Episode 24

Published on:

12th Oct 2021

EP24 - The Benefits of “Good Enough Parenting” and How to Apply It

Do you give all your energy to your family and have no energy left for yourself? 

Do you feel guilty often, like you are failing as a parent?

Are you trying to be the perfect parent?  

Are you showing up for your child way too much?

It doesn’t have to be this way!   In this episode, we discuss the benefits of moving far away from being the perfect parent and towards how to be a “good enough” parent using the 70-30 rule.

Be sure to listen for:

·      The work of British paediatrician David Winnicott, on the “good enough mother” and his studies showing that kids benefit from good enough parenting

·      Why it’s important to develop a secure attachment with your child at a young age

·      How good enough parenting allows your child to develop an adaptive nervous system and emotional resiliency

·      The 70-30 Rule for parents

·      The goals and benefits of good enough parenting

·      The consequences of neglectful parenting

·      Strategies on how to be a good enough parent while implementing the 70-30 rule

Shaista Fatehali:

Imagine being present calm and connected, while creating a family environment where everyone can thrive.

Dimple Arora:

Welcome to the IM mom parenting podcast, providing inspiration and actionable steps to manifest the meaningful and magical life you desire for you and your family.

Shaista Fatehali:

We are your hosts dimple, Aurora, founder and mindful evolution and shape the daily founder of Thrive kids.

Dimple Arora:

Thank you for sharing the I am mom journey with us. Let's get started.

Shaista Fatehali:

Do you feel as though in order to have happy and healthy children who are also productive members of society? that it requires you to give up everything? Do you feel or hear from others that you need to give parenting everything you have otherwise they will be doomed for life? Chances are all of us have felt some sense of defeat in our parenting journey. For example, many of us have had to change your parenting during our pandemic that we went through. And most of us found relief to even the most mundane tasks, like grocery shopping, just in order to have a little break from our kids, we are here to tell you that it is all okay, because we can't ever be the perfect parent. Today we're going to talk about good enough parenting and how it differs from the perfect parent that ended up depleting all your energy as well as deprive your children have vital growth experiences.

Dimple Arora:

It's it's an important topic, the good enough parent is so opposite from what we imagine ourselves to be as parents, right? Because we've set these really high expectations for ourselves as mothers and we usually are striving to be the absolute best mother that we can be right, someone who's not making mistakes and feels guilty if we don't give them enough attention. And we're not attuned to them every minute of the day. So we're here to tell you that we don't want you to be the perfect parent, we want you to be just a good enough parent, because parenting really is the most important job in the world, right? So of course, we want to deliver our best. And we take it so seriously. And there's nothing more that we want to take seriously than caring for our children. But aiming for being a good enough parent is so beneficial and good enough parenting is a concept based on the work of Dr. Donald Winnicott. And he was a British pediatrician, and psychoanalyst, and he coined the phrase good enough mother back in 1953. So he observed 1000s of babies and mothers over the course of his work and concluded that children actually benefit from imperfect parenting.

Shaista Fatehali:

And, you know, like this concept of good enough parent thing, it still meets the needs of children, right. But the thing is here is when parents are less than perfect, the child will still be able to learn how to adapt and how to learn from their challenges and solve problems and conquer their disappointments more effectively and more independently. Right. And, you know, when you think about good enough parenting and perfect parenting, it really starts when you were pregnant, right? Because you we hear from society, okay? Well, you need to have a natural birth. You need to make sure when your baby is born, that you were only breastfeeding, make sure that you don't use formula. Make sure that you when you're breastfeeding, you're not even using a bottle yet you have to nurse exclusively from your breast. as they grow older, you have to make their food from scratch. Everything has to be, quote unquote, perfect. It's stressful and it's not attainable. And we're not saying not to meet the needs of your kids. We're just saying that. You don't need to be perfect at it and do everything that society is pressuring us to do right now. It is important though, when babies are born and up into early preschool age that their needs and attachment, their attachment needs, I should say, are being met effectively so that they do have this secure base. But as they grow older, this is when you can help them try and use their own strategies to solve problems. And where would parenting really comes into play?

Dimple Arora:

Absolutely, because when they're little, like you said, we want to develop that trust, that security, that secure attachment. And as they get older, their needs are getting more complex, and there's no way that you can give them 100% of your attention 100% of the time. So it's actually a great idea to not always stop what you're doing just to play with them, just to give them everything that they want. Sometimes you have to say no, sometimes they're going to have to wait. And sometimes we are going to demand things of them that they don't like, and it's okay, so what happens by not responding to them all the time, is they are going to then develop responsive nervous systems, because that is what we want. That is the goal, we want them to be able to adapt their nervous system to any situation as they grow older, we want them to be able to regulate and be responsive in their nervous system reactions. So this really helps children develop resiliency, it's it helps them to develop distress tolerance, and emotional regulation, even problem solving, communication, conflict resolution, there's so many emotions, and they will learn how to manage these emotions if we are tending to them all the time.

