Positive Parenting Myth: You Have To Do It Perfectly All The Time


00:00:01    Alyssa

You're listening to Voices of Your Village. This is episode 174. We talked a lot about progress over perfection, but I feel like we are still holding ourselves to a standard of perfection. That when we make mistakes, in parenthood, or as humans, we experience hard emotions that we feel like we're failing. And I think this is something that's really important for us to discuss because it's going to be huge for the kids who are watching. And if we feel like we are failing when they have a hard emotion or a tantrum or a meltdown, what message are we sending to them? So, today we're going to dive into imperfectly parenting, this is a quick episode with me with some tangible things and a little piece of homework at the end of the episode. I just really want you to know that you're doing enough, you are enough. All right, folks, let's dive in. 


00:01:10    Alyssa

Welcome to Voices of Your Village, a place where parents, caregivers, teachers and experts come to support one another on this wild ride of raising tiny humans. We combined decades of experience with the latest research to create the modern parenting village. Let's dive into honest conversation about real parenting challenges, so it doesn't have to be this hard. I'm your host, Alyssa Blask Campbell. 


00:01:40    Alyssa

We talked a lot about progress over perfection here and how our goal is not to be a perfect parent or a perfect caregiver. But what does that look like in real time? And what do we do with the feelings that come up for us when we aren't perfect? When we lose our cool, when we snap at kids, when we are feeling drained and it comes out as a reaction. What do we do then? I think so many of us, we might say these words. You know, that it's okay. I don't have to be perfect or we might even be telling our kids, it's okay. You don't have to be perfect. Perfection is not our goal for you, but then we hold ourselves secretly to this standard. Where at the end of the day, we can recount all the ways that we were imperfect. All the ways that we made mistakes, that we navigated rupture. And I'm wondering if we're also holding our kids to this secret standard where we're saying, it's okay to feel upset, it's okay to feel sad but then when they do have a hard emotion, when they have a tantrum or a meltdown, I'm wondering if we're seeing that as a failure, as if we failed them. Somebody reached out to me recently and they said, Alyssa. I've been doing this, I'm doing all the things here, and my kids still having tantrums, and I waited for more, I was wondering what the challenge was, what the problem was here and there was a pause and I asked like, okay so what what's going on with the tantrums? And she was like, well I just can't figure out how to make them stop. I want to be perfectly clear. My goal is not to make kids stop expressing their emotions. I recently saw a Facebook ad for like a parenting course and the ad read "Tame the Tantrum" and I was like, oh yikes, that is not my goal. I do not want to tame your child's emotions, maybe you've read Glennon Doyle's book 'Untamed', but I it really spoke to me in this way of like that's not the goal here is, it's not to tame emotions, it's to allow children to truly be human, to have hard feelings, to feel frustrated and disappointed. And when they do experience those hard feelings, it doesn't mean that you failed. If you have a kiddo, who's experiencing fear, who's feeling scared, you're not failing. That's a part of being alive. It's a part of being human. Our goal is to let them know that they are safe to feel that. It's okay to express. When we allow ourselves to have hard emotions. When we can model, what it looks like to have emotional agility, to be vulnerable, to feel our feelings, to cry, to express, to tap into support when we're ready, to lean on each other, to navigate life, we're modeling for our children that this is a part of being human. That they do not have to be perfect, that they aren't failing if they are feeling sad or frustrated or mad or disappointed or scared or nervous, but instead that they are succeeding at life when they allow themselves to feel those things without feeling shame for feeling them or feeling guilty or feeling like they need to rush them away. But that's a part of being alive and that it is okay to feel those things that they're temporary, like, clouds in the sky. I think it's way more beneficial for kids to see imperfect parenting, for them to see us lose our cool, and come back and navigate repair. I think it's way more beneficial for them to see us experience sadness and cry. and allow ourselves to do that, letting them know that it's not their fault, and it's not their responsibility to change it, but instead that you are allowed to feel sad, And it doesn't stay forever. What a beautiful thing to model for them. 


