I received some great insights from my question why is there a resistance to parent education? One idea is that people are uncomfortable with change. It is easier to stay the same even if the situation makes everyone unhappy. The unwillingness to change seems to be a major barrier to receiving parent education.
Another concept that was offered is that everyone else is struggling with their kids so it’s normal to struggle. This struck a deep sadness in me because suffering in my relationships is not normal. I have lived my life based on normal being personal growth and finding ways to become happier. There are many ways to live a life focused on growth.
I would like to offer a different perspective on how to “judge” the quality of parenting. (I dislike the concept of judging but we do it every moment.) Consider evaluating yourself based on how much each family member is growing and maturing rather than on how well children behave. Are you stuck repeating your ineffective actions or are you trying new approaches? One mom told me,
I keep trying to learn how to communicate well with my son. Sometimes it goes well, other times it is hard.” I told her, “I think you are a great parent because you are constantly growing and changing.”
What about your children’s growth? Can you focus on how they are maturing and have compassion for this difficult process? Or are you always thinking that your children are only “good” if they behave and are “bad” if they misbehave. If how you are parenting is teaching your children to gradually become more capable and self-reliant, then I would consider you a successful parent.
What do you consider successful parenting?