Shaista Fatehali:

Mm hmm, exactly. And, you know, in order to help them develop that, I also think that we need to be regulated as well, right. And when you adapt this concept of good enough parenting, now, there's a lot of research around it. But one of the points that I really share with other people is the 7030 rule. So that means that you are fully engaged with your child 70% of the time, and 30% of the time, you know, they there might be some things that they're doing that you're not fully attuned to, right. And that is totally fine. As long as you are adapting the 7030 rule. When you do have the 7030 rule, you are willing to feel less stressed out. And it just brings a sense of relief, right? Even when I think about it and remind myself of the 7030 rule. I'm always like, Ah, it's okay, I can breathe, they're not going to be college dropouts, because I didn't attend to one little thing in the day, right. So I think that that is really important to really remember because is going to regulate not only their nervous systems, but yours as well.

Dimple Arora:

Exactly. And it's good to model a bit of imperfection to our children, right, actually quite a bit of imperfection to our children. Because when we do that we're allowing them also to be imperfect, giving them permission to be their authentic selves. And we can also teach them about grace and humility when we make mistakes, about being forgiving and empathetic when something doesn't go their way or somebody does something that they're not happy with. Right? So we can demonstrate to them this imperfection which is so important for their own development. And because what is the goal here, the goal is to raise children that are resilient, that can be their authentic selves. And we want them to know that it's okay to make mistakes, and an authentic Lee being yourself means that you are you don't have to strive for perfection.

Shaista Fatehali:

Exactly. And I also think that it really fosters a sense of independence and autonomy, which is really key because, I mean, we see this a lot as teachers too, right? A lot of kids come in and they require so much support because everything has been done for them, right? Of course, we want the best for our children, and we want to do everything for them. But that takes away the opportunity for them to learn. I remember this one mentor that I had that was working in kindergarten. And so what happened was that there was this girl who was trying to open up a container. And when she was trying to open up the container, she had trouble doing so. And what she did was give the container to a teacher, the teacher opened, okay. So the mentor stood back and said, that opportunity for this young girl to learn how to advocate advocate for herself, and express her needs has been taken away. Because the teacher went to just open the container, rather than say to the girl, I'm not sure what you need, can you tell me? So with that girl then responded by saying, I can't open my container, can you help me, and then the teacher opens the container. That way the child is able to really advocate for her needs. And that's been good enough parenting comes from as well, right, where we don't have to just quickly swoop in and do everything, but giving an opportunity for our kids to develop the skills that are ultimately life skills that they're going to have to use in the very, very near future.

Dimple Arora:

And I know you had brought up that 7030 rule. And of course, there are the parents that are going to have defective, good enough parenting, so they're taking it to the other extreme. Now research shows that we only have to be a to two children 30 to 50% of the time, actually. But that, to me seems a little low. And I feel like when this willingness for some parents to regard their children as their first priority, like for example, they put their own needs first, or they create this lack of routine or chaos for the kids or they don't engage with the kids, because they're so focused on their own life, that can actually have detrimental effects on children. So affects like even delinquency, and personality disorders and relationship issues in the future, and even criminal behavior. So when we talk about this good enough parenting, there is a balance. So what we're saying is, strive for balance, not perfection, but also be mindful of the other extreme as well. And we know if you're listening to this podcast, that you are not one of the parents in that situation. But defective parenting can end up having detrimental results as well.

