How To Be A “Good Enough” Parent

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How To Be A “Good Enough” Parent

Words by Mr Ben Olsen

7 September 2021

Mr Tom Selleck in “Three Men And A Baby” (1987). Photograph by Touchstone Pictures/Shutterstock


Recognise the nuances of parental love

While the vast majority of parents experience a never-felt-before love for their offspring, we’re encouraged here to consider the principles of parental love – and how it might differ from other relationships. “Parental love is so important but maddeningly difficult to define,” says Dr Vincent. “But when it persists over the years it helps children navigate the often-confusing process of growing up.”

Described as considerate, tender, patient behaviour towards a child who cannot help but be largely out of control, parental love might involve a sense of forgiveness that puts generous interpretations on behaviour that seems grating to others; a respect for their vulnerability and lack of ability to communicate their traumas; or accommodating strange phases, knowing that “weirdness” is part of normal development. It’s also, critically, the understanding that this love can sometimes be unreciprocated, but may ultimately be rewarded when the child evolves into a very good parent themselves one day.