Good Enough Parenting

June 17, 2024

As you juggle the varying demands of your busy summer schedule, I want you to lay your head down at night and say the following as you reflect upon your day: “I did a good enough job today.”

There’s no need to aim for perfection because that’s usually where we get stuck in rigidity and disappointment—in ourselves and others. When we learn to be comfortable with “good enough,” we are modeling something excellent for our kids. We clarify our family culture by letting our kids know that striving for perfection is often not worth the stress. 

Teaching our kids to build awareness about the upside and downside of everything is so worthwhile. They need to build an understanding of the tax we pay for making certain choices. Sometimes, they will determine that the tax is absolutely worth it and they should take note of these moments and how they feel afterwards. Other times, however, they will ascertain that the emotional toll paid to accomplish something (perhaps deemed important by others) is definitely not worth it. Each one of these decisions encourages them to find clarity in their values and what they stand for as a young person. Remind them, of course, that this evolves as they mature. Clarity is often a moving target.

What else happens when we get okay with “good enough?” We practice acceptance, self-compassion, and even frustration tolerance. Finding some flexibility in our expectations of ourselves allows us to be more accepting of others and their ups and downs, as well.  People who are very tough on themselves tend to be very tough on others, as well.

How can you adjust your expectations today? What can you let go of a bit so that things flow more smoothly? What would good enough look like today?

Good enough is good enough.