all right. And as much as we want to change the way we handle our children, we must let them grow up reasonably. Yes, we must pay more attention to our children – that’s the more traditional setting – but we must also add a touch of modern to that. We must always encourage them to think for themselves. No parent, school, or religion must force children to accept whatever it is that they do not want. We must raise them in a way that they know how to think, ask, and question.




Top 5 Words To Always Say To A Child

Motherhood is so beautiful in that it makes you feel alive every single day. Being a mom to a wonderful child is such a blessing since you get an opportunity to raise someone into a fantastic person who will soon become part of the society or community. As such, it is crucial for you to focus on the development of your child, not only in the physical aspect but also on his emotional side. According to a therapist’s advice, parents must start to teach their children at a young age. Continue reading “Top 5 Words To Always Say To A Child”

My Story Of Motherhood And Anxiety

Before motherhood, I was entirely carefree. I don’t usually worry about so many things at all. I don’t care about the ideas like jumping out of a plane, leaving for another country, or spending time in a deserted place. I believe that I’m emotionally and mentally capable of handling all of the negative things that can come my way. But after giving birth, everything becomes entirely different. I am now more stressed, and I feel like anxiety and depression are taking over my life. Having a baby changed the whole course of my mental and emotional capacity.

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The Consistent Mental And Emotional Struggle

Motherhood changed my perspective on a lot of things. I became more sensitive and out of control. Yes, it is a beautiful feeling to have a child that you can love and take care of the rest of your life. But what’s creeping up on me is the idea of not being able to provide my baby all the necessary things that promote better development. I often got scared of not always being there for my child, so I preferably avoid getting busy with other stuff. I feel anxious about unrealistic things that I picture might happen anytime I’m out of sight. There are times that I understand the situation and I know that things are not that bad in some instances. But, every time I think about how small and fragile a newborn is, I immediately feel the terror inside my core. I then assume that something is going to happen. I locked my thoughts with a lot of “what ifs.” These include the idea of my baby’s interrupted breathing, physical movements, loud cries, as well as silent gestures. There is tremor thinking that something would prevent me from watching and caring for my child.

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Am I paranoid? Is this post-partum depression? Well, I guess that’s what you can call it. All I can see is danger everywhere in everything that surrounds my child. The list of things that now scares me is endless. Most of that is a bit ridiculous, unreasonable, and seems impossible to happen. I suddenly developed a lot of fear which I don’t previously have. That includes the turning off of lights where it suddenly becomes so freaking scary. And to add more, I started to watch out and be careful about everything I do and say in front of my baby because I believe that it creates an impact on the child’s development. People have no idea that I began having issues with clinginess. They don’t know I am currently devastated and afraid of being alone with my child. I felt tortured and immobilized.


All these emotional and mental states I am at are the most dreadful feeling I ever had. When I continuously think about it or say it out loud, it gives me a heavy feeling on my chest. It felt awful and scary. And when these thoughts began to work their way on creating a more specified adverse scenario in my head, it can make me cry non-stop. Yes, I worried too much about things I know I shouldn’t. But, I could not seem to help it. It is something I still couldn’t quite handle and explain. I can only describe the sensation as dullness and heaviness in all aspects of my overall health. Yes, I already recognized that I am suffering from a mental health condition and the anxiety has entirely stopped me from enjoying other beautiful things around me. But still, I knew that the ongoing process of recovery could take a while.

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What I Learned From The Experience

Before having a baby, I entirely don’t understand the impact of fear, constant worry, and panic attacks. I can say that I lived my life based on exploring fun and excitement. But now, I’m living in a world where I can’t find the right answers to my psychological and emotional dilemma. Do I regret having a child? Well, of course not. It may sound strange to say this, provided that I intentionally wrote the negativity of my emotional and mental state, but motherhood is an incredible thing that ever happened to me. As a mother, it became my reality.

Mental Health 101: Why Kids Should Not Stay Cooped Up At Home

Last week, we spoke to a woman who used to get sheltered too much by her parents, to the extent that she was only allowed to watch TV at home, and nothing else. Riding a bike was a no-no because mom did not want her to scrape her legs. Dad was quite strict about studying, saying young kids should focus on it even on the weekends to have a better future. Hence, the woman could not remember a day when she was able to play outdoors like the other children in the neighborhood.

That is unacceptable, frankly speaking, since pediatric specialists keep on seeing that their patients who have started battling a mental disorder early happen to be the kids who never commune with nature. They stay indoors most of the time, playing video games or merely staring at the corners of the house. While their friends are hanging out at the park or a friend’s house, they end up not even getting some sun for days. If you must know, this lack of socialization and vitamin D deficiency often push people down the depression lane.

To supplement this argument, in a study conducted by Frances E. Kuo, PhD, on the possible treatment to ADHD by exposure to nature, she was able to conclude that, “Overall, our findings indicate that exposure to ordinary natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children.”

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The fact mentioned above does not make over-sheltering kids seem so ideal now, does it? Your children may not get influenced or bullied by others, they won’t ever be at risk of being in an accident, but the prolonged stay indoors affects their mental health adversely.

Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, further convinces us that “There are many scientific studies that underscore the benefits of nature, including stress relief, improved short-term memory, increased mental energy, less inflammation, better vision, improved concentration, creativity, and improved mental health. For families, the great outdoors is a natural playground that contributes to a child’s positive development.”

Let us give you a few more reasons not to let your kids stay cooped up at home.

1. It Stimulates The Senses

Being in nature more often typically makes a child’s senses sharper than ever. They get to play with soil, feel the grass under their feet, smell the flowers, see bugs and explore other things that can occur outdoors. These are the things that they can only understand in theory or through descriptions in books if you don’t allow them to go outside.

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2. It Enhances Cognitive Skills

Danae Lund, PhD, LP, opines that “unstructured outdoor play helps kids learn to take turns, share and develop other positive behavioral skills. They are more likely to be inventive, explore and learn about the world around them and use their own abilities.” The environment consists mainly of living things that grow and wither. As said earlier, there may also be creatures or plant species that may switch on the curious side of the kids and cause them to observe what they do, what their colors are, and how big they become. That can improve their thinking skills better than tuning into National Geographic at home.

3. It Relieves Stress

In case you have not fathomed it before, children can acquire stress from the activities they need to accomplish every day. For instance, they got to wake up at six in the morning when there’s school, participate in class discussions until around three in the afternoon, and still have dinner and do their homework before resting at night. If such kids don’t go out once in a while, they won’t have an outlet for their stress.

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4. It Builds Up Creativity

It is best to take the young ones to a natural park that does not have slides and swings, to be honest. With the man-made playthings on site, after all, it seems automatic for children to know how they should play. However, if they are in an open field with some huge trees, it will enable them to use their imagination and create different games on their own.

Final Thoughts

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common disorders that kids as young as three years old can develop. They tend to isolate themselves from youngsters their age and, worse, even attempt to self-harm at times. If you don’t want your child to be part of the statistics, though, it matters to encourage him or her to leave the house sometimes and play outdoors like the others to boost their mental health.

Good luck!