00:06:13    Alyssa

Hey there. I'm popping in real quick to this episode to make sure that you know that the doors are open to the Village Membership! We only open the doors a couple times a year so that we can onboard folks and dive into this work together. The doors to the Village Membership are open until June 17th. So, do not sleep on this. Come, join us to have a village to turn to for support in this journey. You do not have to do this alone. And one of my favorite favorite things about the Village Membership is our app where people pop in with questions every single day, looking for support or tools or resources on this journey and we respond to every single one. It is the only place within Seed where you get direct access to the Seed team to make sure all your questions are answered. You get to lean on other people who are navigating these challenges too. So that, you know, you aren't alone and bounce ideas off of each other. It's been incredible to see folks building relationships with each other, just really showing up for one another. It's been a few months since the last time the doors were open and it's been incredible to see the growth with these parents inside the Village Membership already. Folks share their wins constantly because we're there to guide you in doing this work. When you join the Village Membership, you get weekly calls, weekly live Q&A's with us, you get access to a monthly Zoom to just hang out, and every single week we drop tangible things for you to focus on in your everyday life. You'll learn how to show up in a calm regulated manner, you'll learn how to let go of the idea of being a perfect parent and know that it's okay, to make mistakes along the way and how to navigate repair with your kids or with your partner or co-parent. This membership is for you if you really want to raise emotionally intelligent humans and you want support doing it. You want people to lean on and turn to, to have your questions answered, it's a space where you get to be in community with other people who are also doing this work. Come, join our shame-free Village Membership at seedandsew.org/membership. You can join now through June 17th, after June 17th, the doors are closed. Come join us now at seedandsew.org/membership, I cannot wait to see you inside the village. 


00:09:02    Alyssa

When I look at like parenting goals and fostering a secure attachment, it's not that you're calm all the time because when we are going for that the reality is that you aren't calm all the time. So A: you might feel like you're failing at the end of each day but B: even if you can like shut down and not express in front of your kids. Your neurological response is going to be different your physiological response so you might spike cortisol or adrenaline and they're going to mirror that, they're going to feel it. They're going to recognize that you aren't calm inside and it can be so confusing when your face and your words don't match up with your body language and your physiological response. It's like when somebody is so clearly upset or having a hard time and they're telling you, no, I'm fine. I picture this little boy who was in preschool and every day for the first couple weeks of his new preschool classroom. He, when he would say goodbye to his dad in the morning, he would stand there. And he would look out the door. And just these silent tears would come down his face. And when we popped over and said, "hey buddy, are you feeling sad? It's so hard to say goodbye to Dad." He would say, "I'm not sad." And he would wipe his tears. I think something so powerful that we can do with kids is to own our reactions, when we do lose our cool to let them know that we're sorry for yelling at them and that we were experiencing really big emotions and sometimes that can be scary, it can come out with a big body that looks strong and powerful or a big loud voice. And that it's not their fault that we are still learning what to do when our body is having a big emotion. Letting them know that it's something we are working on and that it's our job and that we love them. The goal isn't to be calm all the time friends, and for our kiddos gosh I just think it's so powerful for them to see us make mistakes to be imperfect and to learn what to do when they're having a hard time. When they make mistakes. We all know in a rational brain that we shouldn't yell or shouldn't throw things and should find our calm voice and navigate this. And the reality is it's not going to happen all the time. It's not going to happen for us all the time, it's not gonna happen for kids all the time. So if you have a kid, who isn't a hundred percent of the time when they have a big emotion calming their body and communicating with you kindly about it. That's because they're human, it's not because you're failing and it's not because they're failing. The goal is truly not perfection. They're building a skill set that takes time and practice. And every day they get to practice with you and every day you get to practice with them. Today at the end of the day, I want you to pause and write down three ways that you crushed it, three ways that you either showed up for your kiddo today or three times that you entered into repair after rupture. Maybe a time where you noticed your kid doing something and you just acknowledged it. And you saw how that made them feel, you saw that they felt seen in that moment, maybe a time where your child was melting down and you were able to be a safe space for them. It's so easy at the end of the day to remember all the ways we feel like we dropped the ball. Today I want you to write down three ways that you slayed it, three times that you crushed it. You are doing enough, you are enough, and you do not have to do this alone. 


00:13:22    Alyssa

Thanks for tuning in to Voices of Your Village. Check out the transcript at voicesofyourvillage.com. Did you know that we have a special community over on Instagram hanging out every day with more free content? Come join us at seed.and.sew. Take a screenshot of you tuning in, share it on the gram and tag seed.and.sew to let me know your key takeaway. If you're digging this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. We love collaborating with you to raise emotionally intelligent humans.




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