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah, and I think that's really great to bring up and just to be mindful of, and with the 7030 rule, so the 7030 rule, so 70% of the time, you are, you're fully engaged right with your children. So and that is based on like, 70% of the time that you have with them, I should say, right, so like, it doesn't count the time like that they're in school or anything, for example, right? So it's actually a really short amount of time when you think about it. And that other 30% it doesn't necessarily mean like, okay, they can rule the roost and do whatever they want. It just means that you're doing your best, whatever your best is, and that you're if you're not able to attune to their needs that that 30% of the time that you are okay with it. Now, the 7030 rule is super, super useful to have right, it really brings a sense of relief. And sometimes we don't know how we're going to apply the 7030 rule. So we are here today to give you some strategies where you can apply the 7030 rule which will lead you to good enough parenting. So the first strategy is give yourself a break. It is okay. If you're having a bad day you can take a shortcut. So having cocoa melon on in the background or ordering pizza in is okay. It's not Gonna mean that your child won't head off to college, this wouldn't be applicable to the 30% rule. Remember, the 7030 rule, right? Another really great strategy to use for good enough parenting is not really worrying about what other people are doing and focusing on what is right for your family, it will be good enough if you are focused on the needs of just your family. Another really good strategy that you can use for the 7030 rule is ignoring minor annoyances, the misbehavior and children, right, you've all heard of the, the saying pick your battles. And that is really applicable to the 7030 rule, you cannot police an intervene 100% of the time, because it will wear you out. And it will also not give you a break, right, you need to have a break so that your children can learn how to problem solve, and improve their own behavior on their own will and their knowledge and skill base when they are in a really safe place to learn.

Dimple Arora:

Yeah, I love the idea of taking a break as a mom, because we cannot pour from an empty cup, it's really important to go away sometimes for an evening or a night even and have that time where you have a sense of normalcy and independence from being a mother. So that is a very good option for every person. And I know we didn't have much of those opportunities. During the pandemic, I saw so many memes on social media where moms were locking themselves in the bathroom for their break, or even during work when their toddlers were screaming from the bathroom to get their bum wiped, and one was online doing, you know, virtual schooling. So moms do need to take a break too. So that's also that's very important.

Shaista Fatehali:

You know, going back to what you were saying about taking breaks, that's where the guilt sometimes comes from. Right. And, you know, during the pandemic, I know there was a lot of mothers who took I mentioned this earlier, but really took comfort and just so much joy going to the grocery store, like going to the grocery store was like going to Disneyland, right? Because they were able to just be by themselves. And it is okay to want to do that. And to go ahead and do it, and not feel guilty about it.

Dimple Arora:

Exactly. And with social media, we as moms are having a tendency to compare ourselves to other mothers, the mothers on Pinterest, the mothers on Instagram with the perfect meals and the perfect outings and the perfect alone time dates with their children. So sometimes you are not in a mode to give, give it your all sometimes you are feeling anxious, you're feeling depressed, you're struggling with something at work, you're not fulfilled in your relationship at home with your partner, there are so many reasons why you may not be fully engaged in your parenting, and we really want to emphasize the point that it is okay. Mm hmm.

Shaista Fatehali:

Exactly. And, you know, again, that 7030 rule, right, it just keeps coming back because it is so useful. And it really does help to alleviate some any, any sense of guilt that you might be feeling around not being 100% attentive 100% of the time.

Dimple Arora:

And this goes back to also that whole idea of setting reasonable boundaries, which was in one of our previous episodes. So when you set reasonable boundaries with your children, and they accept the reality of those boundaries, then it will teach the child to live with boundaries and and you'll be modeling that for them. And that's what helps them to be more socialized as people and again, more resilient and if it's applied consistently, of then what's going to happen is the children the child is going to develop at a proper pace and be able to set age appropriate brand boundaries for themselves as well.

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah, so hopefully this the strategies that we've talked about is not only will give you a sense of relief and lower some of the But you might be feeling but hopefully it's also something that you can apply right away. Right And again, it is okay not to be perfect. It is okay not to be 100% 100% of the time and do apply the 7030 rule in your daily life.

Dimple Arora:

And just to end off here, I want to say that you are absolutely enough. And you can give the biggest gift to your children by moving away from the idea of perfection from moving away from feeling guilty, and aim instead for good enough parenting. We'll be in touch with you again next week. Take care. Bye. Thank you for joining us on the IM mom parenting journey. If you enjoyed today's episode, please follow us and head on over to iTunes to leave us a review.

Shaista Fatehali:

We invite you to check out the show notes for this episode, and click on the link to join our free Facebook community to stay connected and continue the conversation with other like minded moms.

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About the Podcast

I AM MOM Parenting Podcast
Welcome to the I AM MOM Parenting Journey!

This is a parenting podcast to help you become present, calm and connected while creating a family environment where everyone can thrive.

The I AM MOM Parenting Podcast provides

Inspiration and
Actionable Steps to help you
Manifest the

life you desire for you and your family.

Hosted by Dimple Arora, Founder of Mindful Evolution and Shaista Fatehali, Founder of Thrive Kids.

Dimple and Shaista are two moms passionate about sharing effective parenting and mom life strategies based on modern science and thousands of hours of combined experience, both in the classroom and by providing life coaching for moms and kids of all ages. Listen as they geek out on everything you need to know to create the joyful family life that you desire and your kids deserve.

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